Red ginseng and manuka honey have long been bestsellers in the supplement world; just ask the Harrods pharmacists, who have a whole wall of miracle-workers so popular they struggle to keep them in stock. Now, they’re about to be big in your skincare routine, too, courtesy of Kiehl’s reformulated Pure Vitality, which boasts 99.6% naturally derived ingredients.
Power Player: Manuka Honey
New Zealand manuka honey is pretty powerful stuff – it’s known for its antibacterial, antiviral healing properties, and is used in alternative medicine to treat wounds and antibiotic-resistant infections including MRSA. It’s an incredibly rare ingredient, produced by bees who pollinate manuka trees. These trees only grow in New Zealand, and most are on land belonging to the indigenous Maori people. Because of its healing powers, it’s no surprise the demand is now huge, and as a result it’s estimated that 83% of all manuka honey on the market is counterfeit.
Kiehl’s New Zealand manuka honey comes from a native supplier focused on sustainability, where millions of trees are planted to ensure the natural food supply for the bees producing the honey continues to thrive.
"Manuka honey is a dark, creamy mono-floral honey, used for centuries for medicinal purposes. When compared to any other form of honey, manuka contains the highest level of antioxidant activity to offer potent protection from skin damaging free radicals. It’s also a humectant, working to boost skin hydration," says Kiehl’s consultant dermatologist Dr Alexis Granite. It’s also packed with polyphenols, little micro-nutrients that are essential for our overall wellness. Applied topically they help reinforce the skin’s barrier that’ll keep your skin healthy and hydrated. Hello, glow!
Power Player: Red Ginseng
Korean red ginseng has been used extensively in ancient medical practices – going back to the 1500s in Korea – and is prized as an ingredient that has myriad wellbeing benefits. "Red ginseng increases cell turnover and aids in skin renewal, improving texture and radiance," says Dr Granite. This is due to the root’s high potency of phytonutrients (protective nutrients found in plants) that have remarkable renewing and revitalising properties for our skin, which in turn helps reduce the signs of ageing. Put it together with manuka honey, and you have something pretty remarkable.
"Natural doesn't always mean better, but increasingly for many of us this is a priority for our skincare. When incorporating natural ingredients, it may be difficult to maintain the more aesthetic aspects of a skincare product, such as consistency and smell, not to mention efficacy," says Dr Granite. You’ll notice Kiehl’s formula comes in an innovative sealed jar that keeps all of the goodness in, and nasties out – plus, it dispenses just the right amount. What’s more, Pure Vitality’s 99.6% natural ingredients have received a silver certification from environmental-awareness institute, Cradle To Cradle. (The 0.4% comes from the way the salicylic acid and potassium sorbate are derived, both of which are essential for making the quality formula last).
The best thing about Pure Vitality? It’s suitable for all skin types. "It’s perfect for those who want a naturally-derived, holistic skincare regimen," says Dr Granite. She’s under no pretence, though, that it won’t be the perfect choice for every skin concern: "For specific skincare concerns such as fine lines or dark spots, a corrective product – such as Super Multi-Corrective Cream or Clearly Corrective Brightening and Smoothing Moisture Treatment may be more suitable," she says.
The lightweight honey-infused cream is the last step in your skincare routine (before your Kiehl’s SPF, of course), used to seal in the goodness of any serum or treatment. To really get the most out of its restorative and revitalising properties, pair it with Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution or vitamin C serum Power Strength Line Reducing Concentrate – particularly effective if you have any unwanted pigmentation. You could also try it on top of the Midnight Recovery Oil, or mixed with a couple of drops of Glow Formula to add an extra radiance boost.
Created in partnership with Kiehl's since 1851, Fine Apothecary Skincare from New York City.