Kiehl’s Apothecary Preparations

kiehls apothecary prep

In a throwback to their OG apothecary days, Kiehl’s is mixing up custom serums in store. Equipped with your very own Rx label. I stopped by the Michigan Ave store last month to experience the process firsthand and found it all very scientifically satisfying. My skin has been responding positively to my blend as well.

I love this because it’s all about customization. Something I am V into at the moment — those salad kits in a bag are freaking life right now.

Kiehls Michigan Ave

It starts with a diagnosis – what does the Skin Atlas (literally a giant book with helpful pictures) say about your skin, how oily is your skin, what’s the moisture level in your skin? There’s a wand that Kiehl’s uses to figure out the latter and I was low – in the 20s. To be fair, I think that “stellar” is somewhere in the 50s. After you have that reality check, you get to personalize your formula based on your two most significant skin concerns. Redness, wrinkles, rough texture, large pores and dullness. From there, you’ll get two tubes of potent complexes to mix in with Kiehl’s Skin-Strengthening Concentrate, made of 35% concentrated Squalane and botanical oil blend of apricot, coriander, black currant and echium oils. This blend on its own is incredible but it’s powerful when you mix in the treatments.

I like that the base of the concentrate is squalane – it’s like a warm cozy blanket for your skin that helps keep moisture in. My skin responds really well to Kiehl’s products, overall. I find they do what they say and you can see them working.  The option to customize is a nice perk for loyalists wanting to amp up the potency.

I went for it with the wrinkle-reducing complex and the texture refining complex. These are the skin concerns that matter most to me so it seemed obvious. In one tube, Kiehl’s gave me a highly concentrated retinol and the other was a mix of vitamin F and LHA (lipohydroxy acid). It’s a derivative of salicylic acid that chemically exfoliates in a gentler manner.  I came home, squeezed the two complexes into the bottle and then shook it intensely for about 60 seconds.

For the past month, I’ve been using this every night – about 4-5 drops pressed into the skin – over my serums and before locking it all in with Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Deep Moisture Balm. That last step is something I added because of the extreme dips in temperature.

Oh, and the coolest part is this custom vintage pharmacy label they print out in store and affix to your bottle. There’s a set of numbers on their as well that gets saved into Kiehl’s system so if you want to reorder your blend, they can bring it right up for you.

This isn’t yet offered at every Kiehl’s store but they list them all online so you can double check. For example, they do this in Chicago’s Michigan Ave store but not the Armitage location. However, it is available in Schaumburg.

Keep your skin protected and your limbs covered. It’s getting chilly out there!

Photo credit (second picture only): Hallie Duesenberg

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