I’ve used my fair share of products that claim brightening and radiance-boosting properties. Although I’d love to say that in testing all of these creams, gels, and serums, I’ve found the secret to a glowing, dazzling complexion, alas most of these products left my skin the same pale, blotchy hue I started out with. All of this trying and failing started to leave me feeling drab and disappointed—anything but radiant. I had even become resolve to the fact pale and pasty might just be my skin destiny. But when Kiehl’s Turmeric and Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque ($32, kiehls.com) hit the shelves, I saw a glimmer of hope. With words like “energizing” and “radiance” right in the name, I felt a surge of optimism for my sad, tired skin.
I was already getting won over from the second I unscrewed the top: It was an old-school, creamy face mask! Upon first application, this turmeric blend was thick and rich and smeared smoothly over my face.
After applying the mask, I made sure to spread out the cranberry seeds evenly—they were a little awkward at first and tended to clump up. Ten minutes later, the mask stiffened and it dried to a yellow-orange hue. After washing the mask off with warm water, the mixture softened and absorbed into my skin, as the tiny cranberry seeds very gently exfoliated.
Although I personally loved the texture and ritual of the entire mask process, it was the formula that really impressed me. It actually made my ruddy pale skin lively and dare I say it, radiant. Not only was my skin smooth and supple after rinsing (a trait that’s rare with the old-school hardening masks I love so much), but it was noticeably brighter and luminous. Thanks to anti-inflammatory turmeric extract paired with cranberry extract and cranberry seeds, which are rich in resveratrol (a top antioxidant and anti-aging ingredient), this mask actually made my skin glow in 10 minutes. I felt so hydrated after washing, I didn’t need to pack on the moisturizer that night, thus allowing me to wake up with non-oily, still nourished skin the next day. Plus, for the first time in my adult life, my skin tone was even, if only for a day. Cue tears of joy now.
Have I found the secret to a glowing, dazzling complexion? I’ll probably always be on the hunt for that. But at least I’m one step closer.