Everyone wants that JLo glow! Highlighters and Illuminators have been huge in the beauty market the past few years and it’s not hard to see why. Literally. Glowing skin just looks more healthy and beautiful. Long gone are the days of flat, matte skin!
The Kiehl’s Glow Formula Skin Hydrator is a “lightweight 24-hour moisturizer that helps provide antioxidant protection, improves skin’s natural glow over time, and leaves skin effortlessly radiant.” But it’s not just intended to make you glow; there are also added skincare benefits! It has been formulated with pomegranate extract and illuminating minerals, which help defend skin from free radicals while leaving it with a soft, subtle shimmer.
Does that sound too good to be true? Let’s take a look:
A 2005 study from the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that pomegranate seed oil stimulates keratinocyte (skin cell) proliferation in cell culture. This helps to increase the rate of cell turnover and preserve collagen function. In the same study, it was concluded pomegranate seed oil inhibited MMPi function, which are enzymes that normally degrade collagen.
There is also reason to believe that pomegranates can help UV-induced damage! According to a study in Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology, pomegranates do this by modulating phosphorylation in cellular pathways. When left uninhibited, UVA-induced damage includes the release of oxidative species, resulting in immunosuppression, photodermatoses, photoaging, and photocarcinogenesis. Pomegranates appear to protect against UVB-induced damage by inhibiting the UVB-mediated activation of MAPK and NF-κB pathways. When left uninhibited, UVB-induced damage includes inflammation and the release of oxidative species, and ultimately result in erythema, hyperplasia, hyperpigmentation, immunosuppression, photoaging, and skin cancer.
However, don’t expect to get any of those benefits from the Kiehl’s Glow Formula Skin Hydrator. Despite being one of the featured ingredients, pomegranate is in such low concentration here (towards the bottom of the ingredient list) so you won’t really be getting any of the UV protection, or anti-aging. If you are interested in the effects of pomegranate, skip this and take a supplement instead: In this double-blind, placebo-controlled 2006 study in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, it was found that 100-200 mg/day of ellagic acid (a component of pomegranate extract) has an inhibitory effect on pigmentation in the human skin caused by UV irradiation. The effect is dose-dependent, as 100 mg/day resulted in an average 1.35% decrease in luminance to UV-exposed skin, and 200 mg/day resulted in a 1.73% decrease.
If you have sensitive skin, stay far away! A study conducted by the International Programme on Chemical Safety found that patch tests with limonene show that the ingredient can be pretty irritating. After removing the limonene, researchers looked at the irritation of participants and found that irritation generally lasted for about 24 hours, and continued for some participants up to 72 hours.
The real problem with limonene is when it oxidizes. As soon as you put it on your skin, the limonene oxidizes and can cause irritation. Researchers have found that there’s a considerably high frequency of contact allergy to oxidized limonene (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Contact Dermatitis).
Limonene is also a skin sensitizer, which means that it makes your skin more vulnerable to the sun. This product was made to be worn under makeup during the day so if you do decide to give it a shot, be sure to wear a great SPF.
How does the Kiehl’s Glow Formula Skin Hydrator make you glow? The magic is in the mica! Mica is the term for 34 types of layered or flaky phyllosilicate minerals, or minerals containing silica (USGS). Mica likely got its name from Latin, where the word “micare” means to shine. This formula uses both titanium dioxide and mica to create a pearlescent, reflective hue. The pearlescence from mica gives an illuminating touch which helps to create depth and give the skin a brighter, more lively appearance.
While this product does give your skin a beautiful glow due to the mica, there are really no benefits outside of that. The pomegranate is in too little concentration to be effective, and the inclusion of limonene and added fragrances can potentially be very irritating.
Although it makes a great highlighter, skip this one and look for something that has less potential for irritation!
INGREDIENTS: Water, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Octyldodecanol, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, Glyceryl Stearate, Propanediol, Salix Alba Bark Extract/Willow Bark Extract, Mica, Arachidyl Alcohol, CI 77891/Titanium Dioxide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Tocopherol, Behenyl Alcohol, Parfum/Fragrance**, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Arachidyl Glucoside, Limonene, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, CI 77491/Iron Oxides, Potassium Sorbate, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract, Glycine Soja Oil/Soybean Oil, Phytic Acid, Citral, Sodium Benzoate, Linalool, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Malpighia Punicifolia Fruit Extract/Acerola Fruit Extract.