Be Minimalist – Layering Hyperpigmentation

So today’s topic – This one is for India. Its called, Be Minimalist. Now I’m sure a lot of you already know that I was maybe very harsh on some of the brands in India and that people did get a bit upset with me. And the reason I was a bit harsh is because India’s laws for packaging says that you just need to put the key ingredients on the packaging. This is very different to international. So for example, right now, my LipX Kit and my Dark Circles Kit, we are registering in India to sell. But for me to do that, I have to give full certificates of analysis.

They need to see your CPSR, they need to see the percentage of ingredients. The ingredients need to be on the packaging. So it’s very strict when I’m importing my product into India. But when Indian brands that are manufactured in India, their rules are completely different. They don’t need to tell you anything. They can jut write, “Oh, it’s got Aloe vera and it’s got niacinamide in it. It’s great.” Whereas you don’t know, does it have fragrance? Does it have essential oils? Does it have a comedogenic ingredients if you’ve got really acne prone skin? You don’t know.

And so this is why, because I have very high standards for skin of color, I may be sometimes a bit harsh. So I do apologize if I upset anybody. Now with be minimalist, I’m also a little bit apprehensive and I was nervous to do any more brands in India after that experience, but I know there’s a lot of controversy around be minimalist and I don’t even want to get into it. I’m just going to tell you from a scientific perspective, the ingredients. Whether or not you buy it or you don’t buy it, or you like the history about it, whether you think it’s copying The Ordinary or not, I’m not actually going to comment on any of that. I feel like you can make your own decision on that front. I’m only going to tell you from an ingredients perspective, whether or not it’s a suitable product for skin of color or whether you should avoid. So if that sounds good to you and that’s what you want to hear from me, please can you give me a thumbs up and let’s get started.

Okay. So the first product we’re going to be talking about is Niacinamide. So the first ingredient here is aloe vera, which is an anti-inflammatory and I love this. I think they use aloe vera in a lot of their ingredients, a lot of their products as the first ingredient, which means it’s at a high percentage, so that’s excellent. The second ingredient here is your niacinamide which you would expect, because if it’s at 10%, then you would expect it to be the second ingredient. You already know this by now. I’m not teaching you anything new at this point.

The good news is it’s got no fragrance, no alcohol, no essential oils and for me, that is excellent because unfortunately, majority, like I would say, 99.9% of the products in India that I do investigate do have these ingredients in them. So, I mean, so far I love it and I would buy it. The thing that I would talk about with niacinamide is even with The Ordinary or other brands that do 10% niacinamide, a lot of people are seeing purging. A lot of people are seeing irritation, which is very strange, considering niacinamide is the friendliest ingredient for skin of color. And I think one of the main reasons for this is because any trial, the majority of trials that we’ve done for niacinamide have actually been done at about three to 5%, so quite a low percentage. And then suddenly The Ordinary came up with 10%.

Most people were fine, but a lot of people were getting purging and couldn’t understand why when niacinamide was meant to be the friendliest ingredient. So personally speaking, niacinamide, if you do have sensitive skin and your skin is likely to purge, it is better to use niacinamide at a lower percentage. So about 5%, which is where the trials were all done at. But if that’s not your case, then I’m happy for you to move on and purchase this product at 10%.

Okay. So the next product, I’m not a fan of. So this is the AHA 25%, PHA 5%, BHA 2%. Well, let’s go through it. So it’s got glycolic acid, lactic acid at 25%. This is too high for skin of color. A lot of people are going to become irritated with this product and are going to burn with it and going to get more pigmentation. So I’m not a fan of that. It’s not a good idea just to copy paste The Ordinary because a lot of the products I don’t like for skin of color. I’ve actually done a whole video on The Ordinary that the worst from The Ordinary that I definitely would not recommend for skin of color.

I’ve also done many, The Ordinary the best and how to use them. But even The Ordinary is AHA BHA I said avoid. I’m sure you’ve seen yourself just having people burn with that product, the red vial. A lot of people would be fine with it, but for me, my standard is 0% burns. That is where I’m happy. I don’t want even one person with skin of color having irritation from a product that they’ve used and be left in a worse situation.

So with this particular product, I like the fact that they’ve got 5% PHA in it. And so these are polyhydroxy acids, and they’re basically a larger molecule than AHA. So they’re less sensitizing and they’re less irritating. I also love the fact that they put in 2% BHA. Fantastic. If I was to reformulate this product, it’d be very simple. I would just remove the AHA. I would keep the PHA 5%, keep your 2% salicylic acid and it will be a fantastic exfoliant for skin of color. I would recommend it. So Be Minimalist, if you’re reading please, if you do that, I will recommend that as an exfoliant. But the way this is right now, I would say no.

Okay. So the next product I love, which is Alpha Arbutin 2% plus 1% hyaluronic acid. So it’s a very simple formula. Started off with aloe vera, which is anti inflammatory, which I love. It’s got alpha arbutin, a tyrosinase inhibitor plus sodium hydrogenate, which is excellent too. So how I would use this is at nighttime. You want to cleanse, tone, exfoliate, and then add your treatment. So this would be your treatment serum followed by your moisturizer. Now don’t forget this product has got HA in it, Hyaluronic acid, which is a water magnet. That water has to come from somewhere. I don’t want it to come from the lower layers of your skin. I want it to come from your moisturizer, but so that’s really important.

The other thing I would say is if you do wear hyaluronic acid, it might be a good idea to also use a humidifier, especially if you have central heating or you use an air conditioner, because you want the water to come from the air and not from deeper in your skin. So it’s a nice thing to do and is good for anti-aging as well.

Okay. So the next product is a benzoyl peroxide 2% plus a 5% glycolic acid. Again, this is too harsh for skin of color. Don’t forget benzoyl peroxide is already drying to the skin. The skin is already going to be irritated wearing that. Actually what you want to pair it with are humectants. Things that are going to bring water molecules into the skin and skin soothers. You don’t want to add glycolic acid, literally the harshest AHA. One of the harshest AHA’s that there are with the smallest molecule. As it is, I’m not a fan of glycolic acid used in this way. I like it as a way to get actives deeper into the skin. But you have to be very careful with glycolic acid.

You wouldn’t add two irritating ingredients together in a product for skin of color. So I would say reformulate this product with benzoyl peroxide plus humectants and you’ll have a winner. The way this is right now, I would avoid it, but you are very close.

Okay. Moving on to the next product, which is a grand active retinoid 2%. I love it. Buy it. This one is definitely has got to be approved. It’s one of my favorite forms of vitamin A as well because you have no irritation with it. Wear this at night time, not during the day. All actives for skin of color should really be worn at night unless it’s pH neutral and UV stable. Be very careful with what you apply during the day.

The next product I love too, it is the kojic acid 2% plus alpha arbutin 1% as an excellent combination of tyrosinase inhibitors. I would recommend you try this for three to six months and look at your pigmentation. If you feel like you’re happy at that point, you can leave it. But if you feel like three, six months later, you haven’t seen a significant enough reduction in pigmentation then you know you need to increase your percentage actives. You need to be using higher strength tyro senate inhibitors, but it’s a very good first step. And this one is also dot to be approved.

Okay. So the next product is a lactic acid 10% plus hyaluronic acid 1%. I feel like this is going to irritate some people at 10%. Ideally, I prefer lactic acid up to 7% maximum for skin of color, just because irritation leads to sensitivity pigmentation. These are just all things we want to avoid. So for me, because my standard is 0% reactions, I would probably avoid this particular product.

Okay. So the next product is a 2% salicylic acid. Now this one’s actually better than The Ordinary, which is good because The Ordinary one uses witch hazel and this one doesn’t and it’s good for oily acne prone skin. And so this one is definitely a keeper. Okay. So the next product is a squalane 100%. It’s a fantastic oil. It’s very hydrating, it reduces any transepidermal water loss. You use it as a last step of your skin care. So I would definitely purchase that one.

And the next one is the 20% vitamin C. So this is sodium ascorbyl phosphate, and it’s a water soluble form of vitamin C. So it is effective as an antioxidant. However, as you already know, I do tend to say wearing multiple different antioxidants in combination tends to give you better results just because it helps stabilize the formula. But this is a high percentage of vitamin C.

This is good for acne skin. What I would say with oily acne prone skin is you want to have benzoyl peroxide, use your salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and then wait a few minutes. And then you would use this 20% vitamin C because that’ll then mop up any free radicals that have happened from the benzoyl peroxide. The mistake people make is that people do the benzoyl peroxide and then immediately go with the antioxidant. However, now you have two ingredients that you’ve canceled each other out. You want the benzoyl peroxide to work first, just a few minutes for it to dry on the skin is short contact. The majority of the work is done immediately. And then you can put on your antioxidant serum.

Wow. I feel like we have done a whole whirlwind on this brand. If you want me to make you skincare routines based on the products that I like from Be Minimalist, can you write them down below? Which ones specifically you want me to do for you. If there’s other things that we’re interested, please write them down.

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