My dad likes to joke that he’s the most beautiful in the family because of his smooth, flawless skin—his words, not mine. On the other end of the spectrum, my mom has had acne-prone skin for most of her life.
Guess which one I inherited.
So, when I walked into Kiehl’s in Highland Village to try the new Apothecary Preparations service, launched this week, I was skeptical. Nothing I had ever tried in the past, prescription or otherwise, had fully cured my skin issues. In some cases, the serums, lotions and scrubs made it worse. The new Kiehl's program, available in only a handful of locations, is inspired by the brand's history as a New York apothecary and involves an in-person consultation to create a completely custom skincare regimen to address customers' own unique skin issues.
Assistant manager Amanda Badal did her best to explain what was going to happen in full detail—perhaps in an effort to calm the butterflies that appeared in my stomach as soon as the consultation started. I told her how I was most insecure about the acne scars leftover from high school and the unevenness of my skin tone. After a few questions, she determined that the best route to go would be to tackle the texture and dullness of my skin. Other potential areas of focus include balancing redness, refining wrinkles and diminishing large pores.
From there she arrived at my “targeted complexes,” or highly potent concentrates formulated specifically for my skin concerns. A mix of vitamin F and lipohydroxy acid helps skin stay hydrated and creates a chemical exfoliation to refine the skin texture, and scotch pine extract and vitamin c promote skin brightness and protects skin from the environmental causes of dullness and uneven tone. Alone, these would be way too harsh to put directly on the skin, so the next step is to mix them in with Kiehl’s Skin Strengthening Concentrate and voila! Your own custom skin concentrate, which comes in a glass dropper bottle that resembles something out of an old-fashioned pharmacy.
According to Badal, the resulting bottle of skin goodness should last around six months, which is also its shelf life. To address more than two skin issues with this apothecary program, you’ve got to be patient—the formula is designed to tackle only two at a time.
The Apothecary Preparation, including the consultation, costs $95—steep but worth it for a skincare plan tailored just for me—plus any large purchase at Kiehl's comes with a ton of free samples.