Photography by Mike Rozman/Warner Brothers//NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Kind Science promises a fresh take on skincare and a dose of “age positivity.”
Date October 26, 2021
Ellen DeGeneres just launched her own skincare brand, Kind Science, and suddenly we’re transported back to the controversy of summer 2020.
In announcing the collection, released on October 26, DeGeneres said she chose the name Kind Science because the line is “kind to animals, kind to your skin, kind to the planet and kind to your wallet.” Products range from US$22 to US$48 and have been created in collaboration with beauty industry figurehead Victoria Jackson. The name is also a play on the comedian’s motto and the tagline featured in each episode of her long-running talk show (now in its final season) The Ellen DeGeneres Show: “Be kind.”
Last July, Ellen DeGeneres came under fire after it was revealed that staff of the daytime TV mainstay were being mistreated. BuzzFeed News published an investigative article that featured the stories of multiple ex-employees who detailed experiences of sexual harassment, racism and a toxic work environment at The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The claims stated that the harassment was perpetuated and tolerated by high-level producers, and the news soon prompted an investigation into the show and the subsequent firing of three top producers.
It didn’t end there. Articles began to surface that DeGeneres herself was unkind, with rumours that employees on set weren’t allowed to look the host in the eyes or talk to her. This, of course, contradicted the narrative of “kindness” that her brand had been built on.
At the season 18 premiere of The Ellen DeGeneres Show in September 2020, DeGeneres addressed the situation on-air. While she assumed ultimate responsibility for what happened at her show, she pushed back on allegations that she’s not who she appears to be on TV. “Being known as the ‘be kind lady’ is a tricky position to be in,” she said. “So let me give you some advice out there, if anybody’s thinking of changing their title or giving yourself a nickname, do not go with the ‘be kind lady.’ The truth is, I am that person that you see on TV. I am also a lot of other things: Sometimes I get sad, I get mad, I get anxious, I get frustrated, I get impatient. And I am working on all of that.” The statement was met with backlash, as some accused DeGeneres of failing to meaningfully address the issue.
Now, over a year later, the star seems to be once again embracing the motto by inserting the ethos of kindness into her new beauty line. Products are not tested on animals, and all are vegan or vegetarian. The brand is pegged by its founders as “age-positive” and designed to fit all skin types. Kind Science offers seven products, including a cleanser, micro-exfoliant, firming serum, hydration cream, eye cream, neck treatment and radiance oil.
The skincare brand — three years in the making — is launching at a time when many other celebrity beauty businesses are popping up, from Jennifer Lopez with JLo Beauty to Ariana Grande’s soon-to-drop R.E.M. Beauty. The celebrity-backed beauty market may be over saturated, but DeGeneres’s brand aims to set itself apart with a focus of age positivity, as opposed to anti-aging.
Looking to get that Ellen DeGeneres “kindness” glow? (Sorry, we had to.) Kind Science is available for online orders now.