By: Marlen Elliot Harrison
SUMMARY: Kiehl's Calendula and Blue Astringent toners are excellent alternatives to sometimes greasy men's aftershave balms.
BLUE ASTRINGENT: The magic of "the blue stuff" is its ability to quickly cool and sooth razor-burnt skin with its minty, refreshing recipe. Great for acne-prone skin, I personally use this once every few days as an antiseptic toner as well and when I need something to dry out bumpy or oily skin. I love that it isn't a greasy cream that clogs pores and that it doesn't feel like a layer of wax over my skin.
"Kiehl's Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion is an iconic Kiehl's product, formulated in 1964. While the multipurpose facial astringent was created for use specifically on oily-prone areas, patrons with oilier skin employ it as an all-over toner. Male customers rely on it as a post-shave facial treatment to soothe skin and prevent razor discomfort. Legend has it that Andy Warhol was a fan!
Camphor is naturally derived from an eastern evergreen tree. It can give a cooling effect to the skin and is an effective treatment for oily skin. Menthol is a natural cooling agent, containing 50% peppermint or other mint oils, or made synthetically by hydrogenation of thymol. It is used in skin care to give a cooling effect to skin. Sodium PCA is a naturally occurring humectant in the skin, partly responsible for the skin’s moisture-binding capacity. It is derived from amino acids and is highly water absorbing. Due to its moisture-binding ability, it is a high performance humectant which increases the skin’s softness when added to products." Kiehls.com
CALENDULA TONER: I was amazed to find that this toner with very basic ingredients and no aroma soothes and heals my skin after shaving, especially when I have sensitive, sunburnt skin. Though it doesn't have the cooling effect of the Blue Astringent, this one is perfect for reducing redness and burning while improving dry skin.
"Kiehl's Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner gently cleanses and soothes normal to oily skin types. It contains no alcohol or harsh synthetic drying agents and may be used to soothe and improve problem areas. The calendula petals in its unique formula are still inserted by hand in the Kiehl’s apothecary tradition to assure the most efficacious formula.
Allantoin is a compound that is found in Comfrey Root. The comfrey plant is a hairy perennial Eurasian herb long used in herbal medicine. Known to be a bacteria inhibitor, Allantoin can soothe and reduce inflammation in various product formulations. Calendula is extracted as an oil from the common marigold flower. Its mild properties make it ideal for use on all oily skin types including sensitive skin. Soothes skin and is especially beneficial for delicate skin. Great Burdock is a gentle, natural ingredient known for centuries to help improve dry skin." Kiehls.com
THE BRAND: Kiehl's is an American cosmetics brand retailer that specializes in making premium skin, hair, and body care products. Their fine formulations have always been made with the most unique natural ingredients found all over the world since 1851.
USE: I use both of these after shaving just as I would an aftershave lotion. The water-like textures means that they are not like balms or creams. Apply to palm of hands and then to face or for even easier application, squeeze the toner into a cotton ball and wipe clean skin. The Blue Astringent works well for reducing oil while the Calendula works well for sensitive and sunburnt skin.
AROMA & TEXTURE: The Calendula toner is a water-like texture and has almost no scent but for a barely there dried flower petal aroma - think herbal calendula tea. The toner leaves absolutely no trace of aroma on the skin.
The Blue Astringent is also a water-like texture and as a mentholated product has a minty, camphorous aroma.
PACKAGING: Like many of Kiehl's products, the toners are in packaged in simple, cylindrical plastic bottles with a white plastic cap that dispenses drops of product. The bottles are simply labeled.
INGREDIENTS: Blue astringent contains Aqua / Water, Alcohol Denat., Aluminum Chlorohydrate, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Pca, Parfum / Fragrance, Camphor, Menthol, Hamamelis Virginiana / Witch Hazel Water, Limonene, Citral, Aloe Barbadensis / Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Ci 42090 /
Calendula toner contains Aqua / Water / Eau, Propylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Disodium Edta, Arctium Lappa Extract / Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Calendula Officinalis Extract / Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis / Calendula Officinalis F
WHERE CAN I BUY IT? www.Kiehls.com and major department stores.
Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison’s journalism in the fragrance industry has appeared in international print and online publications such as Playboy...(more)