Kim Kardashian has cornered nearly every market, so it was just a matter of time until she entered the skincare game. Her latest venture, SKKN BY KIM, launches today. The nine-step system is anything but pared down. However, each product is pleasantly approachable. There's a cleanser, toner, exfoliator, hyaluronic acid serum, vitamin C serum, face cream, eye cream, oil drops, and night oil. Any of which can be slipped into your existing routine—extensive or not.
"I've worked with some of the top dermatologists and estheticians over the years and have had the incredible opportunity to learn from their expertise," Kardashian tells Byrdie. "I knew I had to share what I've learned to help bridge the gap between these experts and people at home seeking high-quality skincare solutions," she adds.
The complete line rings in at $630, and the expensive pricing has sparked fervent conversation among those feeling fatigued by celebrity-founded brands. However, I've still been eager to try the products out. As part of the pre-launch, a small group of writers (me among them) and industry insiders (like Kardashian's go-to beauty pros Chris Appleton and Mario Dedivanovic) were treated to a personalized Skkn facial with the Joanna Czech. Below, get all the details on Skkn by Kim, the facial, and my honest review of the products.
Meet the Expert
New York-based Joanna Czech has over 35 years of skincare experience. Her treatments combine the most innovative technologies and timeless techniques. Czech has a long list of notable clients including Jennifer Aniston, Kim Kardashian, and Hailey Bieber.
Kardashian has long struggled with psoriasis (which often results in skin rashes), and that diagnosis is the "why" behind her passion for skincare, she shares. On deck to help conceptualize the brand was Czech, who has worked with Kardashian as a client for seven years. Kardashian's decision to partner with a skincare veteran makes it clear she wanted to develop the most credible and intentional line she could.
"Kim wanted to create a routine that resembled the one I created for her and share it with the world," the pro explains. Kardashian and Czech discussed ingredients at length, ensuring they were the best in terms of efficacy and quality. The duo also agreed unscented formulations were best, but if they were going to use a scent, it should be natural. "Kim is a great student, and she appreciates my skincare philosophies, which made creating [the line] a pleasure," she adds.
Kardashian revealed that during the three-year development process, "there weren't two or three trials of a product. There were 23 versions to ensure we were achieving the optimal consistency and efficacy."
Each product is simply named: Cleanser ($43), Toner ($45), Exfoliator ($55), Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($90), Vitamin C8 Serum ($90), Face Cream ($85), Eye Cream ($75), Oil Drops ($95), and Night Oil ($95). As Czech explains, the line was created "from scratch" and is rooted in active ingredients that support the skin's natural abilities and revitalize the complexion. It was also of prime importance that all formulas were suitable for all skin types, tones, and textures.
In the cleansing category, there are two all-stars: the Cleanser and Exfoliator. The creamy cleanser is gentle and doesn't strip skin thanks to an "ultra-high dosage of glycerin," explains Czech. "My favorite is the Exfoliator. It's powerful yet gentle at the same time and has both mechanical and enzymatic exfoliators to help remove dead skin cells and promote skin resurfacing," Kardashian reveals. It is more abrasive than your average, so if you have sensitive skin, Czech recommends mixing it with the Cleanser or Face Cream to dilute it.
There are two serums, both of which have a surprisingly water-like consistency. The Hyaluronic Acid Serum, formulated with multi-molecular weights, is sure to be a favorite. "The low molecular weight delivers below-the-surface hydration while the high molecular weight delivers immediate hydration to the surface of the skin," Czech explains. The Vitamin C8 Serum is infused with 9% ethyl ascorbic acid. "It is a water-soluble, stable vitamin C that helps diminish the appearance of pigmentations, wrinkles, and fine lines," Czech explains.
As for oils, there are two: the Oil Drops and the Night Oil. "The Oil Drops, in particular, were challenging," Kardashian says. "Joanna taught me so much about the different versions of Vitamin C. We developed it with a highly stable, active form of vitamin C (15% Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate called BV-OSCTM), which evens out the complexion while giving the glow of a lifetime." The Night Oil is made with 14 botanical oils and extracts, like kukui oil and argan oil, that help maintain the skin barrier.
"I think people will gravitate towards the Face Cream," Kardashian says when asked which product will become the fan favorite. It's a pillowy, rich cream that leaves the dewiest afterglow. "It's enriched with a unique combination of alfalfa (known as a retinol-like extract from natural origin) and a powerful postbiotic that helps promote skin nourishment," Czech points out.
The Exfoliating Toner and Eye Cream are also nice additions if you want to round out your routine. The Toner is gentle enough to use once daily and provides a second round of exfoliation thanks to fruit enzymes and AHAs. The Eye Cream utilizes three peptides to stimulate collagen production, and there's even a dose of hyaluronic acid to help visibly firm.
The creative direction for the packaging (and overall brand identity) was guided by Willo Perron and Brian Roettinger of the design studio Perron—Roettinger. The packaging is stunning and has a very Kim K. aesthetic (think: neutral tones ranging from sandstone to concrete). It's a color palette that matches the design of her Calabasas office space where the facial was held. Each bottle has a unique sculptural design, from round spheres to tall cylindrical pump bottles.
In addition to being visually intriguing, SKKN BY KIM’s packaging aims to be eco-friendly. "Each product is bottled inside sleek, minimalistic, and refillable packaging [and] to further reduce the environmental impact, refills are packaged inside eco-friendly materials," she says.
It's worth noting the brand's refillable packaging claims have been met with criticism, with many environmentalists pointing out that each product's outer container doesn't align with the definition of "refillable" and creates unnecessary waste.
I was looking forward to the treatment because it meant getting a peek at the products before they launched and receiving a facial from Czech. "My approach is completely personalized to what your skin needs the day I see you," she says. "No two treatments are ever the same." Czech used five SKKN products on me since I had a few hormonal acne breakouts that day. She started with the Cleanser, Exfoliator (mixed with the Face Cream to soften the texture), and Toner.
She applied the Vita-C Glow Oil Drops on my freshly buffed skin—massaging it in her hands and then with a handheld laser called the Lyma Laser. I soon learned Czech is not shy about incorporating high-tech gadgets into her treatments. The following steps included microcurrent gloves for targeted muscle stimulation and sculpting and yellow LED therapy with negative ionization to rejuvenate skin cells. She ended the 45-minute treatment by applying the Eye Cream and Vita-C Glow Oil (mixed with the Face Cream). By the end, my skin was feeling dewy, and the redness from my acne had substantially subsided.
Post facial, I played with the products for about a week at home. When testing skincare products, I'm always concerned if they'll make me break out. None of the SKKN BY KIM products did. While I genuinely liked all the products, the Exfoliator and the Night Oil are my top picks. Since my skin is so acne-prone, I appreciate an effective exfoliator just as much as a nourishing night oil to seal my routine.
As Czech says, "[SKKN BY KIM] is a beautiful, comprehensive skincare line." Whether you try one product or the entire line, you truly cannot go wrong. Regardless of everything, these are good products.