I don’t generally participate in team kill reviews, where shops send a specific product out to a number of bloggers to deliberately generate hype. But I recently made an exception for Wishtrend, owner of the Klairs brand, when WT got in touch to offer me a jar of the new Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream for review. I like Klairs products, and the offer sounded more exclusive at first than most team kills (it initially went out to 20 bloggers, I later learned; afterwards, Wishtrend cast an even wider net, eventually publicly soliciting both blogger and non-blogger testers on social media). In any case, I received the Midnight Blue Calming Cream and finished putting it through its paces right on schedule with both my testing period and the upcoming product launch. Does it deserve the hype that blogger campaigns are devised to generate? Let’s find out.
The product featured in this review was provided by Wishtrend. Affiliate links in this post are marked with an asterisk(*).
Correction: Wishtrend has informed me that the Midnight Blue Calming Cream is not meant for use as a moisturizer but solely as a spot treatment for irritated or sensitive areas. I have updated the review and rating to reflect this correction.
Purpose: Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream claims to moisturize and repair extremely sensitive or damaged skin.
Best suited for: Extremely sensitive or damaged skin, according to the product literature.
Do not use if: You are sensitive to plant oils or extracts, fragrance, or anything else in the ingredients list.
When and how to use:
At After the cream step of your skincare routine, apply a small amount of product to damaged, irritated, or sensitive areas of the face. Alternatively, use a small amount as an allover moisturizing cream.
Dear, Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream ingredients: Water, cetyl ethylhexanoate, butylene glycol, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, centella asiatica extract, niacinamide, sorbitan stearate, cetyl alcohol, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), argania spinosa kernel oil, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, sorbitan sesquioleate, glyceryl stearate, stearic acid, portulaca oleracea extract, anthemis nobilis flower extract, ceramide 3, polysorbate 60, beeswax, chlorphenesin, tocopheryl acetate, xanthan gum, triethanolamine, brassica oleracea italica (broccoli) extract, fragrance, adenosine, guaiazulene (0.03%), acetyl hexapeptide-8, lecithin, acetyl glutamine, SH-oligopeptide-1, SH-oligopeptide-2, SH-polypeptide-1, SH-polypeptide-9, SH-polypeptide-11, bacillus/soybean/folic acid ferment extract, caprylyl glycol, 1,2-hexanediol
Notable ingredients: When I pasted the Midnight Blue Calming Cream’s ingredients into CosDNA, I raised my eyebrows at the number of ingredients flagged as potential acne triggers and/or potential irritants. Now, CosDNA is not a universal authority on skincare ingredients, as I’ve mentioned before. Attempts to quantify the potential harmfulness of ingredients tend to result in some pretty flawed information (YMMV is pretty much the only universal in skincare!). Still, I have to side-eye all those commonly acknowledged potential triggers in a product specifically marketed for sensitive skin.
There’s plenty of good stuff in the Midnight Blue Calming Cream too, though. Dryness or dehydration (of the skin) often accompany, and sometimes cause, sensitivities; here, reliable moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, shea butter, and ceramide 3 combat that. Niacinamide’s ability to boost lipid production will strengthen skin’s natural barrier over time. Centella asiatica (gotu kola) and anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower extracts are known for their irritation-calming and anti-inflammatory properties. Guaiazulene, which also comes from chamomile, has been shown to have some effectiveness in healing sunburns and calming eczema. Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream also contains assorted peptides, which have a limited but appealing body of evidence supporting claims that they aid in skin regeneration and anti-aging.
Oooh, pretty. Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream is a smooth, glossy periwinkle blue cream with a light, pleasant herbal/floral scent. The cream has a silky slip to it, making it possible to spread a small amount over a large area. My contact at Wishtrend warned me that a little goes a long way and using too much can cause pilling under other products, like sunscreen and makeup, so it’s good that the cream is so spreadable.
Once applied, the Midnight Blue Calming Cream dries down quickly to a soft matte finish and a light, emollient film. Did I mention that this cream is blue? Not blue on the skin, but a pretty, pretty blue in the jar and when scooped out. The color ostensibly comes from guaiazulene extracted from chamomile. If you’re familiar with luxury products like Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Night Oil or Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm, then you may have heard of the rare and extremely costly blue tansy used in those products for anti-inflammatory and healing effects. The chamomile used for the Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream bears a strong similarity to the blue tansy, but the chamomile is more common, its extracts less expensive. Interestingly, blue tansy essential oil does not produce the vibrant blue hues of the Sunday Riley or other brands’ blue tansy products. Mixing straight blue tansy oil into a cream without adding other coloring agents actually produces a dull bluish gray, as shown in this Instagram video from Snailcaster Chel.
Okay, enough about the color.
It’s unclear to me whether Klairs intends the Midnight Blue Calming Cream to be used as a sort of ointment or as an allover moisturizing cream. The instructions on the Midnight Blue Calming Cream product preview page at Wishtrend* specify application on “areas of sensitivity or irritation,” though, the ingredients list looks like that of any other decently formulated cream. As a rule of thumb, the vast majority of cosmetic products get the vast majority of their volume and function from the first five or so ingredients they have listed. That makes the Klairs blue cream primarily a humectant and emollient moisturizer, at least on paper. Fortunately, I had chances to test the cream both ways.
As an irritation treatment, Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream does okay. I had a small but intense patch of eczema flaring up on my arm the day I received this cream. I applied a little to the affected area as soon as I could. The cream stopped the itching, but the swollen red patch of bumpy skin remained through another few days and several more applications. A week or so later, a patch of tiny bumps appeared on my cheek, warning signs of an impending flare-up. By then I was using the Midnight Blue Calming Cream full-face. The cream seemed to keep the bumpy area from developing into a full-fledged flare-up but, again, didn’t speed up healing of the bumps themselves. It took about five days for them to fully smooth out again.
The Midnight Blue Calming Cream does slightly better as a conventional moisturizer. Wishtrend’s insistence on using just a little bit of product at a time had me thinking it could be just the super-moisturizing moisturizer my tretface wanted. My neck was definitely in need of an ultra-nourishing cream. An unfortunate encounter with an Italy towel had the skin there feeling dreadfully thin and constantly dry. A generous slather of blue cream made my neck feel better right away. I used the cream sparingly all over my face day and night during the testing period. As a day cream, it kept my skin soft and comfortably moisturized all the way to my evening cleanse. But my skin gets drier at night, partly from the ceiling fan and partly from my habit of mashing my face into my pillow. Only a cream that’s intensely moisturizing, with strong occlusive properties, can survive a night with Lady Fiddy. Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream was not that cream. Not without a sleeping pack or Banila Co Miss Flower & Mr Honey Cream layered on top. Mornings after I used the Klairs blue cream as a final nighttime step, my skin was never at peak plumpness or smoothness, and when I used a bit more than normal to see if that would give me the results I’m used to from other products, all I got was a lot of oiliness on my forehead and nose in the morning. The oiliness did get me out of bed and rushing to cleanse my face and start my morning routine much faster than usual, so I guess that’s good.
Conclusion: As an irritation treatment, Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream is a little lacking
, but it does make a decent medium-weight moisturizer. Unfortunately, the tiny 30ml jar doesn’t hold enough cream to last very long as a moisturizer, which may make this product less cost-effective than many creams with comparable ingredients and effects.
5 – I’ll never be in the market for a replacement unless this one is discontinued.
When and where can I buy Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream?
What do you use when your skin is extra sensitive or irritated?