Mindy Kaling: ‘If you have melanated skin, you have to be so careful about lasers’

Mindy Kaling: ‘If you have melanated skin, you have to be so careful about lasers’

Mindy Kaling recently chatted with Allure about skincare, style and diet. Or rather, not so much about the diet – after telling the world that she lost all of that weight by lifting weights and eating in moderation, she no longer wants to engage in those conversations. Which is fine by me – I don’t want to get mad at her for omitting what she’s really done. Mostly, Mindy chatted with Allure to promote her new skincare investment with Lion Pose, a brand for women with darker or melanated skin. Like, the struggle is real with Indian skin, and Desi women tend to stick with only a handful of brands which “work” with our skin. Some highlights from her interview:

Why Lion Pose, and why now? “I hear what you’re saying. There’s a lot of celebrities with their own lines, but what I think is different about this is that this is a line that existed and I’m an investor in it. I love this product so much I’m investing my own money in it. I’m so impressed by Nisha [Phatak] and Madhu [Punjabi] who are the founders of Lion Pose. They’re these two hyper-educated, young female Indian entrepreneurs who had had all these successful businesses in the past and they did a presentation for me… [When I started using] Unspotted 4X [with a blend of azelaic, glycolic, lactic, tranexamic acids], I loved it. I use it every day. I’ve always struggled with hyperpigmentation and I’m always trying to find products that help with my acne scars and dark spots, but that don’t also change my skin tone. I feel incredibly lucky that I’m someone who’s celebrated for my dark brown skin. And I did not want to change that. And so this is something that just really works for me. So that’s why I came on as an investor, not just as an ambassador or whatever. And I just selfishly wanted in on their success and I was lucky that they found room for me.

Melanated people have to be careful of lasers: “Well, if you have melanated skin, you have to be so careful about lasers. But a lot of times people who have melasma after pregnancy [for example] can do a simple laser and be fine with it. But I can’t do that because I keloid, which is another thing that happens to people who have darker skin. I’ve had to go to doctors and explain my keloiding issues to them because it’s so specific to people with darker skin. I loved that when I talked to Nisha and Madhu, they already knew about all these issues.

She has to remove all of her makeup before bed: “Then I follow that up with an exfoliating powder scrub. So every stitch of makeup is off my skin. I don’t know whether this is some phobia I have, but the idea of going to bed with even a drop of makeup on is gross to me. So I do a double cleanse and then I’ll tone my skin and that’s when I put the [Unspotted 4X] serum on. I’ll wait a couple of minutes, send a couple emails, go do something with my kids, come back and put on a really moisturizing moisturizer, a little eye cream sometimes. I often forget eye cream and then go to bed.”

Beauty tricks from working on camera: “Oh, my god, so many. I did 117 episodes of The Mindy Project. I was there from 6:00 AM as an actor and then would wrap and go into the writer’s room. We would shoot in July, August, and September, which are the hottest months of the year. [So] at lunchtime my makeup artist Cindy Williams would take a toner — an astringent-y, powerful toner for oily skin — and take off all my foundation. She would leave my eye makeup on because that takes a long time [to apply]. But she always let my skin breathe for that hour. And I’m telling you, it really saved my skin. I didn’t do that during The Office and I broke out so much more.

Her response when told that “some people feel like they’ve lost an ally” for body-acceptance: “It’s not super exciting for me to talk about my body and how it’s analyzed. So I think I’m just not going to get into it because it takes over the conversation unfortunately and people take it so personally.

[From Allure]

Since The Mindy Project ended, I’ve sort of lamented the fact that Mindy is just a writer and power-player behind the scenes. Like, I think she’s a deft comedienne and I would have loved to see her act more. But I also get it – she reached a point where she didn’t want to be on camera all the time and constantly worry about her skin and her body and how she was being perceived. I mean, she basically works exclusively behind-the-camera these days – why wear makeup at all? Still, I found the conversation about her skin really interesting. And yes, there’s no way that anyone should sleep in their makeup. That’s so crazy to me.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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