You’ve probably heard a lot about Kim Kardashian’s new skincare line, SKKN by Kim.
It first entered the news cycle just by virtue of being Kim’s brand. After shutting down KKW Beauty and KKW Fragrance, everyone wondered what Kim would do next. Surprisingly, her popular apparel brand Skims gets rave reviews for quality and comfort. So when she launched SKKN, she inevitably made headlines.
SKKN claims to be “an innovative line of uncompromising skincare developed by Kim Kardashian. Through a visionary nine-product ritual, SKKN By Kim delivers nourishment, renewal, and an indulgent at-home experience.” But what is it, really?
The packaging claims to be sustainable but was accused of greenwashing. Womp womp. The nine-piece collection also raised eyebrows for its price range, with products ranging from $43 to $95. The full collection includes a cleanser, toner, exfoliator, a hyaluronic acid serum, vitamin C8 serum, a face cream, an eye cream, oil drops, and night oil. It’s a luxury line, she said in defense, so expectations were high.
Because at this point, celebrity brands are ubiquitous. Even Brad Pitt, who allegedly didn’t wash his face twice a day until his twenties (ew), has a new skin line. So what’s Kim bringing? Just her name? Her beige packaging — which is practically all she brought to her Beats collab?
In SKKN’s press release, she stressed the quality of materials and the dermatology-first approach. “What began as a psoriasis diagnosis became the catalyst for my journey of skin-care discoveries, inspiring me to learn more about my skin and how to care for it,” she said. “Working with some of the top dermatologists and estheticians over the years has given me the incredible opportunity to learn from their expertise, and I knew I had to share my learnings.”
SKKN has been around for a few months now, so we can safely say we’ve had a chance to sit with it and get past the hype to give you a real review.
So is it worth it? Our editors say … no.
Though it isn’t just another flop celebrity brand, there’s nothing special about it. And now, with Rhode Skin making headlines for introducing unique, versatile products at an affordable price point, SKKN products aren’t bringing anything new to the table.
So what should you buy instead? We’re breaking down each reason you might have been tempted to add SKKN products to your cart or your wishlist — and what you can get to scratch that itch instead.
All products featured are independently selected by our editors. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.
You might think SKKN is reasonably priced…
With skincare, I’m not afraid of paying higher prices for higher quality. But most SKKN products are pretty mid and their ingredients are nothing noteworthy (more on that later). The markups are a result of good marketing and Kim K’s affiliation with the brand. I don’t know about you, but I’m not down with the Kim tax.Brands like The Ordinary have proven how accessible it is to get high efficacy ingredients at an affordable price. But if you don’t want to do the work of decoding which ingredients at The Ordinary work for you, try brands with lower price points, similar clean ingredient values, and overall better products. We like the skincare offerings from Kosas or Indie Lee
AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling SolutionThe Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is an exfoliating facial developed to help fight visible blemishes, clear pore congestion, and improve skin radiance.
Kosas has partnered with The Skinny Confidential to bring you a super exclusive skincare duo. Plump + Juicy Vegan Collagen Spray-On Serum fast tracks clean, active ingredients into skin. The Skinny Confidential Hot Mess Ice Roller locks in the serum, massages, and cools.
COQ-10 Toner, Brightening Cleanser, and Squalane Facial OilThe perfect starter kit for the skincare obsessed. This travel-friendly set includes a full clean skincare ritual. Great for Indie Lee first-timers or jet setting veterans.
You might think SKKN is prestigious because it’s made by Kim Kardashian…
Hate to burst your bubble, but very few “celebrity” brands are made by the celebrity. I’m sure you didn’t think Kim was in the lab cooking up your cleanser, but she probably wasn’t very involved in much of the ideation process either. She simply wrapped the products in her signature beige with her name on the label. And there’s not much that’s prestigious about that.
And I don’t know about you, but I haven’t heard a single peep from the digital skincare community about any of her products in the past few months. I personally like to buy products that have the prestige of positive reviews. If stores I trust have picked them up, I know I can trust the quality. And if beauty lovers have actually integrated them into their routines, I know they work. I bought the Kosas Serum Spray — which is a novel product and unlike anything else I have — only after I’d heard about it from multiple different sources. And I am loyal to Indie Lee because it’s stocked in clean beauty stores I love and every product I’ve tried has worke. To me, that’s real prestige.
Plump + Juicy Vegan Collagen Spray-On Serum
Brighten up with this best-selling antioxidant-rich cleanser, makeup remover and mask in one. Strawberry Seed Oil, hydrolyzed Wheat Protein and Tomato extracts exfoliate and nourish for hydrated, silky and luminous skin.
You might think SKKN contains only good ingredients…
SKKN, like many other brands, is actually full of filler ingredients. While it may “be certified clean” (which isn’t a regulated term so has no real value) and gluten free, the ingredients are pretty unremarkable. Nothing sets SKKN apart from any other brand in terms of formulation. And the efficacy isn’t even that strong.For products with actives like SKKN Vitamin C serum, I would definitely opt for something stronger and better. The Indie Lee CQ-10 Toner is a cult-favorite brightening powerhouse with more complex brightening ingredients. It’s also trusted by stores that specifically ban many harmful ingredients, so there’s more pedigree to its ingredients than a meaningless label.