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The Controversial Reason Valkyrae's New Product Is Going Viral

As one of the first women to have a major stake in an esports collective, Valkyrae is no stranger to breaking boundaries. The 100 Thieves co-owner and streamer recently announced the release of her new skincare line, RFLCT, but not all fans think it's a sound idea.

According to RFLCT's website, the new skincare line considers gamers' needs and works to protect one's skin from the blue light emitted by many computer screens. The site's FAQ explains that RFLCT is "like SPF, but for the screen," and that it can act as a barrier between blue light and the skin.

Valkyrae announced the new product on Twitter, where she wrote, "this has been a long journey with my team; testing, samples, meetings, chemists & Claudia Poccia teaching/guiding me through the skincare industry. this is just the beginning!" Corpse Husband, a close friend of Valkyrae, responded by saying saying, "So happy for you Rae." Meanwhile, friend and fellow streamer TinaKitten said, "congratulations Rae!! you deserve every little bit and more," adding to the well-wishes from Valkyrae's peers. 

However, many gamers and fans were quick to point out that RFLCT could be "creating a problem that doesn't exist" in order to find a new niche in the skincare market and boost sales.

The research on blue light is unclear

Many commenters directly told Valkyrae that blue light is not dangerous. One user bluntly said, "Rachel, there is no, peer-reviewed literature, clinically assessing the damaging effects of blue light on the skin, and certainly none presented by rflct." Some fans noted that RFLCT, and those coming to its defense, should be more specific in citing its sources, because doing otherwise could potentially lead to "misinformation spread." Others were harsher in their criticism, calling the entire campaign a "badly designed scam" and "a money grab."

A 2018 study from the Journal of Biomedical Physics and Engineering found that "Current data show that exposure to blue light can lead to different levels of damage in human eyes and skin," but other studies aren't so clear-cut. For example, a separate study indicated that visible light can be used in dermatological practices safely. For now, it's unclear if blue light has a visible difference on one's skin, and although staring at a screen for too long can cause disruptions to sleep patterns, it's probably not prematurely aging anyone. Some fans took greater issue with the unclear claims made on the RFLCT website, rather than the uncertainty surrounding the effects of blue light itself.

According to Dexerto, Valkyrae responded to the backlash on her personal Twitter account. She shared that she was told to wait before responding to the controversy — and then later removed the tweet. Dexerto also reported that the language on RFLCT's website had been altered to include some scientific studies.