Review: Kiehl’s Abyssine Eye Cream

This review is totally unbiased and unsolicited. Sometimes I am sent samples for consideration. Whether I am sent samples or if I purchase a product at full-price, you’ll know that it doesn’t affect the quality or outcome of my review.

I actually this purchased this product for full-price last year at Nordstrom at Lloyd Center in Portland.

My reviews on this site are a little different than those that I regularly see on some other sites. I do my best to completely use the *entire* product before I write a review, unless the product is irritating or dangerous and then I just cry incessantly and throw it out. Actually, I’ve only had to return a few products. I am not the most sensitive type of skin. For reference, I’m combination most of the year and can be oily-combination in the summer. I have pretty thick skin and am rarely irritated by products, even those that contain many active ingredients and heavy fragrances.

Skin care is very difficult to sample in small quantities for a measurable result, unlike swatching new lipsticks or eye shadows. With those products, what you see is pretty much what you get, magnetic nail polish notwithstanding.

Kiehl’s is a brand that I’ve had experience using for a long time. I think that the first product I purchased was their Lip Balm #1 (which is still a favorite). Their Original Musk blend #1 is on constant fragrance rotation and is one of the most superb fragrances for both men and women.

This review is for Kiehl’s Abyssine Eye Cream. Priced at $37.00 for a jar that is .5 ozs., I purchased it at the Kiehl’s counter at Nordstrom because I had a great rapport with the saleswoman. She was glamorous and outgoing as well as eager to ply me with samples. Seriously, she went above and beyond in giving me samples, including stuff for Coco, which I appreciated.

Kiehl's Abyssine Eye Cream

I was in the market for an eye cream as I was nearly out of my Avon Reversalist Illuminating Eye System (yeah, that’s really the name of one of their eye creams). More about that product another time. I wasn’t thrilled with the Avon eye cream overall.

Onto the Kiehl’s Abyssine eye cream.

I found the formula to be very emollient and was pleased that I didn’t have to use very much to feel adequately moisturized. This was fine when used underneath makeup, and the entire jar lasted almost a year. I used it up to two times a day, morning and evening. Luckily, I didn’t break out or notice any milia that developed from this product. I had an issue with the packaging, as it was wide open and not the most sanitary, as you have to “dip into” the product to get it out of the jar.

From the Kiehl’s site, here’s the official description of the product:

The anti-wrinkle solution for eyes from the deep.

• Gentle formula helps deter the effects of aging on the skin.
• Provides instant moisturization and diminishes the look of fatigue.
• Survival molecules help soothe and protect against external aggression.
• Ophthalmologist and Dermatologist-Tested.
• Cool Kiehl’s Fact: The Abyssine 657 “survival molecule” is a polysaccharide found in the depths of the ocean. The ingredient is derived from microorganisms discovered near the Galapagos hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean at a depth of 3,000 meters where the algae is able to adapt itself to the harshest conditions.

I can’t say very much to the effect of it “protecting against external aggression”. It doesn’t contain any sunscreens or proven active ingredients like retinol, vitamin C and the like. However, the price point isn’t the worst, but you can certainly find more effective eye creams in the drugstore at lower price points. There are some effective offering from RoC, Olay, and Boots among other companies.

MakeupAlley readers give this product an overall rating of 3.1 out of 5 and I agree. Again, I do love that it lasted a very long time, but I truly didn’t see any reduction in the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

As to the claims of one of the special ingredients in this formulation, I think that Paula Begoun’s Beautypedia is accurate.

The called-out “survival molecule” ingredients are barely present but even if they were somehow special and unique they are barely present in this formula and won’t remain stable once this jar-packaged eye cream is open.


Here is the official ingredient list:


Water, Glycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Squalane, Stearic Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Palmitic Acid, Propylene Glycol, PEG-100 Stearate, Beeswax, Glyceryl Stearate, Nylon-12, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, PEG-20 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Honey, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Panthenol, Methylparaben, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Chlorphenesin, Propylparaben, Caffeine, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Acrylates Copolymer, Adenosine, Laureht-7, Hydroxypalmitoyl Sphinganine, Mannitol, Arginine, Serine, PCA, Sucrose, Citrulline, Glycogen, Histidine Hcl, Alteromonas Ferment Extract, Alanine, Threonine, Glutamic Acid, Algae Extract, Lysine HCL

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