Friday, 14 April 2017

Kiehl's Apothecary Preparations: Tradition Meets Customization

Hi, everyone! It's been way too long since I've posted and I'm happy to be back! Work has been ultra busy and I have also recently submitted an important application that I'd been procrastinating on for ages- feels so fantastic to have that off my plate. Plus, Adam and I just returned from our honeymoon (more on that in a post to come!), so it's taken a few days to settle in to my regular schedule. But I'm now getting back into the blogging swing and I'm starting things off with a pretty amazing skin care product.

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Kiehl's, as they offer unique products with an interesting mix of natural and more conventional ingredients with a fair price point. I've also mentioned on the blog several times that I'm an utter sucker for anything customized. Make something tailored just for me and I'm there! So when I learned that Kiehls' Apothecary Preparations service had made it to Toronto, I was eager to indulge in the process! 

The Kiehl's Apothecary Preparations system combines the brand's more than a century-old roots in customized apothecary service with modern ingredients for the demands of current skin care concerns. The process involves a one-on-one consultation that results in a personalized skin care serum that targets your central needs and goals. 

The process started in the Kiehl's Eaton Centre shop where I sat down with Peter, my new skin care bud, who presented me with a tome called the "Skin Atlas". It was essentially an encyclopedia of skin that featured diagrams of several common skin care concerns (e.g., texture, fine lines, redness, pores, dullness) and prompted me to choose where I fell on the spectrum of each condition. The process was fun an interactive and the setting and implements really gave it that old-school apothecary feel that I truly love. 

Based on my responses, it was determined that my two central skin care concerns are visible redness and enlarged pores. This made lots of sense to me, given my eternal struggle with skin that is both acne-prone and sensitive. And it's with this determination where the customization begins!

All Apothecary Preparations serums start with the Skin Strengthening Concentrate, which is a base of hydrating and protecting ingredients for all skin types. This base is designed to then be mixed with the personalized elements for your skin care concerns. 

Given my identified skin care needs, I was prescribed the Pore Minimizing Complex (featuring samphira extract and salicylic acid) and the Visible Redness Neutralizing Complex (featuring sunflower seed extract and vitamin E). Both complexes contain ingredients to hydrate and fight free radicals, but the Pore Minimizing Complex also has ingredients to tone and gently exfoliate the skin, while the Visible Redness Neutralizing Complex also has ingredients to calm and soothe the skin. 

The serum comes in a tinted glass bottle with dropper top (to protect the ingredients inside and also add to the apothecary feel) and is likewise customized- with your name, the name of your consultant, the date of creation, and other relevant details: 

The outer packaging is likewise labelled with relevant information as well as a full ingredient listing for all components: 

To complete the serum involves a bit of fun DIY.  The instructions guide you to squeeze in each of the separate complexes into the base (they are too potent to use on their own) and then give the bottle a proper shake for 20 seconds. After this initial mix, the serum is all set and ready to go! 

The serum itself has a lovely texture- all of the components are oil-based, but are far from heavy. The result is a mid-weight viscous oil serum that feels silky on the skin and absorbs quickly while leaving skin plump, but not at all greasy. The scent is light and pleasant and doesn't clash with any of my other skin care products. The instructions say to use 2-3 drops morning and night, but I tend to use more like 4-5 drops each time. What can I say? I'm a rebel (actually, I just have a big face ;)). Suffice it to say, a little goes a long way.

In addition to the whole process being fun and unique, I have to say that I am fully loving this serum. Since using it for the past 5 weeks, I can definitely notice that my pores look more refined, my breakouts are fewer and heal more quickly, and my redness is toned down. No joke- this stuff really works! It is often so difficult to find products that are suitable for both acne-prone and sensitive skin, which is why the customization process behind this serum is such a unique, effective offering.

The Apothecary Preparation serums retail for $95 USD/$105 CAD, but I find this price to be well worth it given the personalization involved and the fact that the formula is so concentrated. I could see my bottle lasting at least 6 months with twice-daily use! 

If you're in Toronto, you can have fun with the Apothecary Preparations process at the Kiehl's Eaton Centre shop. I would recommend this service to anyone, particularly if you're a skin care junkie like me, are in the market for a new multi-tasking super serum, or  have difficulty finding products that fit the exact needs of your skin. 

Thanks so much for stopping by and Happy Easter! 


  1. This treatment sounds so cool! I've been loving oil based serums lately!

  2. I love Kiehls as a brand and their whole apothecary vibes xx 💕

  3. This sounds brilliant - I would love to be able to customise my skincare for my needs. I will have to check if this service is available in Ireland! xx



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