She gave a full rundown of all three products in Rihanna's upcoming skin-care launch.

By Renee Cherry
July 28, 2020
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Three days left until Fenty Skin launches and bank accounts across the globe take a hit. Until then, you can do some research to decide whether you want to try any of the new products. A great starting point is the brand's Instagram, where you can find the Fenty Skin prices and ingredient highlights for all three products.

There's also feedback from influencers who were lucky enough to be gifted the Fenty Skin collection before its launch. One such reviewer, esthetician and makeup artist Tiara Willis, wrote a Twitter thread with her thoughts on each product after using them for "about a month," according to her thread.

As an overall note, Willis wrote that the products contain fragrance, which didn't agree with her skin. "I have always been sensitive to fragrance on my face, so the Fenty Skin products broke me out in small red bumps and my face stung," she wrote. "I have dry, sensitive, acne-prone skin for reference!" (Related: An Instagram Troll Told Rihanna to Pop Her Pimple and She Had the Best Response)

But wait—don't call off your online shopping plans just yet. Most people aren't sensitive to fragrance in skin-care products, which Willis noted in her review.

Fragrance is, however, a common allergen among those who are prone to contact dermatitis. "Fragrance allergy is one of the most common causes of contact allergy year after year, as reported by the American Contact Dermatitis Society," says Jennifer L. MacGregor, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology. "They report that 3.5-4.5 percent of the general population and up to 20 percent of those with allergies who come into the doctor to do related skin tests have a fragrance allergy.

To make matters more complicated, even products labeled "fragrance-free" can contain common irritants. In fact, unscented products sometimes still contain chemicals that serve to mask unpleasant smells, notes Dr. MacGregor. "Products may be labeled 'fragrance-free' and/or 'all-natural' but contain botanicals that can be highly allergenic despite their 'natural' pleasant smell," she explains. "Dermatologists hate products with long lists of added botanicals or essential oils. The risk of developing allergic sensitivity to those products is very high." And as an FYI: While most cosmetics are required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to list their individual ingredients, fragrance ingredients can simply be listed as "fragrance" rather than the individual chemicals that make up the fragrance.

All this is to say that pinpointing exactly what you're sensitive to when trying new products can be an uphill battle. As a result, many people who experience irritation opt to stick to products that have a reputation as being dermatologist-recommended for sensitive skin in general. "To individually assess why a product has an adverse effect on your skin, you would have to speak with your dermatologist, who would have a more personalized assessment as to why your skin is reacting the way it is," says Annie Gonzalez, M.D., FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist at Riverchase Dermatology in Miami. "With that said, fragrances are often a culprit." She recommends trying a patch test before using new products. "People with acne-prone skin and those with sensitive skin or inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis or eczema should seek out fragrance-free products as a rule of thumb," she says. (Related: The Best Skin-Care Routine for Acne-Prone Skin)

It's worth noting that one of Rihanna's intentions with Fenty Skin is to offer skin-care products that suit people with skin sensitivities. "I'm a woman of color and I have a lot of sensitivity in a lot of areas on my face," she said in a promo video for the launch. "So I get really picky with products and a lot of times I get scared and cautious. So in developing these products, I really wanted to make sure that it felt comfortable, they were effective, credible for people who really know skin care, but also I wanted a product that worked."

If the ingredients play well with your skin, you might have zero complaints with Fenty Skin. Apart from the inclusion of fragrance, Willis loved "EVERYTHING else about the Fenty Skin line," she wrote in her review. (Related: Rihanna Revealed How She Maintains a Healthy Work-Life Balance)

She went through the line product by product, giving her thoughts on each. First up: Total Cleans'r Remove-It-All, an oil-free cleanser containing ingredients like vitamin C-rich Barbados cherry and antioxidant-rich green tea. In her review, Willis wrote that the cleanser didn't quite remove her makeup all the way (making it better-suited to act as part of a double cleanse), but on the plus side, "it does not strip the skin at all."

When it comes to the Fat Water Pore-Refining Toner + Serum, an alcohol-free toner-serum hybrid, Willis noted that she loves its ingredients, particularly niacinamide. Niacinamide (aka vitamin B3) is a much-loved ingredient among skin-care enthusiasts since it can play a part in neutralizing free radicals and improve discoloration.

Last but not least, Willis reviewed the Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer + SPF, which sounds like a real winner. "Zero cast. Rubs in BEAUTIFULLY," she wrote. "The consistency is sort of similar to Black Girl Sunscreen but not as thick." The 2-in-1 moisturizer and SPF 30 chemical sunscreen also has a pink tint to prevent the dreaded chalky cast. (Related: The Best Moisturizers with SPF 30 or Higher)

Considering the fact that Willis didn't find that the products agreed with her unique skin, she still seems to think pretty highly of the line. Rihanna really nailed makeup, and from the sounds of it, Fenty Skin is also about to be another hit.

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