Inspired by their own compact New York City bathroom, Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz decided that they wanted to develop products that could be shared between a couple to help minimize bathroom clutter; this meant foregoing the norm and keeping their entire eponymous skin care line gender neutral. “We’re addressing skin issues and we’re trying to treat them, so for us that’s not about race or gender, it’s really just about: do you have a great cleanser, do you have a great moisturizer, and is it effective?” says Malin. Although, leaving some of the colour-coordinated Malin + Goetz products out on the bathroom counter wouldn’t be the end of the world.
The white background of each tub, bottle, and tube is plastered with blue, red, or green writing that categorizes the products into face, hair, and body. Malin + Goetz has amassed a following of committed users with its gentle formulations that are free of synthetic fragrances and colours, and packed with amino acids known for their replenishing properties. Minimizing potential irritants within the range is at the foundation of the brand, as Malin struggled to find grooming products that wouldn’t upset his rosacea and eczema. The body washes have a dense viscosity closer to bubble bath than typical fare, the lotions are hydrating but never greasy, and the scented candles permeate a room without overpowering.
“One of our goals for Malin + Goetz is always to try to simplify the process, to make it really uncomplicated, and keep it as effective along the way—so we have really kept our assortment very tight, and we really focused on those essential items that make a difference to somebody’s regimen,” says Malin. The brand keeps a small circle of treatment products, including masks and exfoliators, which complement a handful of cleaners and moisturizers, forgoing the inclusion of toners. “Why spend money on [a toner] when we can just make a better cleanser and a better moisturizer?” says Malin with a laugh. The co-founder speaks of his company in a way that conveys his passion for skin care, and his knowledge of the industry thanks to his tenure at Kiehl’s as well as Prada’s fragrance division, all while being incredibly down-to-earth about the entire operation.
Malin + Goetz recently opened two shops in Los Angeles, and is in the process of building its first international boutique, scheduled to open in London in 2016. Malin says that the idea behind the brand is “to modernize the traditional apothecary concept from a neighbourhood perspective and on to a global reach,” which the duo has certainly achieved (their products are stocked in boutiques around the world and found in the amenity offerings of the Morgans Hotel Group). The highly recognizable fragrances of bergamot and dark rum, which are two of the brand’s signature scents, have amassed an international customer base that can recognize the scents upon first whiff, regardless of location.
The company continues to grow and develop “organically”, according to Malin, releasing new products only a few times annually. The coming year will see another fragrance added to their compact but diverse collection of scents, and a replenishing facial oil will also launch. “We have been a self-funded business throughout our life, just sort of operating based on profitability, and growing organically—so it’s been very manageable along the way,” says Malin. “It just feels very homegrown and special.”
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