Skincare products are my jam. I take my job as BAZAAR.com’s beauty director very seriously—and by that I mean I will try anything. I’ll happily sacrifice my skin in the pursuit of becoming an all-knowing encyclopedia of all things beauty: I love a lot of products and feel meh about most others. Because for a skincare product to be genuinely great in my book, it has to have a killer combination of chic-but-functional packaging, top-notch ingredient standards, and results that are both instant and cumulative over time. So I was intrigued by Kylie Skin, the latest beauty venture by 21-year-old non-dermatologist Kylie Jenner. My Instagram inbox was already buzzing with questions about the line: Is it good? Should I try it? What should I buy?
I received a PR set of Kylie Skin products a day before they launched. In my box was the Foaming Face Wash, Walnut Face Scrub, Vanilla Milk Toner, Vitamin C Serum, Face Moisturizer, and Eye Cream. I didn’t receive the Makeup Removing Wipes, which is fine, because I’m personally anti-face wipe. To see how the Kylie Skin products truly performed, I decided to swap out all my usual skincare products for the beauty mogul’s new line for an entire week. Below are all my thoughts. (For the record, my skin is fair, combination, prone to whiteheads and redness, and reactive but not particularly sensitive.)
If I’m being honest, my expectations for Kylie Skin were low. Formulating skincare products is tough; you’ll never please everyone. One person might love fragrance in their cream while another person is allergic. Some of us need an oil-free moisturizer while others like to slather their face in rich oils. Skin care is extremely personal and nuanced—but the Kylie Skin products seemed to be a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. With only one eye cream, one cleanser, one serum, one moisturizer, one toner, and one scrub, I knew the products were going to be basic and gentle. Which isn’t a bad thing.
Overall, the Kylie Skin products are pleasant and easy to use. If you’ve tried your fair share of skincare products over the years, some of the formulas will feel familiar. The Foaming Face Wash reminds me of Caudalie’s Instant Foaming Cleanser. The toner is like a vanilla-scented version of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Toner, which was once Jenner’s go-to skincare line. I was most underwhelmed by the face scrub and the face wash. I don’t think you need to spend over $20 on either when there are so many options—including fragrance-free ones—at the drugstore. But on the whole, the Kylie Skin products are like a simplified skincare routine template. They don’t address any one issue like fine lines or acne, but instead aim to make all skin types simply hydrated, clean, and fresh.
Though they’re not groundbreaking, the Kylie Skin products perform. By that I mean my dark circles looked drastically less noticeable after just a week of using the eye cream twice a day. Even though I had traveled to Florida and back over the long holiday weekend, my eyes were less puffy overall. I spent the last seven days covering my face in various sunscreens, which always makes me breakout, but my skin stayed relatively calm and spot-free all things considered. The lines around the sides of my mouth were also less noticeable. After a week of using Kylie Skin, my face feels hydrated, soothed, and plump. I’m excited to see what the results look like after a month, though I’ve already added other brand’s products back into my routine. There are always new products to test.
Every Kylie Skin product is free of parabens, sulfates, and gluten. They’re also all vegan, cruelty-free and dermatologist-tested. Several products contain added fragrance, most noticeably the toner and face wash. I’m going to do a top line breakdown of each product’s key ingredients below. If you’re looking to get in a chemistry fight about the merits of certain forms of lipid-soluble vitamin C, go to Reddit.
Let’s talk about the walnut particle-sized elephant in the room: the Kylie Skin scrub. The internet exploded when Jenner announced that her Kylie Skin face scrub relied on walnut as an exfoliant. Fans were quick to say her scrub was nothing more than a pricier version of the drugstore classic St. Ives Apricot Scrub. Dermatologists have long cautioned against using scrubs with naturally-derived physical exfoliants like walnut and apricot, since the jagged edges can lead to micro-tears in the skin. I used the scrub once in my week of trying Kylie Skin. It was…fine. My skin didn’t turn red at all, but it did make it baby-soft to the touch. Use it once a week or twice a month if you happened to buy the Kylie Skin set that includes the scrub. But I wouldn’t seek it out when there are plenty of walnut-free scrubs and chemical exfoliants available at any drugstore these days (just look for one without microbeads, please).
The Kylie Skin serum infused with vitamin C, an essential skincare ingredient for brightening up dark spots, boosting collagen production, and adding free-radical antioxidant protection. It doesn’t smell like old pennies, which if you’ve used some potent and pricey vitamin C serums before, you know exactly what I am talking about. The second ingredient after water is Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, a form of vitamin C that is easily absorbed by the skin. It’s also known to be less irritating than other forms of vitamin C, making it better for sensitive or reactive skin. Other ingredients in the serum are hydrators like glycerin, safflower seed oil, and panthenol, as well as antioxidants like ferulic acid and green tea leaf extract. This serum is a win in my book—it’s gentle enough to use every morning and absorbs quickly into skin, so you can move right on to moisturizer and makeup. If you’re looking to add a vitamin C serum to your routine and don’t mind spending a bit more than what you’d find at a drugstore, pick this up.