Let’s get cynical: celeb skincare from Kylie Jenner to Emma Chamberlain

In recent years, attention to skincare has skyrocketed, with the best products, routines and brands becoming a persistent topic of interest on social media. While most of us have been fixated on serums, moisturisers and scrubs, a new gap in the market has opened; a gap for celebrities to slither in and endorse their own-branded products.

From Victoria Beckham to Kylie Jenner, Emma Chamberlain to Pharrell, there now exists a whole host of celebrity skincare lines – and, unsurprisingly, they tend to do incredibly well. We see social media posts in which dewy, bare-faced celebrities are proudly holding bottles with their own names on them, and the meaning is implicit: if you use this product, you too can look like this. If you have clear, smooth skin, you too will be attractive. “I’m just like you,” they simper, pointing to an infinitesimally small pimple: “I get acne, too.”

There are of course still swathes of people who don’t fall for their narcissistic endorsements, and it has been revealed to multiple millionaire entrepreneurs that their products aren’t all that good. Kylie Jenner came under fire for a walnut facial scrub that was too harsh for the delicate skin of the general populace. Rihanna’s Fenty Skin endeavour was criticised for including potentially irritating fragrances. And no one believed Jennifer Lopez when she claimed her beauty was au naturel.

At the risk of sounding too cynical, the beauty industry always has its eyes on consumers with the most insecurities, where get-beautiful-quick schemes will have the most effect. With the spotlight particularly on Gen Z, celebrities are in a unique position of power. They have influence over millions of people who are constantly being bombarded, over social media, with impossible standards of beauty.

Maybe Millie Bobby Brown does have a passion for skincare, and Emma Chamberlain really does admire new brand partner Bad Habit for being “honest, unapologetic and realistic”. Ultimately, a celebrity skincare product is a money-making machine, and we, the consumers, should be wary of the results they offer. After all, it seems suspicious that multi-millionaire Kylie Jenner can claim such bountiful success from her $24 foaming face wash. 

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Ally Fowler

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May 2022
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