KARDASHIAN fans hoping for complexions like Kim, Kourtney, and Kylie are being duped into buying their skincare products, a dermatologist has claimed.
And she says the pricey beauty offerings by billionaires Kim, Kourtney, and Kylie are riddled with marketing ploys.
Dermatologist and author Dr Frayne Frey told The U.S Sun: “I’d never in a million years buy the Kardashians' skincare products, plus there's absolutely no reason to spend this kind of money on skincare.
"While others think they're going to look like Kim Kardashian because they use her products, the only person on this planet who's going to use her products and look like Kim Kardashian is Kim Kardashian.
“Marketing needs to be honest, straightforward, and data-driven, where companies include ingredients that are safe, where there’s full disclosure and simple language on labels.
“Some of these Kardashian products are created using marketing tactics where the consumer judges them based on the marketing but the ingredients are incomprehensible so these skincare products are blind items to them.”
Over the last three years, Kim, Kourtney, and Kylie have raked in heaps of cash after heavily immersing themselves in the lucrative skincare space.
Kylie Jenner kicked off the family's spinning process in 2019 with the launch of Kylie Skin, followed by Kim’s debut skincare line KKW, and then a new, revamped line, Skkn by Kim, which launched this August.
Two months later, Kourtney rocked up with her own Poosh line that hit the shelves this fall.
“All three lines are very different, with Kylie Skin having the lowest price point, Skkn by Kim is very costly, and the last one, Kourtney's Poosh line, is just full of essential oils,” says Dr Frey.
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“Regardless, all three skincare lines have marketing issues as when you look at what they seem to claim to do, it’s often incorrect.
“The biggest example is Kourtney’s Poosh line, where she claims she has an oil for acne.
“She can't claim by law to treat or prevent a [condition] like acne using a cosmetic.
“So, Kourtney is getting close to an infringement here, although she didn't say her product treats acne, and she didn't say it improves acne, she says it's ‘for’ acne.
“This is taking a market share of people struggling with acne, and she wants to sell to them when they’re reading her labels quickly without knowing the law, and without knowing what’s allowed.
“I would read that this product is going to cure my acne.
"In the US, cosmetics cannot intend, by law, to change the actual structure or function of the skin, and while manufacturers know this, the consumer doesn't.
“I've been a dermatologist for over three decades, have been studying skincare formulations and ingredients and chemistry for almost as long, and understand how skin barrier function works, how we hydrate our skin.
“The skincare industry is a wonderful industry, but the problem is, those very same companies that are making these great products are also making products that have claims on them that aren't always realized and these are blind items for the consumer.”
CONFUSED BY KYLIE
Kylie Jenner’s foray into cosmetics and skincare kicked off in 2015 when she launched her first makeup line before joining forces with Khloe, Kim, and Kris for additional lines along the way.
In 2019, Kylie began to capitalize on her massive makeup business successes with Kylie Skin, which included a face wash, scrub, moisturizer, serum, eye cream, and product bundles.
“Out of the three Kardashian skincare lines, Kylie Skin, is the least expensive, but there are a couple of problems with it,” explains Dr Frey.
“First, if you look at Kylie’s Night Skin Bundle, it has a facial moisturizer in it, but this isn’t a night cream per se, because ingredients don't know the time of day.
“Night creams are just another way to sell more products without having sunscreen in them and I always joke, if you work the night shift, do you need a day cream?
“Kylie offers her night bundle and a headband with it, so it’s not cheap.
"And when I looked at the ingredients in her facial moisturizer, she has water, an emollient called isopropyl pomegranate, a lubricant called pre-prandial — which is a good humectant — and the shea butter and occlusive, which is all going to act well as a moisturizer.
“But it's not a separate night cream at all, and if you then look up her night routine, that includes five different products from the night bundle, which means she has marketing issues.”
SHOT BY KIM
Skkn by Kim launched this August and was said to be a rebrand of KKW Beauty, which Kim Kardashian closed suddenly in 2021.
Of her new line, the 43-year-old has said she'd chosen experts like celebrity facialist Joanna Czech, who advised her on creating this expensive and glam new line of beauty products.
“The products I was using that were comparable were way more expensive … I tried to get the quality for the best price that we could,” she told the New York Times after the product launch.
“When I first looked at Kim’s skincare line, I was blown away by the price. And because she only has nine products and they're all very expensive, you can't even get a deal,” says Dr Frey.
“I arbitrarily picked one product, her eye cream, but what you must realize about eye creams is that they're formulated just like other moisturizers. And remember the law: this product can't really change the structure or function of the skin around the eye because it's a cosmetic.
“Kim’s eye cream is priced at $75 for 15 milliliters, so that's half an ounce or about half of a shot glass, which is about $2,400 per pound.
“If I look at the ingredients, there’s water, Citral alcohol (which is a waxy solid and an emulsifier that keeps the oil and water together), alcohol benzoate (which is an emollient), glycerin (which is the humectant), and then shea butter (which is a nut extract from a shea tree), and so these five ingredients probably constitute 90 percent to 95 percent of this product.
“It's not a bad moisturizing formulation as it’s got humectants in it, which draw water to the surface of the skin and water is prevented from evaporating, but I wouldn’t spend $2,400 on this product.
"If I Google these five ingredients, I can find another one on Amazon for seven dollars.
“There are some peptides that act as preservatives and oils which make the skin feel good, but oils aren't great moisturizers, and a lot of people are allergic to oils, so I’d stay away from them.
“I know people think they're great because they're from plants, but I guarantee you, there’s no daisy extract in your skin, and your skin doesn't want daisy extract.
“Again, there's no correlation between what you spend on a product and how well it works, and there's no added benefit number.
"Consumers need to know that because these are cosmetics, by law, they don't intend to really change your skin.
"They also need to know that a good moisturizer creates an environment where your skin can optimize its own water content, and so it doesn't add water to the skin but allows your skin to maintain its water by losing less water."
OILED BY KOURTNEY
Kourtney is the latest Kardashian sister to jump on the bandwagon and has introduced her skincare line on her new lifestyle website, Poosh.
Her line contains products including a cleanser, toner, exfoliator, and eye cream, all of which the reality star said is “clean, cruelty-free, vegan, and thoughtfully formulated without gluten, sulfates, phenoxyethanol, BHT, and PEGs.”
“The Poosh skincare line products are almost all made up using oils or essential oil extract," says Dr Frey.
“I looked at the Oil-less Oil Moisturizer and it lists three ingredients, including jojoba oil, which is an emollient and makes the skin feel soft.
“There's an ingredient called Dodecane, which is an oily liquid that's vegetable derived which is an oily kind of liquid, but it's also alkaline, so I don't know that you could technically call it an oil, but it acts like an oil.
“And then there's vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps preserve the shelf life.
“I've tested jojoba oils and many others, and they're just not moisturizing and don't increase the hydration of your skin.
“The eye cream she has also has jojoba oil, virgin coconut oil, frankincense, peppermint oil (which, by the way, people react to), peppermint, and lavender, another high-content oil.
“A lot of people have allergies to lavender, so this isn't a good moisturizer at all, and while it may feel good, the risks of allergic contact dermatitis are too high.
“Kourtney has good skin, but her followers would probably buy her products thinking they can have her kind of skin, whereas they don't realize there are a lot of oils in her products which they could be allergic to."
Despite her criticism, Dr Frey says she doesn't "want to throw anyone under the bus."
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“My goal in my new book is to advocate for and educate the consumer and hopefully the consumers will drive this industry, the marketing, and the companies to make better products and products that people want, which are based on health, not on beauty," adds Dr Frey.
“There's no need for anything to be expensive as there's no correlation between what a product costs and how well it works.”
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