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Founded in 1851 as a full-service pharmacy, this Manhattan institution has been in the same East Village location, selling many of the same formulations, since day one. Today, the clean, modern boutique (which also boasts a small café) focuses solely on skin and hair care. Customers of all ages come from far and wide for such highly effective and timeless staples as Kiehl’s lip balm, crème de corps, Blue Astringent formula, men’s shaving system, and unisex musk fragrance; a line of baby products—all pediatrician-tested and made with purified oils—and a small selection of lipsticks and glosses are also popular. The brand continuously develops and adds new products to keep up with customer demand and scientific advancement, creating lines like Dermatologist Solutions and Abyssine that are particularly cutting edge. Beyond their products, Kiehl’s is also known for their focus on customer service: The company does no advertising, relying instead on word of mouth, complimentary in-store consultations and, not least of all, their famously generous sampling practices, which sends unsure customers home with mini-sizes of whatever they want. Intense training teaches lab-coated customer reps everything about the products and allows them to match potions to patients, but there’s never a hard sell—Kiehl’s lets the product speak for itself.Extra
Kiehl’s also makes an Equine Line of horse-care formulas, in addition to a Canine Line of products for washing dogs.
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Best of New York: Health & Self
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.