Celebrities with massive amounts of clout, skilled advisors by their side and considerable assets at their disposal have all the odds in their favor. This is especially true when it comes to developing their own businesses. We’d even dare say that famous people have little excuse for not getting things right, which is why it’s particularly funny when something goes wrong. Kylie Jenner, the 21-year-old billionaire makeup mogul and mother behind the wildly popular (and sometimes controversial) beauty line Kylie Cosmetics, recently announced that she’ll launch a skincare line called Kylie Skin on May 22.
This pivot makes total sense due to the recent explosion in mainstream popularity of rigorous skincare routines. Trendy serum-peddling brand Glossier is one of the fastest-rising companies in the world, and it’s currently valued at $1.2 billion. However, Jenner caused an outcry among skincare nerds this week when she announced on Twitter that one of the key products in her routine is a walnut face scrub and that she recommends using it “two or three times a week.” Kylie, noooo!
A brief aside: Skincare is a science. Part of the fun of developing a strategy that works for you is figuring out that some products that do the trick for people with oily skin may not work well for people with dry skin, and so on.
However, pretty much everyone who’s obsessed with skincare knows that certain products just aren’t good for anyone’s skin. One of them is St. Ives Apricot Scrub. Although this goopy, gritty substance nominally sloughs off dead cells and cleanses your pores, plaintiffs have alleged via a lawsuit that the crushed walnut powder in it actually damages delicate facial skin. So now Jenner has gone ahead and put walnut in her scrub?
Meanwhile, some experts are entirely opposed to scrubs. “Scrubs are a primitive way to exfoliate,” New York dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross told The Cut in 2018. “It’s like using sandpaper on your face. If you look closely at the sandpaper surface, you’ll see lots of scratch marks, and that’s what happens on the skin.”
In lieu of a granular scrub, some dermatologists suggest using something like an exfoliating acid pad very sparingly—i.e., once a week—in order to buff away dead skin and improve the texture of your face.
To sum up this controversy, Jenner’s mistake was to develop a product that any skincare enthusiast worth their salt would recognize as an outdated method of exfoliation. Hopefully, the foaming face wash, vanilla milk toner, moisturizer, serum and eye cream she’s hawking will get a better reception.