Rihanna’s highly anticipated Fenty Skin trial kit made its debut in December in European Sephora stores. I followed all the news updates ever since the line’s first release in July 2020, excited to see a skincare brand releasing a line with ingredients that are potentially good for sensitive skins too. I was also personally was excited at the prospect a truly universal skincare line.
In all honesty, I’m not a fan of the trend of celebrities putting their names on skincare, makeup, and haircare brands. However, I was a fan of JLo’s makeup and fragrances back in my high school and college days, and I’m in love with Fenty Beauty lip products, so I’m starting to be less jaded on the topic. I think Rihanna has brought something new to the table: inclusion. Considering sensitive and rosacea/couperose are always left out of any brand plans and communication, I had high hopes for the queen of inclusion’s own skincare brand.
You can imagine my dismay when after only five days of test, I heard some of my beauty instagrammer friends also had less-than-favorable feedback of the brand’s first three products: Total Cleans’r Remove It All Cleanser (22.95€), Fat Water Pore-Refining Toner Serum (24.95€), and Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer (33.95€). My grape is actually mainly with one of the products only, but I heard my friends (who have very different skin types) were having my same problems, especially with the cleanser. Even though I was initially excited by all the hyaluronic acid, anti-oxydants, and niacinamide, I had to learn a big lesson the hard way: it’s never the single ingredients – it’s always about the whole formulation.
Delving deep, and asking for some chemists and pharmacist friend’s help on cracking up the really hard ingredients code, I could come up with some decisive opinion on Fenty Skin especially relating to couperose and rosacea skin.
Is It Well Formulated?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, just as there’s no one-size-fits-all product. With that being said, maybe the biggest problem’s the brand’s claim of it being a universal range.
Because truth be known, my friends and readers, as a marketer myself I have to admit that since skincare isn’t well-regulated, brands can make claims without any research. I’m not saying that all brands don’t do research before claiming, as most skincare brands for rosacea are pharmaceutical rather than cosmetic, and they do tons of research before they can claim something. But with beauty and department store skincare…well that happens all. The. Time.
In this case, I believe all the good ingredients listed in the brands claim do less action than the rest of the ingredients in the formula, which ended up in the Cleanser inflamming my skin badly.
The strong scent was a thrown off for some people, not particularly for me because I loved the acerola smell (the so-called Barbados cherry’s real name). However, fragrances so strong are particularly risky for sensitive skins (rosacea, eczema, contact dermatitis for instance), that tend to react to them.
The current Fenty Skin line is not all-inclusive. Skincare requires tailoring based on the person’s needs and concerns, and in case of rosacea (as for acne and drying) this line just isn’t enough.
Are all products bad for rosacea?
The cleanser was the product I had the highest hopes for. Its consistency is creamy and it lathers up pretty well. However it’s definitely not enough to clean all makeup, if you wear more than powder and one layer of mascara, and it it dries rosacea, combination, acne and of course dry skins (test conducted from me and a group of other 3 instagrammers for a month). My skin was left stripping a lot and it inflamed my rosacea in a way I hadn’t seen in years. I had to stop using it after two weeks. I reviewed it in details on my Instagram HERE.
The toner, I enjoyed throroughly. Of course, due to the Witch Hazel I only use it on my cheeks and nose, where I have enlarged pores. I’m guessing there’s a lot of niacinamide, because I had never seen my pores that small before.
The moisturizer with SPF is good overall. I like the consistency and the fact it’s not a gel formula. The spf is a nice touch for rosacea skins, though it’s nothing new, so I don’t know what the big deal is. The smell’s divine. Too bad it will definitely inflame the most sensitive skins and it’s overall not good for rosacea.
Overall, as far as rosacea is concerned, I’d only put my money on the toner. If you’re like me, your pores are very enlarged and they’re one of your biggest problems. This toner makes them really small.
The line’s not inclusive in the sense that it doens’t really work on all skin types, the scent’s too strong and fruity to suit everyone. Also, it’s not a minimalist routine, as it’s definitely not self-sufficient: the cleanser itself cannot work as a makeup remover, and the moisturizer isn’t hydrating enough to be used alone on dry skin.