Are people right to criticise Kylie Jenner’s new walnut face scrub?

In case you missed the biggest beauty news of the week: make-up mogul Kylie Jenner is expanding her empire with a new range called Kylie Skin.

Obviously, this is all about skincare, and the 21-year-old has already started teasing what products will be included. One of these is a walnut face scrub, which Jenner calls “my secret to a fresh face.”

She evidently realises that it’s a controversial skincare product, and says in a video: “Some walnut face scrubs are kind of harsh on the skin, this isn’t too abrasive,” adding it’s “gentle enough to use every day.”

Despite her disclaimer, social media immediately kicked off. Many people were outraged at the inclusion of walnuts – the ingredient list of the product hasn’t yet been revealed, but whether it includes walnut shells or powder, the general consensus online seems to be that it can be damaging for your skin by causing micro-tears and general aggravation.

It’s not only the ingredients which people have a problem with, but also the fact that Jenner suggests a physical exfoliant can be used every day.

So the internet has well and truly spoken, but what do the experts have to say about it? Well, they actually agree with many of the voices on social media. Dr Preema Vig, medical director of the Dr Preema London Clinic, says: “No matter how fine walnuts are crushed, they can still do damage to your skin. Walnuts are too abrasive for the sensitive skin on the face and can harm your skins natural barrier by causing macroscopic tears to your epidermis. This will also cause irritation and redness and can make acne scarring worse.”

Medical director of Cosmedics UK Dr Ross Perry agrees with this analysis: “Walnut shell powder has a reputation of being a relatively harsh exfoliator on the skin, and although exfoliating is a great way of getting rid of dead skin cells and unclogging pores, all skin types are different, therefore, harsh exfoliating ingredients can actually end up tearing the skin.” However, he does add: “With any abrasive products the more sensitive the skin is, the gentler one needs to be, so there is not one cream that will suit everyone. For some this may help, but for others it maybe too harsh and that’s down to each individual’s skin type.”

It’s important to recognise the position of power Jenner is in – she’s an icon for many young women and girls. Perry says: “Unfortunately because Kylie Jenner sports such flawless skin 24/7 and is a key influencer today, many fans will buy into the product in the bid to emulate Kylie’s perfect visage. However, this won’t suit everyone and could in fact end up causing irritation and tearing.”

And as many people on social media note, Jenner has a lot more money to spend on regular dermatologist appointments to keep her skin glowing – and she’s only 21, so her skin is likely to be plumper than most.

- Press Association

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