Scientists, Skinthusiasts and a Dermatologist Review FENTY SKIN
If you are a skincare junkie like me, you might have seen your favorite influencers and glorified undisclosed Youth to the People sales rep skincare "specialists" roll out their videos demonstrating and recommending Rihanna's FENTY BEAUTY ahead of its official July 31 launch. Most reviews are very enthusiastic, calling the $75 line (if you purchase the cleanser, toner and SPF moisturizer in a bundle) a great introduction into skincare. Many consumers, however, have pointed out the clear bias in the reviews because 1) they were sent PR packages and 2) the same influencers have criticized celebrity competitor lines (notably Kylie Skin) for the same or less (sketchy formulations, quick cash grab).
Rihanna stanning aside, here are reviews from smaller Youtubers who weren't sent PR and are inclined to focus on formulations:
April Basi, a cosmetic chemist
Cleanser: not a fan of coconut surfactants because they can be problematic.
On fragrance: appreciates the brand's transparency on fragrance being 1% of the formulation but because "fragrance" is an umbrella term and with there being so many functioning groups that make up fragrance, it could still be irritating
In general: a lot of antioxidants but wishes there were more actives; moisturizer/sunscreen is her favorite product from the line
Valento/ValentoSkincare, Biological Scientist
Does a head-to-head comparison of FENTY SKIN vs KYLIE SKIN
Toners: wonders why Fenty skin contains witch hazel, which could be drying. wishes Fenty skin disclosed % of niacinamide. Doesn't like toners from either brand
Cleansers: prefers FENTY
SPF: Most important step so appreciates that Rihanna launched with an SPF in her starter kit, but KYLIE Skin's SPF is better because it's fragrance-free and is likely to perform the same w/o irritation risk
Overall, doesn't think FENTY skin is suitable for acne-prone or sensitive skin types
Sarah Cheung, a reliable influencer
Gushes over the gender-neutral and environmentally-conscious marketing
Likes the simplicity of the line
Biggest negative from the line is the fragrance. Recognizes that this complaint can be obnoxious in the skincare community but many people aren't educated on the risks so they can't make informed decisions. It's important because the market overwhelmingly uses fragrances and people with fragrance sensitivity/sensitive skin in general cannot opt out. The merits of using fragrance does not outweigh potential risks.
Fat Water Toner is her least favorite product because of the witch hazel.
Is opened to trying the SPF moisturizer.
Dr. Dray, an actual specialist Summary
Criticizes the "insider" marketing
Touted exotic ingredients like the Barbados cherries, fig and raisin tree aren't revolutionary, are actually very common in skincare and/or unlikely to do much
Niacinamide is a good, evidence-based ingredient but it's a dime-a-dozen in many other affordable skincare lines
Does not think the cleanser will be a good "all in one" cleanser like it claims
Echos aforementioned concerns regarding fragrance in skincare and witch hazel
The SPF Moisturizer is not worth the $35 pricetag because it uses outdated UV filters to be in compliance with US FDA regulations. There are better alternatives on the market at better value w/o fragrance.
More on SPF: "Coral reef safe" is gimmicky marketing because lab studies are inadequate and haven't establish a direct link yet. The focus should be more on climate change.
More criticism on marketing: being "environmentally conscious" means not coming out with yet another skincare line that would just create more waste while not offering anything new to the market