Rihanna’s highly-anticipated Fenty Skin has announced its initial launch products and the skincare world is quaking.
Packaged in sleek dusty grey bottles from largely recycled materials, Fenty Beauty’s new skincare sister is launching with three staple products: a gel-to-cream cleanser, a toner-serum hybrid, and an SPF 30 moisturiser. In a reveal video posted to the brand’s YouTube page, Rihanna makes note that all products are oil-free, vegan, and cruelty-free. The SPF is also coral-reef friendly.
The brand announced Monday that products will be available from Wednesday 31st July. This announcement also meant Fenty Skin ambassadors, who have been trialing the products for the past month or so, were given the green-light to share their experiences with the products.
And let’s just say…things got heated.
While many gave the products glowing reviews— namely, the cleanser for cleaning skin without leaving it tight or dry and the SPF for being “invisible” and “lightweight”— others were more critical of the new range for its obvious fragrance.
The debate began Monday night when beauty influencer and licensed esthetician Tiara Willis of @MakeupForWOC tweeted her review in a lengthy thread, writing that fragrance in skincare “can be problematic for some.”
“Fragrance sensitizes the skin due to it volatile properties (even in small amounts),” she tweeted. “Which is why it’s the #1 cause of contact dermatitis.”
Tiara explained that she had a reaction to the fragrance, saying it broke her out in small red bumps across her face. The influencer also noted that not everyone will have an adverse reaction to fragrance and of course, it comes down to personal preference. She said this was a challenging review to write, as she loves everything else about Fenty Skin and is so appreciative of Fenty’s support.
You can read her full thread here.
Tiara’s honest feedback sparked discourse across the beauty community, with fans voicing their opinions on fragrance in skincare and Fenty’s decision to include fragrance in their range.
Many also note the contradiction of including witch hazel in a hydrating product like the Fenty Skin FAT WATER toner-serum. Though it contains several antioxidants that benefit the skin, witch hazel has developed a controversial reputation over the years for its drying effect thanks to one of its main chemical groups called tannins. In short, tannins decrease the look of pores initially, however long-term use can lead to sensitized skin. Witch hazel is also known to contain ethanol which can impair the skin’s surface.
However, skincare expert and Fenty Skin ambassador Sean Garrett addressed some of the backlash, explaining that witch hazel as a single ingredient is problematic, however when incorporated into a formula it “is completely different.” He says FAT WATER is hydrating and doesn’t have “drying protestors” like pure witch hazel.
Fenty Skin’s offical Twitter account backed this up, explaining that FAT WATER contains witch hazel distillate, listed as “witch hazel water” on their ingredients list. Fenty says witch hazel water is alcohol-free so FAT WATER will not strip skin of hydration.
As always, skincare is never a one-size-fits-all, but if you’re sensitive to fragrance, we recommend possibly skipping this collection for now.
Sign up to get exclusive access to Fenty Skin the minute it launches here.