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Kylie Skin

Clear Complexion Correction Stick

0.17 fl. oz. for $ 22.00
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Kylie Skin’s Clear Complexion Correction Stick is more likely to make acne worse, not better, due to its irritant-laden mix of ingredients.

Chief among the offending ingredients you’ll find denatured alcohol front and center. Alcohol puts a strain on skin’s barrier and creates a sensitizing effect that can cause an uptick in breakouts (see More Info for the research-backed explanation). That’s strike one.

Strike two: Witch hazel, a plant whose astringent qualities are known to lead to skin irritation. In this case the water form is used, which lessens the risk of irritation a bit, but then there’s another problem… Fragrant lavender extract and skin-sensitizing tea tree oil pose risks of their own (see More Info for the research-backed repercussions of using irritating ingredients).

As for the exfoliating combination of glycolic and salicylic acids, those could have been truly beneficial for breakout-prone skin, but the formula’s pH of 4.5 falls outside the range required for effective exfoliation.

What else do you need to know about Clear Complexion Correction Stick? Not much. It comes in a slender opaque tube with a doe foot applicator which makes it ideal if you need to spot treat the occasional blemish. The formula contains a handful of beneficial ingredients to replenish and hydrate skin, but those have an uphill battle against all of the irritants.

For the sake of your skin, we suggest you do a hard pass on Clear Complexion Correction Stick.

Pros:
  • Contains a handful of replenishing/hydrating ingredients.
  • Doe foot applicator comes in handy if you need to spot treat the occasional blemish.
Cons:
  • High amount of sensitizing alcohol erodes skin’s barrier and can increase breakouts.
  • Irritating witch hazel, lavender extract and tea tree oil compound the risk of irritation.
  • The formula’s pH of 4.5 falls outside the range for effective exfoliation.

More Info:

Alcohol-Based Skincare Products: Research makes it clear that alcohol, as a main ingredient in any skincare product, especially one you use frequently and repeatedly, is a problem.

When we express concern about the presence of alcohol in skincare or makeup products, we’re referring to denatured ethanol, which most often is listed as SD alcohol, alcohol denat., denatured alcohol, or (less often) isopropyl alcohol.

When you see these types of alcohol listed among the first six ingredients on an ingredient label, the product is highly likely to irritate and cause other problems for skin; it doesn’t take much of this type of alcohol to trigger skin stress. There’s no way around it—these volatile alcohols are simply bad for all skin types.

The reason they’re included in products is because they provide a quick-drying finish, immediately degrease skin, and feel weightless, so it’s easy to see their appeal, especially for those with oily skin. If only those short-term benefits didn’t lead to negative long-term outcomes.

Using products that contain these alcohols will cause dryness, erode skin’s protective barrier, and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. Alcohol just weakens everything about skin.

The irony of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is that the damage from the alcohol can actually lead to an increase in breakouts and enlarged pores. As we said, the alcohol does have an immediate de-greasing effect on skin, but it causes irritation, which eventually will counteract the de-greasing effect and make your oily skin look even more shiny.

There are people who challenge us on the information we’ve presented about alcohol’s effects. They often base their argument on a study in the British Journal of Dermatology (July 2007, pages 74–81) that concluded “alcohol-based hand rubs cause less irritation than hand washing….” But, the only thing this study showed was that alcohol was not as irritating as an even more irritating hand wash, which contained sodium lauryl sulfate. So, the study is actually just telling you that one irritant, sodium lauryl sulfate, is worse than another irritant, alcohol.

Not all alcohols are bad. For example, there are fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be beneficial for skin. Examples that you’ll see on ingredient labels include cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and cetearyl alcohol, all of which are good ingredients for skin. It’s important to differentiate between these skin-friendly alcohols and the problematic alcohols.

What about very low levels of denatured alcohol? These sometimes show up in products because the alcohol may be part of the preservative system or may have been used to make certain ingredients more soluble in the formula. In these instances the amount of alcohol is typically below 0.1%, so is unlikely to pose a risk to skin.

References for this information:
Journal of Hospital Infection, August 2019, pages 419-424
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, April 2017, pages 188-196
Drug Design, Development and Therapy, November 2015, pages 6,225-6,233
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, November 2014, pages 109-117
The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in Practice, March 2013, pages 195-196
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, November 2008, pages 1–16
Dermato-Endocrinology, January 2011, pages 41–49
Experimental Dermatology, June 2008, pages 542–551
Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366
Alcohol Journal, April 2002, pages 179–190

Irritating Ingredients: We cannot stress this enough: Sensitizing, harsh, abrasive, and/or fragrant ingredients are bad for all skin types. Daily application of skincare products that contain these irritating ingredients is a major way we unwittingly do our skin a disservice.

Irritating ingredients are a problem because they can lead to visible problems, such as redness, rough skin, dull skin, dryness, increased oil production, and clogged pores, and they contribute to making signs of aging worse.

Switching to non-irritating, gentle skincare products can make all the difference in the world. Non-irritating products are those packed with beneficial ingredients that also replenish and soothe skin, without any volatile ingredients, such as those present in fragrance ingredients, whether natural or synthetic.

A surprising fact: Research has demonstrated that you do not need to see or feel the effects of irritants on your skin for it to be suffering, and visible damage may not become apparent for a long time. Don’t get lulled into thinking that if you don’t see or feel signs of irritation, everything is OK.

Generally, it’s best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to ingredients that are known to irritate skin. There are many completely non-irritating products that contain effective ingredients, so there’s no reason to put your skin at risk with products that include ingredients research has shown can be a problem.

References for this information:
Annals of the Brazilian Journal of Dermatology, July-August 2017, pages 521-525
Journal of Dermatological Sciences, January 2015, pages 28–36
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2014, pages 379–385
Clinical Dermatology, May-June 2012, pages 257–262
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

Our effective but gentle gel serum solution targets desired areas and helps to gently exfoliate the skin. This non-stripping formula is perfect for unwanted surprises.

Water, Pentylene Glycol, Glycereth-7 Triacetate, Alcohol Denat., Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Sodium Hyaluronate, Salicylic Acid, Malachite Extract, Cholecalciferol, Phytonadione, Hydroxyacetophenone, Carrageenan, Caprylyl Glycol,1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Phytate, Sodium Hydroxide.

As the youngest member of the Kardashian-Jenner family of media moguls, social media darling Kylie Jenner had a monumental impact on the makeup scene with the launch of her Kylie Cosmetics brand in 2015. Featuring matte liquid lipsticks and liners initially, these “lip kits” became best sellers, quickly establishing Jenner as a name to watch in the beauty industry. It seemed inevitable, then, that she would follow up on that success with the creation of a skin care brand, Kylie Skin, which launched in 2019.

Kylie Skin doesn’t have a backstory in the traditional sense that there was a specific instance that sparked its creation; rather Jenner says she’s always had an interest in skin care, thanks to her mother and older sisters, and wanted to offer her fans the types of products she uses.

To that end, the brand has a small but mostly well-curated selection of skin care that avoids jar packaging and is instead comes in opaque containers that shield their beneficial ingredients from exposure to light and air to preserve their effectiveness— we just wish the formulas were more effective, as most of them make at least one misstep. The reason we say it's mostly well-curated is because at the time of its launch, Kylie Skin offers no SPF option, so the line is currently not a complete skin care routine (although Kylie's hinted one will be coming soon).

Generally speaking, the formulas contain a good mix of research-backed antioxidant and moisturizing ingredients, and the textures are pleasant (no overly sticky or drying products to be found). There are a couple of fragranced products, but thankfully the fragrance is mild for the most part, doesn’t linger, and is low on the ingredient lists.

The biggest ill-informed decision with this skin care line is one single product: a walnut scrub that harkens back to the old days when harsh, abrasive physical scrubs were the rule at the drugstore. Now though there are plenty of gentler options available, including both physical scrubs and chemical exfoliants, so it’s strange to see this product included in the line. We weren’t surprised by the strong negative response this product got on various social media platforms, although its initial launch did sell out, so it seems curiosity won out.

Overall, Kylie Skin has some unexpectedly worthwhile products to consider and is an overall decent debut. Although we were pleasantly surprised, it also must be said that nothing from Kylie Skin is groundbreaking or innovative enough to rank among the best skin care products available today. For more information on Kylie Skin, visit https://kylieskin.com/.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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