Is Pharrell's Skincare Line Humanrace Actually Worth the Hype?

Our senior beauty editor gives an honest review.

Photo: Courtesy/InStyle

Just two weeks ago, Pharrell — the man who has somehow managed to not show any visible signs of aging for the past two decades — not only dropped the skincare routine (finally!), but also announced that we could all get in on his beauty secrets too, with his new line Humanrace.

The three-piece skincare collection includes the Rice Powder Cleanser, Lotus Enzyme Exfoliator, and Humidifying Cream, which all work together to lightly exfoliate, nourish, and hydrate skin, with the goal of leaving you with a more youthful glow.

But with the Routine Pack, aka the full set, retailing at $100 (which is cheaper than buying each product individually), is Humanrace actually worth the hype?

Well, we'll get into that in a sec.

Before we get started, just know that there is nothing in this world, aside from having Pharrell's genes, that is going to make you look like the star. However, having great skincare products on deck can absolutely help with evening out complexion, boosting hydration, and smoothing out texture — all of which are essential for achieving clear, radiant skin.

So here's my honest review of all three products in the line. Hopefully it will help you decide if Humanrace is the celebrity skincare line you've been waiting for.

Rice Powder Cleanser

humanrace skincare

To shop: $32;

If you've ever used one of Tatcha's Rice Polish cleansers before, then you already know the drill. If not, this cleanser comes in, you guessed it, powder form, then turns into a creamy foam once you add a little water.

As the first step in the Humanrace routine, this product promises to get rid of oil, makeup, and other impurities with a little light exfoliation, all without stripping moisture.

On my combination skin, it kept its promises — even in areas that tend to be more dry.

You know that tight, dry feeling you sometimes get after washing your face? That was nowhere to be found once I was done. And my skin felt noticeably smoother immediately after use. I also like that it offers very, very gentle physical exfoliation with the rice powder, and also includes fruit AHAs for chemical exfoliation as well.

As far as packaging goes, it comes with a twist-off top to help avoid any spills and includes the name of the product in braille, which I don't think I've ever seen a skincare brand do before. That really stood out for me, because beauty should be accessible for all.

My only issue with the packaging (and I totally get why they made it this way) is the fact that the only way to get the powder out is through a tiny hole at the top. So I can imagine it's going to be kinda tough to get that final scoop out.

It's probably not a huge deal for most people, but I'm the type of person who will cut through a bottle of lotion to scrape out the last little bits. I'm Jamaican, I can't help it.

In any case, if you decide to buy the Rice Powder Cleanser, just don't forget that it's fully recyclable and refillable (along with the other two products in the line). So for the love of God, don't throw it in the garbage!

VIDEO: Pharrell Williams Wants a World in Which Women Aren't Held Back

Lotus Enzyme Exfoliator

humanrace skincare

To shop: $46;

Alright, let's get into step two: the Lotus Enzyme Exfoliator.

The first thing you should know is that this product is meant to be used two to three times a week. But if you're not familiar with exfoliation or have sensitive skin, I would say start off by using it once a week and seeing how it goes, although it is quite gentle.

This product offers a pull-off top, which admittedly confused me at first. I was there twisting it around and around until kingdom come until I realized I was doing it wrong (oops). But anyways, once I finally got to it, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the exfoliator comes with a pump top, which is perfect for getting just the right amount without exposing the actual cleanser to any potential bacteria or God knows what else.

I applied two pumps of the creamy formula to my face and massaged it in for a few minutes with my hands, then rinsed it off. Like the Rice Powder Cleanser, it offers both chemical and very gentle physical exfoliation.

It's made with 8% glycolic acid, which works to even out skin tone and smooth out texture. And while these types of products can leave the skin dry after use, homegirl didn't do me like that. Plus, I did notice a slight reduction in pigment with a few dark spots on my forehead after about a week of use.

Humidifying Cream

humanrace skincare

To shop: $48;

Here we are, at the final step: the Humidifying Cream, which brings us back to twist-off tops, just FYI.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I have to be completely honest: this cream is my absolute favorite product in the line. Like, if you're going to go with just one thing from Humanrace, I'd say go for the cream. She is truly that girl.

Even with the richest of moisturizers, I've always found that — especially in the fall/winter time — I would still wake up with dry patches. But the Humidifying Cream, which includes both snow mushroom extract and squalane (so duh, obviously it's deeply hydrating), completely, completely changed the game for me. Bonus: she's quite thicc, so a little goes a long way with this one.

Final Verdict:

I would say this line is worth it if you're looking for a simple skincare system that generally offers everything you need for clear, hydrated skin. Plus, you can't go wrong with clean, vegan formulas inside fully recyclable and refillable packaging. However, I do hope they'll eventually add an eye cream to the mix. That's the one thing missing, in my opinion.

For my own personal use, I think I'll probably be using the line conjunction with a few other serums and face oils I have on deck moving forward — but I'm also extra. So feel free to not do that if you don't have the time or simply don't want to. Humanrace is a solid skincare line all on its own.

From non-toxic makeup and skincare to sustainability practices, Clean Slate is an exploration of all things in the green beauty space.

Related Articles