I didn’t want to like Kim Kardashian’s face cream. I am decidedly not to catch up with the Kardashians, and why would Kim K become my trusted skincare guru? Besides, why one of the many celebrities who have co-launched, partnered, or founded lotion and potion brands over the past two years? Of course, Brad Pitt aged backwards in Benjamin ButtonHailey Beiber has skin that looks like a glazed donut, and Alicia Keys doesn’t need makeup, but I was still very skeptical of what they could do for me.
I’m not the only one looking sideways at these celebrities. The proliferation of star-led beauty brands over the past two years has elicited an understandable backlash. So I asked board-certified dermatologists Kavita Mariwalla, MD, and Ryan Turner, MD. to help me try eight celebrity lines and read the fine print on all the ingredient lists…our findings surprised us all. (Spoiler alert: I’m now a fan of Skkn By Kim.) We also learned that these brands have well-respected doctors and cosmetic chemists advising behind the scenes. Celebrities themselves don’t exactly wear lab coats and formulate lotions, but they have a part to play in the process, from thinking about what kind of product to create, to influencing the packaging design or sample the many iterations of a moisturizer.
Here are the eight celebrity products that have won us over the most.
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The Outset Gentle Micellar Antioxidant Cleanser
Celebrity: Scarlett Johansson
Both dermatologists loved this entire line, especially the gentle, fragrance-free, sulfate-free, jelly-like cleanser. “It’s a smart formulation with great moisturizers, including niacinamide, polysaccharides, and sunflower and safflower seed oils, which are biocompatible with the free fatty acids in your skin,” says Mariwalla. “It did a great job of removing makeup and mineral sunscreen without having to double cleanse.”
Skkn By Kim Face Cream
Celebrity: Kim Kardashian
I noticed an improvement in my complexion overnight after using this night cream. Was it Alfalfa Complex, which is described as “a natural retinol-like extract?” “While this ingredient has some antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory properties, it’s no fool for a retinoid,” says Mariwalla. So how did it make my skin look so good? “There are plenty of moisturizers included, like glycerin, squalane, niacinamide and beta-glucan, which will plump up your skin. It also contains postbiotics to help maintain a healthy skin barrier,” says Turner, who has also really liked this cream.
Loved01 Shaving Cream
Celebrity: John Legend
The Legend range is suitable for all skin types, but caters to skin high in melanin, with antioxidants and moisturizers that specifically combat dryness and hyperpigmentation issues. (The brand has board-certified dermatologist Naana Boakye, MD, as its director of dermatology.) “All formulas contain rosehip and sea buckthorn oils, which are rich in essential fatty acids and have powerful antioxidant benefits that help even skin tone,” says Mariwalla. She chose the foamy, moisturizing shaving cream, as did Turner: “Skin high in melanin tends to get razor bumps from coarser or tightly curled hair, and this cream is fortified with ceramides which help soothe and protect the skin.
Honest Stay Hydrated Hyaluronic Acid + NMF Serum
Celebrity: Jessica Alba
We all loved the milky feel of this water-based serum. In fact, “I found it to be much more hydrating than most HA serums,” Turner says. “It contains moisturizing plant oils and many really effective humectants, including hyaluronic acid, amino acids, sodium PCA, glycerin and arginine.”
JLo Beauty That Limitless Glow Sheet Mask
Celebrity: Jennifer Lopez
“This hydrating sheet mask is infused with Japanese rice sake and yeast-derived ferments, known to calm and plump the skin, and it contains excellent moisturizers, such as niacinamide and squalane,” says Mariwalla. (The two-piece mask also has loops that fold behind your ears so it stays in place.) When I removed the mask from my face after 20 minutes, I squeezed it – like I was doing orange juice – then I smeared the serum residue all over my face, neck and chest as an overnight treatment.
The Domaine Le Serum
Celebrity: Brad Pitt
“I actually think this formula compares to clinical, medical-grade antioxidant serums,” says Mariwalla. “Exclusive ingredients are backed by science.” The Domaine’s patented GSM10 (grape-based antioxidant cocktail) and ProGR3 antioxidant complex were developed by a team of doctors. “ProGR3 is a combination of powerful natural antioxidants, including apigenin from chamomile tea, catechin derived from green tea, and resveratrol from grape skin extract. Studies show that resveratrol can have an effect protective against aging and the breakdown of protein structures in DNA called telomeres. Essentially, it can help delay deterioration,” says Turner.
Keys Soulcare truly becomes a multi-benefit peptide serum
Celebrity: Alicia Keys
Each Keys Soulcare product has a positive affirmation on the bottle. (The one on this serum: you rise above it.) We liked this post And effective ingredients. “The tripeptide-1 in this formula is an amino acid that helps promote collagen production, which can help firm skin over time. It also contains hydrating hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and good plant-based ingredients,” says Mariwalla.
Rhode Peptide Lip Care
Celebrity: Hailey Bieber
This three-piece line is a Gen Z favorite. It has board-certified dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali and renowned cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson on the advisory board, who is on the excellent ingredient list for each product. “I love that there’s a peptide in this moisturizing lip balm, and this one in particular, palmitoyl tripeptide-1, has scientific evidence that it helps promote collagen growth,” says Turner, who also thought it moisturized well and “gave lips a healthy look.” – looking at the reflectivity.
Gina Way is a writer and editor specializing in beauty, health, and lifestyle content. Her work, from beauty articles to celebrity interviews, has been featured in _Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, O The Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple and Cosmopolitan, among others. She also writes digital content for The Cut, Well + Good, Refinery 29 and Vogue.
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