Kiehl’s Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate & How To Use Vitamin C | AD

You don’t just have to drink it you know…

*This post features an advertorial from Kiehl’s

We’ve all heard it be bandied around that we should be incoporating Vitamin C products into our skincare routines, right? I know I certainly have. But up until the past year I no idea how, or even why. Can’t I just eat some oranges dammit? If you feel like you’re in the same boat, then this is the post for you. Don’t worry, the guys and gals at Kiehl’s have your back, because along with the re-launch and re-formulation of their best-selling Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate – which has had it’s Vitamin C ingredient increased from 10.5% to a whopping 12.5% – they’ve leant me their Chief Consulting Dermatologist Alexis, who I quizzed below on all things Vitamin C. You’ll be able to ace a test on it after her mini lesson, let me tell you.

So what’s new? Well I’ve been testing out the new and improved Kiehl’s Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate since we returned from Honeymoon at the beginning of January and I’ve had one of the best skin months I’ve had in a long while. Coincidence? I think not. I’ll chat about my findings in a minute, but first up – the formula. The promise is that it delivers ‘a reduction in the appearance of lines and wrinkles while helping to improve the feel of skins texture, so the skin looks radiant and feels smoother’. SOLD. The original serum had been doing its thing for 13 years and so along with the increase in Vitamin C in the formula, they also decided introduce Hyaluronic Acid which is known to be your skin’s best bud when it comes to hydration.

I’ll leave the science to Alexia, but the top line is that Vitamin C works as an anti-oxidant to neutralise skin-damaging free radicals which you basically come into contact with the minute you get out from under your bedcovers. Then Hyaluronic Acid acids as a sponge at the surface of your skin, holding water in and improving texture and plumping fine lines and wrinkles. They’re basically a match made in heaven and combined into this serum and thanks to the pump mechanism and brown glass packaging, they’ll stay active and actually do what it says on the tin. Best applied in the morning, think of this as your morning oomph, sandwiched after your hydrating spritzes and before SPF, whereas in the evening you can spice things up with acids, AHA’s and retinol.

So it turns out that Vitamin C isn’t just good for ya when you drink it. I take the testing and subsequent recommending of skincare seriously and I’ve solidly used this once a day in the morning to stand up to those pesky free radicals, to create a barrier of real badass protection when paired with an SPF over the top (the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream SPF 30, I’m on my second tub). I must admit that although I’d previously used the old formula and enjoyed it, I wasn’t wowed and found the texture a little too matte and powdery for my liking. However the inclusion of Hyaluronic Acid in the new incarnation is no joke and creates a cream that feels rich and hydrating on the skin (I’m guessing the Glycerin has a hand in it too). P.S) It also doesn’t roll off the skin when you apply makeup on top, which is something that I have found with other Vitamin C products.

In terms of the results I have an extremely expressive face, so creases, lines and folds in my skin don’t bother me too much. I LIKE TO LAUGH. A LOT. I’m fully aware that I’ll develop pretty hefty lines in the years ahead and I’m really ok with that. For me my main concern is in the texture and clarity of my skin and here is where I noticed a real difference. The skin around the centre of my face in particular, can look a little pore-heavy. I’m sure it’s something that is only noticeable to me and those with microscopic vision, but since using the concentrate I’ve noticed there to be some smoothing in this area and across the rest of my face. One other thing to note is that during ‘that time of the month’ I usually have a handful of spots across my chin that can get in double digits, however this past month I counted two and they were much less angry than usual. Upon further inspection I’ve realised that marks I do have from previous pimples seem less pronounced than they were before. So for texture, clarity and waving goodbye to spot scaring it gets a triple tick from me.


What is Vitamin C? Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant that works to neutralise skin-damaging free radicals produced by exposure to environmental elements such as ultraviolet rays as well as pollution.

Why should we use it in our routines? Vitamin C is necessary for collagen production in the skin. Products that contain Vitamin C, help to boost skin texture and firmness, as well as fade pigmentation over time.

How should we be using it our routines? AM or PM? You can use it either or. In the morning you would use it underneath moisturising cream – and in the evening underneath an oil or moisturiser.

If applying in the morning should we be using an SPF after? Yes Kiehl’s always recommends layering with an SPF, whether it’s in your moisturising cream or as a separate SPF.

How should those with sensitive skin approach using Vitamin C? Try using a little at a time, start by using every other day to build up the skin’s tolerance and work up to using it every day. However if a reaction occurs Kiehl’s always advises to stop using the product and see a dermatologist or doctor straight away.

Are the benefits of using Vitamin C for all ages? Vitamin C is great for all ages as it helps not only with reducing the signs of aging but also with skin clarity and smoothness.

Photos by Lauren Shipley

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