In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews. This week, our beauty writer is testing the new Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Omega-Rich Cloud Cream.
When I was 14, I had the brilliant idea to start using a night cream after reading an article in a magazine. I tried out one of the popular drugstore options but didn't see much of a difference — because I was 14 — and once I finished the product, I never thought about using a night cream again. Now, as a grown adult, I thought it might be a good time to see what this kind of product could do for my age-appropriate skin.
I typically think of night creams as being super rich, heavy, and thick in texture — with my skin concerns (sensitive and acne-prone), that’s a big reason why I kept the door closed on adding one to my routine. Enter the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Omega-Rich Cloud Cream, a lightweight yet hydrating anti-aging moisturizer that is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. Made with 98.6% naturally derived botanical extracts, squalene, and fatty acids Omega 3 and 6 oils to strengthen the skin’s lipid barrier after seven nights of use, I decided to take the night cream plunge. Would this product convince me to start using a night cream consistently? Keep reading to learn more about my experience with Midnight Recovery.
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- Price: $53
- Best for: Moisturizing and plumping the skin; adding radiance.
- Your rating: 3.8/5
- Brand: Kiehl’s
- Clean/Cruelty-Free? Almost
- What we like: It’s non-irritating, lightweight, hydrating, and skin looks refreshed in the morning.
- What we don’t like: Results are subtle.
I tend to keep my skin care routine minimal and uncomplicated. Though I deal with adult acne, I prioritize my skin’s sensitivity; when my skin is irritated and sensitized, it looks and feels worse. My nighttime routine is pretty much identical to my morning routine (with the exception of using my SPF and retinol), and I use the same moisturizer in both the mornings and evenings.
I’ve learned a lot about what night creams can do for the skin, but I always considered them as supplements instead of a necessary part of a skin care routine. However, Dr. Sandy Skotnicki, board-certified dermatologist, founding director of the Bay Dermatology Centre, and author of Beyond Soap explains that night creams can help support the skin while you sleep (your skin’s most restorative time) and address the stress our skin incurs on a daily basis. “Night creams can help repair the damage that the day has brought in the name of oxidative stress from pollution and UV exposure,” she says. “A night cream can also act as a vehicle to deliver cosmeceutical ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, and peptides.” Keeping that piece of information in mind, I was curious to see what effect Midnight Recovery would have on my skin.
The Midnight Recovery Omega-Rich Cloud Cream
As one of Kiehl’s’ newest launches and the brand’s first botanical night cream, Midnight Recovery is made with a focus on the skin’s moisture barrier, rejuvenating and bringing suppleness back to it. The brand’s curated blend of botanical ingredients addresses dryness, dullness, fine lines, and supports the skin’s barrier, while squalene replenishes the skin and helps maintain its softness. Star ingredients Omega 3 and 6 oils replenish the protective lipid barrier, which helps keep the skin moisturized. With a 98.6% naturally derived, paraben-free, and mineral oil-free formula as well, the cream is made with all skin types in mind, including sensitive skin.
The Science Behind Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Omega-Rich Cloud Cream
With the ingredients found in the Midnight Recovery Cream, the skin’s moisture barrier gets a major boost each night. But why is that so important? Dr. Geeta Yadav, board-certified dermatologist and founder of the Skin Science Dermatology Clinic explains that harsh skin care ingredients, aging, pollution, and genetics can create a weakened barrier — and Omega fatty acids help maintain its health. “Omega fatty acids are an essential component of the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the skin, which is also known as the moisture or lipid barrier,” she says. “Replenishing your skin with ingredients like omega fatty acids is crucial to a healthy stratum corneum.”
Dr. Jennifer Salsberg, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and board-certified dermatologist, expands on how fatty acids like Omega 3 and 6 help keep the moisture barrier intact. She uses a brick and mortar analogy, where our skin cells are bricks and fatty acids are the mortar, locking moisture into the skin. “Fatty acids are one component of the ‘mortar’ that hold corneocytes, or skin cells, together,” she says. “Since [Omega fatty acids] naturally repel water, they help the skin keep moisture in by minimizing transepidermal water loss, or moisture being lost through the skin’s surface.”
The Midnight Recovery Packaging
While the product comes in a beautiful, indigo blue bottle, it’s made with 50% post-consumer recycled materials, and the entire manufacturing process for the Midnight Recovery Cream is done with 100% renewable energy sources. I can appreciate Kiehl’s (and other brands) taking these kinds of steps towards contributing to a healthier environment.
My First Impression Of The Cream
When I applied the Midnight Recovery Omega-Rich Cloud Cream to my face, it didn’t have the texture I was expecting. I thought it would be a lot heavier and thicker. Midnight Recovery is still rich, but it’s really thin in texture, feels lightweight, and absorbed into my skin quickly without leaving a shiny or greasy residue. The cream has a beautiful baby blue color, too, which was a pleasant addition to the product’s formula.
How I Used The Midnight Recovery Cloud Cream
For almost two weeks, I used the Midnight Recovery Omega-Rich Cloud Cream at night. After washing my face in the evening, I’d use about a pea-sized amount of product on my face. I’d place the cream on four different areas of my face (my forehead, both cheeks, and chin), and massage the cream until it was fully absorbed.
After using this product for almost two weeks, I’ve noticed that my skin has a certain level of radiance that wasn’t there before. Outside my skin’s luster, though, I haven’t noticed any major differences. If, like me, your signs of (aging, dullness, loss of volume, or dryness) are minimal for now, the results you’ll see in your skin may be more subtle after using this cream — you’d likely see more prominent changes when using a formula that has stronger active ingredients, like a retinoid or acid.
Even though my results weren’t drastic, I would consider the Midnight Recovery Cream a great introductory nighttime product: it’s gentle enough for me to use consistently without irritation or experiencing a breakout, and it’s a preventative step I can take that still addresses the skin concerns we associate with getting older.
Is The Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Omega-Rich Cloud Cream Worth It?
At $53 for 50 ml, I think this cream is decently priced, and it’s more affordable than similar products from other prestige brands. For example, night creams from brands like Clinique and Fresh are priced anywhere from $65 to $94. Overall, I think the cost of Midnight Recovery and the results I saw in my skin are aligned. This might be a product to explore once you start noticing more significant dryness and dullness and want to upgrade your nighttime skin care routine.
Product name: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Omega-Rich Cloud Cream
Ingredient Highlights: Aqua, Glycerin, Shea Butter, Squalane, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Lavender Oil, Salicylic Acid
Size: 50 mL/1.7 fl. oz.
Suitable for: All skin types.
BDG product reviews and recommendations are written and conducted by writers and editors with expertise in their fields. Testers often have specific experience with the situation or product at hand, and/or their review or recommendation is provided in consultation with experts. You can learn more about our standards here.