Here’s why everyone’s mad about Kylie Jenner’s new walnut scrub

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Image: Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic

By Chloe Bryan

Kylie Jenner announced her new skincare line, Kylie Skin, on Tuesday. The collection includes six products — a foaming face wash, a vitamin C serum, a toner, a moisturizer, an eye cream, and a walnut face scrub — but really only one of them is getting any attention. Guess what? It is not the good kind.

Walnut scrubs have long been a source of controversy in the skincare community, with pretty much all enthusiasts agreeing that they’re not a healthy way to exfoliate the face. In fact, the popular St. Ives apricot scrub — the one you definitely used in high school — was the subject of a 2017 lawsuit. Plaintiffs claimed the physical exfoliant created microscopic tears in their skin, leaving it vulnerable to bacteria and causing long-term damage and sensitivity. The case was tossed in December 2018.

Dr. Marla Diakow, a dermatologist with Schweiger Dermatology Group in Garden City, NY, explained via email that walnut scrubs are, in fact, often too harsh for facial skin. “Using a harsh mechanical or physical exfoliant such as a walnut based scrub is often too abrasive,” she said. “These products can literally rip up the skin by causing micro-tears in the upper layers of the epidermis, leading to inflammation, weakening the skin’s protective barrier, and potentially causing textural and pigmentation issues.”

In a rollout clip, Jenner recommends using the walnut scrub two to three times per week. She also says, however, that it’s gentle enough to use every day. “Some walnut face scrubs are kind of harsh on the skin,” she says. “This isn’t too abrasive.”

But the presence of walnut powder at all was enough for skincare Twitter to call bullshit. 

Omg not WALNUT Kylie the girls have been dragging St. Ives for 10 years now lol read the ROOM https://t.co/GlTFO2XMpC

— Jasmine Sha-Ree Sanders (@JasMoneyRecords) May 14, 2019

SEE ALSO: This pricey CBD sheet mask is a fun skincare one-off

Why but the walnut scrub when you could go scrape your face against tree bark for the same effect

— andi 🤧 (@andrijeaa) May 14, 2019

which rich person who pays thousands of dollars for professional dermatologist care would win in a fight kylie jenner selling a face scrub with walnut powder in it vs. Kendall Jenner promoting Proactive

— LAINY (@fauxmodeI) May 14, 2019

So what does a good exfoliation routine look like? It’s important to remember that everyone’s skin is different, and the ingredients that work for one person won’t necessarily be perfect for another. And if you’re having skin issues, you should absolutely consult a dermatologist.

Consider buying a gentle chemical exfoliant, using it once per week (to start), and observing your skin’s reaction. If it’s looking irritated? Scale your usage back or try an even gentler formula. 

“Alpha hydroxy acids, such a lactic acid or glycolic acid, are good ingredients to look for [in a chemical exfoliant] if your skin is on the dry or sensitive side,” Dr. Diakow said. “A product with a Beta hydroxy acid, such as salicylic acid, is better suited for oily skin types.”

All told, it’s probably not best to start your exfoliation journey with a walnut scrub. We can’t say 100 percent for sure, but … we bet Kylie didn’t.

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