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Kiehl's Breakout Control Targeted Acne Spot Treatment Ingredients Explained

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Published July 9, 2022 Added by nycdave886

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Overview

What it is

Facial treatment with 26 ingredients that contains AHA, exfoliants, niacinamide and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, fragrances, oils, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

Kiehl's is from United States. This product is used in 10 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

Facial treatment with 26 ingredients that contains AHA, exfoliants, niacinamide and Vitamin E

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 26

Sulfur Antiseborrhoeic, Skin Conditioning
3 / 0 Helps fight Acne Icon
Helps fight AcneHelps fight Acne Icon

Sulfur is a commonly occurring element on Earth (and our universe!). In cosmetics, it helps kill bacteria, reduces sebum, and provides exfoliation. This makes it an effective ingredient to reduce breakouts and fight acne.

3 Com. / 0 Irr.
Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Niacinamide Smoothing
Niacinamide IconGood for Oily Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin Icon
NiacinamideNiacinamide Icon 6 Benefits

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

Zea Mays Starch Abrasive, Absorbent, Skin Protecting
Exfoliant Icon
ExfoliantExfoliant Icon

Zea Mays Starch is starch made from corn. You might know this as cornstarch . It is used to thicken a product. It can replace talc as an absorbent.

Disliked Full details ->
Glycolic Acid Buffering
AHA IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 7 Benefits 2 Concerns

Glycolic Acid is arguably the most famous AHA with a ton of research to back up its benefits.

Stearyl Alcohol Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
2 / 2 Fatty Alcohol Icon
Fatty AlcoholFatty Alcohol Icon

Stearyl Alcohol is a type of fatty alcohol from stearic acid. It is a white, waxy compound used to emulsify ingredients.

2 Com. / 2 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Glycerin Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
2 Benefits

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Octyldodecyl Myristate Emollient

We don't have a description for Octyldodecyl Myristate.

Unknown Full details ->
Cetearyl Alcohol Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
2 / 1 Fatty Alcohol IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Fatty AlcoholFatty Alcohol Icon 3 Concerns

Cetearyl alcohol is a mixture of two fatty alcohols: cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. It is mainly used as an emulsifier. Emulsifiers help prevent the separation of oils and products. Due to its composition, it can also be used to thicken a product or help create foam.

2 Com. / 1 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Glyceryl Stearate Emollient, Emulsifying
1 / 0 Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Glyceryl Stearate is a mix of glycerin and stearic acid.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Magnesium Aluminum Silicate Absorbent
0 / 0

Magnesium Aluminum Silicate is a type of silica. It comes from naturally occuring minerals such as silicate ores and clay.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Phenoxyethanol Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Polyacrylamide

Polyacrylamide is a synthetic polymer. It is used to stabilize products and bind ingredients. When hydrated, Polyacrylamide forms a soft gel.

Disliked Full details ->
Ceteareth-20 Cleansing, Emulsifying
2 / 3 May worsen Oily Skin Icon
May worsen Oily SkinMay worsen Oily Skin Icon

Ceteareth-20 is an emulsifier and cleansing agent. It is derived from cetearyl alcohol, a fatty alcohol.

2 Com. / 3 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Hydroxide Buffering

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

Peg-100 Stearate
0 / 0 Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Peg-100 Stearate is an emollient and emulsifier. PEGS are a hydrophilic polyether compound . There are 100 ethylene oxide monomers in Peg-100 Stearate. Peg-100 Stearate is polyethylene glycol ester of stearic acid.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Phenylethyl Resorcinol Antioxidant
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

Phenylethyl Resorcinol is an antioxidant.

Tocopheryl Acetate Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Vitamin EVitamin E Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon Helps brighten skinHelps brighten skin Icon

Tocopheryl Acetate is AKA Vitamin E. It is an antioxidant and protects your skin from free radicals. Free radicals damage the skin by breaking down collagen.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
C13-14 Isoparaffin Emollient, Solvent
May worsen Oily Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
2 Concerns

C13-14 Isoparaffin is created from petroleum-based mineral oils. It is an emollient and helps thicken a product.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Disodium EDTA

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

Disliked Full details ->
Laureth-7 Emulsifying

Laureth-7 is created by the ethoxylation of lauryl alcohol using ethylene oxide. Lauryl alcohol is a fatty alcohol with hydrating properties.

Disliked Full details ->
Allantoin Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing
0 / 0 Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
3 Benefits

Allantoin plays a role in soothing and moisturizing the skin. Because of this, it is often added to products with strong active ingredients.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation Icon
2 Benefits

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice comes from leaves of the aloe plant. Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice is best known for helping to soothe sunburns. It is also anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, antiseptic, and can help heal wounds.

Hydrogenated Lecithin Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning

Hydrogenated Lecithin is created from the hydrogenation of lecithin. Hydrogenation is a chemical reaction between molecule hydrogen and another element.

Ethylhexylglycerin Skin Conditioning

Ethylhexylglycerin (we can't pronounce this either) is commonly used as a preservative and skin softener. It is derived from glyceryl.

Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract Bleaching, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Good for Dark Spots Icon
Good for Dark SpotsGood for Dark Spots Icon

Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract is an extract of the roots of Licorice. It has been found to have several benefits such as skin hydrating, conditioning, and soothing.

Ingredient Ratings

Based on the number of likes and dislikes each ingredient has received.

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12
1
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 26 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
Antiseborrhoeic, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Sulfur is a commonly occurring element on Earth (and our universe!). In cosmetics, it helps kill bacteria, reduces sebum, and provides exfoliation. This makes it an effective ingredient to reduce breakouts and fight acne.

As a ketayolytic agent, it breaks down the top layer of skin. This is a form of exfoliation and may help decrease acne and hyperpigmentation.

Studies show sulfur has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Sulfur can be drying if used excessively. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have any concerns.

Ancient Greece, India, China, and Egypt have used sulfur in both traditional medicines and for household use.

Learn more about Sulfur
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
Smoothing
Loved

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

It is known to treat acne by reducing inflammation. It also helps fade dark-spots and strengthen the skin by promoting the growth of the ceramide barrier.

Other benefits include smoothing wrinkles and minimizing redness.

The cherry on top? Niacinamide can also help build keratin, a protein that keeps skin firm.

When incorporating niacinamide into your routine, look out for concentration amounts. Typically, 5% niacinamide provides benefits such as fading dark spots. However, if you have sensitive skin, it is better to begin with a smaller concentration.

Niacinamide can be mixed with other ingredients to boost benefits. For instance, it has shown to be effective when used with copper, folic acid, and zinc to treat acne.

Learn more about Niacinamide
Abrasive, Absorbent, Skin Protecting
Disliked

Zea Mays Starch is starch made from corn. You might know this as cornstarch . It is used to thicken a product. It can replace talc as an absorbent.

The pH of cornstarch is 5.92.

Cornstarch is a common food ingredient used to thicken soups or to make corn syrup.

Learn more about Zea Mays Starch
Buffering
Loved

Glycolic Acid is arguably the most famous AHA with a ton of research to back up its benefits.

Its main role is to remove the top layer of dead skin cells, allowing newer skin cells to emerge.

Specifically, AHAs work by breaking down the structural "glue" holding the old skin cells in place. Getting rid of the old skin cells allows skin to regenerate newer skin cells in its place. A build up of dead skin cells can lead to tired and dull looking skin.

Due to this, glycolic acid helps with:

Fun fact: Glycolic acid increases skin hydration by playing a role in creating molecules that create hyaluronic acid naturally.

When starting glycolic Acid, it is normal to feel slight stinging.

The pH value and concentration of glycolic acid play a role in the effectiveness of the product. Concentrations between 5-20% glycolic acid have been shown to be effective in clinical studies.

Recent studies have shown Glycolic Acid may protect the skin against UV damage. However, you should always wear SPF, especially when using exfoliants.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Glycolic Acid
Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
Very Disliked

Stearyl Alcohol is a type of fatty alcohol from stearic acid. It is a white, waxy compound used to emulsify ingredients.

Fatty Alcohols are most often used as an emollient or to thicken a product. Emollients help soothe and hydrate the skin by trapping moisture.

They are usually derived from natural fats and oils and therefore do not have the same drying or irritating effect as solvent alcohols. FDA allows products labeled "alcohol-free" to have fatty alcohols.

Learn more about Stearyl Alcohol
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Loved

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

A study from 2016 found glycerin to be more effective as a humectant than AHAs and hyaluronic acid.

As a humectant, it helps the skin stay hydrated by pulling moisture to your skin. The low molecular weight of glycerin allows it to pull moisture into the deeper layers of your skin.

Hydrated skin improves your skin barrier; Your skin barrier helps protect against irritants and bacteria.

Glycerin has also been found to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Due to these properties, glycerin is often used in wound and burn treatments.

In cosmetics, glycerin is usually derived from plants such as soybean or palm. However, it can also be sourced from animals, such as tallow or animal fat.

This ingredient is organic, colorless, odorless, and non-toxic.

Glycerin is the name for this ingredient in American English. British English uses Glycerol/Glycerine.

Learn more about Glycerin

We don't have a description for Octyldodecyl Myristate.

Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
Very Disliked

Cetearyl alcohol is a mixture of two fatty alcohols: cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. It is mainly used as an emulsifier. Emulsifiers help prevent the separation of oils and products. Due to its composition, it can also be used to thicken a product or help create foam.

Cetearyl alcohol is an emollient. Emollients help soothe and hydrate the skin by trapping moisture.

Studies show Cetearyl alcohol is non-toxic and non-irritating. The FDA allows products labeled "alcohol-free" to have fatty alcohols.

This ingredient is usually derived from plant oils such as palm, vegetable, or coconut oils. There is debate on whether this ingredient will cause acne.

Due to the fatty acid base, this ingredient may not be Malassezia folliculitis safe.

Learn more about Cetearyl Alcohol
Emollient, Emulsifying
Disliked

Glyceryl Stearate is a mix of glycerin and stearic acid.

Glyceryl Stearate is used to stabilize the mixing of water and oil ingredients. By preventing these ingredients from separating, it can help elongate shelf life. It can also help thicken the product's texture.

As an emollient, it helps soften skin and supports barrier-replenishing ingredients.

In cosmetics, Glyceryl Stearate is often made from vegetable oils or synthetically produced. The human body also creates Glyceryl Stearate naturally.

Learn more about Glyceryl Stearate
Absorbent
Disliked

Magnesium Aluminum Silicate is a type of silica. It comes from naturally occuring minerals such as silicate ores and clay.

Magnesium aluminum silicate is used for enhancing texture and as an absorbent. Due to its large molecular size, it is unable to be absorbed into the skin.

Like other types of silica, this ingredient can be used to thicken a product. As an absorbent, it may be used to absorb extra water or help prevent clumping.

Learn more about Magnesium Aluminum Silicate
Preservative
Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

It's often used in formulations along with Caprylyl Glycol to preserve the shelf life of products.

Disliked

Polyacrylamide is a synthetic polymer. It is used to stabilize products and bind ingredients. When hydrated, Polyacrylamide forms a soft gel.

Polyacrylamide is low-toxicity. If source properly, it is deemed safe to use in cosmetics.

It should be noted the precursor to Polyacrylamide is acrylamide. Acrylamide is a carcinogen. Most reputable sources of Polyacrylamide will screen for residual acrylamide to make sure the count is in a safe range. Acrylamide is not able to be absorbed through the skin.

We recommend speaking with a professional if you have concerns.

Learn more about Polyacrylamide
Cleansing, Emulsifying
Very Disliked

Ceteareth-20 is an emulsifier and cleansing agent. It is derived from cetearyl alcohol, a fatty alcohol.

As an emulsifier, Ceteareth-20 prevents oil and water from separating. It is also a surfactant. Surfactants help gather oil, pollution, and dirt to be washed away.

Buffering
Mixed

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

In small amounts, sodium hydroxide is considered safe to use. However, large amounts may cause chemical burns due to its high alkaline.

Your skin has a natural pH and acid mantle. This acid mantle helps prevent harmful bacteria from breaking through. The acid mantle also helps keep your skin hydrated.

"Alkaline" refers to a high pH level. A low pH level would be considered acidic.

Learn more about Sodium Hydroxide
Very Disliked

Peg-100 Stearate is an emollient and emulsifier. PEGS are a hydrophilic polyether compound . There are 100 ethylene oxide monomers in Peg-100 Stearate. Peg-100 Stearate is polyethylene glycol ester of stearic acid.

Peg-100 Stearate helps keep skin soft by trapping moisture in. It helps prevent oil and water from separating in a product. By binding oil and water, it helps remove dirt and oil to be rinsed away.

Antioxidant
Mixed

Phenylethyl Resorcinol is an antioxidant.

Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Tocopheryl Acetate is AKA Vitamin E. It is an antioxidant and protects your skin from free radicals. Free radicals damage the skin by breaking down collagen.

One study found using Tocopheryl Acetate with Vitamin C decreased the number of sunburned cells.

Tocopheryl Acetate is commonly found in both skincare and dietary supplements.

Learn more about Tocopheryl Acetate
Emollient, Solvent
Very Disliked

C13-14 Isoparaffin is created from petroleum-based mineral oils. It is an emollient and helps thicken a product.

As an emollient, it helps keep the skin soft and smooth by creating a barrier on top. This barrier traps moisture in, keeping the skin hydrated.

C13-14 Isoparaffin may not be fungal-acne safe.

Learn more about C13-14 Isoparaffin
Disliked

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it neutralizes metal ions that may be found in a product.

Disodium EDTA is a salt of edetic acid and is found to be safe in cosmetic ingredients.

Learn more about Disodium EDTA
Emulsifying
Disliked

Laureth-7 is created by the ethoxylation of lauryl alcohol using ethylene oxide. Lauryl alcohol is a fatty alcohol with hydrating properties.

Laureth-7 is an emulsifier and cleansing ingredient. As an emulsifier, it is used to prevent ingredients from separating. It also helps cleanse the skin by gathering dirt, oil, and pollutants to be rinsed away.

Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing
Loved

Allantoin plays a role in soothing and moisturizing the skin. Because of this, it is often added to products with strong active ingredients.

Some studies have shown this ingredient can promote wound healing with higher concentrations.

Allantoin is derived from the comfrey plant but produced synthetically for cosmetic products to ensure purity.

Learn more about Allantoin
Skin Conditioning
Liked

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice comes from leaves of the aloe plant. Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice is best known for helping to soothe sunburns. It is also anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, antiseptic, and can help heal wounds.

Aloe is packed with good stuff including Vitamins A, C, and E. These vitamins are antioxidants, which help fight free-radicals and the damage they may cause. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells, such as pollution.

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice also contains sugars. These sugars come in the form of monosaccharides and polysaccharides, folic acid, and choline. These sugars are able to help bind moisture to skin.

It also contains minerals such as calcium, 12 anthraquinones, fatty acids, amino acids, and Vitamin B12.

Learn more about Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Hydrogenated Lecithin is created from the hydrogenation of lecithin. Hydrogenation is a chemical reaction between molecule hydrogen and another element.

Hydrogenated Lecithin is an emollient and emulsifier. As an emollient, it helps soften skin by trapping moisture within.

The phospholipids in Hydrogenated Lecithin can produce liposomes. Liposomes help other ingredients get through the skin barrier to be better absorbed.

As an emulsifier, it prevents oil and water ingredients from separating.

Learn more about Hydrogenated Lecithin
Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Ethylhexylglycerin (we can't pronounce this either) is commonly used as a preservative and skin softener. It is derived from glyceryl.

You might see Ethylhexylglycerin often paired with other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol. Ethylhexylglycerin has been found to increase the effectiveness of these other preservatives.

Bleaching, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract is an extract of the roots of Licorice. It has been found to have several benefits such as skin hydrating, conditioning, and soothing.

One component, glabridin, has extra potent antioxidant and soothing properties. It has also been found to block pigmentation from UVB rays in guinea pigs.

Licorice Root also contains a flavonoid. Flavonoids are a natural substance from in plants. Flavonoids also have antioxidant properties.

Another component, glycyrrhizin, has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits. This may make licorice root extract effective at treating acne. However, more research is needed to support this.

Liquiritin is one of the flavone compounds found in licorice. It has been found to help lighten skin by preventing tyrosinase from reacting with tyrosine. When the two react, protein is converted to melanin. Melanin is the substance in your body that gives your features pigmentation.

Learn more about Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract

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