itk Skincare is an affordable online skincare brand launched by influencers Brooklyn and Bailey who have a popular YouTube channel with over 7 million subscribers. The brand is only sold on Walmart, and the products are advertised as “straightforward and simple” and free of harmful ingredients.
But does itk Skincare contain research-backed ingredients for hydrating skin and reducing visible signs of aging? Do the products contain any questionable additive ingredients? Did the brand get copied by Kylie Cosmetics? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of itk Skincare?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in two of itk Skincare’s most popular products (Prebiotic Gel Moisturizer and Nightly Clarifying Serum) based on medical studies to give our take on whether they’re likely to be effective or if they’re a waste of money.
We’ll also share a popular YouTube video alleging that Kylie Cosmetics copied itk, and feature real, unsponsored itk Skincare user reviews.
Prebiotic Gel Moisturizer Ingredient Analysis
The ingredients in itk Skincare Prebiotic Gel Moisturizer are shown above.
This product does contain a number of research-backed moisturizing ingredients.
Niacinamide has been shown to smooth out wrinkles and moisturize the skin in a medical review published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.
Aloe vera leaf juice is clinically shown to increase skin hydration, and is considered as one of the most effective botanical moisturizers.
Squalane is one of the most potent skin moisturizers, as we documented in our review of another skincare brand featuring this ingredient called Biossance.
Glycerin was shown to increase skin moisture content by around 15% when applied topically in a 2001 clinical trial.
While the Prebiotic Moisturizer Gel has some effective active ingredients, it also has some questionable additive ingredients.
Sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate and phenoxyethanol are preservatives, the last of which was shown to be toxic to human cells in a 2020 clinical trial. This was an in vitro (test tube) trial which makes the results weaker than a human trial, but we still believe it’s worth noting.
Overall we consider Prebiotic Gel Moisturizer likely to be effective for moisturizing skin, and we’re impressed by the potency of this formulation especially considering the price (under $15).
We don’t currently recommend this product due to the three preservative ingredients.
But is Nightly Clarifying Serum better-formulated? We’ll review in the next ingredient analysis section, but first we’ll highlight a YouTube video suggesting that Kylie Cosmetics stole from itk’s founders:
Did Kylie Cosmetics Copy itk?
A popular YouTube channel called “Drama Investigator” shares some allegations about Kylie Cosmetics copying itk skincare:
itk Skincare Nightly Clarifying Serum Ingredient Analysis
The ingredients in itk Skincare Nightly Clarifying Serum are shown above.
This product is used to clarify skin and provide anti-aging support, and like the previous product, it contains a number of research-backed ingredients.
Jojoba seed oil has a number of dermatological applications according to a 2013 medical review. The study authors documented that jojoba seed oil has skin-moisturizing effects and propose that it may have anti-aging effects as well.
Bakuchiol is a chemical compound derived from the babchi plant native to India. As we documented in our review of Paula’s Choice Exfoliant, it’s been clinically shown to reduce wrinkles. It's also a less irritating alternative to retinoids with similar properties according to a medical review.
Palmitoyl tripeptide-1 and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 are members of a class of compounds called peptides, and topical application of peptides has been clinically shown to reduce wrinkles by 6-13%.
Sodium hyaluronate is one of the most well-studied anti-aging ingredients and another effective ingredient choice.
This formulation only contains two synthetic preservatives (phenoxyethanol and sodium benzoate) so we consider it better than the previous itk Skincare product in that regard.
Overall, we consider itk Skincare Nightly Clarifying Serum to be likely to not only provide the clarifying effect that the brand claims it will, but also reduce wrinkles and visible signs of aging.
We’re highly impressed again by the potency of this formulation for its price, however we don’t currently recommend it two to the two preservative ingredients.
But how do real users rate and describe the effects of itk Skincare products? We’ll review in the next section.
Real, Unsponsored itk Skincare User Reviews
A YouTube creator named “SunFloraa” reviewed various itk Skincare products and included before-and-after images:
A TikTok creator named Jordyn Asplin shares her thoughts after using itk Skincare for 31 days:
@jordyn.asplin ITK SKINCARE UPDATE DAY 31!!! #itk #skincare #skincaretips #nighttimeroutine ♬ original sound - Jordyn Asplin
Hear From itk’s Founders
itk’s founders Brooklyn and Bailey have a video on their YouTube page with over 280,000 views where they explain the launch of their brand and describe the benefits of the different products:
Our Research-Backed Skincare Picks
We recommend skincare products if they contain clinically-proven ingredients and are free of harmful additives.
Annie Mak Vitamin C Serum is our top serum pick. It contains hyaluronic acid which was described as a "skin-rejuvenating biomedicine" in a medical review due to its ability to reduce wrinkles and signs of facial aging. Topical vitamin C is also clinically shown to improve skin hydration and reduce wrinkles.
Interested consumers can check out Annie Mak Vitamin C Serum at this link to the product page on the official brand's website.
Hydraglow is our top moisturizer pick. It features bakuchiol as an active ingredient which was described in a 2014 clinical trial as "clinically proven to have anti-aging effects."
In the above-linked trial, topical bakuchiol reduced wrinkles, improved skin elasticity and firmness, and reduced photodamage (damage from UV rays). There are no questionable additive ingredients in this product.
Interested consumers can purchase Hydraglow at the secure checkout below:
The only oral supplement we recommend for skin quality improvement is Bulletproof Collagen Powder.
Oral collagen supplementation was shown in a medical review published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology to improve visible signs of skin aging as well as improve skin elasticity and skin hydration. The only ingredient in Bulletproof collagen is collagen peptides sourced from grass-fed animals.
Interested consumers can check out Bulletproof Collagen Powder at this link to the product page on the official brand's website.
All three products recommended here are entirely free of harmful additives.
Pros and Cons of itk Skincare
Here are the pros and cons of itk Skincare as a brand in our opinion:
- Many research-backed ingredients
- Great potency for the price
- No seriously questionable additives like fragrance
- Very favorable customer reviews
- Available at Walmart
- Products contain synthetic preservatives