It’s Only Natural

December 19, 2014


Kiel's Since 1951 limited edition Norman Rockwell Crème de Corps.

THE SKINCARE COMPANY KIEHL’S is not new. In fact, it was founded as an apothecary in New York City’s East Village neighborhood (at the corner of Third Avenue and Thirteenth Street) 160 years ago. Hence, its full name — Kiehl’s Since 1851. The store, which began business offering customers natural remedies for their medical ailments, morphed into one that focused on skincare using botanical ingredients, such as lavender, calendula and blue algae, in simple, no-frills packaging.

New Yorkers of a certain age remember the store as a best-kept secret among skincare aficionados. Saying someone went to Kiehl’s for their products gave them instant status. Company lore has it that Andy Warhol used to buy the Blue Astringent toner in the 32-ounce size and was a regular patron to the store that was only blocks away from his famous studio, The Factory. 

The newest standalone outpost in Westfield Montgomery, the company’s 63rd store, joins other locations in Tysons Corner and Georgetown, all appointed with historical photos, apothecary artifacts and motorcycles from second-generation owner Aaron Morse’s collection.

Die-hards swear by the Creme de Corps body moisturizer.  Profits from sales of this season’s limited edition featuring a Norman Rockwell sledding illustration benefit Feeding America.

–Janet Kelly



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