Kiehl's Vital Skin Strengthening Serum Review - ReallyRee
By Ree

Kiehl’s Vital Skin Strengthening Serum Review

5 Jun 2020 (Updated: 18 Sep 2020)

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Kiehl’s recently launched a brand new serum that uses adaptogens and it’s excellent. Here’s what you need to know about the Kiehl’s Vital Skin Strengthening Serum and how it should fit into your regime.

Kiehl's Vital Skin Strengthening Serum
Kiehl’s Vital Skin Strengthening Serum

Adaptogens are huge in skincare right now. Just in case you haven’t come across them just yet, I’ll do a quick recap.

What are Adaptogens?

So adaptogens are clever herbs that have been used in ancient medicine for centuries and now being utilised with modern skincare and technology. They basically help with the absorption of nutrients and utilisation of oxygen and help the body adapt to what it needs. They are excellent in anti-ageing formulations as they help to delay cell ageing by improving the cells’ natural defence against external and biological stressors.

Adaptogens improve the production of cellular energy and help to maintain healthy function.

What does Kiehl’s Vital Skin Strengthening Serum Do?

  • Helps strengthen the skin barrier
  • Equips the skin to combat unavoidable, daily stressors
  • Ultra lightweight and biocompatible fast-absorbing serum
  • Uses 11kDa Hyaluronic Acid – the ideal molecular size for hydration of the most vulnerable layer of the skin
  • Adaptogenic Herbal Complex with Schisandra Berries, Holy Basil and Red Ginseng Root protects, fortifies and renews
  • Promotes resilience, suppleness and plumpness

My Review of Kiehl’s Vital Skin Strengthening Serum

The texture of this serum is so beautiful. It is instantly quenching and soothing, so much so that the skin looks immediately calmer, smoother and more radiant.

I love how this makes my skin look and feel straight away. It is the perfect serum to use alone, or if you like layering, you could use it before or after an active Vitamin C, Glycolic or Retinol serum to add in a layer of comfort and strength.

Kiehl's Vital Skin Strengthening Serum
Kiehl’s Vital Skin Strengthening Serum

It also sits beautifully under oils for day or night. What I love about this serum most is that you can slot it in to absolutely any regime to really super-boost the skin, increase softness and enhance the skin’s level of protection by strengthening the barrier. Find it here*

Fitting it the Serum into a Kiehl’s Routine

I thought I would share some of my absolute favourite Kiehl’s products that you can build into your routine.


This is a fantastic duo for the end of the day, especially if you have been wearing SPF, which I have been constantly.

The Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Cleansing Oil* is such a beautifully effective yet gentle oil that works to break down every scrap of makeup, SPF and impurities. I massage it all over dry skin, let it melt away the day with a bit of massage, or on its own while I brush my teeth, and then I use a warm flannel to take it all off.

The Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Cleanser* is the perfect next step to do that second cleanse and leave skin perfectly clean and calm. I also love this one for the morning to gently prep my skin for the day. It has a lovely light gel texture that cleans without stripping and it is ideal if you are prone to visible redness and discomfort. See my full review here.


Kiehl's Vital Skin Strengthening Serum
Kiehl’s Vital Skin Strengthening Serum

So this is where the new Kiehl’s Vital Skin Strengthening Serum can go in. If you use a retinol at night but suffer from dryness or irritation as a result, the serum will be the ideal buffer and antidote. I play around with using it before and after other serums, because you basically cannot go wrong with it. Find it here*


I’m a huge fan of oils and these two are incredible.

I love the Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate* for day as it is super light and absolutely brilliant at tackling congestion, balancing the skin and reducing any redness. I am on my second bottle – read the review. Pop it on after your Kiehl’s Vital Skin Strengthening Serum.

If you like a double oil, which I sometimes do, you can actually use my other Kiehl’s fave, the Midnight Recovery Concentrate* on top.

Used alone if you prefer, this one is excellent for boosting the skin’s own natural overnight recovery process, and when I use it, I always wake up with glowing, refreshed skin.

Daytime Protection

Even though I am inside a lot more, I have been just as careful to use my SPF daily. One of my absolute favourites is the Aqua Gel Ultra Light Daily UV Defense* from Kiehl’s because it is super light, completely invisible and also has a pollution shield in there.  Pollution makes damage from the sun a lot worse, so it is the perfect combination.

It doesn’t add any shine to the skin which means it doesn’t interfere with how makeup looks and wears. It also looks really good on its own.

If you do wear SPF daily, and I strongly suggest you do if you care about skin health and ageing, just be sure to make sure you cleanse it all off properly. See my cleansing step above!!

Where to Buy it

The newest launch is the Kiehl’s Vital Skin Strengthening Serum which is available here* now for £42. I think it is excellent value. Check out all my other skincare recommendations via the links above.

Stay tuned to the homepage and Instagram for news on all the latest launches and products. The Facebook page is here and make sure you also find me on YouTube.



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Unless otherwise indicated products reviewed are press or brand examples. Links may be affiliated links which means that if you make a purchase though one of our links we receive a small commission which helps support and run this website.

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