Celebrity Skincare Brands: Do They Deliver A-List Results?

6 December 2023

Experts Weigh in on the Efficacy of Celebrity-Backed Skincare Products

In the world of celebrity skincare launches, it seems like everyone from Hailey Bieber to Brad Pitt and Idris Elba is trying to ride the wrinkle-busting bandwagon. According to Business Insider, as many as 25 celebrities and influencers have launched beauty or skincare products in the last three years. But does having a Grammy or millions of social media followers mean these superstars understand the complexity of formulating a skin-transforming serum? We’ve teamed up with experts to find out whether the latest star-powered brands will give you an A-list looking complexion.

Fenty by Rihanna:

USP: All about pores. Price: From £11
Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty brand, with a reported annual revenue of over £477m, has been among the most successful celebrity beauty brands. Expanding into skincare in 2020 with Fenty Skin, the brand focuses on treating, smoothing, and tightening the look of pores. The range includes over 30 products, with the recent lip oil selling out online and in stores.

Expert Insights:

Skincare chemists Gloria Lu and Victoria Fu praise Fenty for its accessible price point, solid ingredient lists, and data to support their claims. Dr. Sophie Shotter, an aesthetic doctor, highlights the inclusion of beneficial actives like niacinamide, salicylic acid, and AHAs. However, she cautions against the presence of fragrances that can cause micro-irritation for some individuals.

Fenty offers hard-working formulas that address specific skincare concerns like hydration and hormonal spots. While it may not be suitable for sensitive skin, those looking to tackle pores and uneven skin tone can find effective products within the range.

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Soul Keys by Alicia Keys:

USP: Psychodermatology. Price: From £12
Soul Keys, founded by Alicia Keys and dermatologist Renée Snyder, aims to forge a connection between mind and skin. The brand encourages consumers to transform their skincare routine into a ritual and includes affirmations with each product. The range features basics like niacinamide and hydrating ingredients like coconut and olive oil derivatives.

Expert Insights:

Skincare chemists commend Soul Keys for its affordable price point and inclusion of beneficial ingredients. Dr. Sophie Shotter highlights the inclusion of polypeptides in the serum to preserve skin elasticity. The beauty journalist finds the products calming and luxurious, with the Smoothing Vitamin C Eye + Expression Lines Cream providing noticeable results.

Soul Keys offers gentle and nourishing products that focus on the mind-skin connection. While more clinical data on certain ingredients would be beneficial, the range provides a soothing experience for those struggling with skin sensitivities.

Rhode by Hailey Bieber:

USP: All about hydration. Price: From £16
Hailey Bieber’s Rhode skincare range gained significant attention, with 100,000 people joining the waiting list for the Peptide Glazing Fluid. The range, designed in partnership with dermatologists and chemists, aims to provide a glowing and dewy complexion.

Expert Insights:

The chemists acknowledge the expertise of chemist Ron Robinson behind the brand but express confusion about the inclusion of certain words like ‘milk’ and ‘fluid’ in the product names. The absence of occlusives for locking in moisture may make the range questionable for dry skin. However, the Glazing Milk’s ingredient blend, including ceramides, is praised for its moisturizing properties.

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Rhode offers a range of products that provide hydration and a dewy finish. While the hype surrounding the brand may have raised expectations, the Glazing Milk and lip products are standout performers.

Le Domaine by Brad Pitt:

USP: Antioxidants. Price: From £62
Created in partnership with the Perrin family, Le Domaine emphasizes antioxidants in all its products. The range includes cleansers, serums, and creams, with a focus on preserving skin elasticity and preventing photo-aging.

Expert Insights:

The high price point is attributed to the proprietary antioxidant ingredient blend, but more data and clinical studies would be beneficial. The inclusion of resveratrol, derived from grapes, is praised for its potential in preventing UV damage.

Le Domaine offers a range of products with an emphasis on antioxidants. While some products may not warrant the cost, the Cream provides impressive results in reducing fine lines and improving overall skin appearance.

The Outset by Scarlett Johansson:

USP: All about sensitivity. Price: From £10
Scarlett Johansson’s The Outset brand aims to provide a solution for sensitized, problem skin. The fragrance-free range focuses on gentle, barrier-nourishing products designed for healthy skin.

Expert Insights:

The chemists commend The Outset for its clear formulation structure and gentle, well-rounded products. While consumer perception studies support the range’s efficacy, the absence of clinical testing is noted. Dr. Sophie Shotter highlights the need for more evidence on certain ingredients’ effects.

The Outset offers a line of gentle and nourishing skincare products suitable for sensitive skin. While more clinical data would be beneficial, the range provides effective solutions for those struggling with sensitivities.

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S’Able Labs by Idris and Sabrina Elba:

USP: Melanin-inclusive skincare that’s sustainable. Price: From £23
S’Able Labs, created by Idris and Sabrina Elba, offers melanin-inclusive skincare products that pay homage to their African heritage. The range includes cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and a serum, all sourced with social responsibility in mind.

Expert Insights:

The range’s data includes consumer perception tests and clinical studies, although the results are not specified. The chemists note the presence of beneficial ingredients like AHAs and antioxidants. The skin doctor highlights the hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties of the products.

S’Able Labs provides a range of melanin-inclusive skincare products that celebrate African heritage. With a focus on sustainability and social responsibility, the range offers effective solutions for all skin tones.


Celebrity skincare brands have flooded the market in recent years, but not all products deliver on their promises. While some brands like Fenty and S’Able Labs offer effective solutions with solid ingredients and data to back them up, others may fall short. It’s essential to consider individual skin concerns and preferences when choosing skincare products, regardless of celebrity endorsements.

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