Just two short days after model and media personality Hailey Bieber’s new skincare line Rhode (her middle name) launched on June 15, 2022, it completely sold out. As of the end of July, there was still a “waiting list” in place — which begs the question: what’s the hype all about? There’s no doubt that celebrity status is coming into play — especially since everyone is obsessed with Hailey’s iconic “glazed donut” skin, as seen on her social media channels. However, unlike some other A-lister lines, Rhode pays careful attention to its ingredient formulations so that the skin’s barrier is nourished over time — not compromised.
Let’s dive deeper into the brand’s ethos, formulation philosophy, and the first three products in the highly-anticipated collection.
What’s Inside Rhode Skin Care?
According to the brand, “Every Rhode product is made with purposeful, clean, high-performance ingredients.” They are suitable for all skin types and are non-comedogenic, non-sensitizing, and non-irritating. Many of the ingredients work to protect and repair the skin’s moisture barrier.
Here’s a closer look at the active ingredients commonly used in Rhode skincare products:
Also known as Argireline, acetyl hexapeptide-8 is a six amino acid peptide that is a fragment of SNAP-25 (a substrate of botulinum toxin).
It works by limiting the ability of neurotransmitters to activate movement in your facial muscles, for example, when forming facial expressions such as smiling or frowning. By inhibiting the nerves that cause facial muscles to contract, subtle facial expressions are limited and wrinkles are subsequently reduced.
It’s in Rhode Peptide Glazing Fluid.
We recommend Carrot & Stick The Repair Serum because it combines acetyl hexapeptide-8 with multiple amino acids proven to help fight fine lines and wrinkles, sustain natural collagen production, and firm the skin.
Niacinamide is a multi-tasking skincare ingredient that’s found in Rhode Barrier Restore Cream.
Niacinamide is the amide form of vitamin B3 (niacin) that provides many benefits to the skin. For instance, a publication in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, states that niacinamide can repair the skin barrier and improve skin moisture, as well as reduce inflammation, blotchiness, hyperpigmentation, acne, and wrinkling.
We recommend Carrot & Stick The Repair Serum because it combines niacinamide with seven plant-based neuropeptides and soothing, brightening botanicals to promote a youthful glow.
Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) that is able to hold more water than any other natural substance—up to 1,000 times its weight in water! This is why using products with hyaluronic acid can help to improve skin hydration.
You’ll find this ingredient used in Rhode Barrier Restore Cream.
We recommend this serum because it not only contains hyaluronic acid, but also niacinamide and 7 plant-based peptides to promote plumper and smoother-looking skin.
Babassu oil is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids that make it great for your skin. It’s also anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. It’s a rich, natural source of lauric acid to support the microbiome + replenish overall skin moisture.
Marula oil may help improve the skin’s condition and appearance. It acts as a protein source, mainly benefiting the hair and nails that are protein-dense. It is also a lightweight oil that helps to moisturize any skin type without causing congestion or breakouts.
Squalane is a lighter-weight derivative of squalene that is better for acne and congestion — it makes up 10-12% of your skin’s natural oils or sebum. Squalane is one of the natural lipids that help to keep the skin hydrated and the oil levels balanced. It helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reduces flakiness and dryness, and is non-comedogenic, making it great for congested or oily skin types.
Acai berries are rich in antioxidants, which is why they are an excellent anti-aging ingredient. Antioxidants fight against free radicals such as sun exposure and pollution to help promote a healthy, vibrant complexion.
Cupuacu butter is an excellent emollient that restores elasticity to the skin while providing antioxidants and hydration.
On the “note from the founder” page on the brand’s website, Bieber states, “Rhode is dedicated to making products based in science and great formulation, simplifying many of the mysteries and complex narratives behind efficacious skincare.”
The brand’s core values include:
Rhode has an advisory of renowned science and dermatology experts who help guide the formulation process from concept to completion. Currently, the brand has two experts on board.
- Dr. Ron Robinson is an award-winning cosmetic chemist with over 20 years of top-notch development experience. Robinson is also the founder of the science-driven and result-focused skincare brand BeautyStat.
- Dr. Dhaval Bhanusal is a leading dermatologist based in New York City. Along with treating patients out of his practice in Hudson Yards, Bhanusali regularly serves as a consultant to various companies looking to develop their cutting-edge product lines.
The Core of Rhode Skincare: Protecting Your Skin Barrier
One of the statements you’ll see throughout Rhode’s website is that the company is very passionate about formulating products that protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier — and we agree that’s a crucial factor in achieving healthy skin — why?
The outermost layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum, plays a crucial role in maintaining one’s skin moisture barrier, which helps retain water while protecting against bacteria and environmental aggressors like pollution and harsh weather conditions.
Numerous biochemical changes (or reactions) occur to and in the skin cells as they migrate from the bottom layer of your epidermis (stratum basale) to the top layer for this barrier to function appropriately.
Additionally, external and internal factors, such as irritants (think cleansing products, certain skincare ingredients, environmental pollutants), certain skin conditions, some medications, and health-related problems, can potentially disrupt your moisture barrier.
When the moisture barrier is intact, your complexion is smooth, clear, plump, well-balanced (not too dry, not too oily), and has a healthy glow. The lipids in the natural moisture barrier are made up of about 50% ceramides, 35% cholesterol, and 15% fatty acids, all of which contribute to why our skin looks and feels the way it does when it’s in a healthy state.
However, a damaged skin barrier has small, microscopic skin cracks, making it easier for moisture to escape and irritants to enter. Essentially, your skin has lost its primary source of protection. Common signs of a broken skin barrier include dryness, dehydration, irritation, itchiness, flakiness, cracks or fissures, rough texture, increased sensitivity, and advanced (or new) breakouts.
To help reduce your carbon footprint, Rode offers to recycle your empty products if you ship back at least three empty bottles. Simply email [email protected] for a complimentary shipping label and a code for 10% off your next order.
Rhode isn’t just about providing ways to emulate Bieber’s ethereal glow. The brand established the Rhode Futures Foundation to help support 1000 women (including non-binary, trans, non-cis, and all women-identified persons) and their families by 2023. Partner organizations include:
- Accion Opportunity Fund
- Black Mamas Matter Alliance
- LIFT Family Goal Fund
Since launching, the brand also began supporting organizations on the frontlines in times of crisis or urgent need, including the Robb Elementary School Memorial Fund, the National Network of Abortion Funds, Plan C, and the AFIYA Center.
Rhode Review: 3 Targeted Launch Products
For the time being, Rhode only offers three products but plans on adding more “skincare essentials” into its collection.
Peptide Glazing Fluid
This lightweight gel serum is said to be Hailey’s secret to her signature “glazed donut” complexion. Aside from promoting selfie-worthy skin, it also has more significant benefits, including a visibly plumped and hydrated appearance and a healthier skin barrier with regular use.
- Key ingredients include hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, peptides, and marula oil, which work synergistically to fight dryness, dullness, and fine lines.
- The formula is suitable for all skin types — even sensitive.
- Peptide Glazing Fluid is fragrance-free, cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free, and dermatologist-tested and developed.
- Consumer perception studies claim that 92% of individuals said their skin felt more hydrated after one use, and 88% believe the serum provided a glowy, radiant finish after 30 days.
Barrier Restore Cream
This rich yet lightweight cream (to be applied after the Peptide Glazing Fluid) was formulated to nourish, hydrate, soothe, and restore the skin barrier immediately and over time. It’s considered a dream cream for those with a dry, broken-out, or dull complexion. Not moisturizing is one of the leading causes of a damaged skin barrier — yet it’s also one of the easiest to remedy! Research has found that moisturizers improve skin barrier repair and maintain skin’s appearance by acting as humectants, emollients, and occlusives — each boasting a specific beneficial action.
- Key ingredients include shea butter, squalane, peptides, acai, and niacinamide to hydrate, moisturize, calm, visibly plump, brighten, and protect while supporting the skin barrier and reducing the look of fine lines.
- The formula is suitable for all skin types — even sensitive.
- Barrier Restore Cream is fragrance-free, cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free, and dermatologist-tested and developed.
- Consumer perception studies claim that 89% of the individuals said the cream provided ample hydration, and 83% believe their skin looked healthier after using the product.
Peptide Lip Treatment
This restorative lip treatment helps lock in moisture from softer, plumper lips while leaving behind a healthy glossy shine.
- Key ingredients include shea butter, peptides, capuacu, and babassu to address fine lines, dryness, and visible volume loss.
- The formula is suitable for all skin types — even sensitive.
- Peptide Lip Treatment is fragrance-free (an option), cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free, and dermatologist-tested and developed.
- Available in Watermelon Slice, Salted Carmel, or Unscented.
- It can also be used as a plumping lip mask when you apply a thick layer. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before removing excess product and adding any lipliner or lipstick.
- Consumer perception studies claim that 92% of the individuals said their lips felt soothed and protected from dryness, and 92% felt their lips looked immediately plumped after application.
Overall, we think Rhode lives up to its philosophy of formulating products with clean, science- and research-back ingredients. While the brand is still new, it’s doing a decent job choosing ingredients that protect the skin’s moisture barrier.
- We also appreciate the transparency when it comes to the ingredients. On the brand’s website, you can click on any component on a product listing and see full details on what it is and does.
- It’s crucial the brand doesn’t include fragrance in its products if it wants to promote skin barrier health. Fragrance sensitivity is when an individual experiences some level of irritation or an allergic reaction to ingredients, chemicals, or combinations of ingredients in products. So, when it comes to repairing a broken skin barrier as the brand desires to accomplish, it’s better to seek out fragrance-free formulas for the time being until you can determine the root of the cause.
- For sustainability, Rode offers to recycle your empty products if you ship back at least three empty bottles. The shipping is on them, and you’ll receive 10% off on your next order to boot.
- We love that the brand is addressing social issues and helping underserved individuals in need (especially women of color and single moms) with the Rhode Futures Foundation. Their goal is to help support 1000 women (including non-binary, trans, non-cis, and all women-identified persons) and their families by 2023.
- Suppose we were to list one potential red flag. In that case, the consumer perception studies listed on the brand’s website only target an age group from 18-31. With that said, it’s unclear whether Rhode’s formulas would be as effective on older and more mature skin types.
What are some alternatives to Rhode skincare?
There’s no need to compromise when it comes to finding skincare that’s effective and safe.
If you’re looking for effective skincare products that skip harmful toxins, one brand we recommend is Carrot & Stick.
Carrot & Stick is committed to creating plant-derived formulas that deliver extraordinary results without relying on toxic chemicals or standard preservatives.
Carrot & Stick takes a tough love approach to skincare, perfectly balancing the gentle nurturing of plants with innovative science.
We recommend the Day & Night Routine.
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Plasencia I, Norlén L, Bagatolli LA. “Direct visualization of lipid domains in human skin stratum corneum’s lipid membranes: effect of pH and temperature.” Biophys J. 2007 Nov 1;93(9):3142-55. doi: 10.1529/biophysj.106.096164. Epub 2007 Jul 13. PMID: 17631535; PMCID: PMC2025644.
Purnamawati S, Indrastuti N, Danarti R, Saefudin T. “The Role of Moisturizers in Addressing Various Kinds of Dermatitis: A Review.” Clin Med Res. 2017 Dec;15(3-4):75-87. doi: 10.3121/cmr.2017.1363. Epub 2017 Dec 11. PMID: 29229630; PMCID: PMC5849435.