Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner

overall rating:



Sally Tang
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Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner is one of the top-rated products at Kiehl’s, as it is claimed to be alcohol and fragrance-free, suitable for sensitive and oily skin to soothe and calm the skin. It comes in 3 sizes, 24 USD for 125mL, 40 USD for 250mL, and 62 USD for 500mL. This product uses a few kinds of herbal extract and is free of harmful materials like alcohol and parabens. Overall, this product is quite safe as few harmful ingredients are used, creating a lower chance of allergic reactions. The ingredients also seemed to be sustainable when Kiehl’s say they come from farms practicing responsible farming. Kiehl’s have launched sustainability and philanthropy programs as part of their practice of corporate social responsibility. Within the sustainability program, they have changed their formula and packaging, as well as launched recycling programs. However, many of the details are not provided, and some descriptions are quite vague, failing to provide detailed information for customers to evaluate themselves. The manufacturing process of their products is also not transparent, as not much information can be found on their website apart from the products being made in the US. Kiehl’s have also emphasized their monetary contribution to different communities and projects, as part of their philanthropy program. Overall, Kiehl’s provided some information and shaped an image of sustainability, yet many important details are not listed.

What it's made of:


This product is paraben-free, fragrance-free, silicone-free, alcohol-free, mineral oil-free, and dye-free. Until 2019, this product contained paraben which can cause allergic reactions or irritation. This product is named herbal-extract toner as many ingredients including arctium lappa, calendula officinalis, Hedera helix, and althaea officinalis are herbal ingredients, which are also those emphasized on its website. However, apart from these natural ingredients, many other ingredients are synthetic. Some of these chemicals are rated as fair in the EWG certification, which means that there might be some concerns such as allergies or toxicities with regards to the chemicals. The EWG certification system ranks the safety of chemicals used in different products and provides a safety indication (scale of 1 to 10) for products and chemicals. They will also certify products that are totally free of harmful chemicals. Kiehl’s claimed to have 98% of their formulas made with at least three renewable ingredients, and have ingredients sourced from farms practising responsible farming. However, note that they did not provide details regarding their source of ingredients, such as the origin. This is also a general claim from the company, but there are no further details for the single product. They have launched recycling programs to recycle their jars and bottles and use recycled material in 80% of their packaging. On their bottles, a claim of “this bottle is made with 50% post-consumer recycled plastic” can be seen. They also reduced the use of cartons in 73% of their products and the use of single-use paper bags in store. 

How it's made:


This product is manufactured in the US, and the company also claimed to have reduced their water waste by 78% during the manufacturing processes. However, apart from that, there are not any further details regarding the manufacturing process and transport of this toner. One thing worth noting is that Kiehl’s still do tests on animals, according to PETA. The company’s policy suggested they won’t be conducting animal testing unless required by law. However, this still means that animal testing is going on within the production. 

Who makes it:


Kiehl’s is an American high-end skincare and cosmetic brand purchased by L’Oreal group in 2000. Kiehl’s launched a program “Future Made Better” which aimed to reduce environmental impact through changing its formula, packaging, and recycling program. Although they have listed some directions and points of what they did, they are generally vague because there are no details regarding which products had the better formulas or details for the source of ingredients. Kiehl’s also claimed to have donated money to supporting LGBTQ+ communities, children’s wellbeing, women's power, food insecurity, and environmental movements. However, its parent company, L’Oreal group were involved in toxic mica mining and the use of child labour, which is unethical and has huge potential harm to the development of children.