For 2016, Kiehl’s Gives – the charity arm of premium skincare brand Kiehl’s – has for the second year running teamed up with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation to raise money for the global fight against HIV and AIDS.
Following on from the success of last year’s Tinie Tempah-designed Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, the brand have once again allowed a musician to make over their bestselling product. This year’s design, by Laura Mvula, is a striking hot-pink silhouetted face – in keeping, perhaps, with their charity partner’s focus on organisations that help women and girls on the ground in Africa this year – and the best news is that a whopping £10 of the purchase price (as opposed to last year’s £2 donation) will be going to the charity.
The limited edition charity pot will be available for purchase at Kiehl’s stores and online from 1st December – fittingly, World AIDS Day. Kiehl’s has now been committed to supporting AIDS research for decades – it’s one of the company’s three “pillars” of charitable support, along with environmental issues and children’s well-being – but what connects a luxury skincare brand so intimately with AIDS and HIV?
The answer, as we found out at a recent blogger brunch hosted by Kiehl’s Glasgow flagship store, lies in the 137-word “Kiehl’s Mission”, written by Aaron Morse – the man who, after he took over his father’s pharmacy chain in 1961, can be credited with transforming Kiehl’s into the global skincare brand it is known as today. Morse believed that a “worthwhile” company needed a purpose beyond profit: to “improve in some way the quality of the community to which it is committed”. The original Kiehl’s pharmacy, at Third Avenue and East 13th Street in Manhattan, is five blocks away from the Stonewall Inn – the birthplace of the modern-day gay rights movement. For a good couple of decades, for Kiehl’s, AIDS research was about as community-orientated as it gets.
Over the past few months, the Glasgow store has been doing its bit by hosting donation-backed party nights. Those who donate to the MTV Staying Alive Foundation have benefitted from consultations and samples, nibbles and drinks – always provided by local businesses, including the likes of The Trading House and Halloumi, the new Greek tapas restaurant that laid on the refreshments at our blogger ‘do’.
As we get closer to Christmas though, the team will be turning their attention to the “children’s well-being” pillar of their philanthropic mission and their ongoing partnership with Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity. In store just now you can purchase a bear that will comfort a sick child and help them to learn about their condition and prepare for any procedures they have to face at the innovative Teddy Bears Hospital, while the team have also been offering free pamper sessions to patients and their parents as well as raising money by taking a team of dogs – including the blind but brilliant Alfie – on a sponsored walk!
What’s particularly excellent about Kiehl’s collaborative charity products is that they feature the very best of their product range. Ultra Facial Cream is an award-winning, bestselling product that I’ve personally been using as my nighttime moisturiser (and, in the winter, daily moisturiser) for years now: it’s a rich yet lightweight cream that easily absorbs into the skin. Featuring moisturising squalane and water-retaining imperata cylindrica (me either), Ultra Facial Cream has been road-tested in the harshest of weather conditions: in 2005, this was the product that kept the skin of first explorers to ascend Greenland’s ice-covered peaks protected from the elements.
It’s worth mentioning as well that Kiehl’s is so determined that you find the products that are right for you that they’ll offer you generous-sized samples, as well as a 28-day money-back guarantee on products that you’ve tried but that didn’t work out. They’re also, as I’ve written before, incredibly knowledgable about skincare – if you have time to pop into the Glasgow store for a full consultation I highly recommend it.
This post contains a PR sample, but all views are my own and unbiased. I’ve also donated what would have been the £10 from my pot to the MTV Staying Alive Foundation – if you would like to donate, text KIEH98 £5 to 70070.