Is Stronger Skin Care Better?
– Hello everyone, and welcome to Skincare with Hyram. If you don’t know (bubbles popping) who I am, my name’s Hyram, and I’m passionate about teaching you how to perfect your skinca6re routine. So make sure you subscribe to my channel, and hit the notification bell so that you can see my videos (bell ringing) every single week.
So, I’m filming my third video in the last four hours which is something I normally don’t do because I don’t have the mental strength to be able to even last one video in a single day. So, I decided to bust this bad boy out.
Mountain Dew, not sponsored. And you know what? (sipping and blowing air) I already feel 50% straighter. (hard rock beat) Dude I like my Mountain Dew. I’m gonna hang out with you bros after. (soft jazzy music) (coughs) I swear to God Mountain Dew is a straight boy drink.
I don’t know what I’m doing drinking it. Give me energy. Let’s pray I make it through this video because I already feel like my social battery is somehow done for the day, and it’s 12 o’clock. Anyway, in this video I want to talk about something I’ve seen in the skincare industry over the last year.
Now 2020 was the year of skincare. We all know that. Skincare (beep) exploded. I swear to God, it was the last day of 2019, when people were still using lemons and honey for their DIY skincare. And then we got to New Year’s and suddenly everyone was using CeraVe and The Ordinary.
It was like an explosive year in the skincare world. Which, of course, is something I’m super happy about and a reason why a bunch of you guys are here. So I am forever grateful to 2020. The one thing I’m grateful for from 2024 (laughs), for skincare becoming so huge.
And oftentimes the first introduction to skincare is based off of a desire to get rid of a skin concern whether it’s acne breakouts, dark spots, premature aging. There are so many different reasons that people usually approach skincare, but it’s typically to get rid of a concern that they see within their skin.
For me, it was premature aging. I was aging like a raisin. And not that I’m not aging like a raisin now but skincare is helping me take my time. And when it comes to skincare the most powerful treatments that you can use to get rid of those issues are things like strong exfoliants, retinol, brightening agents and other treatments that are really good at getting rid of those issues.
However, simultaneously, I saw the industry grow more and more comfortable with using stronger percentages, stronger concentrations, and overall really strong products. And throughout the end of last year and even into this year there’s been a heavy emphasis and focus industry-wide on strong, effective skincare products.
We’re seeing products come out with higher percentages of active ingredients, faster acting formulas, more ingredients in the formulas and a focus on instant results. And you don’t have to look very far to find a lot of brands that are focused on adding more and more and more into their formulas.
But I want to explore this question. Is stronger skincare actually better? Is it better for your skin? Is it better for preventing and getting rid of skin issues? Are stronger skincare products actually better to buy? And that is the question, ladies and gentlemen that we will answer on today’s episode of Hyram blabs on for way too long.
Sunday’s at 8:00 p.m., Central. Now this question seems pretty simple but it’s actually kind of complicated. Because it can really depend on what types of ingredients you’re talking about, what types of formulas and what types of products.
So first let’s focus on exfoliants. This by far has been the most impacted by the endless pursuit for strongest skincare. You will find so many products on the market focused on including the highest percentage of active exfoliants possible.
For example, the infamous, The Ordinary AHA 30% and two percent BHA solution. This one exploded on TikTok. Every teenager was using it. And this by no means is isolated to The Ordinary alone. There are so many other brands that are focused on that as well.
Take for example, the Peter Thomas Roth 35% Phytic Acid and pro strength exfoliating Super Peel, with 35% phytic acid and glycolic acid. These percentages are very high in comparison to the majority of chemical exfoliants you can find on the market.
It’s a lot more than your typical five percent glycolic acid toner. One percent is also is also like acid treatment. 30, 35%, these are all extremely strong exfoliating treatments. Exfoliants are amazing to help dissolve the dead skin cells off of the face.
And the reason why this is so beneficial is because built-up dead skin cells can contribute to a lot of problems within the skin, like premature aging, dull skin, dark spots, and breakouts. And I am someone who is a firm believer in regularly exfoliating to make sure you’re preventing all that damage from occurring.
And this seems good, right? I mean a higher percentage equals more benefits right? Well, there’s a thing called over-exfoliation, where the solution is resolving the dead skin cells so rapidly that it actually begins to impact the healthy skin cells.
At leads to irritations, sensitivity, a broken moisture barrier, breakouts, and more sun sensitivity and a lot of other problems. And over-exfoliation is a real concern and something that I see all the time.
But it can be harder to notice because it can come in conjunction, and knowing that you’re taking care of your skin. And that’s a good thing, right? Take The Ordinary mask, for example. I have been a long time lover of this product because of how good of a job it does at getting all the dead skin cells off the face.
Like it feels like you have a new face afterwards. But on average I use it about once a month, maybe once every two weeks. And at maximum, I recommend that it should only be used once a week, at most.
And when I saw it getting really popular on TikTok, I saw some people who are using it every single day, seeing over-exfoliation side-effects and wondering why their skin wasn’t getting better. In my opinion, one of the most damaging things that you can do to your skin is over exfoliating it.
It’s worse than scrubs. It’s worse than fragrance in skincare. It’s worse than using too many products. It is one of the most damaging things you can do. It increases sun sensitivity, impairs The skin’s moisture barrier, causes redness, increases sensitivity.
And because people feel like they’re doing a good job, exfoliating their skin, a lot of times the side effects will continue for a long time and result in pretty severe long-term damage. So when it comes to exfoliants clearly, a higher percentage isn’t always better.
Our skin has a natural cycle of creating brand new skin cells. But if you’re exfoliating way too frequently the skin essentially can’t catch up. I mean, you’re putting a lot of pressure on it, okay. Poor skin, that’s a lot to handle.
And it may seem appealing to you because you’re like, well I don’t want to have to use a product every other day or every day that gently exfoliates the skin. I’d rather just get it all done in one go.
That can work, but from what I’ve seen, people tend to over-exfoliate their skin way too frequently. And the big contributor to this is having products with unnecessarily high percentages of active exfoliants.
Okay, okay, but that’s exfoliants, that’s really harsh treatments. What about other ingredients? What about other ingredients that aren’t as intense but still treat the skin? Well, let’s take one of my favorite ingredients, niacinamide.
I love niacinamide (laughs), if you didn’t know. Niacinamide is incredible because it helps us so many different skin concerns all while being really optimal for people who have super reactive or sensitive skin.
I personally believe that everyone should be niacinamide in this skincare routine because of all the benefits. And in terms of data samples that we have testing out the effectiveness and positive results from niacinamide, those benefits were found by using niacinamide at a concentration of five percent.
Is a product having a higher percentage of an ingredient good? Are higher percentages better? So we know that the results in the skin are good at five percent. But if you’re familiar with a lot of popular niacinamide products on the market, some that I have recommended on my channel, they are at concentrations of 10%.
There’s even products out there like the Paula’s Choice niacinamide serum that has a 20% concentration Or not to mention the The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder. But I mean, this isn’t a harsh treatment.
It’s well tolerated by sensitive skin, right? Here’s the thing when it comes to data surrounding niacinamide, we know the benefits present at five percent. But if you’re noticing a trend in this video, a higher percentage does not mean better results.
We know for certain, all the good things you’ll see in your skin from using niacinamide at five percent. But when you start increasing the percentage of niacinamide in a formula, it immediately brings into question how the skin is going to interact with that high of a percentage.
And for me I’ve always been comfortable using 10% concentrations of niacinamide because it’s still a low enough amount where you’ll see positive results with a very low likelihood of sensitivity. But when you start getting into the 20% range or even the 100% range, we really don’t know how the skin is going to interact with that high of a percentage.
And science unfortunately is not black and white. There’s the term I love in the cosmetic chemistry community called, the dosage makes the poison. Most ingredients out there at low percentages are totally fine for our skin.
Take air, for example. It is at the right percentage of oxygen to be able to make sure it’s sustaining our life. And that’s a good thing. Oxygen is good, but if you were to increase oxygen from 21% to 100%, we would all die bitch.
And though oxygen is a good thing, it can be lethal at the wrong dosage. And not that I’m saying niacinamide can be lethal but scientifically we don’t know how a hundred percent niacinamide concentration will interact with the skin, which automatically makes it a little risky.
‘Cause we just don’t know what’s gonna happen. So even though it’s an amazing ingredient with amazing benefits like niacinamide, the higher percentage you go, the less we will know about how your skin is going to interact with it and the possible risks that can come about.
Those are to any ingredient. It can cause a lot of sensitivity, irritation, reactions in the skin. Okay, okay Hyram, that’s treatment ingredients. I totally get it, totally understand. What about just normal, good soothing ingredients out there? Well, there are a bunch of incredible natural extracts that help to soothe the skin, help repair it and overall just boost the health of the skin.
And they’re well-tolerated by so many people with extreme sensitivities. Take, for example some of my favorite ingredients like Centella Asiatica extract, or green tea extract. or licorice root extract, shea butter, et cetera, et cetera.
These ingredients in most concentrations are amazing. But you will find products on the market, like for example, the Benton 80% Goodbye Redness gel with 80% Centella Asiatica. 80%, that is a lot. And data samples for Centella Asiatica vary, but a lot of times they’re right around the five percent mark, definitely not tested at that high of a concentration.
Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that high of a concentration is bad. Like I’ve used that product before and I really enjoy it but we don’t necessarily know all of the side effects of exposure to that high of a concentration of a single ingredient.
Considering specifically that this isn’t you just going out and rubbing a plant on your face. These are highly concentrated extracts that are purified or synthetically produced to be a lot more active on your skin.
And with that high of a concentration we just don’t know the full extent of what that could mean for your skin. So what does this mean (laughs)? Well, the message I found and what I’ve seen so many chemists and dermatologists say is that higher percentages of ingredients does not necessarily mean you will get better benefits and results.
It depends on a variety of factors. And you can’t really look at it in a black and white way. So if that’s the message then does this mean you can use high concentration products or should you use low concentration products? I personally believe that it all comes down to your frequency of use, how often you’re using these products.
The primary problem I see with people over-treating their skin is by how frequently they’re introducing those high concentration products to their skin. You can use products with high concentrations, but it’s most safe to use those types of products less frequently.
Like I said, with The Ordinary mask, I use it to one to two times a month. And I think that this approach is fine but it does make it a little bit more difficult to rely on consistent daily skincare that continually treats and takes care of the skin.
If you’re only doing an exfoliating treatment like once a month or twice a month that’s pretty infrequent exfoliation. And that’s a lot to expect out of your skincare product to only take care of your skin once a month.
And that’s why I personally believe in a gentle, active approach, using products that have a lower concentration of active ingredients so that you’re getting your treatment consistently without the risk of overexposing your skin to those active treatments and thereby leading to over-exfoliation and over-treatment.
With a gentle, active approach, you’re able to get the benefits of an ingredient every single day and consistently maintain and keep up with the health of your skin without having to worry about all the side effects.
So while it may not be as attractive to see a product that has five percent exfoliants instead of 30%, for your skin that’s a much safer and gentler way of ensuring that you’re properly exfoliating without the possible damage.
And here are some ways that you can achieve a gentle active approach. I truly think it’s the best for taking care of the health of your skin, preventing damage and making sure your skin looks its best every single day.
First, be careful about how frequently you use really concentrated products. Less is usually more. It’s always better to be safer than sorry. For me, a higher percentage goes the less and less consistently I’ll use that product.
Two, it’s good to be mindful of our percentages. Like I said before more is not always better. And I think we also need to be careful and skeptical of our obsession with higher and higher percentages.
Just because it’s a higher percentage does not mean it’s going to work better. If you see a brand or company that’s hyper-focused on getting the highest percentages possible of active ingredients like exfoliants, for example, don’t buy it without thinking.
Be really particular and careful about what you’re introducing to your routine and ask yourself the question, why is it a higher percentage? Why did they feel the need to go higher? Do I feel like I need a stronger concentration? Three using gentle skincare is okay.
I see so many people who are skeptical or fearful of using really gentle skincare because they’re afraid that it’s not gonna work well enough, when in my opinion it’s always better to start with gentle skincare, and then if you need to, supplement in more products that are stronger and more concentrated.
There are so many people I know, that when they start into skincare they automatically look for the highest percentage, when I’m like, whoa, calm down partner. Take it easy, start gentle and work your way up if you need to.
And if you don’t need to, great! You’re using gentle skincare that’s helping the health of your skin and not over-treating it. It is five days later my dudes. So when I was filming the first part of the video, I was in a mad rush.
I was really late to something. I don’t remember what it was. And I finished the video just in time, and then I realized that my memory ran out, and the whole last clip of the video is deleted (laughs).
That’s never happened before! It’s a totally isolated incident. Definitely didn’t trigger a rage. Now I’m fine, I’m just being dramatic. I’m literally almost done with the video. So I’m gonna try to remember what I was talking about (laughs).
It’s been a little while, these brain cells are rusty. The last step I recommend is first and foremost focus on your skin’s health. It is tempting to want to get products that are higher percentages, higher strength, instantaneous results, but most of the time instant results are not as what it’s healthiest for the skin.
Skincare is taking care of your health. And when you think about other aspects of health, dramatic instantaneous results are not the most healthy thing. When it comes to brushing your teeth, if your teeth are really stained and dirty, getting a product that’s going to instantly make them pearly white is probably not best for the health of your teeth.
Same thing with keeping a healthy weight. Eating healthy foods, and slowly day by day, getting rid of any excess weight or fat is much healthier for the body than rapidly shedding pounds as fast as possible.
Those things aren’t healthy for the body, and it’s the same thing with skincare. Skincare is about daily care and maintenance, using good ingredients and taking care of the health of your skin through daily care.
And it may seem tempting to want to get rid of those issues all at once to see a dramatic result, but if you want sustained healthy skin it comes through daily gentle care. And remember you want to have healthy skin for as long as possible because that’s really gonna pay off in the long run.
If you’re using overly harsh or overly strong treatments in the moment and not properly taking care of the health of your skin think about what it’s gonna do to your skin longterm. You could see some damage and that is not the goal with skincare.
So what has this video taught us? I would say that more than anything, be critical and be aware of ingredients, concentrations, the marketing of a product and what is most healthy for your skin. Just because it’s more concentrated does not mean it’s better.
Just because the product is chock full of really good ingredients, doesn’t mean it’s better. In my opinion, skincare is about balance and skin health, using products that are well-balanced to help treat your skin without overly sensitizing it, nurturing it without overexposing it to irritants, and daily consistent care over instantaneous results.
Ever since I adopted a gentle active approach when it came to my skincare, overall, I’ve noticed that my skin is so much more healthy. It’s well reinforced. It’s not irritated. It’s not sensitized. It’s not red.
It’s not more susceptible to sun damage. And overall, my skin just feels better. And I really do believe that a gentle active approach is what most people will find works really, really well for their skin.
Obviously I don’t know your skin best, but a gentle active approach primarily focuses on skin health and we can all make sure that we’re focusing on the health of our skin more than anything else. What do you guys think? What are your opinions? I would absolutely love to know your thoughts.
Do you agree with me? Do you disagree with me? I would love to hear your reasoning. Please let me know in the comment section down below. Overall, I hope the takeaway from this video is that you don’t need the strongest thing out there.
You don’t need (bubbles popping) to chase the highest percentage be mindful about what you’re using. And if you guys haven’t already be sure to subscribe to my channel and hit the notification bell so that you can see my videos every single week.
And I’ll see you guys in the next one.