Hyram Yarbro On What Makes A Good Product
For anyone who gets skincare cues from social media, Hyram Yarbro needs no introduction. The makeup artist and skinfluencer, AKA a skincare specialist who shares his knowledge via social, has over 6.8 million fans on TikTok and 1.2 million followers on Instagram. Over the past couple of years, Hyram’s built up a reputation for doing the research behind key ingredients and brands before offering his insights online. While he covers the good, the bad and ugly in his videos, he’s balanced, eloquent approach keeps people coming back.
Several of the products that Hyram calls out as favourites correlate with our bestsellers, so we decided to ask him what makes a good skincare product and how he rates them…
How Hyram Rates Skincare Products
I base it on a few different factors: accessibility, price point, skin health, and brand ethics. I like to support brands and formulas that have products with skin health and sensitivity in mind, in order to be accessible to as many consumers as possible. Given that my audience is younger, I always like to have recommendations that are affordable with effective formulas for treating skin concerns. Once a product clears those standards, I like to use the formula on my own skin and see what results it yields. However, I understand that my skin type and concerns are not representative of my audience at large, so I put more emphasis on the formulas and ingredients than my anecdotal experience.
The Ingredients On His Hot List
I love to look for ingredients that reduce sensitivity and support the barrier function of the skin, like niacinamide or centella asiatica. PHAs, mandelic acid and salicylic acid are on my list too, as they’re effective treatments that don’t overtreat the skin.
Where possible I try my best to read up on the up-and-coming ingredients too. I’ve been loving succinic acid, tranexamic acid, and phytic acid for their acne prevention, hyperpigmentation, or exfoliation benefits.
Hyram’s Two Skincare Non-Negotiables
Everyone needs to have a sunscreen and good exfoliant in their routine. Sun damage is the primary contributor to skin concerns and having a good sunscreen to protect yourself, alongside the benefits of exfoliation to reduce damage and prevent premature aging, are a must in every routine.
His Advise For Beauty Brands
I’m sensitive to the requests and concerns of my audience, and I find that brands formulate more for experience or luxury rather than accessibility and skin health. Where possible I try to base my feelings solely on the ingredient list and encourage brands to consider creating or revising formulas to encompass a growing number of consumers that are mindful about the ingredients in their products. It’s about pushing brands to be more mindful and accessible, rather than spreading negativity.
A Note On Cancel Culture
I appreciate when consumers use their voice to express concern surrounding products or ingredients to push brands to be better, but I think it’s important to always give every brand a chance. There are certain brands with products that I completely disagree with, but I don’t support “cancelling” them purely on a difference in formulation philosophy. We should encourage brands to be better and be ready to support them when they take that step. I want what’s best for brands and what will increase accessibility to consumers, and that isn’t possible if we aren’t willing to give them a chance to improve their products.
As for ingredients, I like to remember the phrase “the dosage makes the poison”. It all comes down to ingredient concentration and role in products. I think it’s healthier to look at the role of an ingredient in a formula rather than swearing it off altogether. On this front, it’s important to listen to the science and what chemists and dermatologists are telling us. I try to make ingredient recommendations based on a perspective of necessity and skin health risk.