Celebrity Skincare Brands: Hype or Hazard? Analyzing the Outset Skincare Line

In the ever-growing world of celebrity skincare launches, it can be challenging to discern between genuine quality and mere hype. Many brands claim to be clean and safe, but not all of them live up to these assertions. In this article, we delve into the ingredients list of the Outset Skincare line, created by Hollywood actress Scarlet Johansen. As a toxicologist, we will explore whether the brand’s claims hold true and shed light on potential red flags to watch out for in celebrity skincare brands.

In my latest YouTube video, I show the reasons why you might want to re-think buying celebrity skincare just because your favorite movie star created it.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Celebrity skincare: hype or legit?
  • The toxic ingredient lurking inside the Outset night cream
  • How to avoid being duped by greenwashing brands
  • Dr. Yvonne’s favorite low tox skincare brand

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The Promise of Conscious Clean Skincare

The Outset markets itself as a consciously clean skincare brand, emphasizing its mindfulness and purposefulness regarding the products used on our skin. The brand asserts that its formulas prohibit or exclude over 2,700 concerning ingredients. While it’s true that there are no FDA standards or regulations specifically for clean skincare, relying solely on marketing claims may not guarantee product safety. To truly evaluate the safety of skincare products, it is essential to focus on the ingredients list.

The Outset Ingredients List Exposed

To assess the veracity of Outset’s claims, we turn to the ingredients list of their Restorative Niacinamide Night Cream. While the list may be extensive, the key lies in the presence of certain ingredients. One such ingredient is Tri Fluoro Acetyl Tripeptide 2, a peptide known for its anti-aging properties. However, this peptide belongs to a family of toxic compounds called PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances).

The Concerns with PFAS Chemicals

PFAS chemicals, widely used in various consumer products for decades, pose several risks to human health. These substances have been linked to endocrine disruption, immune system suppression, reproductive issues, the potential for miscarriage, and different types of cancers. The use of PFAS chemicals in beauty and personal care products is particularly alarming as they come in direct contact with our skin and can linger for extended periods.

The Deceptive Nature of Greenwashing

Despite claiming to be clean, Outset’s inclusion of PFAS chemicals represents a classic case of greenwashing. Greenwashing refers to the use of unsubstantiated claims to mislead consumers into believing that a product or brand is safer or more eco-friendly than it actually is. While other countries have taken measures to regulate greenwashing, the United States still lacks robust regulations in this regard.

Protecting Yourself: Reading Ingredient Labels:

To safeguard our health, it is crucial to learn how to read ingredient labels and identify harmful components. Several tips can help you avoid PFAS chemicals in skincare products:

  • Look for terms like perfluoro, polyfluoro, or any indication of “fluoro” in the ingredient name.
  • Inquire about a company’s PFAS policy and whether they test their products for these chemicals.
  • Opt for organic, minimally processed skincare packaged in glass, as they are less likely to contain PFAS.
  • Share feedback with brands that include toxic ingredients, expressing your concerns.
  • Support initiatives and regulations that aim to ban or prohibit the use of PFAS chemicals in consumer goods.

🏆Dr. Yvonne’s Pick: Low Tox Skincare

Earth Harbor Skincare (10% off non-sale items with code: DRYVONNE)

Earth Harbor is a low tox skincare brand created by a fellow Toxicologist with expertise in herbalism. These products are made with organic ingredients that are plant-based and so gentle that I even use them on my kids! The Mermaid Milk is a favorite of ours and the zinc based sunscreen is a staple for my husband. I hand-picked this brand for The Swell Score, which is the online wellness platform where I serve as Head Toxicologist.


Celebrity skincare brands can be both captivating and concerning. The Outset Skincare line, despite its marketing claims of being clean, harbors one of the most hazardous types of toxic chemicals—PFAS. By educating ourselves on ingredient labels and advocating for stricter regulations, we can make informed choices, prioritize our well-being, and enjoy healthy, radiant skin without exposing ourselves to harmful substances.

Remember, understanding the ingredients we put on our skin empowers us to protect our health. Stay informed and make conscious choices for a safer skincare regimen.

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