Training for a half marathon is already hard enough, and now, thanks to the pandemic and a lack of a gym membership, I exclusively run outside in every weather condition imaginable in New York City. With a March race date in the books, that means logging miles in harsh, freezing weather. To cope, I’ve invested in warmer running gear, but that hasn’t done much for my skin, which has been feeling the effects of 15-degree wind chills. However, what has helped is Kiehl’s new Ultra Facial Overnight Rehydrating Mask ).
The brand sent me a sample to test ahead of the product’s launch in December of last year, and it’s quickly become a regular in my skin-care routine. The mask works overnight to combat dry, tight, flaky skin (aka my face after an hour-long run in 25-degree weather), thanks to a powerful combination of squalane and glacial glycoprotein.
ICYDK, squalane — derived from squalene, a fatty molecule that is found in your skin — is an emollient that seals in moisture. “It helps to maintain moisture and calm inflammation by strengthening the skin barrier function,” explains Jessie Cheung, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Cheung Aesthetics & Wellness. This cream contains 10.5 percent squalane (talk about serious hydrating power), and can keep dryness at bay for up to three days, according to Kiehl’s. On top of that, squalane is also an antioxidant with anti-aging properties that can neutralize environmental damage.
The mask’s other key player, glacial glycoprotein, is produced by a strain of bacteria from Antarctica, says Dr. Cheung. This ingredient “protects from cold, enabling the bacteria to retain moisture,” she notes, adding that other benefits include hydrating skin, reducing wrinkles, and improving collagen and elastin production. The bottom line? By combining squalane and glacial glycoprotein, the mask offers major benefits for dry, winter-berated skin.
After applying the heavy-duty moisturizer a few nights following my cleanser, I’ve noticed a major improvement in the hydration and suppleness of my skin each morning. While I thought that the mask might feel thick or oily, it’s simply not the case. The formula is more of a dense balm than a typical cream, and it softens as I massage a small amount in my hands before applying it to my face and perpetually chapped lips. Any excess gets dispersed between my neck and chest until it’s fully absorbed. As long as I use a modest amount, it doesn’t feel heavy or leave behind residue on my pillow as I let it get to work while I sleep.
Why, exactly, is it important to invest in an overnight mask to repair dry skin? Just as your body relaxes and recovers with a solid eight hours of shuteye, so does your skin, making nighttime an ideal opportunity to apply skin-repairing products. Plus, since your face will be clean of makeup and sunscreen in bed, the hardworking ingredients in a night face cream can properly absorb into the skin with no interruptions.
I’m not the only fan of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Rehydrating Mask — it’s earned hundreds of five-star ratings on Nordstrom and more than 5,500 “hearts” from Sephora shoppers who stand by it. One Sephora customer called it a “winter must-have,” adding that they “have seen great hydration after using this consistently.” Another said that their skin felt “very soft, silky, and hydrated” after giving the mask a try.
If your goal is to wake up with smooth, hydrated skin that’ll (almost) make you forget how cold and dry the weather is outside your window, grab a jar of Kiehl’s face mask ASAP at Nordstrom or Sephora. You’ll be making strides towards your best (and dewiest) skin yet.