Since I love most Kiehl’s products I try, I thought I would give one of their cult products a whirl and decided to try the infamous Calendula toner. I love a good toner, but they can be too astringent and harmful for the skin. That is why, this seemed promising as it boasts to be alcohol free and that is usually an important irritant in skincare products. I have now pretty much used up this entire bottle, so I have a good sense of what this product does.
Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner Alcohol Free
The Calendula toner looks a bit gross at first. It has calendula leaves floating around in the product and it is brown. Not too appealing. That being said, if it works, I don’t really care what it looks like. The bottle comes with 250 mls of product and it retails for a whopping €38.50. That is by far the most money I have ever spent on a toner. So this had better be good.
For that high price point, I feel the packaging is quite shoddy. I happened to buy mine in the Christmas period, so at least I got a pretty designed sticker that was part of a limited edition collection. The bottle itself however is nothing special: it comes in a standard plastic, see through bottle with a white cap. There is no filter to ensure the flower petals inside the product stay in the bottle.
Rather, they float around at the bottom, until your reach the last dregs of product and they start coming out. The result? A clogged nozzle that when you shake the bottle is easily resolved, but still gives you a burst of product that I think is a bit wasteful as you easily get too much. On top of that, the cap of the closure broke off after using this product daily. So the packaging is definitely not the greatest.
This product not only boasts to be alcohol free, it also is supposed to be a gentle cleanser that does not dry out the skin. In fact, this claims that it can be used to calm and restore problem skin. It also states that it is formulated for normal to oily skin types. My skin is not normal to oily, but it still worked okay for me. It didn’t feel stripping (as some toners can do) and I felt it was gentle enough for my generally sensitive skin.
Aqua/Water, Propylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Arctium Lappa Extract/Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Calendula Officinalis Extract/Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Allantoin, Hedera Helix Extract – Ivy Leaf/Stem Extract, Althaea Officinalis/Althaea Officinalis Root Extract
Looking at the ingredients you can see this mostly contains water and the calendula is roughly half way through the list. There are some other extracts and other good products in here so there really isn’t too much in here that seem alarming to me. However, I have tried more natural, plantbased skincare products in the past that did aggravate my skin. Natural/ flowers doesn’t always mean great for sensitive skin. So I would still be wary of this and ask for a sample if you can so you know this will work well for you. It is simply too expensive to commit to a larger size and then not have it work for you.
Like I mentioned, this product is brown. Not too appealing, but I feel it makes for a good last step in my skincare cleansing routine. It ensure the last residue of makeup is taken off, preps my skin for skincare and in the morning I like how it refreshes my skin. Above you can see what this product looks like on a cotton round before and after I used it on my morning skin. It gets rid of residue and makes my skin feel fresh and clean without it feeling bad.
However, the main drawback for me in this product is the price point. I can only be honest and tell you that I feel this product is nothing special and that I have tried other toners (yes, I mean the TBS Aloe Vera toner) that work just as well, are as gentle and far cheaper than this one. It just goes to show that good skincare does not have to be super expensive.
So while I love the Kiehl’s Calendula toner for what it does, I do not think this is worth the price. That is why I will not be repurchasing as I feel my TBS Aloe Vera toner works just as well and that retails for a mere €12. That is a third of the price of this and is also alcohol free and comes recommended by a major Dutch dermatologist too. I just know I will be going back to that instead of repurchasing this. Who wants to spend money if they don’t have to?