New K-Beauty products from Forever 21 could be a disaster for your skin

By: Kerry Ingram, Columnist

I’m usually not one for writing negative articles, but this topic is one that I felt needed to be shared. There is a formula for disaster that could lead to wreaking havoc on your face.


Allow me to set the scene for you:

  • As college students, we are constantly exposed to stressful situations. From upcoming midterms to figuring out how to make it as an adult, life can get hard, and it really takes a huge toll on our skin. Skincare is extremely important for people our age – we’re not only fighting breakouts, but also possible early signs of aging. Having great skin is something that most people are willing to do anything for.
  • The YouTube beauty community has grown tremendously over the years, which is not only beneficial for those looking to easily learn more about beauty products and application, but also beneficial to those who make videos. YouTubers are always falling into trends, and a recent trend concerns investing in Korean beauty products (or K-Beauty products) that promise incredible results.
  • Forever21 is a popular clothing store – it’s always up on the latest trends and maintains affordable prices. With Forever21 expanding into other arenas and now selling décor and beauty products on top of clothing, the mass retailer is any college kid’s dream.

The basic formula:  Desire for great skin + K-Beauty trend + Forever21 affordability = damaging your skin even more.

Why? Because the brand Forever21 has recently decided to sell, Benton Cosmetics, has a rap-sheet for leaving foreign particles in their products and ruining the texture of the skin.

When I initially got the email of the launch of K-beauty at Forever21, I was excited to share it with you guys. I thought it would be a cool way for college students to be able to obtain a good skincare regimen…but then I did my research. Benton Cosmetics is a skincare brand based in Korea, whose source of inspiration was “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (aka a story about a man who was born old and aged backwards). According to the brand’s website, the products are made to “turn back the time of your skin.” However, the brand has had numerous incidents of consumer complaints about products that have weird particles found in them, odd smells and discoloration. In addition, there have been reports that the products have altered the texture of the skin, leaving scars and indentations on the skin’s surface.

What I found even more alarming about this was one post in particular by blogger Rachel K. of “The Beauty Barre.” Rachel shared a post reviewing the brand, being one of the consumers who underwent skin damage after using the product. She posted about her contact with company, and how they seemed kind but did not truly resolve the issue with their products. She later blogged an additional post in which she discovered that a fellow beauty reviewer, under the name of Sample Hime, was hacked and had their account taken down after poorly reviewing Benton. As a journalist and a beauty blogger, this really struck a nerve with me. Our job is to tell the truth. If the brand doesn’t like the reviews it receives, it needs to FIX THE PROBLEM, rather than trying to hide the fact that a problem exists.

The brand released a notice in early 2016 saying that it has changed its formulations to address the concerns of its products, however more complaints have been released since then. On an additional note, Benton’s FAQ page is not the most credible – its setup doesn’t correctly configure to computer screens, and the descriptions for its ingredients and preservatives are repetitive and contradictory. The link to that page is if you would like to see for yourselves.

My main message here is to be cautious. I love discovering new beauty products, and I take pride in my knowledge of such, but this is a brand I would not recommend. Although Benton is now sold at one of my favorite stores, and although the prices are reasonable, the brand’s trustworthiness is low.

When it comes to skincare, sometimes the pricier products are actually worth the cost.


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