YouTuber Valkyrae’s Skin Care Line Is Misleading, Critics Say

Still of an animated video of a smiling woman. The text says "RFLCT. Inspired by Valkyrae. For everyone who uses a screen."

Screenshot: Ideavation Labs

After streamer Valkyrae’s skincare line RFLCT drew criticism for its promises to help offset the negative effects of computer light,” the YouTube has issued a statement. Yesterday, Valkyrae posted a voice note acknowledging the pushback and promised to answer questions in a future stream.

RFLCT’s website claims that “the sun used to be the only source of blue light, but with today’s technology we are exposed all the time.” It goes on to describe how all digital screens emit blue light, which it claims can damage your skin and eyes over time. RFLCT says it can “shield” skin from blue light damage.

However, the products and RFLCT’s claims were quickly criticized over a lack of scientific evidence.

Medical experts interviewed by the New York Times seemed divided on the effects of blue light on skin and noted that it could have both benefits and drawbacks. One doctor specifically stated that antioxidants are not a scientifically proven method for protection against blue light. This is a problem for RFLCT, since its website claims that their products’ blue light protection comes from a “super charged antioxidant.” A chief scientist at Beiersdorf, a major skincare company, refuted the effects of blue light on skin entirely.

The NYT also reported that a larger amount of blue light comes from sunlight, not digital screens. One professionally recommended suggestion was sunscreen. However, the RFLCT website does not mention any SPF on its product pages.

While other high profile streamers were excited to see a peer’s business launch, the Twitter responses were less optimistic. Several users pointed out that blue light has a negligible effect on skin, and many called RFLCT a “scam.”

“I also wanted to say that all of the hate and the doubt and concerns and the criticism are all warranted and valid,” Valkyrae said in her voice memo. “I understand completely where you’re all coming from. I also was very upset and confused when I saw the website and there were no links to the studies or credits to the labs or the people that worked behind the scenes to make RFLCT happen. It’s very confusing, lacking a lot of information, but they’re updating it now.”

Kotaku reached out for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.

After criticizing the blue light claims on Twitter, Twitch streamer 39daph addressed other concerns about Valkyrae’s skincare line on stream. Despite her criticisms, 39daph said she believed Valkyrae had the right intentions.

“Honestly, I think it’s very commendable and admirable that Rae is trying to branch out of gaming. I just think that the blue light stuff is a little bit iffy.”


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