Create A Personalized Facial Serum: Kiehl’s Apothecary Preparations Review

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A couple of months ago, I was invited to create a custom-blended, personalized facial serum at my Kiehl’s store in Philadelphia. A new, in-store experience!? You *know* my skincare obsessed self HAD to check it out. With 10 possible unique formulas, I was ready to make my blend. To find out how I created my serum, what my serum targets and how you can get one yourself, continue reading my Kiehl’s Apothecary Preparations review.

Kiehl's Apothecary Preparations Review Brighter Darling Philadelphia Beauty Blogger

the process

So when I first arrived at Kiehl’s on Chestnut Street at the Liberty Shops in Philadelphia, I was greeted by a clinical scientist. Just kidding. She was the Apothecary Preparations guru who was going to test my skin and go through a series of skin-based questions.

We sat down and as she tested my skin’s hydration level with a machine that looks very much like the Foundation IQ tool at Sephora, it proved – yet again – that my skin is much drier than I think it is.

This is obviously not the first time I’ve heard this, even though I feel much more connected to my oily skin ladies.

Just proves that my skin is very dehydrated… albeit appears oily. Not surprised. **goes to chug 8 bottles of water**

The next step was to go through a questionnaire to analyze the level of texture, brightness, fine lines and redness/sensitivity in my skin.

The goal is to identify your two biggest skin concerns.

Kiehls Apothecary Preparations Review how it works
c/o Kiehls.com

With all this data, my Apothecary Creations guru determined that my custom serum targets TEXTURE + CLARITY. Perfect!

The texture serum includes Vitamin F (an Omega 3 fatty acid that helps regenerate the skin) and LHA (a mild form of chemical exfoliant safe for daily use).

The clarity serum includes Vitamin C, which we know I’m obsessed with. Vitamin C helps brighten and fade hyperpigmentation on the skin, in addition to protecting from free radicals (aging elements) on the skin.

Other concentrates target redness, pore size, and wrinkles.

After my guru disappeared to wizard-up my custom Apothecary Creation bottle label, I was sent on my way to better skin ready to play chemist at home.

Kiehl's Apothecary Preparations Texture and Clarity Review

how to blend

Each serum targets two concerns. You leave Kiehl’s with a base formula that is a dry-oil chock full of hydration benefits in a lightweight, comfortable texture.

Your ‘guru’ will give you two of the targeted treatment concentrates that you get to blend at home for optimum freshness!

When you are ready, simply open the concentrates and carefully pour them into the base formula. Shake gently to combine and you’re ready to use.

kiehl’s apothecary preparations review

With skin care, I do prefer to test things out for a while before I give you guys my thoughts.

Since I got my Apothecary Preparation in November, I’ve had a nice amount of time to know my thoughts.

I have been using this product off-and-on morning and night. I use about 3 drops in the morning and press it into my skin after cleansing and toning but before my SPF. At night, I use 5-6 drops as the very last step in my skin care routine by pressing it in and ensuring to apply to my neck, as well.


When I use this preparation, I find I don’t have to use extra products I had in my normal routine, so it saves me time and space.

I didn’t need to use:

  • my hyaluronic acid serum (the base of the formula gives a nice boost of hydration and includes Squalane)
  • my vitamin C serum (already included)
  • my chemical exfoliating toner(s) (already included)
  • a face oil (for extra hydration on certain occasions)

Immediate results included a healthy level of hydration. I didn’t feel greasy at all with the dry oil. Makeup applied smoother and my skin already had a nice boost of glow to it.

Over time, I definitely noticed the texture/smoothness starting to improve and cell turnover to happen more rapidly.

Kiehl's Apothecary Preparations Review - Texture and Clarity Serum

My custom blend certainly does what it says it’s going to do.

The staff at Kiehl’s said one bottle should last at least six months, but I feel like this bottle is going to last me much longer.

You can ONLY get an Apothecary Preparation at certain Kiehl’s stores (find one here) and one bottle will run you $95. It sounds steep, but for a product that does what 3-4 products do, and lasts as long as it does, I think you get your money’s worth.


What do you think? Would you try a custom blended serum to save time and space?

Have you already created an Apothecary Preparation at Kiehl’s? How’s yours working? Share in the comments!

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Kiehl's Apothecary Preparations Review _ Improve Skin Texture and Clarity _ Custom Blended Serum

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