Was it premature for Kylie Jenner to expand her beauty empire to skincare?

Kylie Skin
Kylie Skin

When the youngest Kardashian-Jenner announced her new namesake beauty brand last week, the thought of prepping your skin for Kylie Cosmetics makeup with Kylie Skin products had many of Kylie Jenner's fans excited. 

Kylie Skin's official debut date will be on 22 May 2019 when six products will be available for all skin types.

The Instagram page for the new skincare line hit our feeds last Friday already, and has since garnered the support of more than a million followers. The launch of this skincare range is therefore a career move worth commending the 21-year-old billionaire for, because she is now expanding her highly acclaimed beauty empire.

READ MORE: Kylie Cosmetics has officially earned Kylie Jenner the world's youngest billionaire title 

The first post on the Kylie Skin Instagram page is captioned "It starts with skin", where we see a closeup filtered video of the brand's bare-faced founder applying some product to her face. 

Several more posts have since been made, exhibiting the lush-looking products in minimalist pink packaging. These include face wash, a vitamin C serum, eye cream, moisturiser and the now controversial walnut face scrub.

This full set costs $125 (about R1800), which is a reasonable price range for a typically high-end range of beauty products. 

READ MORE: It takes 17 products that add up to a total of over R65K to get skin like Kim Kardashian 

However, the manner in which Kylie Skin has been marketed has come under fire over the past few days. 

Misleading imagery

The first critique is about the fact that a hazy filter had been used in the new brand's first-ever video teaser.

Kylie wouldn't be the first skincare brand to market products using edited images, whether through the use of filters or the 'no makeup' makeup look.

Furthermore, it's not rare to see the face of a notable brand wearing foundation in campaign images, and that ultimately defeats the purpose because it inspires little to no confidence in the dermatological efficacy of the product range. Conversely, it creates unrealistic expectations about the results. 

Speaking of results, here's a Kylie Skin product that has raised many eyebrows. 

The highly contentious walnut scrub

The Kylie Skin post that has attracted the most backlash is the one where she sits clad in a robe in a pink Barbie-like setting, detailing the benefits of her walnut scrub. In this video, she explains how this scrub "is gentle enough to use every day," adding that she uses hers about two or three times a week. 

In the caption, the following ingredients and their benefits are listed:

Squalane - a highly-refined moisturizing oil from olives helps to strengthen and restore skin’s moisture barrier

Glycerin - helps balance the moisture in your skin

Sodium Hyaluronate - derivative of Hyaluronic Acid, hydrates and helps to plump the skin 

Blend of fruit extracts and fine walnut powder - to help gently exfoliate 

Ginseng Extract - helps energise the skin

While the transparency about ingredients and the disclaimer about it being fragrance free may be somewhat reassuring, the concept of a walnut face scrub is still a concerning one.

READ MORE: Revealing 7 truths about hyaluronic acid - plus, 3 must-have skin products containing this magic ingredient

Social media has not been shy to express their theories on how the young entrepreneur actually maintains her radiant skin given that she and her sisters have access to top cosmetic surgeons, dermatologists and aestheticians. 

But more importantly, the harmful effects of scrubs on one's skin - especially walnut scrubs - have been brought to the fore by both aestheticians and beauty bloggers, highlighting how they can cause inflammation and micro tears on the skin. This can even result in acne.

A respected Twitter account in the beauty community @MakeupForWOC, also shed some light on the damage nuts in skin products can cause;

Given that Kylie Jenner's foray into skincare has already sparked much concern from professionals and would-be consumers just days before it launches, can it then be suggested that the business savvy reality TV star is biting off more walnuts than she can chew with the inception of a skincare range?

Or can it be said that this is just part of the journey of being an entrepreneur - sometimes you won't get it right.

It would then appear that Kylie (and her team) made a combination of the mistakes new entrepreneurs reportedly make.

In this Forbes article, successful business owners shared their biggest mistakes, and from this, these are the three we think the Forbes cover star might be guilty of with Kylie Skin;

Making social media blunders

"Think twice before posting things to social media that you are unsure of." - Gregory Gopman, Photon Network 

We can't fault Kylie for not being a skincare guru - a lot of people aren't - but the backlash about the walnut scrub video is not misplaced, especially when you've positioned yourself as a beauty mogul who has the profits to show for it. 

READ MORE: Rihanna had every skin tone in mind when she "took over two years" to create that bronzer we all want

Trying to start a second venture

"Starting additional companies is a great thing when you're ready. If any part of your business can't function without your involvement, then you're not ready." - Christopher Tedder, Clinger Holsters 

Makeup and skincare may not be entirely mutually exclusive, but the latter does require a significantly more intensive process of creation.

With skincare you're dealing with both dermatology (how the skin reacts to the product) and chemistry (how the ingredients react with each other to yield optimum results), and this is why you can't have a blanket approach to it without taking into account your potential consumers' skin concerns. 

There is a reason why global skincare brands such as Eucerin work side by side with dermatologists, taking over five years to create a new product for the four different types of skin, rather than "all skin types" as Kylie Skin declares.

Starting off without knowing the basics

"The school of hard knocks works, but with all of the tools available from Eric Ries, Steve Blank, etc., there's no excuse anymore: Learn the basics first." - Charles Nick, Third Wave Water

From the second point above, it seems that Kylie didn't allow herself some time to learn the basics about skincare and dermatology. While we can definitely applaud her social media marketing acumen that has made her the beauty trailblazer that she is today, it's not too much to ask that she also takes time to do the groundwork for a venture as delicate as skincare.

With that said, there is one mistake listed in the Forbes article that Kylie Jenner hasn't made:

Allowing other people to bring you down

The biggest mistake I made as an entrepreneur happened when I allowed other people's fears, disbelief, and negativity turn into self-doubt and pessimism. Passion drives success. There will always be people willing to bring you down, for too many reasons to list, and the moment you allow them to affect your thoughts, your perspective or your self-belief, is the moment you will start to fail. - Sasha Rowe, Rivvly

And despite our concerns and critique, she shouldn't let the backlash get her down but learn from it instead.

READ MORE: These women CEOs are dominating the beauty industry - so why aren't there more?

There aren't enough women CEOs and founders in this multibillion dollar beauty industry even though women are its biggest consumers, so we're still on board with Kylie expanding her brand and inspiring her fans to one day do the same.

Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Luxity has released a report rating luxury brands according to popularity in South Africa. Which brand is your favourite?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
16% - 32 votes
11% - 22 votes
Dolce & Gabbana
13% - 26 votes
Louis Vuitton
24% - 49 votes
12% - 25 votes
25% - 52 votes