In the two weeks since Rihanna announced Fenty Skin on Instagram, the post has been viewed more than four million times. Comments like “MY QUEEN” and “My skin ain’t ready for this gift” abounded, and when I tried to log on to the brand’s website ahead of the line’s July 31 launch, there was so much traffic I had to wait to get in.
But while Fenty Beauty fans are undoubtedly excited about the launch, the question remains: What do skin pros have to say about the line’s first three products? Spoiler alert: They live up to the hype.
Fenty Skin’s initial rollout includes a gentle cleanser, a toner-serum hybrid, and an SPF moisturizer—three basic products that make up a solid skin-care routine. Rihanna has been outspoken about the fact that the line is “for everyone,” regardless of their age, gender, or skin situation. “Fenty Skin is everything I wish I had back then,” the singer-turned-beauty mogul said in a press release. “I wanted it to feel approachable, easy, and to take the pressure off choosing a routine, so I created one for everyone.”
And according to licensed esthetician Simedar Jackson, she’s succeeded…and then some. “When it comes to the basics that you need in a routine, you absolutely need a cleanser, some kind of hydrating product, and moisturizer and SPF—those are the bare bones of whatever you’re doing, and that’s what she’s given us,” says Jackson. “Making sure you’re properly hydrating your skin is really important, and while I’m sure she’ll come out with more products, this is a great place to start.”
Here, she weighs in on why the products really are just as great for everyone as Rihanna set out for them to be.
Cleansers are short-contact products since they’re really only on your skin for 60 seconds, so what you really want to look for is something that will properly cleanse your skin without stripping it. And according to Jackson, this one fits the bill. “Hydrating ingredients, antioxidants, and vitamin C are all important for supporting skin health and the daily functioning of the skin,” she says. It’s got cherry, green tea, and fig, all of which are rich in free-radical fighting antioxidants, plus ginkgo biloba and quince to condition and clarify skin.
To help simplify your skin-care routine, Riri turned toner and serum into a single step with this double-duty product. “You can think of your serums as what’s doing the heavy lifting—they have a more concentrated amount of active ingredients, are going to be on your skin for a longer period of time, and are what’s going to be penetrating [more deeply] and treating your skin concerns… and a toner [like this] is going to return any hydration or other essential nutrients to the skin if you’ve used a drying cleanser,” says Jackson.
Thanks to niacinamide, this one does both. “It’s a heavy-hitting ingredient that’s essential to the general functioning of the cells,” says Jackson, explaining that it stimulates the natural synthesis ceramides, aka your skin’s natural moisturizing factor. Niacinamide also helps with acne, hyperpigmentation, and oil, and also acts as an antioxidant, making it helpful for all skin types.
Sunscreen options that work with darker skin have historically been limited, which is why giving consumers something that would work with all tones was a high priority for Rihanna. “It’s no secret that sunscreens have been difficult for darker skin tones, so having an SPF moisturizer that straddles the line between a true SPF and a moisturizer is one approach to challenging white cast and giving darker skin tones a chance to be protected without walking around like a ghost,” says Jackson, noting that she will definitely be investing in this product for herself.
The lotion has SPF 30, which is what derms recommend you should be wearing everyday. It, too, is made with niacinamide, so it reinforces your skin barrier while defending it from UV and environmental damage. However, since SPF moisturizers generally tend to be slightly less protective than actual sunscreen, if you’re dealing with hyperpigmentation or melasma you may want to layer a mineral-based product on top for extra protection.
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