I’ll Admit It: I Was SO Ready to Buy Kylie’s Skincare Line
Everyone's going ~nuts~ for the moguls latest walnut face scrub—but we should be asking some serious questions
Another day, another Kardashian/Jenner enterprise launches—and another few hundred dollars make their way out of my wallet. Whether you love them or hate them (or a little bit of both) the KarJenenners are undeniably a force, and tbqh I’m caught up in their path.
On May 11, the youngest KarJenner/Stormi’s mom, Kylie Jenner, announced that she’s set to launch her latest venture, a skincare line called Kylie Skin, on May 22.
Announcing the impending launch on her Instagram, Jenner wrote, “KYLIE F*CKING SKIN! wow. skincare and makeup go hand in hand and Kylie Skin was something i dreamt up soon after Kylie Cosmetics. I’ve been working on this for what feels like a lifetime so i can’t believe I’m finally announcing! building my makeup line from the ground up has taught me a lot and I’m so blessed with that knowledge to apply to my brand new company!”
The makeup mogul also revealed that the products are cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free, paraben- and sulfate-free *and* suitable for all skin types. All of which is to say, Kylie Skin *sounds* like the perfect skin care line for everyone.
Obvs, Jenner made the announcement alongside a seriously gorge photo of herself, in which her skin looked dewy AF. That was the deciding factor: I. wanted. everything.
And that’s a problem.
I was ready to purchase—without the facts
When I say I was ready and raring to purchase Jenner’s latest products, I mean ready and raring. And I hadn’t even heard *anything* about what was in said products. It could have been poison for all I cared!
That’s because it seemed to have everything I was looking for. Millennial pink packaging? Check. An aesthetic as minimal as KKW’s bathroom sinks? Check. Buzzwords like glycerin, sodium hyaluronate and ginseng? Don’t really know what those are, but check, check and check. And most importantly, the Kylie Jenner seal of approval? Check times a million. I was legit salivating.
And that in itself was a bit concerning. Like many fans, I have a very contentious relationship with the KarJenner clan. On the one hand, I am a firm believer that by this point, they have earned their celebrity. Repeat after me: Making a business empire out of a scandal is a talent!! Kris Jenner is an under-appreciated business mogul! But I also find the majority of the fam problematic AF. From their comments on other women to their promotion of laxative teas to their continuous cultural appropriation—they’re just a lot.
And yet, I also want to purchase *a lot* of what they hustle—including Kylie Skin.
Was I immediately “in” because the impending skincare line has been tested and approved as A+ by dermatologists? No. Was it because Jenner has become known for her skincare expertise? No. It was straight up because a celeb—and a popular one at that—was hawking it, and people were talking about it.
And the facts are not-so-great
Shortly after her announcement, Jenner faced backlash. While this is inevitable when it comes to the KarJenners, this time the backlash was pretty warranted. A lot of people took issue with Jenner’s walnut face scrub in particular—and it’s not because they hate walnuts (or “fine walnut powder”—one of the main ingredients). While Jenner says her scrub is “gentle yet very effective,” “buffs away your dead skin cells,” and that she herself swears by it, using it two to three times a week, Twitter users called out the makeup mama for using walnuts at all—alleging that they can cause micro tears in your skin, especially when used every day.
PSA: don’t buy Kylie jenner’s walnut skin scrub. Walnuts and other nuts are too abrasive to exfoliate your face and instead you end up with micro tears on your skin. Which leads to wrinkles and premature aging.
— k-hole kardashian (@drnkbleachdaily) May 12, 2019
And, for once, the internet is right. According to Dr. Lisa Kellett, a dermatologist at Toronto’s DLK on Avenue, walnut powder *can* be an irritant, depending on your skin type. “Those particles in [walnut powder] can be irritating for many skin types, so it really depends on the individual and also what you need at that moment in time,” she says. Especially because some skincare lovers may have underlying issues or skin diseases like eczema, she says, skin issues that can preclude them from using certain products. “[…So] it might not be appropriate for many people,” she says.
PS, walnuts and skincare may sound familiar to longtime beauty buffs. That’s because in 2016, everyone’s fave accessible beauty biz—St. Ives, duh—was embroiled in a class action lawsuit filed by two women who claimed their product, which included walnut shells, caused irritation and accelerated the aging process.
When it comes to following the advice of celebs like Jenner, Dr. Kellett has some advice of her own: “The best way to find out what is the best thing for you is to have an in-person examination. [Have a dermatologist] examine your skin, see what your skin issues are and then recommend what [products] you can use—and, most importantly, things that you cannot use, because there are some things that would not be advisable to you.”
We love to listen to celebs
But Jenner is far from the first celeb to preach the gospel, and I’m far from the first to (nearly) succumb to it. Because as ashamed and conflicted as I may feel for thoughtlessly worshipping at the shrine of Jenner skincare, I know I’m not alone. As a society, we’ve become *super* prone to following the word of celebs as fact—and nowhere more so than in the beauty and health sphere.
If KJ is the newest in beauty and wellness, we have to give it to the OG, the patron saint of vagina steams, Gwyneth Paltrow. Since starting her lifestyle and wellness brand GOOP in 2008, Paltrow has advocated everything, from women steaming their vaginas to inserting jade eggs in to them—both of which have been discredited by doctors, btw. Nevertheless, her brand is still thriving.
There are a lot of reasons why we’re so prone to mimicking our favourite celebs. First of all, that’s the nature of celebrity, right? Those “below” them (ie: fans) want to emulate them. Looking at studies dating all the way back to 1806, researcher Steven Hoffman found that humans are wired to imitate the people they admire. Known as the “self-esteem motive,” Hoffman told CBC that people purchase products endorsed by celebs who match how they want to perceive themselves. SparkNotes: KJ has gorge, glowy skin and is a successful mogul and I want the same, so if I buy her skincare line, I’ll be seen the same way.
It’s the same reason influencer marketing seems to work so well; us plebes are perpetually looking to compare ourselves to those we perceive as superior as a means of measuring our own worth. And then we do whatever it takes (ie: buying Aimee Song’s newest—and TBH overpriced—drop for Revolve) to achieve a similar status.
And celebs bank on this: In a July 2018 New York Times profile, Paltrow spoke to this phenomenon, saying the idea behind GOOP was to make it possible for fans to “have what [Paltrow] had”—at the same price point.
KJ’s and Paltrow’s positions at the top of the upper echelons seemingly gives them authority—whether actually warranted or not. And I *feel* it. You’re talking to a Snoop Dogg hater who once walked by Snoop Dogg at a football game and literally could *not* breath. In that moment, I would have 100% taken skincare advice FROM SNOOP DOGG (honestly, I’m just waiting for his CBD-infused skincare line to launch).
And tbqh, it’s bullsh-t
Following celebs’ beauty and wellness advice is seriously not it, for *so* many reasons. For one thing, as much as we’d like to believe their glowy skin indicates authority on the latest beauty and wellness trends, our fave celebs aren’t necessarily involved in the R&D of the products they promote. Jenner may stick her name on any and everything tangentially related to her “brand” (next up: hair prods and a baby line), but how much behind-the-scenes knowledge does she actually have? Last we checked, she’s not a chemist.
But also? Celebs’ can’t always credit the products they promote for that glowy skin. Sure, Proactive may (and I seriously stress may) have helped clear up Kendall Jenner’s acne, but you know what likely also had something to do with it? Money.
I could seek that perfect Kylie glow by buying her products (which may also seriously destroy my pores, nbd), but I’ll probably never achieve her skin, much less her overall look, because that sh-t takes a lot more than a new face scrub. Think, facials, a specific diet, a discreet cosmetic surgeon—all things that all come with a particular type of access and privilege.
If you really believe that Kylie Jenner’s skin looks the way it does from using her new skincare line, then you deserve the consequences of a walnut face scrub
— Kelli✨ (@kelli_michelle7) May 13, 2019
So needless to say, I’m going to hold off on purchasing my Kylie Skin products. Instead, I’m going to try another, likely healthier, technique to get glowing skin: Drinking lots (and lots) of water.
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