How Hyram Yarbo became the future of the beauty industry
Never underestimate the power of influence
By Samantha McMeekin
Editor / July 21 2021
Hyram Yarbo (known as 'Skincare by Hyram' to most) is not your average beauty influencer.
With a combined following of over 12 million across Youtube, TikTok, Instagram and more, the 25-year-old has not only become one of the most popular social media sources for all things skin care, but the most trusted.
Dispelling myths and unafraid to call out products that are no good, Hyram’s honesty and well-educated advice is at the heart of his huge and captive audience – made more impressive by the fact he only started creating content on YouTube in 2017. Yep, just four short years ago.
BEAUTYcrew spoke to Hyram – our digital cover star for Winter ‘21 – upon the launch of his debut brand Selfless by Hyram and it was clear from the outset that his approach to his namesake brand was going to pave a new way. Not only for influencers, but the beauty industry itself.
But first, let’s go back to the beginning…
How ‘Skincare by Hyram’ was born
If you ask us, one of the best features of YouTube is its ability to filter channels by videos with the oldest upload date.
Proceed to do this on Hyram’s channel and you’ll come across his very first ‘No BS Review’ of a Perricone Moisturiser in August of 2017. The jar he holds up is near-empty as he explains that he’s used it for five months, but found the $70 buy no more impressive than the $20 one he was using before it. We’re hooked. And then he goes on to list out the ingredients and explains what they are, what they do and whether they’re good or bad. Double hooked.
Speaking in a video in 2021, Hyram said the reason he started YouTube was “to document my personal skin care learning journey and as a resource to share simplified skin care information to people who may not realise its significance.”
Hyram himself didn’t realise the significance of a good routine until people started pointing out the wrinkles on his face. Once he found that skin care was effective at helping this, it became his passion.
From 100 to 500k real quick
As Hyram was learning, viewers tuned in to learn with him. But his name and knack for skin care began to reach even further at the end of 2019 when he hit 100k subscribers on YouTube. He then outdid this with 500k by the end of January 2020.
This was around the time Hyram began posting ‘reaction videos’ to other YouTuber's skin care routines as well as brand reviews. Some of his most-viewed videos to this date include, "The Truth About The Ordinary" and "Cetaphil vs CeraVe: Which Is Better?".
With TikTok gaining traction, his style of reaction videos proved popular on the Gen Z video platform and it now hosts his largest following of all social media, with 6.8 million followers.
He’s still never let the BS in, either. His ingredient knowledge and science-driven insights have gained the tick of approval from qualified dermatologists on the platform.
Creating a brand… without being cancelled
There comes a time in every beauty influencer’s life where the question is asked: “When are you launching your own brand?”
The thing is, Gen Z have been brought up on #ads and are savvy, if not scrutinising, when it comes to influencer brand launches. If the products aren’t up to scratch, it’s going to be called out. Jaclyn Hill knows this all too well.
Not only that, but it’s no longer just about the quality of the products. Is it sustainable too? Is it just a cash grab? What’s the purpose of the brand?
And with an audience built on a base of honesty like Hyram’s, launching a namesake brand was never going to be a decision taken lightly.
“I didn't want to create a skin care brand unless I knew that it could be a catalyst for social change,” he tells us. “And I really wanted an opportunity to bridge philanthropy and skin care and kind of show people that, you know, just by using and doing the things that you normally do every day, you can have a positive impact on the world.”
In fact, Selfless by Hyram the skin care line was second to Selfless by Hyram the YouTube channel, which Hyram started over a year ago to empower and educate people on global topics like poverty, education and protecting the planet.
“I really didn't see any brand that was closely aligning themselves with social cause,” says Hyram. And while this may have meant going solo, Hyram kept coming back to The INKEY List; an affordable, well-formulated brand by co-founders Colette Laxton and Mark Curry.
“Every single time I've connected with them, there's just been such an alignment on values and ethics,” Hyram tells BEAUTYcrew. “And the scope and perspective of the impact that they wanted to make on the industry was so much more than just ‘let's develop some really cool products’. It was much bigger. I could tell that they had that same itch to do something way more impactful as I did.”
Fast forward to now and all five Selfless by Hyram products are available in Sephora Australia, along with the impact they’ll be making. Purchase the Niacinamide & Maracujá Daily Barrier Support Moisturizer and you’ll be providing someone with a year’s clean drinking water. Nab yourself the Retinol & Rainbow Algae Repair Serum and you’ll be helping to fight climate change by protecting tropical forests from deforestation.
“I think the most beautiful part of this and my entire focus [in launching the brand] was just to protect that social impact that's generated from every single purchase.”
The future of beauty and those that influence it
One product was sold every three seconds at Hyram’s exclusive pre-launch and a waitlist of 80,000 also signed up for the official June 24 launch. But it’s the fact these numbers not just represent product sold, but a whole bunch of social good done too, that makes the success of Selfless and its new direction something for all brands to think about.
“So much of this has been about not only showing the consumer what's available and what's possible but showing the industry and inspiring others to also focus on social good,” says Hyram.
“I really hope that consumers will push other companies to say ‘look at what's possible’, ‘look at what Selfless did’, ‘why can't we also do this in the industry?’ And I think we're going to see beautiful, incredible companies come out and I hope we do. I hope it creates a new generation of business.”