≡ Menu

Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence Review

Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence Review
3.2 (64%) 10 votes

Hi beautifuls! Today we are going to do a Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence Review. Kiehl’s is a company that has always used carefully selected natural ingredients to balance their gentle and yet highly effective formulations. I bought the Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence on an impulse since I was fed up of my constantly dry and dull skin that only looked like it had been fried if I used moisturizer. And here is what happened..

Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence Review

Claims for Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence

According to the Kiehl’s websites, the Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Essence is an “essential ‘first step’ anti-aging treatment to maintain skin’s youthful texture, reduce fine lines, and activate radiance”, and a “multi-action treatment essence for youthful, radiant skin”.

The Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Essence is essentially a lightweight and watery (as compared to most lotions or moisturizers) lotion that you can apply on your face before heavier creams and treatments, like face creams and so on. The pH of Kiehl’s Iris Activating Treatment Essence is 5.0. This is not far from the pH of skin, which is a level that provides comfort and tolerability for most skin types. The product claims to work on fine lines, dullness and rough texture (activate radiance), and to prime skin by preparing it to receive the skincare regimen that follows. I believe it does what it claims.
Benefits :
• Non-sticky
• Non-greasy, Maximum hydration
• Contains Iris Florentina Root Extract – that reduces wrinkles, and makes skin supple

Usage Instructions

Pour 3-4 drops into palm of hand and press hands together. Gently press onto cheeks, forehead, chin and neck. Starting at the neck, use your fingertips in a gentle press and release motion, moving upward to the chin in circular shape around the jawline. Move up to the cheeks creating a second circular shape over the entire cheek area. Move up over the bridge of the nose, continuing over the forehead finishing at the temples.

Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence Review photos


The main ingredients are Water, humectants (Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Methyl Gluceth-10), and Alcohol Denat. After that, you get Phenoxyethanol, which is the preservative. Some emulsifiers (PPG-6-Decyltetradeceth-30), preservatives (Chlorphenesin), and other skincare ingredients like Capryloyl Salicylic Acid and the omst important ingredient – Iris Florentina/Iris Florentina Root Extract. Rich in flavonoids, in vitro studies on the extract have demonstrated stimulation of anchoring proteins laminin 1 & 5, which are an important contributor to skin cohesion. Additional studies showed an ability to help protect stratum corneum proteins from damage. Finally a clinical study on Iris Florentina resulted in decreased number and length of wrinkles, further demonstrating its anti-aging efficacy.

How to Use

Using the Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence is easy as can be – just pour some into your palm, pat it into your face, and you’re all done!


Rs. 3500/- for 200ml.

In Detail Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence Review and My Experience

I dislike beauty routines that take more than a couple of minutes, and I had zero expectations as I had bought this on an impulse. But the product pleasantly surprised me. I splash on the slightly-heavier-than-water concentrate after cleansing my skin, twice daily. Sometimes on particularly humid days when moisturizer feels too heavy, I only use this and skip the moisturizer.

It’s a little viscous – slightly, slightly gel-liquid, but only slightly. Because of the density of the liquid, it has more mass than liquid, and this explains the weight. Despite its slightly thicker-than-water consistency, it’s still very easily absorbed into the skin leaving no residue. All it takes it a couple of pats and it’s gone. There’s no tingling sensation whatsoever, but the skin does feel refreshed and hydrated.

Despite the alcohol content in the essence, I found it to feel quite moisturizing on my skin – I definitely didn’t feel like it was drying my skin out at all. Also, it absorbs fast, and leaves very minimal residue on the skin. I found that after using this, my skin seemed to be softer and more hydrated. So it does what it says on the bottle.

Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence Review MBF

How I Use it

Apart from applying in onto cleansed skin, I have also been using it in combination with other products, simply because of the non-sticky nature of the Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence. I realised later that this product does not contain silicones or polymers, making it very easy to layer with other products. It didn’t ball up or coagulate I mixed it with my sunscreen. And also blended very well when I wanted to reduce the thick and heavy texture of my foundation to wear it in daytime.

After cleansing and toning, I use 3-4 drops of this treatment essence into my palms, spread them together and gently press all over my face and neck. A little goes a long long way and the texture is really smooth and silky. You can pat until it is all absorbed otherwise just let it soak into the skin then apply your usual serum and moisturiser. At night, I use this mixed with my night cream and it works very well together for a hydrated, supple and soft skin in the morning!  Sometimes I use a little bit more – especially on my feet – I just mix a couple of drops of almond oil with the Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence. I must say my weather-damaged feet are looking much better.

Also once every two weeks, I mix the treatment essence with a bit of unboiled milk onto a thin cotton pad (the ones you can separate into few layers.) then put them onto areas of dryness (my cheeks) and let it stay for about ten minutes –a quick hydrating mask for the skin for better application of foundation. I also mixed it once with a little cucumber juice – again applied the mixture onto thin cotton pads and used to relax my eyes after a particularly long day in the sun. The puffiness definitely reduced.


After using the Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence for about a month now, I notice that my skin is clearer, more even and moisturized, plumper and brighter. Acne scars and sunspots have also reduced by about 50 per cent. The skin texture actually began improving within a week! I hate heavy products and it was such a light feeling to use the Essence because it is non-comedogenic – it does not clog pores. My dull skin is livelier, and dare I say, even glowy. I may be over-reacting, but I seriously feel the product does affect the way the other products in your routine take to your skin – they absorb better – which means make up looks natural and not cakey.

Overall I recommend the Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence for all skin types. If you are lazy like me, then this is a one product that will surely help solve most of your skin woes. The fact that this is a multi-tasker – moisturizer, nourisher AND a treatment for concerns such as spots, blemishes, dull skin etc., makes me love it even more. Try it. You will not be disappointed at all!

Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence Review pics

Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence Review swatch

Pros of Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence

  • Multiple benefits – moisturizer, treatment, beautifying essence
  • Non-sticky
  • Can be used as a makeup base or primer by those who are not fans of heavy makeup.

Cons of Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence

  • None!

MBF Advises

This product is certainly a multi-tasker. And you can increase the efficacy by applying right after a bath or cleansing your face when the skin is still damp. Mix it with oils to treat really dry areas such as feet, knees and elbows.

MBF Rating


{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Rachna May 13, 2016, 2:22 pm

    Sounds really nice. Kiehl’s products have always worked for my skin. I would love to try this one as well. Nicely reviewed Aarti, welcome to MBF <3

    • aarti singh May 13, 2016, 2:45 pm

      Thank you Rachna 🙂

  • Astha May 13, 2016, 4:08 pm

    This is just the right product for oily-combination skin girls specially in the summers. I have been using a lot of Kiehl’s in my skin care lately and I have to say they indeed work.
    Ps. and I am so happy we have a new member in the MBF family!! Awesome first review Aarti 🙂 🙂

    • aarti singh May 14, 2016, 1:08 am

      Thank you Astha 🙂 And yes, Kiehl’s is a trusted brand and it is just so easy to get addicted to their products! MBF will sure see a lot more of Kiehl’s 😉

  • guri May 14, 2016, 8:51 am

    I have heard so much about this from Korean bloggers. I am going to try this out, but why did it have to be so costly?? 🙁

    • aarti singh May 14, 2016, 5:36 pm

      Trust me, this bottle will last you at least 4 months! I have only used about a centimetre of the product in the last 3 weeks – and I am applying it ALL over! Besides, good quality comes at a price. I would suggest you buy only a sunscreen and this for this summer and monsoon 🙂

Leave a Comment