Does anyone actually know what retinol is?
Enter: @SkinCareByHyram. If you've found yourself scrolling through TikTok, you've probably already stumbled upon the 24-year-old's addictive account. His videos consist of skin care routine critiques, product reviews and beauty ingredient explainers, which are all somehow informative, creative, entertaining and nonjudgmental at the same time.
"For me, my passion has always been just helping people," Hyram, who prefers to use only his first name, told TMRW. "My goal was to facilitate in the journey of people learning about skin care so they basically have an introductory path."
His passion for skin care began when he started experimenting with makeup as a way to cope with an eating disorder.
"Once I discovered makeup, I found that it was an artistic passion that really helped me to find the beauty within myself," Hyram said.
Skin care was a natural next step, and it started with a genuine curiosity: What sets luxury products apart from less expensive brands?
"I was looking through ingredient lists of products that were very expensive and I was trying to figure out what justified that price point and why these products were sometimes upward of $1,000. Why would people spend that much money on a skin care product? What made it up?" he said. "And looking at the ingredient list, I started looking to online resources, whether it be dermatology reviews, ingredient dictionaries, different resources that just kind of helped point me in the right direction."
That's when he started a YouTube channel to share his discoveries.
"I had very limited knowledge at the beginning and just wanted to share with people, 'Hey, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on skin care to have good skin,'" said the 24-year-old.
Besides paying for pricey products, Hyram says the biggest mistake people make is to use overly harsh treatments to try to get quick results.
"Simple is better," he said, adding that people often do too much "because of the sales approach of the industry. The tendency is to buy a lot of products to help with so many issues when in reality, in my opinion, the best skin care routines are very simple and not complex whatsoever. A good four-step or five-step skin care routine supplementing in other treatments when you need them is not only better for your skin, it’s better for your wallet and it’s better for the planet, too."
Now, 5.4 million TikTok followers and 2.8M YouTube followers and counting later, Hyram says the scope of his popularity is finally starting to sink in.
"In one day, I got 800,000 new followers and saw just (TikTok) explode and I think that‘s when I realized, 'Wow, this is really big.' People are really consuming skin care information like rapid fire. I think that was the moment where it really shook up my world," said the influencer.
But he wasn't always an authority on beauty products. After growing up on a cattle ranch in the middle of Arizona, Hyram had planned to move to the Middle East to become an English teacher until a dangerous conflict in the area prevented him from traveling.
He decided instead to move to Hawaii where he's lived for the last five years.
"I love to go on hikes or to the beach. I’m fortunate to have those things nearby," he said, "I go from being hyperinvolved in the online world — social media, all that stuff — to just being disconnected. It’s very therapeutic for me."
Hyram shared that his followers would be surprised how disconnected he is from social media when he's out with friends.
"I’m just not really a quote-unquote social media person," he said. "My passion is in creating specific content to help people and to be able to put out some good information into the world. The rest of that is not in my personality."
As for his future in the skin care business, Hyram doesn't see himself pursuing an esthetician's license or dermatology degree.
"I’m so grateful to have the platform that I do to be able to help people have an introductory path into skin care. I think there are already so many incredible estheticians and incredible dermatologists on social media providing amazing information. My position in coming into the industry was not to replace them in any way."
However, he does have big plans in the works. He told TMRW he will soon be launching a highly requested line of merchandise and apparel for his devoted following.