Welcome to Glam Room, our beauty destination where we put celeb-founded beauty brands to the test. As A-listers continue to launch new ranges on the regular, we’re using our beauty editor expertise to sniff out which products from the line are worth the hype—no lies, no publicists, no ads. Our latest contestant: SKKN BY KIM, created by the reality star, entrepreneur, and lawyer-to-be Kim Kardashian.
For all the hate the Kardashians get, from an entrepreneurial perspective, I’ll admit it: I’m a Kim K fan. Put me in Skims and I’m a happy girl. So while the onslaught of celebrity skincare brands irks me, when Kim launched her line, SKKN BY KIM, I didn’t have the immediate groan reaction that *cough cough* other lines have elicited.
You may be wondering: why the hate towards A-lister skincare brands specifically? Well, while I may raise an eyebrow at a new makeup line, ultimately, those products speak for themselves–they either work or they don’t. But celebrities have access to a wide array of in-office skin treatments that will always work better than a pricey cream. So it begs the question: when an A-lister launches a skincare line, did the products help their skin, or did the lasers and peels do all the work?
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And full disclosure: skincare is tricky to test–and even trickier to review. What works for me may not work for everyone. So I have decided to review SKKN on four fronts: texture, packaging, ingredients, and my skin’s reaction to them. And with that, we’re off.
As it stands, SKKN has nine products: a cleanser, an exfoliator, a toner, two serums, a moisturizer, an eye cream, and two skincare oils. I tried every product in the line, but I eventually narrowed down my testing to suit my skin type and needs. Ultimately, I decided to test these four products: the Night Oil, the Exfoliator, the Face Cream, and the Hyaluronic Acid serum. For context, my skin is acne-prone and dry–an un-fun combination that makes me crave intense moisture while simultaneously fearing it.
My acne-prone skin really shouldn’t be slathered in oils, but I crave the signature Kim K glow she sports when going makeup-free. The Night Oil is a heavier version of SKKN’s Oil Drops and is made with a whopping 14 different oils, including jojoba, sweet almond, apricot kernel, and sunflower seed oils. My skin definitely had that hydrated sheen to it post-application, and most importantly, this oil didn’t pill my other skincare products–my greatest pet peeve. I wouldn’t recommend this product to acne-prone people, but if you veer on the drier side, give it a go! If you have $95 lying around, that is.
I’m so delighted that we’re re-embracing the occasional physical exfoliation. We were all traumatized by harsh walnut scrubs in the early ’00s, so now there’s a whole generation that is re-discovering that impossible smoothness that only a scrub can give you. I love the texture of the SKKN Exfoliator and the effects are instantaneous. Round grains prevent excessive scratching on the skin, and because it’s a wash-off treatment, the included grapeseed oil shouldn’t clog your pores if you follow up with a second cleanse. My one qualm? I lost the accompanying spatula that scoops out the product, and the tub is oddly deep. The more I use the exfoliator, the more it feels like I’m conducting an archeological dig.
Because my skin is in a retinol- and benzoyl peroxide-induced state of extreme dehydration, I’m always on the lookout for new moisturizers. This cream is definitely intense: it sunk into my skin after a few minutes, but left behind a dewy finish that I love. When I first saw the ingredients, I noticed some of my favorite non-clogging hydrators, including glycerin and squalane. While there were some ingredients that as an acne-prone person, I avoid in moisturizers (like shea butter, for example), I would’ve been happy to recommend this cream until I saw coconut oil listed as an ingredient. If you never break out, Godspeed. For the rest of us mortals, I offer you this warning: coconut oil is notorious for clogging pores and causing acne. Use at your own risk!
Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Hyaluronic acid serums may seem straightforward, but when they work, they work. SKKN’s version feels lightweight and smooth, before drying down into the skin. While some other hydrating serums can feel like you’re just applying water, SKKN’s version deeply hydrates, both in the short-term and the long-term. I prefer to apply this serum on slightly damp skin post-cleansing to reap the most benefits. When your skin is moist, hyaluronic serums lock in the moisture for extra hydration. For acne-prone users, remember that this serum contains a small amount of grapeseed oil. However, even for my skin type, this serum felt lightweight and non-clogging.
In the world of skincare, instant satisfaction is very rare. The SKKN BY KIM Exfoliator makes it an every day (or every other day) experience. Since the return of physical exfoliators, I’ve made it my mission to try as many scrubs as possible. I’ve tried harsher versions that feel like I’m sandpapering down my skin, and gentle ones that,t for all I know, do nothing at all. The SKKN version meets the middle ground I haven’t found yet: it smooths rough skin without sensitizing my skin, scrubs without stripping, and hydrates without clogging. For $55 (and $47 for a refill), this is definitely a luxury product, but one I believe is worth the money.
All in all, purely due to my specific skin type, the SKKN Exfoliator is the only product from the line that will stay in my routine. I don’t feel like the line is completely safe for acne-prone people–every single product uses an oil as an ingredient, for example. And that’s totally fine! For anyone whose skin type is similar to mine, I recommend checking your skincare ingredients on this online pore-clogger checker, created by celebrity aesthetician Biba de Sousa, before putting them on your face. There are plenty of products I feel comfortable using on my skin, and for anyone whose primary concerns are signs of aging or dryness, I think SKKN absolutely has consequences for you. And Kim, if you ever want to come out with an oil-free collection, let me know!
Beauty Commerce Writer
Tatjana Freund is a Beauty Commerce Writer, covering makeup, skincare, and haircare products and trends. She’s a fan of vodka tonics and creepy Wikipedia pages.