The Skin Nerd: Is Kylie Skin set to be a kult klassic or miss the mark?

Kylie Jenner revolutionised the makeup industry, but her take on skincare is a bit abrasive.

Say what you will about the Kardashian-Jenner clan but we all know that there is something to be respected about an entire family who boldly do the unexpected.

Today, Kylie Jenner has launched her very own skincare range, Kylie Skin, available via kylieskin.com, and although it is not outlandishly dissimilar in industry to Kylie Cosmetics, her makeup line valued at $1 billion dollars by Forbes in March, it is still a different route than many anticipated Kylie would take when expanding her cosmetics empire.

The skincare industry is growing and growing and people are now actually investing in their faces and understanding the value that skincare can have not only for how they look but for their skin’s health. Because of this skin boom, it makes sense that we’re going to see more celebrity-founded skincare brands.

Victoria Beckham is set to launch her own beauty brand later this year which is said to span across skincare, fragrances, makeup and wellness, and Rihanna registered a patent for Fenty Skin at the end of March.

What does this mean for the beauty consumer?

In my opinion, it means that we’re going to have to put our sceptic hats on and hold celebrity-led brands to the same scrutiny as we would any other brand.

Prior to the announcement of what the Kylie Skin range is comprised of, every corner of the internet was a-buzz with rumours of cutting-edge chemical exfoliants, highly-potent serums and lip products - Kylie is known for her luscious, pillowy, OTT-in-a-good-way pout, always painted to perfection.

So, when the actual range, featuring a walnut face scrub and face wipes (yes, really) alongside a foaming cleanser, a vanilla milk toner, a moisturiser, a vitamin C serum and an eye cream, was dropped, people were confused and I had a full body cringe-shudder.

The skindustry is a crowded house at the moment, with consumers expecting absolute innovation and doing their research on what is beneficial for the skin and what isn’t. Personally, I don’t fully understand how Kylie and her team came to the conclusion that a face scrub and face wipes would cut the mustard for these savvy skincare obsessives.

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Sensitive skin is *not* a skin condition or a skin type, per se. Yes, you read that right! Sensitive skin is more of an umbrella term that covers things like skin that is naturally easily irritated due to hereditary factors, eczema, rosacea, psorasis and other factors too... For the most part, when brands (or hoomans) say sensitive skin, they're really saying skin with a protective barrier (which is made up of fats) that easily becomes compromised or is naturally not as strong as it should be. A "wonky" barrier means that products and irritants (like dust) can have more of an effect on the skin - hence sensitivity. Some ingredients are less likely to irritate sensitive skin (for example, fats or fatty alcohols, natural carrier oils such as jojoba oil or sunflower seed oil, hyaluronic acid) whereas other ingredients can sometimes be very irritating for sensitive skin (for example, some strong exfoliating acids, perfumes, essential oils, drying alcohols). The more you know, eh?! Book in for a consultation and join the Nerd Network for advice on which ingredients to run to and which to avoid for your sensitive skin. . . . #sensitiveskin #theskinnerd #nerdietip #rosacea #redness #skintips #skinadvice #skincareroutine

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I am far from the only one who preaches religiously against the use of physical exfoliants like scrubs and the use of face wipes. It’s not news that chemical exfoliants are much preferred as they don’t Brillo-pad the face off you when used properly, or that face wipes actually don’t remove much at all and sensitise the skin.

Aside from the fact that the mark has been missed, you may say there is no harm in releasing products like this. I would politely disagree. Kylie Jenner’s fan base, and the prospective customers of her thankfully $30-or-under skincare range, are predominantly teenagers and the youngest of young adults.

When we talk about teenage skin at The Skin Nerd, our focus is usually to get teens into good skincare habits - cleansing properly, making sure their skin is hydrated and nourished, and explaining how exfoliation actually works.

With Kylie Skin’s products being, let’s face it, potentially damaging to skin of any age, and with Kylie’s influence being so massive, this may cause an epidemic of young visages stripped of their protective barrier and open to redness, skin dehydration and irritation.

That being said, the rest of the products are to be expected. Vitamin C serums are a skincare staple recommended by dermatologists, skin experts and beauty editors alike due to their antioxidant and skin brightening benefits, and a foaming face wash is, well, a foaming face wash.

The lesson to be learned is not every brand is going to do their research and, unfortunately, the onus at the end of the day is on you as the person with your Visa at the ready.

The Nerdie Pick

The Cleanse Off Mitt (€5.95, available from pharmacies and salons nationwide and www.cleanseoffmitt.com) Disclaimer: The Cleanse Off Mitt® is my own creation. However, the whole reason for its existence was because I was determined to bring a skin-friendly, affordable alternative to makeup wipes to the Irish market.

You just dampen your COM with lukewarm water and work it across your face gently in circular motions to remove your makeup including waterproof eye makeup. Follow it up with a cleanser for a clean yet happy skin. Side note: it will be very handy indeed come festival season.

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