Can Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate Restore Your Skin Overnight?

by Gio
review kiehl's midnight recovery concentrate

Did you know your skin never sleeps?

It spends the night repairing itself from all the damage it sustained during the day.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate claims to help this process. Kiehl’s says it “works with the skin’s natural nocturnal activity to dramatically restore skin”.

If you don’t know what that means, it’s marketing lingo for “we want people to believe this serum helps skin repair itself at night but we can’t say that because it isn’t true.”

In other words, keep the claim vague enough so it means everything and nothing and you won’t get in trouble with the law. How can you prove this stuff doesn’t do what it claims when you don’t even know what it claims?

But, it’s not all bad. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate does have a few good things going for it. But they come at a cost…

What’s In Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate?


Squalane is one of the very few oils that doesn’t make fungal acne worse. It’s safe literally for everyone.

Squalane is a natural component of your skin. That means your skin recognizes it and absorbs it quickly. It doesn’t leave a super greasy residue behind as other oils do.

Plus, it’s super moisturizing. It creates a barrier on the skin that slows down water loss, keeping it hydrated and soft for longer. No wonder Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate is so moisturizing.

Related: How To Treat Fungal Acne


I’m not surprised Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate choose evening primrose oil. It’s a multitasker:

Related: Is Evening Primrose Oil The Best Oil For Sensitive Skin?


If you’re a regular here, you know that rosehip oil is my fave natural oil. It’s derived from the hip (the radish-like ball the rose leaves behind after it blossoms) of roses and can fix any skincare woe:

Another good choice, Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate!

Related: Why Rosehip Oil Is My Go-To Oil For Every Skin Woe


So far, we talked about all the good things about Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. It’s super moisturising and can help you fight wrinkles BUT… way too many irritants are lurking in it.

Rosemary, coriander and lavender oils all have fragrant components that can irritate skin, especially sensitive skin.  🙁

Related: 7 Natural Ingredients That Can Irritate Your Skin


Lightweight, fast-sinking oil.


Strong lavender scent.

How To Use It

You can use it alone or mix it with your moisturiser.

If alone, it’s the last step of your skincare routine. Warm a couple of drops between your hands and gently massage them into your skin.

Performance & Personal Opinion

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate is super moisturising. That alone makes my skin soft and glowy and plumps it up so that my fine lines look smaller. 

No wonder so many people are fans. But let’s face it, any oil or moisturiser does that. It’s part of the job description. I’m pleased it does what it says on the tin, but I want something extra.

Unfortunately, the only extra you’re getting here is the potential for irritation. Lavender & co can easily trigger a bad reaction in sensitive skin. Stay away.

I also don’t recommend it to oily skin. Although the serum sinks in quickly and doesn’t cause any problems on my dry winter skin, it’s a bit too oily for oily skin. And it may give you a breakout.

Oils always have the potential to clog pores and your skin’s already prone to them. Do your skin a favour and stick to oil-free moisturisers instead.

Related: How To Care For Oily Skin

Kiehl’s midnight recovery concentrate review

Who Is This For?

Dry, non-sensitive skin.

Who Is This Not For?

  • Acne-prone skin
  • Oily skin
  • Sensitive skin


Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate comes in a sleek blue bottle with a drop applicator. It’s both hygienic and practical.

Does Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate Live Up To Its Claims?

One night. A few drops. Younger-looking skin by morning.True. Its moisturises skin and anything that does that makes skin look temporarily younger.
Midnight Recovery Concentrate replenishes skin as you sleep, supplementing its natural overnight recovery process, to reveal a rested and restored appearance by morning. This claim is quite vague. Replenishes skin in what way? Supplementing its natural recovery process how? They won’t say because all the oil does is moisturise skin.

Price & Availability

Available at: $50.00/£37.00 at Feel Unique, Sephora, and Ulta

Do You Need It?

If you have sensitive skin, stay away. Too many irritants here. Resistant skin? It’s unlikely this’ll bother your skin. But why risk it when there are gentler alternatives out there?

Dupes & Alternatives

Have you tried Kielh’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate? Share your experience in the comments below.


Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Squalane, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Coriander Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Lavender Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Linalool, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Citronellol, Geraniol, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Turmeric Root Extract, Limonene, Citral, Sclareolide, Rose Flower Oil, Jasmine Extract, Sunflower Seed Oil

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Kiss & Make-up August 21, 2014 - 9:40 am

I’ve heard mixed things about this. Which is the reason I never tried it myself. But it always had me intrigued, from the start actually.

Gio August 21, 2014 - 7:36 pm

Melissa, I hope this review helped you make up your mind. There’s a lot of hype about it but, personally, I’m not a fan. Even if it didn’t contain irritating ingredients, it wouldn’t do much more than moisturizing skin.

Janessa September 3, 2014 - 2:08 am

EDT in a pretty colored bottle! My favorite Kiehl’s products: hand cream, avocado hair pak, body lotions!

Gio September 3, 2014 - 2:30 pm

Janessa, I have never tried their hair products. Must remedy that! Glad you like the avocado one.

Janessa September 3, 2014 - 9:25 pm

The ‘Hair Condition & Grooming Aid Formula 133’ is also a favorite. I’ve gone through a few smaller bottles and finally purchased the larger size. If I’m using a conditioning treatment, I leave that on my hair and tie it up in a bun as I do a scrub or not and use the Grooming Aid as a finishing conditioner. It detangles my hair as I apply and rinse it off. Afterwards, I like to apply a tiny pea-sized amount towards the ends of my hair and leave it in. As I wring or towel dry my hair, some product comes out with it and so I’m never worried about having oily looking hair. My hair ends are on the drier side though.
I’ve tried going without this product before but my hair just didn’t feel the same!
I’ve also gone through several avocado hair paks. :] I don’t wash my hair too often and like to use it nearly every time I wash or process my hair.

Gio September 5, 2014 - 8:06 pm

Janessa, what a great routine. And that’s another product to add to my wishlist!

Esd September 23, 2016 - 2:35 pm

I have an acen i dont know if it useless or good for me

Gio September 23, 2016 - 11:59 pm

ESD, I think you should be able to use it fine.

Al Aquitania February 12, 2018 - 9:08 am

I love the midnight recovery! Suppper good on my skin.

Gio February 17, 2018 - 8:11 am

Al, glad to hear it works so well for you.

Richa January 18, 2019 - 7:08 pm

I tried a sample of the same some months ago and it did lend my skin a little glow though nothing like a miracle..I do agree it has some pretty strong irritants because my mother (who has ultra sensitive skin) tried a couple drops and it did not suit her at all. I also have sensitive skin but somehow I was fine. In any case, none of us thought that the price tag was worth it 🙂

Gio January 19, 2019 - 5:32 pm

Richa, sorry it didn’t work for you two. You’d think a skincare brand would know better than to add so many irritants to their products…


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