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Kylie Jenner criticized for face scrub that people say will damage skin

The makeup mogul's new skin care line will launch May 22, but one of its products is already getting a lot of attention for the wrong reasons.
/ Source: TODAY

Kylie Jenner’s new skin care line, Kylie Skin, has yet to drop but one of its products already has social media going nuts.

After the makeup mogul hyped her new walnut face scrub with a series of tweets and a video in which she declares it “gentle enough to use every day,” many took to Twitter to question the safety of the product’s ingredients.

“Why (buy) the walnut scrub when you could go scrape your face against tree bark for the same effect,” one user pondered before mocking the idea of marketing the product as gentle.

In the video, Jenner claims she uses the scrub two or three times a week and that the product is “my secret to a fresh face.”

But an esthetician warned against such frequent exfoliation.

“1x a week MAX!! And Walnut will cause micro tears in your skin, using it everyday will result in couperose skin (broken capillaries),” she wrote.

What do the medical experts say?

Walnut scrubs can create tiny tears in the top layer of the skin that allow irritants and allergens to break through a layer essentially serving as “an armor,” said Dr. Adam Friedman, interim chair of the dermatology department at George Washington University.

“It's our barrier to the outside world in many respects. By breaking that, you're opening yourself to a whole host of problems,” he said. Scrubs can leave skin “tight and raw,” and inflamed skin can be susceptible to infection.

“You're removing that protection from all the disgusting stuff in the world, including bacteria. There are a host of bad things that can certainly happen when you physically abrade the skin, which is what this would ultimately do,” Friedman said.

And that can happen with one use. Another problem with walnut powders is that their physical consistency can’t always be controlled, he said.

“What you don’t know is how finely ground the particles are. What is the shape of them? Are there any jagged edges? Are they large enough to cause any injury to the skin?” said Dr. Heather Summe, attending dermatologist at Northwell Health in New York. “It's really hard to know without seeing or feeling it or knowing what the formulation is.”

Summe also questioned whether someone like Jenner should be making suggestions about how often a product like a scrub should be used.

“It really depends on your skin type. Is your skin oily? Is it very sensitive?” she said. “Also, do you have an underlying condition, like eczema, because then your skin is already going to be more sensitive and possibly have openings or breaks in it.”

Jenner acknowledges in her promotional video that some walnut face scrubs are "kinda harsh on the skin," but she reassured viewers that hers “isn’t too abrasive.”

“It really leaves my face feeling super baby soft. Makes you look glowy. Takes away dead skin cells,” she says.

But some on social media brought up another popular facial scrub, one subject to a lawsuit and claimed as “unfit to be sold or used as a facial scrub."

“Did we learn nothing from the St. Ives lawsuit?!" asked one Twitter user.

In 2016, Unilever, the parent company of St. Ives, was sued for $5 million over its use of crushed walnut shells in its classic apricot scrubs.

The lawsuit was eventually dismissed by the court.

Representatives for Kylie Skin had no comment when reached for a response.

The Kylie Skin line formally launches next week on May 22.