What’s this? Yet, ANOTHER beauty influencer with their own cosmetic line? While I understand why these partnerships are done, I honestly roll my eyes with each one of these influencer launches especially when it comes to skincare as a lot of the time, I don’t truly believe that these people understand what they are promoting and historically speaking, tend to promote whichever brand gives the nicest brand trips, prettiest press packages or pays the most for sponsored content. When it came to Selfless by Hyram, I hesitated. I did watch Hyram quite a bit before his brand launch as he was fairly critical of supposed holy grail products and brands that all of the other influencers seemed to love. Overall, I do find him to be a fairly educated consumer who has not fallen victim to the “clean” or “green” movement and tends to avoid using those terms as well. The name of the brand made me cringe a little bit having the word “selfless” in there kind of seems to say the opposite like when someone says they themselves are generous. It just doesn’t sit well. Nevertheless, because of the decent price point and the ingredients in Hyram’s products, I decided to dip a toe in (I have been very good about not buying much skincare over the last two years) and purchase my favourite part of a skincare routine – a chemical exfoliant in the form of the Mandelic Acid and Rice Bran Gentle Exfoliating Serum.
One thing I did not realize until my Sephora order arrived was that Selfless by Hyram is powered by none other than skincare community favourite The Inkey List! I like The Inkey List so having them be the formulators of these products definitely made me believe that these products would deliver results. A few things that differentiate Hyram’s products from others is the focus on sourcing ingredients sustainably (no depletion of natural resources), being a climate conscious brand (they are currently a Carbon Net Zero Brand and have offset their carbon footprint activities since creation of the brand to December 2021) and reducing packaging (the entire tube and cap is fully recyclable and made from sustainably sourced sugarcane). If that all doesn’t sound good enough, every product purchased provides someone with a year’s clean drinking water through The Thirst Project. I would love to see this somehow done with the Indigenous people in Canada…
If you are looking for a gentle exfoliator to use 4-5x/week, this chemical exfoliator contains both AHA and BHA to ensure better skin texture and unclogged pores. The AHAs used in this serum are mandelic acid (aids in smoothing skin texture), gluconolactone (PHA and aids in hydration) and phytic acid (derived from rice and aids in oil-control). What I love in the product description on Hyram’s website is that the actives have percentages listed with some even down to the thousandth of a decimal point! Also, higher percentages doesn’t always mean better which is something I appreciate Hyram taking into account. It’s also a sentiment echoed by Dr. Dray especially when it comes to brightening ingredients like Vitamin C and niacinamide. As tough as my skin is, if those two ingredients get too intense, I can’t use them every day or I start to go red.
What surprised me with this serum was the fact that the texture of this was like water as I was expecting a more viscous consistency. You actually have to squeeze the bottle pretty hard to get the product out which makes sense if the consistency is this “loose” as it would just come flying out of the bottle! I squeeze out about 4 drops and then pat all over my face every OTHER evening as per the instructions. It also says NOT to mix with retinol which makes sense and a general good rule of thumb when it comes to mixing acids and retinol.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua / Eau), Propanediol, Mandelic Acid 3%), Annona Cherimola Fruit Extract, Gluconolactone (2.5%), Sodium Hydroxide, Maltodextrin, Phenoxyethanol, Glycerin, Phytic Acid (0.5%), Salicylic Acid (0.5%), Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Gluconate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dextrin, Polydextrose, Amylopectin, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Niacinamide, Sodium Citrate, Cystoseira Tamariscifolia Extract, Phenylpropanol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Citric Acid
Final verdict: This is a very gentle acid. It doesn’t sting at all, but I think because I’m starting to hit that mature skin age, there were days when I almost wanted to go in with a physical scrub and then use this to see more of a glow. Don’t get me wrong because it does exfoliate – just slowly. I didn’t see a difference instantly, but over the weeks of use I noticed that my skin stayed consistently bright, no breakouts (I don’t get them much to start with), but the texture of my skin wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked which is something I generally notice when using solely chemical exfoliants. So while I still enjoyed using this, I will probably sneak in a physical exfoliator like the Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser or Kora Organics Turmeric Brightening and Exfoliating Mask once a week. Having used the actual Inkey List products, when it comes to an acid, going forward I will stick to Inkey List pricing at under $20 as I didn’t feel like there was much of a difference between Hyram’s version and The Inkey List version. I guess the higher price point allows more of those dollars to be donated to the causes he supports, but I feel like if I wanted to donate, I should do so directly than to do it indirectly through buying a product.
You can find Selfless by Hyram at www.sephora.com or at https://ca.selflessbyhyram.com although it looks like some of the products including this serum are $1 cheaper through Sephora?
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