The reviews are in on Scarlett Johansson’s new skincare line. That is to say, our review is in. As one of the earliest online magazines to cover clean beauty, what more do you need?
While we often grimace at the idea of a new celebrity beauty brand, this product launch hit different. We approached this month’s skincare news with a touch of caution, but darned if there’s not something about Scarlett’s career trajectory that simply breeds trust.
The actress is a top-earner in Hollywood of late, thanks to her impressive role in the Marvel franchise, a role that, miraculously, did not infringe on our view of her as an independent creative.With a life-long record for making good films, and a no-nonsense presence with the press, Johansson’s good taste makes her easy to love and an intriguing brand founder.
Joining forces with co-founder, Kate Foster, a fashion and beauty exec with a passion for consumer experience, we expect the new brand, named The Outset, to land firmly amongst the clean beauty greats. Here’s our review…
The Packaging: Nothing to see here. The Outset’s launch collection is clad entirely in glass bottles with white lids and caps — as utilitarian as things get. In fact, Scarlett calls out a good white t-shirt as inspiration for the brand as a whole. “My goal was to simplify beauty with a focus on everyday essentials,” says Scarlett on The Outset site. “I wanted The Outset to be universal, approachable, and as reliable as your favorite white tee – a classic staple.”
On top of that, The Outset formulas are all dye and fragrance-free for a vibe that minimalists will love, clean beauty pragmatists will appreciate — and many a boyfriend will steal. As many other quality brands have proven recently, one of the best ways to enter a noisy and crowded space is to do so calmly and quietly.
The Product line: The Outset consists of five basic, yet highly functional products free of fragrance, parabens, sulfates, phthalates and gluten; a micellar cleanser, multi-functional serum, squalane-based moisturizer, niacinamide night cream and eye cream with vitamin C and E.
As a working actor, Scarlett learned a lot about the sensitivity and breakouts that come with “overworking” the skin. According to InStyle, “Scarlett realized that there were so many products that were focused on resurfacing the skin, which led it to be raw and aggravated. She says it took a long time for her to realize that replenishing her skin’s moisture levels was very healing.”
It’s true that while the clean beauty space is now filled with highly effective products, there is a time and place for cleansers and creams that help us to maintain equilibrium amidst all those actives and special treatments.
The stand-outs from the line became clear to us right away, though before writing this review, we’ve only had a chance to use everything for a few weeks…
+ The Outset’s Restorative Niacinamide Night Cream …is a total dream. Not too heavy, but immediately restorative. If you’re a skincare fiend, you’ll love this night cream as a counterbalance to that bi-weekly retinal or peel. The niacinamide provides a deeply nourishing effect that may help your skin heal and recover from more active treatments. As with all night creams and moisturizing masks, this cream is also a fantastic in-flight buddy!
+ The Outset’s Gentle Micellar Antioxidant Cleanser We’re big fans of oil and balm cleansers, however there’s something to be said for a good gel cleanser that can get things done in a flash. If you’re looking for something simple, gentle and easy, this micellar cleanser removes makeup and cleanses without any drying sulfates. We like to use it at the end of the day for a deep cleaning (thanks to the micelles), plus a dose of amino acids and antioxidants that are still suitable for sensitive skin.
Everything in The Outset’s new line is also unisex. In fact, the eye cream went directly to a staff member’s husband, in hopes that the ‘Avenger’-related product could spark new routines.
The Consensus | Overall, The Outset has been a hit with our team. The price points are reasonable for clean luxury products and we can imagine ourselves putting these products to good use between more high-impact treatments — something the beauty world doesn’t talk about often enough. Too many active treatments and ingredients can leave skin over-worked and lead to sensitization. Sensitized skin can be thought of as skin that has burn out. Break-outs, redness, dryness and sensitivity can all occur with sensitization, simply because we’ve just put our skin through too much.
Take stock of your skincare routine and consider adding a few more gentle, clean basics like these from The Outset if you notice that your beauty rituals are full of too many actives.