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Kiehl’s Açaí Damage-Repairing Skincare Collection — Very Berry Fine!

Kiehls-Acai-Collection

Açaí is here to stay, folks. For the last 2-3 years, leading skincare companies have been trumpeting the benefits of açai, an antioxidant-rich berry found in palm trees along the northern region of Brazil. Whereas pomegranates (once the “it” ingredient in moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners and face washes) boasts an ORAC value (the measure used to tabulate fruits’ antioxidant capacity) of 106, açaí has an ORAC value of 167. Take that, pomegranate! The berry’s high antioxidant value makes it a powerful agent in protecting the skin against free radicals (unstable molecules found in the environment that oxidize when they come in contact with the skin and, in doing so, damage skin cells). Antioxidants, then, protect the skin against environmental damage which can lead to premature skin aging (fine lines, age spots, etc.). And, once we discover that a fruit has a high antioxidant value, all of us youth-obsessed beauty lovers, flock to it like it’s Willie Wonka’s golden ticket.

Needless to say, Kiehl’s decided to get in on the açaí action with its Açaí Damage-Repairing Skincare Collection, which focuses on both protecting the skin from future damage and repairing any existing problems — hydrating overly parched skin, restoring elasticity and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The collection consists of the Açaí Damage-Minimizing Cleanser, Açaí Damage-Protecting Tone Mist, Açaí Damage-Repairing Serum, and Açaí Damage-Correcting Mositurizer. The entire range of products is 100% natural and contains such vital ingredients as açaí berry, aloe vera, lavender and rosemary oil.

I fell in love with the Açaí Damage-Minimizing Cleanser right away (call it love at first cleanse). Packaged in a bottle with a nifty little pump, the cleanser has a light, foamy consistency as soon as it’s dispensed onto your palm. When you see it already foamed up, you might be tempted to simply pat it onto the skin and rinse, but for best results, you should work in between your palms and then apply on your face using gentle, circular motions. The cleanser is very light (think of the foam you’d find atop a fancy cappuccino, and you’ll get an idea of its consistency), but it works wonders in terms of brightening and soothing the skin. Aside from açaí, the cleanser contains rosemary essential oils, which have antibacterial properties that rid the skin of any toxins and increase clarity (I can happily say I’ve noticed less breakouts since I started using this cleanser), and aloe vera juice, which soothes and calms stressed skin.

It took me a bit longer to fall for the Açaí Damage-Correcting Moisturizer — but fall I did, my friends. Why did I hesitate at first? Well, the moisturizer’s consistency takes a little getting used to. When I first applied it, my face felt a bit balmy and greasy — which raised a red flag since, of course, I don’t want to fret about my skin looking like it made love to a butter stick. Thankfully, within about 10-15 minutes, that balmy sensation had ebbed and with it went my anxiety. Initially, you might notice a slight tingling feeling around those “problem” areas, where skin is most delicate and hence most susceptible to damage (around the eyes, for example). It’s a very subtle and note the least bit uncomfortable sensation — it’s simply reassurance that the açaí extract works its magic, delivering essential fatty acids and antioxidants that help to accelerate the skin renewal process. Shea butter, meanwhile, moisturizes the skin and also aids the skin repair process thanks to its own concentration of vitamins A and E. Finally, aloe vera juice soothes the skin and helps the skin retain moisture so that the hydrating nutrients actually penetrate the skin (as opposed to sitting atop it and never really getting beyond that first layer of skin). Orange fruit, lavender and rosemary oil all work to calm the skin, treating any outbreaks or irritations.

Along with the Superbly Restorative Argan Lotion and Dry Oil, these two products have quickly joined the ranks of my all-time fave Kiehl’s products — and as a Kiehl’s loyalist, that’s saying a lot!

Kiehl’s Damage-Minimizing Cleanser, $24.50 and Damage-Correcting Moisturizer, $44. Available at Kiehls.com

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