Doctor V – Layering Minimalist for Acne

Today’s topic is all about Be Minimalist and how to layer for acne. Now, Be Minimalist is probably one of the most impressive brands that I’ve seen come from India, and I think it’s also selling in obviously the Southeast and obviously the far East as well. The reason why I love it is because they use international standards for disclosure. If you manufacture in India, the law is that, actually, you don’t have to even disclose full Inkey lists, so you’re relying on the marketing. The marketing’s not usually accurate, so then you don’t know what you’re buying and what you’re putting on your face. That’s really why I’ve struggled a lot with reviewing brands from India, because the lists are not there, the ingredients lists on the majority of the brands aren’t there. So I can’t give you full information, when I don’t have access to full information.

But, Be Minimalist is very different. A lot of the suppliers that they buy from are the same suppliers that I buy from, and that’s how I know as well that what they’re saying on the packaging is true, is legitimate. I’ve been so happy with Be Minimalist that I’ve actually made a series of videos for you. I just released one the other day on how to layer for hyper pigmentation, and I did another one which was the best and worst from Be Minimalist, the ones I would buy and the ones I would say to avoid.

As you know, none of my videos have ever been sponsored, and they will never be sponsored. That’s really important, because we need a reference library to tell us, just from a science perspective, which products are ideal and which ones are not great. That wouldn’t happen if I was sponsored, for example. That’s really important. That video is a good video to watch as well.

Full disclosure, I am Indian and half my family live in India, so obviously you want to best skin care for everyone in India. I have struggled with reviewing brands from India, just because the Inkey lists aren’t there, so sometimes I have been accused of coming across as being very arrogant from some influencers in India, and I’m really sorry for ever coming across arrogant. That’s absolutely not what I want, it’s just I do have very high standards for all of us, and I want you to have the best. That’s why I do call out brands when I just don’t think that they’re meeting the standards that I think we need. I am sorry if I have offended anybody. If that sounds good to you, please give me a thumbs up and let’s dive right in.

First of all, let’s discuss why you get acne, and what you need to do in order to help your skin. It tends to happen during puberty, or the week before your period. For me, that’s always been the case, that my husband will know when my period’s about to start. Number one, I’m very sad, I feel very low, and then I get at least one or two spots on my face. That’s really normal for females to go through that cycle. But just generally, it tends to increase during puberty. Often, it can go on throughout your entire lifetime.

The reason it happens is because you have an overproduction of sebum. This, plus dead skin cells in the pore will form a plug. That plug then forms an anerobic environment, that’s an environment with no oxygen, and in that environment we have a bacteria called P-acnes. P-acnes will basically break down the material in the pore, so the sebum and the dead skin cells, and will release free fatty acids. Those free fatty acids are highly irritating, that’s what leads to the red marks. Now with time, with skin of color, guess what happens to those red marks? Yes, they go brown. Because, don’t forget, that any irritation to the skin, including from free fatty acids, can trigger your melanocytes and overproduce melanin. That’s the full cycle of what basically happens with acne on skin of color.

You want to break this acne cycle. And even once you’ve broken the cycle, you want to keep it under control. There are three main things that you need to do. First of all, you want to control sebum production. You want to control P-acnes, that’s the bacteria on the skin. And, you want to unclog the pore. Those three things are essential, and you should probably carry on doing those things if you are prone to acne, and you want to always prevent it from coming back again.

How I would layer it is start off by, first, washing your face either with a salicylic acid wash or benzoyl peroxide wash. Make sure there’s no fragrance, and no other irritating ingredients. Ideally, you want humectants in that face wash too, so things like glycerine urea are great ingredients that you want to be able to see on the back of your packaging.

Then, I would start off with your 2% salicylic acid. The reason being that it is fat soluble, so it absorbs into the pore and helps to clear it out. That’s also non irritating, and I do love the one from Be Minimalist.

At this point, ideally you want to be putting on the ingredients that’s going to kill P-acnes, so that’s your benzoyl peroxide. Usually, I prefer about 2% benzoyl peroxide on its own, so something like Paula’s Choice, for example. For Be Minimalist, they have added 5% glycolic, and I think that this might be too irritating for skin of color. I’ll tell you why. 2% benzoyl peroxide is going to dry the skin, it’s already quite a sensitizing ingredient. And then, you put on my least favorite AHA, glycolic acid, and it could potentially irritate too much and lead to PIH. I would prefer you used a 2% benzoyl peroxide solution on its own. But, if you haven’t got access to it, then I would try this but I would start off very gently. I might even titrate it, so I put even put say, for example, the palm of my hand, a couple of drops of this 2% benzoyl peroxide and then mix it with the 5% niacinamide into a solution on the palm of my hand before I put it onto the face, just so that you’re halving your glycolic acid on the skin.

I did actually say that I didn’t like this particular product in my video that I did on best and worst products from Be Minimalist, but it’s the only benzoyl peroxide product that they have. If there was one on its own, I would have told you to use that one instead. So Be Minimalist, if you’re watching, please just make yourself a benzoyl peroxide 2% solution, add some humectants, and I promise you it will be a bestseller.

The next product I would add is a niacinamide 5%. This is to just help with sebum control, and help to reduce any pigmentation. Also, to help any red marks. But, don’t forget that niacinamide does increase cell turnover, so you can get purging especially if you’re already prone to acne. I wouldn’t go to 10%, I would start off at 5% and that’s probably the best way to titrate, and make sure you’re not getting the purging as well.

The next step you must do, and that is to moisturize. The reason is you’ve now dried the skin out with your benzoyl peroxide and your salicylic acid, and that tight feeling is going to feed back, and you’re going to start to overproduce sebum, which is obviously a mistake. The two that I like from what they produce is 100% squalene and the sepicalm 3% because it’s got oats in it, too, it’s non-comedogenic, and it’s got panthenol as well. They’re both anti-inflammatories, which is great. Because, don’t forget, acne skin is inflamed skin, so we really want to soothe the skin and calm it down.

In the morning, wash your face. If your skin is feeling oily in the morning, then use your salicylic acid face wash. Yeah, that’s probably the best thing to do at that point, because you want to get the oil under control. Then, you want to moisturize and apply your SPF50. That’s really important, because don’t forget that when you have acne, and it goes to red marks and then brown marks, brown marks are not going to go away if UV keeps hitting those melanocytes. We really want to use a non-comedogenic sunscreen that will block UV.

I have been asked so many times to find a good mineral sunscreen in India that’s SPF50, and honestly I am struggling. Globally, it’s a difficult thing to do. As you know, I have been working on a world’s first invisible SPF50 mineral sunscreen for skin of color. This should hopefully be launched in the next couple of months, and I want to make it global, and I want to make it affordable so that everyone with skin of color will have access. But, you literally can put it on under your makeup, SPF50, and non-comedogenic, and no white cast. That’s probably the most exciting thing I achieved last year, but it is going to take me a couple of more months before everyone else has access.

If you do want to be put on the waiting list for the sunscreen, it’s literally going to be at drugstore prices, just follow the link down below for the sunscreen and you’ll be the first in line to get it.

I think going back to that point that I made about the benzoyl peroxide, the 2%, and the glycolic acid, actually I think I’d prefer if you wanted to dilute it, then do it with the squalene instead of with the niacinamide. The reason is that I don’t know what the pH is of this product. Niacinamide works best at a neutral pH, so it’s best to then dilute it with a skin identical oil, IE the 100% squalene.

Right, I’d love to hear your feedback on this routine. Please take your photos now, and then take your photos in about three months time, and then six months time. If you could send me your photos on @skincarebydrv, or at @thehyperpigmentationclinic on Instagram, or even if you just want to let me know down below, that would be really great. Because if I needed to tweak this, then I will for you. If you’re finding it too drying, or you’re finding it too irritating, et cetera, then I would love to obviously keep improving the products that I’m suggesting. But also, how to layer it or quantities.

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