Pore Decisions

The $30 Product That’s Saved Mindy Kaling’s Dry Skin

Plus, the actor shares her biggest beauty faux pas.

Mindy Kaling on Lion Pose skin care, her biggest beauty faux pas, and the Indian hair care ritual sh...
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Pore Decisions
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In Bustle’s Pore Decisions, celebrities, influencers, and Bustle’s own readers recount their personal skin journeys: the good, the bad, and everything in between. Here, Mindy Kaling chats about why she chose to invest in Lion Pose, the skin care mistake she’ll never make again, and the beauty of brown skin.

When Mindy Kaling first started her career on the screen — with breakthrough roles in beloved projects like The Office and The 40-Year-Old Virgin — not many people in Hollywood looked like her.

An American-born actor, writer, and producer with an innate aptitude for comedic timing, Kaling’s Indian heritage has not only set her apart from the pack but has become her most beautiful superpower in more ways than one.

While the mom of two tells Bustle that having brown skin came with its unique challenges growing up, her latest investment into the Indian-founded beauty brand Lion Pose is truly a full-circle moment — and it’s a line with products her younger self would have loved to get her hands on.

Ahead, Kaling gets candid about growing up with acne-prone skin, the cultural beauty ritual that stuck with her, and loving her brown complexion.

On Lion Pose Skin Care

“I’ve always had really specific skin problems. I have incredibly oily skin. I still break out. I have hyperpigmentation issues. I have keloids.

“What was really cool about Lion Pose is it’s the first company that ever contacted me where the two founders were Indian women with darker skin tones who were dealing with my exact issues. They met at Harvard Business School and are so knowledgeable about dermatological things that I didn’t even know or think about.

“I started using their Unspotted [serum], and it completely got rid of all of my hyperpigmentation marks that I got from my acne scarring.”

On Finding The Right SPF

“The biggest [skin concern] for me is that I have dark brown skin, and I really do care about sun protection. For the longest time, anything I found would have such a white cast on my skin.

“I love the new Ghost-Buster Sunscreen that Lion Pose came out with. It just blends in perfectly.”

On Her Acne-Prone Skin Faux Pas

“I had such oily skin and bad acne when I was younger. Not picking my skin or popping zits was so hard for me, because [I wasn’t] going to go to school with a whitehead on my chin.

“When you have dark brown skin and you have a whitehead, it’s really so humiliating. I was using a sterilized paper clip to pop a zit. That is something that I just cringe thinking about.”

On The Secret That Changed Her Skin

“My skin is so, so dry, and I think it has taken years off of my face. So I use a humidifier religiously. I don’t have an expensive one — it’s a Vicks humidifier that costs 30 bucks, but I use it every single day.”

On Her Cultural Beauty Rituals

“On Sundays when I was in high school, I remember my mom microwaving coconut oil that we would get from the Indian store. My dad loves sports, so we’d be watching John McEnroe or Andre Agassi at Wimbledon or the U.S. Open. My mom would sit on the sofa, and I’d sit on the ground in front of her, and she’d put coconut oil in my hair. By the time the match was over, I could go rinse it out.

“I thought it was such a pain, but it’s such an inexpensive way to do a nice mask for your hair.”

On The Beauty Of Brown Skin

“For the longest time growing up — even in Hollywood — I’d have makeup artists that just didn’t know how to do makeup for dark skin. You don’t see [brown skin] often in movies. What used to be a liability, now, people are excited about.”

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.