Back in 2020, or what I refer to as ‘the first year of the pandemic,’ Pharrell launched a skincare line called Humanrace. Blame my finding Rihanna’s Fenty Skin shockingly underwhelming, but I was not intrigued enough to try Humanrace. The beauty landscape shifts so fast nowadays and my criteria for trying new products has become, well, much more ‘rigid’ since turning forty. Humanrace looked the part but, for whatever reason, just didn’t sound all that tempting to me. With that said, I recently received The Cache Vol III from Blue Mercury, which included the Three Minute Facial Routine Kit from Pharrell’s line. Since the universe insisted, below are my first impressions.
Rice Powder Cleanser
Sadly, I found the first step disappointing. The ingredient deck boasts a great combination of cleansing, purifying, and nourishing agents (Clay, Rice Powder, Snow Mushroom, and Bilberry Fruit Extract to name a few) and when combined with water, it generates a soft creamy lather. Upon contact with my skin however, it became slightly grainy, smelled kind of dusty, and overall, delivered only an okay performance. It feels a bit utilitarian but looks so clever. I actually really like the way it dispenses and that the container doesn’t get clogged but if I’m going to use an unscented powder face wash, I want joy and results. I experienced neither. $36 (40g)
Lotus Enzyme Exfoliator
Of the three products I tried, this is my hands down favorite. It’s a creamy rinse-off mask that gently exfoliates, leaving my skin smooth and glowing. What makes it unique is the combination of Glycolic Acid (Pharrell’s favorite ingredient is at 8% here), a 2% blend of fruit-derived Alpha Hydroxy Acids, and a fusion of Papaya, Pumpkin, and Pomegranate Enzymes. Thanks to soothing and anti-inflammatory Lotus Leaf Extract, there isn’t any tingling nor redness–just a radiant, freshly exfoliated complexion. Love this one for part of my PM routine. $46 (70ml)
Humidifying Face Cream
This formula is inspired by some of Pharrell’s favorite places–places at which you will never find me, especially during the summer. Humidity may be great for the skin but not for my mood. The Humanrace Humidifying Face Cream feels quite dense. Almost balm-like. It didn’t feel heavy on my combination skin. I’d prefer using it at night because of its slightly occlusive nature, but am happy to report that it also did absorb very well. I’ve had great luck with it around the eyes. INCI highlights include Snow Mushroom, Cica, and Apple Fruit Extracts (all very soothing, hydrating, and rich in antioxidants) as well as skin brightening Niacinamide and skin plumping Sodium Hyaluronate. If your skin leans normal to dry, you’ll enjoy this face cream a lot. $52 (62ml)
If your skin is sensitive and leans normal-to-dry, you will enjoy Humanrace way more than I did. The powder cleanser is great for purists and minimalists alike but I prefer something with more body. I can see myself purchasing a refill (yes, there are eco-friendly refill options priced a few dollars less than those in main vessels) of the enzyme exfoliator because my skin looked and felt great after I used it. The face cream probably isn’t for me during the warmer months but I’m willing to bet on it during the winter or any air travel.
Explore Humanrace including the Three Minute Facial Routine Kit ($110) at bluemercury.com.