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Humanrace Skincare Review: Inside Pharrell Williams’s New Grooming Line

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We weren’t surprised when Pharrell launched his skincare line, Humanrace, this past November. If anything, we were surprised it took this long! The 47-year-old entertainer and entrepreneur can easily be mistaken for half his age. What’s the secret to his vitality? Is it just good genetics, or does he have a mirror hidden in an attic ala Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray?

Both Pharrell and I share the same hometown, Virginia Beach, and I’ve always hoped that it was just something in the Atlantic ocean that could also give me the same youthful glow. Now, we know that a key to his well-preserved skin is Humanrace’s 3-step grooming routine dubbed the “three-minute facial.” Although we can now confirm the Virginia Beach water doesn’t sprout from the fountain of youth, I luckily now have my hands on the next best thing. Here’s why you should get it, too.

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Developed in consultation with Pharrell’s dermatologist, Dr. Elena Jones, MD, together the two have developed a clean, vegan, fragrance-free, and all-gender skincare for everyone.

In a press release, Pharrell wrote, “Humanrace Skincare doesn’t differentiate by race or gender. We’re creating for humans; we are all born in the same skin and Humanrace celebrates this.” The package includes a Rice Powder Cleanser, Lotus Enzyme Exfoliator, and Humidifying Cream that clean, exfoliate, and hydrate your skin to keep it fresh and supple.

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Going step by step, the Rice Powder Cleanser contains Alpha Hydroxy Acid that gently exfoliates dead skin cells, and is gentle enough for everyday use (and as someone with sensitive skin, I can attest to this).  It’s a powder-based formula that you mix with water to create a rich foam to massage into your mug. For a deeper cleanse, the Lotus Enzyme Exfoliator is a creamy triple-action exfoliant, which combines 8% glycolic acid with an enzymatic and physical exfoliant to remove dirt and reduce the appearance of pores. Lastly, but probably the most important step in the routine is the Humidifying cream, which features natural ingredients like mushroom extract and squalane to lock in moisture for all-day hydration. Yes, the moisturizer goes on thick, but I could still use it during muggier days without clogging my pores.


Since the Humanrace treatment was created by Pharrell, his signature style is all over the product’s tasteful, sustainable packaging. Each emerald green container is made with over 50% recycled plastic, and it’s refillable to reduce waste. Beyond its eco-friendly credentials, it’s also a pleasure to look at. I find myself leaving the products on my counter for decoration rather than storing them away.

When asked about the inspiration behind the packaging when the brand was announced, Pharrell said, “My most favorite place to be is on the precipice of what doesn’t exist, imagining what it can be and then working with an amazing team of architects to reverse engineer and build that thing that didn’t exist before.” In other words, Humanrace’s packaging is as beautiful as it is functional.


Image used with permission by copyright holder

I tend to be skeptical of celebrity skincare products, since so many of them are all hype, with little science. But for Pharrell, who is a master at the art of presentation, this product makes sense. The rice cleanser left my skin feeling soft and hydrated, while the exfoliator and moisturizer provided a one-two punch that deep-cleaned by face without irritating it. In our stay-at-home reality when it’s almost impossible to book a professional facial, Humanrace is the next best thing. Once the “Three-Minute Facial is complete, I felt like I just just left feel as if you just left a five-star spa treatment from the comfort of my home.


The complete Routine Pack retails for $100 or Rice Powder Cleanser ($32), Lotus Enzyme Exfoliator ($46), and the Humidifying Cream ($48) if bought separately. All products are currently sold out (that should speak to their effectiveness) — but don’t fret as you can sign up for the waitlist so you’ll be the first to know once the restock hits. Compared to similar routine packs on the market and taking the effectiveness into account, this skincare set is worth the three-figure price tag. As someone who invests in skincare, this is definitely a product I will continue to have as a part of my routine.

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Ty Gaskins
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Ty Gaskins is a Writer, Stylist, and Public Relations Professional based in New York City. Originally from Virginia Beach…
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