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I tested all of the BYOMA skin care products to see how they stood up to my beauty and skincare routine. If you don't have a basic skincare routine, you should start. I've been obsessed with staying moisturized more than I have ever worried about any anti-aging skincare plan. I never thought about it really, I just didn't want to have dry skin or oily skin (depending on the season).
Even the best drugstore skincare products can be overwhelming. Where do you start? What do you need? There are so many options on the shelves that I just grab the most affordable skincare product and move on. As long as the moisturizer wasn't too heavy or thick, I'd be good. The problem is then I have a cabinet full of unused products and I need something that actually works.
Then, as I started reviewing beauty and grooming products, I realized there is actually some order to it. I started asking questions at my local beauty shop, I watched TikTok videos of skin care professionals. I realized that while I was moisturizing, I was missing a lot of other beneficial skincare products.
Here's a breakdown of each BYOMA Skin Care Product and how they stacked up.
BYOMA Creamy Jelly Cleanser
BYOMA Creamy Jelly Cleanser
The Creamy Jelly Cleanser sounds strange but when you squirt a couple of pumps in your hand, it makes sense. It’s a clear jelly substance that turns creamy and foamy as you wash your face. I found that two pumps are the perfect amount; any more is overkill and one didn’t seem like enough. The cleanser is lightweight, gentle, and alcohol and fragrance-free. Although it may be fragrance-free, it does have a fresh scent to it.
The ingredients for the jelly cleanser are Licorice Root and Green Tea. Licorice Root has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It's used to treat eczema and acne since it is a rich source of anti-oxidants. Green Tea in skin care is acting as an antibacterial property that treats acne and prevents pores from clogging. It also helps reduce skin redness, irritation, and swelling.
BYOMA Balancing Face Mist
BYOMA Balancing Face Mist
When I first tested the Balancing Face Mist, I was a bit confused because it felt like water and I didn’t understand the purpose. I realized if your face (or skin for that matter) was feeling dried out, you give it a quick spritz and rehydrate without having to put on more lotion. The face mist is extremely lightweight and is perfect after getting out of the shower. You can spritz your face and while it’s air-drying, you can get started on blow drying your hair.
Ingredients include probiotics which have been known to reduce acne and manage dry skin and eczema. It also includes allantoin which helps with removing dead skin cells and brings brightness to dull or dry skin.
BYOMA Hydrating Serum
BYOMA Hydrating Serum
This hydrating serum is perfect for the morning routine because it rehydrates the skin and removes the sometimes red blotches on my face. It has a creamy smooth texture that works into your skin rather quickly. Since it’s light and smooth, it’s perfect for year-round use. It’s not too heavy for the summer.
The ingredients in the Hydrating Serum are squalane and glycerin. Squalane has been known to penetrate pores and improve skin at a cellular level and is light feeling on the skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce swelling and redness. Glycerin helps with relieving dryness, refreshing the skin surface, and increasing skin hydration by retaining moisture.
BYOMA Clarifying Serum
BYOMA Clarifying Serum
This serum is clear and feels a little oily (all products are oil-free) but then as you work it in, the oiliness dissipates into the skin leaving it feeling fresh and clean. This clarifying serum is great if you feel your skin is on the verge of a breakout and even helps with oiliness and any redness. If your skin is prone to blemishes, this serum can help reduce clogged pores and keep your skin pimple and blackhead free.
The ingredients to be aware of here are Blue Tansy, PHA, and Zinc. Blue Tansy has been known to repair damaged skin by acting as an antioxidant. PHA helps with reversing sun damage, provides skin with more elasticity, and helps remove wrinkles. Zinc is an essential mineral that protects from UV rays, helps reduce scarring, and is an anti-inflammatory property that helps with acne; it can also stops cells from aging and dryness.
BYOMA Brightening Serum
BYOMA Brightening Serum
The Brightening Serum helps with hyperpigmentation and an uneven skin tone. Just like the Clarifying Serum, this has an oily texture but as soon as you work it into the skin, it leaves your skin smooth and soft.
One of the ingredients in this serum is Hyaluronic Acid which has been known to moisturize the skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Another ingredient is niacinamide, which is a form of vitamin B-3 and can help build keratin and helps your skin grow a ceramide barrier that will help retain moisture.
BYOMA Moisturizing Gel-Cream
BYOMA Moisturizing Gel Cream
The Gel-Cream is my go-to for the summer months because it's a lightweight formula that doesn't make my face sweat (yes, it's a thing). It has a consistency of a white gel-like substance then as you work it into the skin, it fades into a smooth cream that leaves the skin feeling soft.
The ingredients here are Niacinamide and Green Tea. We already know niacinamide helps lipids create a moisture barrier and that Green Tea acts as an antibacterial property that helps reduce skin redness, irritation, and swelling.
BYOMA Moisturizing Rich Cream
BYOMA Moisturizing Rich Cream
The Moisturing Rich Cream is a thicker formula than the gel cream which provides a heavier texture and works into the skin to provide a strong skin barrier. This cream works best for me during the winter months due to its thick texture however, if you are prone to dryness year-round, it may be the moisturizer for you.
The target ingredients here are Bakuchiol and Shea Extract. Bakuchiol is a vegan skin care product that is a very strong anti-oxidant. It prevents fine lines and wrinkles, reduces skin discolorations, and helps with elasticity and firmness. Shea Extract is found in a lot of skincare brands because of its skin softening properties. It also has been known to reduce swelling and has anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
How Do You Use BYOMA Skin Care Products?
Each skincare brand has its own set of instructions on how to apply moisturizers and skin care products but they all agree on their order of them. Luckily, if you're unfamiliar with the process, BYOMA has listed the process for you.
- Protect (usually an SPF sunscreen)
Is It Worth the Price?
I think BYOMA products are well worth the price. Each product ranges in price between $11.99 and $15.99 and lasts quite a bit so you will definitely get your money's worth.
Should You Buy BYOMA Skin Care Products?
In my opinion, yes. The products are non-comedogenic, vegan, and free from oil, alcohol, and fragrance as well as cruelty-free. Every product I tested worked with my skin type which is great since I often suffer from sensitive skin such as redness, oily skin in the summer, and dry skin in the winter. These products cover all the bases and offer daily protection from the elements. If that isn't enough, the BYOMA founder Marck Elrick is part of the LGBTQ+ community.
For some time now, the rage over beards has been wild. We’ve all had one growing up, right? But really, having a beard in the gay community has become incredibly popular. That scruffy, natural “manliness” that just pours off guys who have ‘em can be relentless…woof, is it hot in here?
We can’t get enough of them! And if you or your guy has one, like anything else, you’ve got to learn how to take care of it.
It may seem like a bit of a gimmick, but the truth about beard oils is backed by science. Think of beard oils and balms as a conditioner for your beard. Just like you’d use on the hair on your head (or not if you’re rocking that bald and beautiful look), conditioning your hair is important!
Ingredients like jojoba, castor, and argan oils are essential for promoting hair growth, moisturizing, and taking care of your skin as well. They’re packed with vitamins, like B and E, and minerals, like zinc and copper, that keep your beard looking fresh and healthy. They kind of make a protective barrier for your beard, which is pretty cool in itself.
But choosing the best beard care products for you can be SO overwhelming! Especially with every dime-a-dozen, hella macho, lumberjack-looking barista-type brand that’s out there. Sometimes you just want something that’s more inclusive and supportive of both your queer lifestyle and your beard. And I know you’ve been asking, so we did a little research to help you out.
No need for thanks, we gotcha.
Here’s 5 of the best beard care products that also are created by or support the LGBTQIA+ community.
photo credit via Noto Botanics IG
Founded and owned by Gloria Noto (queer makeup artist and overall badass) in 2016, Noto Botanics was created with a few things in mind. To create a radical, fun, and reliable product that promotes self-acceptance, sustainability, and queerness.
Exploring the intersection of clean beauty in a way that’s exploratory and profound, while also being made vegan.
In particular, we love the Rooted and Agender Oils, to be used as an everyday beard oil. Lavender, hemp, and sunflower oils are all excellent for beard health and also add an overall sexy scent.
Outer Being Face & Body Oil
photo courtesy of Bathing Culture
Tim Hollinger and Carl “Spencer” Arnold, had been life-long friends, living in Northern California, and started making soap in 2015. Trying to escape their office jobs desperately, their focus turned to giving back and taking better care of the planet through bathing.
Sustainably and locally sourced ingredients and mindfully crafted, Bathing Culture is the perfect way to up your bath and beard care game.
In the beard care category, their Outer Being Face and Body Oil take the cake. Drenched with antioxidants and fatty amino acids, essential vitamins C and E, and plenty of minerals; it’s hard to not use this on every inch of your body.
But, for the time being, take a few dabs and run it through that face mane of yours…or someone you fancy.
You won’t be disappointed.
That Good Good Argan Oil Serum
photo courtesy of Hairrari
What started as a two-seat, gender-neutral barbershop (aptly named Manetamed) in Williamsburg, Hairrari has branched out into a queer powerhouse of inclusivity with its products and hairstyling.
With a realized goal of providing a safe space for anyone to get their hair cut and styled, founder Magda Ryczko has been changing the field one snip at a time.
Their product line includes a variety of pomades, sprays, clays, and serums, but one of our favorites in terms of beard care is That Good Good Argan Oil Serum. With Argan (obviously) and Macadamia oils leading the charge, a few drops will have your beard feeling smooth and refreshed. Don’t believe us?
Try it, we dare ya.
photo courtesy of Rudy's Barbershop
When Rudy’s Barbershop was founded in 1993 in Seattle by Alex Calderwood, David Petersen, and Wade Weigel, they wanted two things: to have a place to hang with their friends and cut hair. And they definitely accomplished that, but with a little twist.
They also saw how the classic barbershop model had done some things right but wasn’t all that welcoming for everyone. Their new model for Rudy’s put an emphasis to include everyone with a capital E. They’ve also been a long-time supporter of the It Get’s Better Project – helping homeless LGBTQ+ youth.
So we gave a welcome hat off to Rudy’s and dove straight for their Tonic Spray. The essence of Nettle and Baobab Seed relaxes the beard follicles and helps tame that wild beast!
Gotta bring a little order to those wild locks, boys!
Alder's New York Hydrating Oil
photo courtesty of Alder's New York
Nobody ever said that being a woman and a queer-owned skincare company in Brooklyn would be easy. But that hasn’t stopped anyone here. Since its inception in 2016, Alder has been thriving as a top-tier, vegan, dermatologist-approved skincare line.
Their products focus on the simplicity of taking care of your skin and hair. And truly, it’s all in the details.
For our bearded friends, we’ll turn you to their Hydrating Oil. Jojoba oil and essence of lime and rosemary. Lather a few bits of this into your beard and let it do all the work. Lush, refined, irresistible.
It’s really that easy. As it should be.
It is a common experience for almost anyone: we buy skincare products that look appealing either for their packaging, price, or reviews and then discover it’s just not good for us. It might be a fragrance we don’t like – or the fact that they have a fragrance at all – the harshness on our skin, or that we’ve opened the product and left it there on the shelf long enough for it to be considered part of the furniture. Or maybe we simply didn’t get the right product for our skin type; dermatologists say that gender-marketed products can be a bit misleading. For example, typically, cisgender men’s skin would be oilier but, obviously, that does not apply to all cisgender men; women-targeted skincare often smells like a bouquet of flowers, but that can irritate the most sensitive skin types, and so on.
So, if you want to ditch the binary and shop for your skin type rather than your assigned-at-birth gender, you should check out these queer skincare brands.
But what can we do with those products we’ve mentioned, the ones we’ve bought and tried and discovered are simply not for us? A few ideas can help avoid wasting them while still getting some of the benefits.
Use Face Creams on Your Body
Use face creams on your bodyPhoto by Mathilde Langevin on Unsplash
Moisturizing your body with face cream is an effective way to ensure that the product won’t sit on the shelf for too long. The quantity in the small package will be gone in maximum two days! Moreover, the skin on our body is tougher than the one on our face, so if your most sensitive parts didn’t like the product, it’s unlikely your legs will suffer from it.
Use Exfoliating Scrubs in the Shower
Jar of exfoliating scrubPhoto by Nana Lapushkina on Unsplash
As it goes for face creams, sometimes face scrubs can be too harsh and overall, not good. They work perfectly as body exfoliators, especially for the chest area, which is a very sensitive skin part of the body, and they’ll leave no irritation, as they are initially created with the face in mind. They can be used on knees, elbows, butt, feet, and sometimes do a more effective job than scrubs particularly designed for the body, as those can be quite tough as well.
Use Harsh Face Cleansers as Body Wash
Using face cleanser as body washPhoto by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash
If your facial acne is suffering from the harshness of the cleansing products you use, then it’s time to move their place into the shower. You can use them as body wash, or simply target your acne body spots, like maybe your back or butt.
Add Unused Serum or Toner to Your Body Moisturizer
Adding serum to moisturizerPhoto by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Add a few drops of unused face serum or toner to your body moisturizer for extra hydration. This helps you get rid of the product fast, and enjoy the last benefits from the serum or toner, as they tend to lose their fragrance and effectiveness with time. And even though sometimes it’s better to have no fragrance at all, if the scent has faded it does not mean it’s good for you now.
Use Leftover SPF During Your All Year-Round Routine
Using SPF year roundPhoto by Antonio Gabola on Unsplash
The shelf life of SPF is normally twelve months, and since it’s important to use it daily, the best way to avoid waste is to wear a layer of that summer leftover sunscreen on your face before heading out the house, even in winter.
It's important to remember that we should switch up our skincare products regularly, as our skin can become tolerant to products over time and we need a different level of moisture depending on the season. Generally, we would need to increase our moisturizer usage during winter, and switch to a lighter consistency during summer.
If you have struggled with finding a skincare routine that works for you, visiting a specialist would probably be a good investment; that way you can verify what type of skin you have and research the best products and treatments for you. It should be noted that wrinkles and sun damage will probably not go away with cosmetics; if you are looking for a specific treatment, you should use medical-grade products prescribed by a specialist.
When choosing our skincare routine, we aim for it to be perfect. To make our face feel and look flawless, to be lightweight, to protect us. These brands promise to do just that – and they come with a plus: they are all either LGBTQ+ owned, socially and environmentally conscious and/or target people of all genders.
Selfless by Hyram
Skincare products from Selfless by Hyram
Photo courtesy of Selfless by Hyram.
If you ever googled skincare-related questions, you might have watched in response some videos by queer YouTuber Hyram; he is known for exposing the truth behind the brands and teaching the viewers how to break down an ingredient list, other than for his crusade against scented products. The skincare guru has launched his own line in 2021, explaining that he “wants to connect the beauty industry with social change”, in collaboration with the brand The INKEY List. They haven’t used any fragrance, essential oils, alcohol, and palm products, creating a minimalist yet effective ingredient list that is also vegan. Every purchase contributes to raising funds to build wells in the Kingdom of eSwatini and to protect the Bolivian rainforest from deforestation; additional information can be found on their website.
Moon Glow Milky Toning Lotion
Photo courtesy of Good Light.
Good Light does Very Good Light ring any bell? The website is meant to redefine masculine beauty for the younger generations, and co-founder David Yi developed this line of beauty products that target all genders. Its mission is explicitly “beyond the binary”, focusing on moving culture forward by promoting a more inclusive definition of beauty through product and purpose. Their skincare products are vegan, cruelty-free, sustainably produced, and clean to EU standards, which means they do not include any of the 1.300 banned ingredients and have been tested and approved for sensitive skin.
Alder New York
Skincare products by Alder New York
Photo courtesy of Alder New York.
Alder New York is “a queer and woman-owned independent skincare brand that makes products designed to work for all skin types, no matter your age, gender, or ethnicity”. Founders Nina Zilka and David Krause combined their eye for design with high performative essential care products when creating the line in 2016; their skincare products are vegan and dermatologist-approved and they also follow clean EU standards.
Noto Botanics THE SKIN EDIT SET.
Photo courtesy of Noto Botanics.
Gloria Noto started the company after a “mini-life crisis vacation in Thailand” wanting to celebrate the identities she didn’t see represented in the clean beauty industry at the time: queer, non-binary, trans, BI-POC bodies. With a background in fashion and beauty, she was well aware of what she didn’t want to find in her own products: pollutants, cocktails of chemicals and fillers. The key to Noto products is that they are multi-use, made with uncomplicated yet high-performing ingredients that are vegan and cruelty-free and sustainably sourced. A percentage of their sales is donated to Planned Parenthood, The Okra Project, The Transgender Freedom Fund, Black Mama's Matter, The Love Land Foundation, The Trevor Project, and others.
Skincare products by Jecca Blac
Photo courtesy of Jecca Blac.
This brand is mainly known for its makeup products, but it is worth mentioning due to the support and tools they have given to the transgender community. Founded in 2018 by Jessica Blackler, the Jecca Blac studio in London, UK, offered a safe space for trans women to learn and experiment with makeup. All of their products provide effective coverage, from skin imperfection to beard shadow; they target all genders, offer tutorials and free makeup help, either via chat or video call and ship in discreet packaging. Their foundation and concealers offer a great option also to people who don’t normally wear makeup but want to include a covering product in their routine.
Volition Beauty Spring/Summer Survival Kit.
Photo courtesy of Volition Beauty.
Volition Beauty is basically a queer and woman-led crowdfunding beauty brand. Anyone can submit or pitch an idea for a product, and if it is loved and accepted by the community, you work with their experts to make it real. They say only the best ideas are made, and you won’t find any nasties in their ingredient list: no parabens, no sulfates, and no animal cruelty.
W3ll People Plant Power Skincare Starter Mini Set.
Photo courtesy of W3ll People.
Founded by lesbian make-up artist Shirley Pinkson, this brand offers skincare and makeup completely plant-powered and ethically sourced. They guarantee clean, multi-tasking, and cruelty-free ingredients, offering a wide range of skincare products as well as essential workers discount after lockdown, showing they really care.
Roots and Crowns
Roots and Crowns Daily Face Care Bundle.
Photo courtesy of Roots and Crowns.
Roots and Crowns is “a queer-owned small-batch apothecary based in Portland, Oregon” offering skincare products as well as essential oil rollers, blends, herbal teas, tinctures, and witchy vibes. They harvest the ingredients themselves when possible, and when it’s not, they purchase them from “places that focus on organic, ethical harvesting practices”.
Pure for Men
Pure For Men Face Care Kit.
Photo courtesy of Pure For Men.
Targeting mainly cisgender gay men, this company is based in Austin, Texas, and was born out of a group of friends in college. They started out with a line of fiber supplements, which they now sell with a vegan formula (and in smaller sizes targeting cisgender women with the line Pure for Her), then moved on to offer skincare products as well. Although they are mainly a sexual wellness brand, they promise their face products are botanical-extracted, cruelty-free, non-toxic, and non-comedogenic.
Non Gender Specific
Non Gender Specific Everything kit.
Photo courtesy of Non gender specific.
Born in 2018, this company was founded by Andrew Glass, aiming to create products that didn’t target either women or men, but people in general, as they say, “for all humans”. They wanted to simplify the beauty routine, while cutting down on consumer waste, creating products that target different concerns in one formula. Their products are vegan and cruelty-free, bottled in recyclable glass containers, and they use eco-friendly sourcing methods.