Rachell "Valkyrae" Hofstetter gave her first full explanation of her side of the ongoing RFLCT blue-light controversy on YouTube Saturday. In short, she stands by the product and claims to have seen all the research backing it, but she says that they can't show anyone else that research, so we are just going to have to trust her.
She expressed her understanding of why this upsets people, and said she didn't know until after the release of the product that the research would remain private, saying "I needed them to release the blue light research specifically."
The co-owner of 100 Thieves has been under fire all week, after revealing RFLCT, a line of skincare products that she is a co-founder of that claims to protect your skin from the "dangerous" bluelight from your screen.
While many have been supportive of Valkyrae this week, others questioned the science behind the product claiming that blue light screens are doing serious damage to your skin, and further questioning the idea that RFLCT products will somehow protect your skin from the alleged blue-light damage.
"I saw [RFLCT's] research, I loved it, I thought it was so sick," Valkyrae explained in regards to her experience with RFLCT. "My involvement with RFLCT for the next year and a half was, they would send me samples of the products. I tested the smell, the texture, the packaging. . . that was my involvement. I am not a chemist, I have never been the to lab in person, I have just seen the research and all that."
According to Valkyrae, RFLCT ran their own studies demonstrating the dangers of blue light and showing their products will help, though she admitted that those alleged studies are not public and will never be released to the public, so there is no way for anyone to actually check that research or its methodology in any sense.
She explained, "We ran our own studies, we did our own research. . . I was really excited because this whole time I was under the impression that all that research and everything I saw was going to be on the website, and when RFLT dropped it was critical and crucial for there to be information and there was nothing but a WebMD link... I was confused. I had meetings with them after that for the next few days. . . That is when I learned that their studies can't be publicized. That is the part I was very naive about. I didn't know that part."
She said the reason they can't share the research is that "the specific research can be stolen by other companies." While she stated that she understands it's hard for people to just believe her, she also seemingly expects people to buy RFLCT products anyway without seeing any evidence that it works or having access in any sense to the methodology or a peer-reviewed study on the product.
Valkyrae compared RFLCT product research to sunscreen, CBD, and eggs, saying that the research just isn't widely accepted yet just like what happened with those products where there was some scrutiny. At the same time, she said that she doesn't want to have to convince people and that she is frustrated with the "pickle" she is in now, since she can't show the research that convinced her RFLCT was a good product in the first place.
"With how the website launched and also knowing that the research can't be on the website, it makes me not want to be involved," Valkyrae concluded. "I was excited for the confirmedness, you know? Like I can point to it, and be like 'look, they researched it and studied it but it can't be there. So I don't really know. . . That is why I want out, no matter what I say, it doesn't matter that I saw the studies, it doesn't matter that the company did its own research. . . I don't know how to continue with it."
So in summary, Valkyrae completely stands by the product, and its need, but wishes that the website was showing all the relevant information she claims to have seen. She said that she understands where the backlash is coming from, but she isn't backing down from supporting the product and wants her audience to just trust her, while at the same time she also expressed a desire to no longer be involved due to the fact that the research can't be shown to the public.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.