I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m pretty tired of celebrity beauty brands. The bandwagon every singer, actress and model seems to be jumping on, skincare and makeup is like a who’s who of the A-list these days. But, there are some brands that have earned their stripes (Fenty, Rare, VBB, I’m looking at you), so for this reason, I’m always open to giving newbies a go.
The latest that’s launching in the UK is Scarlett Johansson’s The Outset, which comprises eight skincare formulations designed to strengthen and support a healthy skin barrier. The brand (also co-founded by entrepreneur Kate Foster) is made with only clean ingredients, and was designed after ScarJo herself experienced acne and discovered the beauty of stripping back her regime to keep it simple. For this reason, it’s suitable for super sensitive skin, taking a gentle yet efficacious approach.
Having tried the range in its entirety ahead of the UK launch, I had some thoughts…
Which skincare products are in The Outset range?
My first thought on The Outset is the number of products included in the line. For a brand that promises to take users back to simplicity, eight formulations seems a little excessive. However, I do think you can pick and choose what you pick up from the line, and as I will divulge later, there are definitely some I’d recommend more than others.
What I like about the line is its simplicity towards ingredients. Nothing is in there that needn’t be, and along with trending ingredients like cassia flower (a botanical alternative to hyaluronic acid), it’s clear the line-up has been designed to really boost that all-important skin barrier, which keeps the good stuff in and the dodgy stuff out. Everything is free from fragrances, parabens, phthalates, sulfates or allergens, so sensitive skin can rest easy.
I like the packaging, too, which I believe reflects the entire brand ethos of simplicity. It’s chic and stylish, with the bottles and jars bound to look cool on any bathroom shelf.
Is The Outset worth the money?
A qualm I do have with the items is their price. I often speak of my dismay at celebrity beauty brands not filling that gap for quality products at an affordable price. Hailey Bieber’s Rhode line sort of stepped up (the bestselling glaze is under £30), but there is undoubtedly space in this market, which is what is continuously missed.
ScarJo’s products range in price from £32 to £54, which isn’t outlandishly expensive, but for fairly stripped back formulas and given the current financial climate, it can feel like a lot – particularly when there are very similar, affordable dupes aplenty out there. That said, there are some really nice products in the range worth trying, if you want to invest…
The best products from The Outset 2023
The Outset Gentle Micellar Antioxidant Cleanser, £32
The thing that helps to justify paying a little more for a cleanser is if it can act as both your first and secondary cleanse. This is great at both removing makeup and being an effective wash-off second cleanse. Use it once in the morning and twice in the evening, and it’s all you’d really need in your cleansing arsenal.
I found this really enjoyable to use, too, with a jelly-like texture that means a little goes a long way (another factor to justify the price).
This is super gentle so can be used on the eyes, and has an impressive line up of ingredients on its inkey list. These include the trademarked Hyaluroset Complex for hydration (skin isn’t left feeling stripped) and an antioxidant fruit extract blend.
The Outset Nourishing Squalane Daily Moisturiser, £44
Paying £44 for a simple day moisturiser (and one that doesn’t include an SPF) is extravagant, TBH, but I did really enjoy using this which is why it’s one of my favourites.
It’s a super simple, stripped back moisturiser which – given my skin’s been playing up a little lately – was exactly what I needed at this given moment. It’s lightweight yet rich, giving you all the hydration and moisture for the day, and features olive-derived squalane and antioxidant-rich edelweiss.
Just remember to pop your SPF on top!
The Outset Restorative Niacinamide Night Cream, £54
The most expensive of the lot, and somehow my favourite (this is very typical of me). Sue me: I just love a rich, comforting night cream.
This has a fluffy, whipped texture that encases skin in hydration and moisture. It’s a lovely last step for your evening routine and locks in everything that’s gone before.
The Outset Ultralight Moisture-Boosting Oil, £44
I’m a sucker for an oil, and this one has all the good stuff: omega fatty acids, acai and squalane. It’s most appealing due to its ultra-lightweight texture, which is rare to come by for an oil.
Because of its ultra-hydrating formula and texture, a tiny bit goes a long way so this’ll last you a fair amount of time, and it’s versatile, too. Use it atop your moisturiser for an extra hit, or mix it with said cream when skin is feeling particularly quenched.
As for the rest of the lineup from The Outset, I would say you could live without these, but there’s nothing I’d actively not recommend as the formulations are super stripped back and gentle. If you have ultra-sensitive skin, I’d only stay away from the exfoliant, which I found to be a little abrasive.
Where can you buy The Outset in the UK?
The Outset is due to drop any day now, exclusively on Cult Beauty. You can set an alert at the email sign up now.