First impressions: Everything you need to know about the 3 debut Fenty Skin product releases

Fenty Skin models. Images via @fentyskin Instagram account
Fenty Skin models. Images via @fentyskin Instagram account
  • Fenty Skin officially launches exclusively on on 31 July 2020, but early access customers have been able to shop as of 29 July.
  • This week, the skincare brand announced licensed aesthetician Sean Garette, as their ambassador and released their first three products which include toner serum, cleanser and sunscreen.
  • However, the revelations that the products are fragranced has already resulted in mixed reviews. 

Anyone else receive their early access Gmail this morning? I did! And although I won't be shopping any of the products for now due to the fact they're scented, I'm just happy to feel like I'm part of Rihanna's inner circle. 

The release of this new skincare range has been one of the most anticipated in the global beauty community this year, as the Fenty Beauty founder's fans support all her well-considered business ventures - from lingerie to shoes to sunscreen.  

Speaking of sunscreen, let's jump straight into the first three items skin aficionados can now look forward to adding to adding to their cosmetics bags.

And with nothing over R600 for now, the price points for a high-end cosmetics brand can be said to be affordable. 

Servin' the Start'rs 

All products are declared "CLEAN – VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE", on the site. Let's read all about 'em!

Total Cleans'r: Remove-it-All Cleanser, $25 (R412) 

fenty cleanser

Product description:

Makeup wipes? Cancelled. This 2-in-1 makeup remover-cleanser gives you the delicious deep clean you deserve: Its creamy lather removes dirt, oil, and longwear makeup without stripping or drying. 

(The ingredients listed include various fruit and leaf extracts such as fig, acerola and coconut.) 

Tell me more:

Not washing your face? We’ve got a problem. Take it from Rihanna, the most important step for good skin is to remove your makeup before you sleep. This cleanser makes it self-care, not a chore.

- Removing it all is a breeze — we’re talking longwear makeup, plus oil, dirt, and pollution.

- The feel-good formula transforms from a cream to a decadent lather and won’t strip skin or dry you out.  

- Purifies pores and helps fights shine long after you’ve rinsed it off

- Made with antioxidant-packed Barbados cherry and coconut-inspired cleansers to treat skin right

- Smells like cherries and coconut

In a consumer study on 54 women, after one use:

- 98% of users agree it thoroughly cleanses & refreshes skin

- 98% of users agree it cleanses pores

- 98% of users agree it removes dirt & oil

- 92% of users agree it removes makeup 

READ MORE: Experts share an open secret about preventing winter damage to your skin - yes, it involves water

Fat Water Pore-Refining Toner Serum, $28 (R462)  

fenty toner

Product description: 

A 2-in-1 toner-serum combo that targets pores, improves the look of dark spots, brightens, smooths, and fights shine — all without stripping skin.  

Tell me more:

What do you get when you combine the benefits of toner and serum in one? This universal game-changer snatches pores and dark spots, and has a unique thick texture we bet you haven’t felt before — it’s Rihanna’s fave step in her routine for a reason.

Toners help your pores look tighter and control oil, serums deliver powerful ingredients that target skin concerns like dark spots: This toner-serum combo does both. 

Get better, brighter skin, and then some:

- Pores look smaller, skin looks clearer

- Dark spots are less visible and your skin tone and texture evens out over time

- Instantly reduces oil and keeps you from looking shiny all day

- Its unique thick texture absorbs instantly; just pour it into your hand to apply. No cotton pads needed = less waste

- It’s got all the perks of a serum, too: Nourishing hydration leaves skin smooth, plump, and replenished — never stripped, dry, or tight

- Smells like a sweet blend of cherry and sun-kissed fig

(Ingredients listed for this toner serum also include fruit and plant extracts for fragrance purposes.)   

In a clinical and consumer study on 54 women, over eight weeks of use:


- Reduces oil on skin

- Improves the look of pores

Over time:

Reduces the look of dark spots

Over one week:

- 96% of users agree it leaves skin feeling fresh 

- 94% of users agree it absorbs quickly

- 94% of users agree it purifies and softens skin

- 94% of users agree it improves skin clarity

- 93% of users agree it brightens skin

- 94% of users agree it creates healthy-looking skin

- 93% of users agree it leaves skin looking more even

- 91% of users agree it plumps skin with hydration

Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturiser Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen, $35 (R577)  

fenty sunscreen

Product description: 

This 2-in-1 sunscreen and moisturiser is lightweight, oil free, and truly invisible on all skin tones. It claps back at dehydration, discolouration, dark spots. Makeup-friendly, too: No pilling and zero flashback. Refillable. 

Tell me more:

The #1 most important thing for healthy-looking, glowy skin? Hydration + sun protection—Every. Damn. Day.

- Light-as-air, all-day hydration meets universal SPF 30 protection

- Pink-tinted cream applies invisibly on all skin tones—we’re talking zero chalkiness 

- Plays well with makeup: It absorbs instantly to smooth and soften skin without looking or feeling greasy. Plus, it won’t pill or ball up!

- No flashback, either.

- Boosts and brightens skin, too, making pores, fine lines & wrinkles less visible (instantly + over time)Reduces the look of dark spots, too

- The plush texture and fresh desert melon scent will make you want to apply every day

- Sleek, refillable packaging 

In a clinical and consumer study on 52 women, after eight weeks of use:


- Hydrates

- Improves the look of fine lines and wrinkles

Over time: 

- Reduces the look of pores

- Reduces the look of dark spots

- Improves the look of fine lines and wrinkles

- Improves skin’s firmness and elasticity 

After one week:

- 100% of users agree it softens skin

- 100% of users agree it doesn’t pill under makeup

- 98% of users agree it works well with makeup, allowing for effortless application

- 96% of users agree blends invisibly with their skin tone

- 96% of users agree it leaves skin feeling smoother

READ MORE: Hyperpigmentation still a leading skin concern among black women - but experts say it can be treated

Alternatively, you can purchase the full Start'r kit at a discounted price of $75 (about R1200) as part of their 'opening special'.  

Earlier this month, Rihanna dropped a teaser video on the Fenty Skin Instagram account, where she was seen using these Start'rs that are now available to shop. 

Rihanna has reportedly been working on Fenty Skin as far back as March 2019 when she filed a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The beauty mogul is known for having a thorough, meticulous approach to all her business ventures – both beauty and fashion. Last year she revealed that she took over two years to create the Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk'r Instant Warmth Bronzer as she had every skin tone in mind. 

READ MORE: Rihanna to launch Fenty Skin this July - But you can shop these 9 local beauty brands while you wait 

This is why - despite this week's small critique over the products being fragranced - we believe the next offering will be fragrance-free given the fact that Rihanna and her team have established a good reputation for always taking their customers' feedback into consideration.  

Why is fragrance in my moisturiser so bad anyway? 

Leading international professional skincare brand, Paula's Choice explains best as follows;

"The way most fragrance ingredients impart scent is through a volatile reaction. Unfortunately, this natural reaction almost always causes a sensitising reaction on skin. In fact, research has established that fragrances in skincare products are among the most common cause of sensitising and other negative skin reactions. And this is true for all skin types, not just those with sensitive or redness-prone skin." 

"You might very well be thinking that because your skin doesn't show signs of being bothered or aggravated by the fragranced products you’re using, then it must not be a problem that applies to you. We wish that were true but it’s still a serious concern because skin is very good at hiding when it’s being aggravated. You might not see the damage on skin’s surface, but it can be silently occurring every day, causing minor problems for your skin in the short term and worse problems in the long term." 

Paula's Choice further notes that it's not always possible to decipher with your naked nose when a product has been artificially scented, saying "the product may have no aroma because the fragrance is included to mask the odour of the real skincare ingredients which don’t smell agreeable. Ironically, the fragrance is added so the product has no discernable scent."

They also add that "many beneficial skincare ingredients (antioxidants, for example) have a natural fragrance, and some of them even smell great."

Distinguishing potent antioxidants that defend skin from the environment from those that are simply added to make you "shop with your nose" is therefore not easy. 

What's in a name? 

In terms of the packaging, the products are exactly how we predicted they'd be in the article above, where it was said that "it would appear at first glance that Fenty is aboard the elegant, minimalist, understated train with the likes of The Ordinary, Glossier, Byredo, Clinique, Dermalogica and Alex Carro," where what's prioritised are simply the product and brand names on each item.

The SPF 30 sunscreen is especially impressive with its cylindrical design and eco-friendly appeal of being refillable after use. 

All product descriptions and images sourced from the Fenty Skin website

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