If you're on TikTok, you'll have come across at least one of Hyram Yarbro's videos. In the past year or so, the skincare obsessive's TikTok account @skincarebyhyram has amassed an enormous 6.6 million loyal fans who look to him for trustworthy skincare advice, unfiltered product reviews and a focus on real skin (yep, texture, pores and breakouts are entirely normal).
Hyram's skincare tips have become so popular that he was snapped up by the founders of The Inkey List. Together, they created Selfless by Hyram: a simple but effective collection of five staple products, from cleanser and serums to moisturiser. While Selfless has no doubt changed the game, educating consumers about buzzy ingredients like retinol, niacinamide and SPF, it's not all about skin, according to Hyram. "The primary intent of creating Selfless by Hyram was to generate social change," says Hyram. "I wanted to connect the consumer's purchasing power with philanthropy." Since its inception, the brand has made a huge impact: over 160,000 acres of rainforest in Bolivia have been protected and over 5,000 people given clean drinking water for 50 years. "We are a carbon-zero brand which utilises sustainably sourced packaging," says Hyram, "and we're actively looking for ways to have an even bigger impact within the sustainability space."
Hyram's sustainability credentials are not to be sniffed at but it's his no-frills approach to skincare that his followers love the most — and with winter in full force, he's receiving a host of questions about how to keep skin in tip-top condition. Ahead, we asked Hyram which skin tweaks he'd make for the colder months — and they're actually pretty easy to copy.
Rethink your current cleanser
When you've found a cleanser you enjoy using, it's easy to buy it on repeat. But the foaming product that worked wonders to cut through sunscreen, oil and sweat in the warmer months might not be the best option as we segue into colder weather. "In the wintertime, we tend to use overly harsh cleansers that strip our skin of the natural oils that are necessary for moisture," says Hyram. Cue dry, tight-feeling skin. "We also cleanse too frequently," adds Hyram. "Especially with dry skin, I'd recommend cleansing only one or two times per day and using nourishing formulas to ensure the skin isn't over-stripped."
An R29 beauty editor favourite, Hyram's Centella & Green Tea Hydrating Gel Cleanser, £18, removes makeup in one go but doesn't sap skin of moisture. Also try Pacifica Vegan Collagen Creamy Gel Cleanser, £21, or Cetaphil Healthy Radiance Creamy Cleanser, £15.99, both of which cleanse thoroughly but don't make skin feel uncomfortably taut. There are exceptions, though. If you're working out in the middle of the day, consultant dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto says it's totally fine to cleanse afterwards. While that may take your cleansing toll up to three, it's better to be rid of sweat and face grease which might clog pores and cause breakouts.
Look for this simple, protective ingredient
If you're part of the internet's burgeoning skincare community, you'll know that some beauty enthusiasts suggest avoiding silicone (claiming it causes breakouts) as well as oils. Although certain skin types might not get on with them (for example, oily and acne-prone), Hyram suggests they may be beneficial, particularly for those with dry skin. "I think people tend not to use products that either utilise dimethicone [a type of silicone] or rich oils to seal in the skin's water," says Hyram, adding that both are "critical for making sure our skin can survive the winter."
According to Dija Ayodele, skin expert and author of Black Skin: The Definitive Skincare Guide, ingredients like these are only really helpful when applied on top of products containing moisture, such as hyaluronic acid, as they seal in water and prevent dryness. Look for both on the ingredients list. If you're not keen on using these ingredients on your facial skin, they're great in body products. Try Aveeno Skin Relief Nourishing Lotion Shea Butter, £8.09, or CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream, £18, which also contains exfoliating salicylic acid for smooth limbs.
Ditch your toner
Well, not entirely. Hyram suggests that if you do use a toner, you might want to alternate pore-clearing versions with more hydrating formulas, and trade your gel-textured moisturisers for richer, creamier versions to boost moisture in the skin. "Be careful about using products targeted at oily skin," says Hyram, which may not be hydrating enough. "Make sure to introduce ingredients like centella asiatica [otherwise known as cica] and niacinamide to help reduce the irritation and skin sensitivity that can come from the harsh cold."
Try Wishful Honey Whip Peptide Moisturiser, £37, which features both ingredients, or Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid, £26, if you're after a skin-quenching toner. We also love Hyram's Niacinamide & Maracujá Daily Barrier Support Moisturizer, £24, underneath SPF.
Up your hydration and moisture levels with the right skincare
"When your skin feels tight, it typically means one of two things," explains Hyram. "Firstly, that your skin doesn't have enough water and is consequently dehydrated. Secondly, that your skin lacks the surface oils and moisture to seal in water to keep your skin hydrated." Hyram says you can find hydration in ingredients like glycerin, green tea and hyaluronic acid, and you can find moisture in ingredients like squalane, murumuru butter and dimethicone. "Making sure your skin is both hydrated and moisturised is critical for protected skin in the winter." A more substantial moisturiser is the key to glowing skin, says Hyram. "I personally recommend the SkinFix Triple Lipid-Peptide Cream as a great daytime and nighttime moisturiser," he says. A great UK alternative would be The Inkey List's Peptide Moisturiser, £14.99, or Versed Skin Soak Rich Moisture Cream, £16.50, which can be used in the morning and evening.
Avoid these moisture-zapping ingredients in winter
This all depends on your skin and skin type but Hyram suggests it's best to avoid ingredients that can strip your skin or increase sensitivity. These include denatured alcohol (often found in many cleansers and easily spotted in ingredients lists), witch hazel and fragrant essential oils. As a rule of thumb, if your skincare has a very strong scent it could potentially cause irritation or stinging. Hyram adds: "If you have very dry skin, you'll also want to avoid formulas that contain strong concentrations of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide in order to best protect your moisture barrier. These ingredients don't necessarily always have a negative impact on your skin [in fact, dermatologists rate them for oily and acne-prone skin] but it's always best to play it safe."
Always apply this important product in the morning
Come rain or shine, Hyram always advocates a generous slathering of sunscreen in the morning. "Always wear your sunscreen," he says. "Around 90% of premature ageing is due to sun exposure alone and the majority of problems we face in our skin are exacerbated by sunlight." Even when it's cold and cloudy, UV is still around. "Using a sunscreen every day will help prevent the majority of issues in your skin that you'll likely spend too much time and money on in the future," says Hyram. Keeping your routine simple and intentional will enhance skin health, Hyram adds.
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