Scarlett Johansson has had her turn as an ambassador for major beauty brands, and now the ‘Black Widow’ star is competing with them with the launch of her own clean skincare line, The Outset. Founded on the concept of starting with the basics and building an effective and universal routine, the brand reflects Johansson’s simple approach to beauty.
The Outset, which launched in March and is available now at Sephora, is a curated offering of five products, collectively the result of more than five years of development. After discovering the beauty industry and experimenting with formulations for several years, Johansson met co-founder Kate Foster, an entrepreneur and former beauty/fashion executive who helped shape The Outset from its inception.
Featuring a micellar-based cleanser, vegan collagen serum, squalane-infused daytime moisturizer, niacinamide night cream, and vitamin C eye cream, the range targets standard skincare concerns. such as dullness and dryness. With each product in the $32-$54 price range, The Outset is an accessible, no-frills skincare regimen that could be an easy entry point for those looking to try out a complete skincare routine. skin and don’t know where to start, or for those who want to streamline their current routine.
The skinimalist approach isn’t just about the number of steps but also about quality – if you’re using fewer products, you want them to perform as well as possible – that’s why Johansson prioritized to creating effective skin care, dermatologist and clinically tested formulas. Built around a “Consciously Clean” philosophy, the line focuses on ingredients that are universally beneficial and safe for all skin types. Products avoid gluten and nut allergens; they’re non-comedogenic (meaning they won’t clog pores), fragrance-free, vegan, and cruelty-free; and they’re formulated without over 2,700 ingredients the brand has flagged as potentially harmful or irritating.
Ticking the boxes of two major industry trends – the clean skincare movement and a beloved celebrity launching a beauty line – The Outset is bound to draw comparisons with the many other brands like this. . To see how it measures up, I tested all five products and consulted with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, who also has experience formulating her own skincare line.
After a month of exclusively using The Outset products, I was impressed that the range was non-irritating and non-comedogenic. While changing skincare regimen all at once can cause breakouts or other irritation, there were no visible side effects to the redesign. On the contrary, my skin felt even more balanced after continued use of The Outset. Plus, the line looks great on my vanity and the packaging is luxurious – no loose caps or worries about product leaking. Learn more about each product’s test in the line below.
$32 at Sephora
This cleanser features the makeup-removing abilities of micelles (the key component of micellar water), delivered in a gel formula that creates a light lather when massaged into the face. Although it wasn’t able to tackle waterproof mascara, it did eliminate standard mascara and other makeup. I liked that it left skin feeling clean and refreshed, thanks to its blend of seven amino acids and antioxidant-rich ingredients. “Amino acids are the building blocks of peptides, and in this product, they appear to benefit hydration and firming,” says Ciraldo.
$46 at Sephora
This serum adds a boost of hydration, thanks to The Outset’s signature hyaluroset complex, an alternative to botanically-derived hyaluronic acid, and its active levels of vegan collagen help plump skin. “Hyaluronic acid and cassia seed, the main plant-derived component of the hyaluroset complex, are glycosaminoglycans, natural substances that are part of the dermal support matrix of the skin,” explains Ciraldo.
Used throughout The Outset range, the complex is the star of the show. “You should see an improvement in texture, with a smoother, shinier skin feel and appearance,” says Ciraldo, referring to the effects of the hyaluroset complex. “With continued use, there can be enough hydration for skin to appear firmer.”
$44 at Sephora
Suitable as a daytime moisturizer or even as an option for those who only need light hydration at night, this product nourishes the skin with squalane, an emollient oil derived from olives.
“[Squalane] is very hydrating, strengthens the barrier function of the skin and is not an acne problem,” says Ciraldo.
The dermatologist also advises that the moisturizer’s other oil-based ingredients (including sunflower, coconut and avocado oils) are not an issue when it comes to acne, and the inclusion of fermented fruit ingredients and vitamin E can “help brighten the skin and provide an antioxidant boost. Overall, the moisturizer kept skin soft and hydrated throughout the day, and in As someone with combination skin and an oily T-zone, it actually helped control excess shine.
$54 at Sephora
“Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) benefits the appearance of pores, smoothing skin texture and reducing redness and irritation,” says Ciraldo. Since The Outset’s Night Cream is all about this ingredient, you can expect these glow-enhancing properties to work overnight. Ciraldo also points out that niacinamide is joined by a long list of nourishing oils, which contribute to the cream’s thick consistency.
For this reason, you can probably avoid layering a face oil over the night cream. I did and woke up with decently hydrated skin. Due to the rich texture, however, it felt like some of the product was still sitting on the skin the morning after applying it.
$42 at Sephora
One of the things I liked about this product is that the name indicates that eye creams can often treat other areas of the face that show similar signs of aging, such as expression lines around from the mouth. The Outset eye cream targets them by plumping and hydrating them with Irish moss and centella asiatica extract. It also claims to brighten these areas with vitamin C, delivered via ascorbyl glucoside.
According to Ciraldo, “Ascorbyl glucoside is touted primarily because it is a very stable form of vitamin C. Its skin benefits are not well-studied in the peer-reviewed literature, so it’s hard to pinpoint it.” scale to compare its ability to brighten, firm skin and boost collagen.
Although L-ascorbic acid may be a more potent form of vitamin C, it is less stable than ascorbyl glucoside, so the latter is a longer-lasting active and a viable option for a skincare product like an eye cream. Although I didn’t see any noticeable brightening, I liked its rich consistency and the ritual of gently massaging it around the eye area and expression lines.