RFLCT May Have Misled YouTuber Valkyrae As Much As Anyone Else

When YouTube streamer Valkyrae first revealed the RFLCT skincare line, while the initial idea may have sounded interesting in theory, everyone couldn't help but raise concerns regarding the company's lack of publicized evidence. At first, Valkyrae swore up and down that there was valid research involved, but after the company subtly changed RFLCT's website with new information in light of the backlash, Valkyrae recanted a lot of her support for the company.

In the end, RFLCT would never reveal its research, would put Valkyrae in a bad, unreliable light, and would not only shut down its business but take down all of its social media posts. In reality, even though she's facing a lot of criticism, the YouTuber's career is probably fine, but she also likely learned the responsibility that comes with being an influencer.

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Why RFLCT Was Probably a 'Scam'

These days, it's almost common knowledge that blue light emitted from screens like computers and phones has the potential to cause damage to the eyes, however, aggressive and deceptive marketing has exponentially inflated public concern over blue light, which has led to the widespread belief that color-filtering lenses are a clinical treatment for eye strain. This baseless fear seems to be exactly what RFLCT aimed to take advantage of until the internet broke out in skepticism.

After users, including doctors and scientists, began raising concerns about the product's legitimacy and effectiveness, RFLCT changed its website—which originally claimed that blue light could cause skin damage by shrinking cells, accelerate aging, and cause redness—to vague statements that more accurately represented the somewhat inconclusive evidence that other studies have shown. Despite this supposed proof, RFLCT refused to publish it out of fear that other companies would steal its research to use for their own profit. This is where most of the backlash toward Valkyrae and the company has come from.

In the end, this entire RFLCT situation is a good example of how easy it is to make claims and "cite" studies without backing up those ideas with actual facts and figures, and how quickly this misinformation can spread on the internet.

Valkyrae May Have Been More Scammed Than Anyone

While folks may be quick to judge Valkyrae and her role in the situation, saying that promoting a beauty line without proper investigation was problematic, it's possible that the 100 Thieves co-owner herself may have been misled with false information as part of this business model.

On multiple occasions, Valkyrae has said that she saw the research, though she never went to the RFLCT herself, and was led to believe that it was legitimate. For the next year and a half, she would see and be able to test the product herself, but it's an important lesson, not just for Valkyrae but for onlookers, that reading studies and statistics isn't always enough because it can be purposefully misconstrued to fit a certain narrative, which is likely how the YouTuber star and her popularity was taken advantage of by RFLCT.

Even worse was that RFLCT refused to post these studies as proof of its claims, which Valkyrae was not originally aware was the case, making the entire problem more damaging. RFLCT was supposedly concerned that the research would be stolen by other companies, however, some have pointed out that it could've shared research about how blue light damages the skin without revealing specific notes on its trademarked BLPF ingredient. It looked fake and superficial, and because of the company refusing to publish its research, Valkyrae would recant her support of RFLCT despite her contract, leading to its ultimate closure.

YouTuber Valkyrae's role in the RFLCT controversy can be compared to the infamous Fyre Festival scandal, which was initially overhyped by influencers who didn't do their due diligence of proper research prior to participating in shoots for Fyre and spreading the orange square all over Instagram. However, blame cannot be put solely on the influencers because Fyre's organizer was found to be misleading investors and the public with false information. It's possible the same could be said about Valkyrae's role in RFLCT's marketing, but the company's true nature may never fully come to light.

It unfortunately seems like the situation may have hurt Valkyrae's friendships with other streamers like Pokimane and Hasan Piker. But not only that, but Valkyrae has specifically cited her agency UTA as the connection for her partnership with RFLCT, and its reputation may be affected by this controversy as well. In this way, if Valkyrae and her agency were to find that they were misled or given misinformation, they could likely enforce legal action, but the YouTuber probably wants to distance herself from the situation going forward.

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About The Author
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Brittni Finley (838 Articles Published)

After growing up with Pokemon, Kirby, and Animal Crossing, The Elder Scrolls' fifth installment of Skyrim changed her life and she's been an avid gamer ever since. If she's not tending to yet another new farm in Stardew Valley, find her hunting for used 3DS cartridges or looking for the next hit narrative indie game.

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