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A Less Is More Approach

11.23.2011 | Posted by MALIN+GOETZ in Advice, Apothecary and Lab, Lifestyle, Locations, Skin Conditions

Back when I was a teenager (all of 14), and thumbing through the pages of GQ for the first time, I gained a fast appreciation for the finer things in life – including great skincare. I came to understand from reading editorials, seeing advertisements, and going into sensory overload on the main floor of department stores, that there was a wide array of options when it came to skincare. Despite the overwhelming amount of options, one thing my 14 year old mind internalized was: Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize. It didn’t matter what brand I bought, as long as I followed three steps (and as long as I bought it from an expensive store), I was set.

In the years following, I experimented with countless brands and was occasionally wooed by the glossies (Vogue says Gwyneth Paltrow uses a lotion from a certain store on Spring Street – Must.Go.Buy!).  But I would always come back to these simple three steps. Yet, no matter how much I was told I needed all three, it didn’t seem to quite work for me. As I became more educated and stopped being an advertising zombie, I realized my skin didn’t need to be toned; that a cleanser and a moisturizer was sufficient. Surely if I was coming to this realization, others must feel the same. I started paying attention to trends and certain brands seemed to begin taking a more minimalist approach to things. It was around this time that I first discovered Malin+Goetz, with their less is more approach to skincare. Since then I have more or less lived my skincare routine by this doctrine.

Having followed this belief for so long, you could imagine my shock upon reading a recent New York Times article which sited several brands coming out with not fewer steps, but more. Not 2 or 3 more steps, but up to 11! Eleven products that one has to go out and spend their hard earned money on, and then spend even more of their valuable time in front of the bathroom mirror applying. As I read on, it was clear that these extra products were not being introduced to us because they are a necessity; they are being created because the Asian market happens to favor a long, drawn out facial regimen and will spend money on all of these products. The funny thing is, representatives from certain brands were blatantly saying they will produce anything and everything that someone will spend money on.

As an employee of, and a loyal user of Malin+Goetz, I can proudly say that over the years, in light of the continued growth and evolution of the company the core philosophy of simplicity and honesty still very much holds true. Yes, new products have been introduced, but they fill a void or meet the needs and requests of our customers. We are never saying these few additional “problem+solution” products are essential to everyone and must be used as part of your daily regimen.

In these complicated and unsure economic times, the last thing that should cause stress or financial hardship is your skincare routine. Our core concept of balance doesn’t just apply to a single great cleanser and a single moisturizer, but also to the balance between luxury and efficiency.

Brian Lynch, Training Manager

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Adult Acne

09.28.2011 | Posted by MALIN+GOETZ in Advice, Skin Conditions

“I am 30 and have occasional acne. Why?”

If you notice the acne that you had when you were 15 has returned, rest assured, you are not alone. One in five women and men between 25 and 45 suffer from adult acne. Unfortunately, women tend to be more prone to acne than men, and, many adults will get the occasional break out – we live in dirty cities!

There are several causes of adult acne: stress, hormones, cosmetics, and simply using too many products that strip your skin (forcing it to produce twice as much oil) and clog your pores. Acne usually begins with blackheads or oil and dead skin cells trapped in a pore with bacteria. Red pimples develop when blackheads become inflamed, spreading when touched with dirty hands.

Picking the right products to treat adult acne is key. Keep in mind, the typical products you used as a teenager will not work on adult skin. Here are our MALIN+GOETZ suggestions:

Immediate Treatment

- Acne Treatment: Sometimes the occasional random pimple can’t be helped. To get rid of an existing or developing pimple quickly, try our Acne Treatment. The magic ingredient is 10% Sulfur (the highest amount allowed as an over the counter drug). Sulfer dries the spot and kills the bacteria that caused it. Zinc and organic camphour prevent drying, redness or scarring. Leave it on overnight and by morning it will be gone!

Maintenance and Prevention

- Grapefruit Face Cleanser: A gentle but thorough daily cleanser is an essential first step (for everything, FYI). Our Cleanser lifts pore-clogging oil, dirt and makeup from the skin while natural grapefruit extract kills the bacteria causing acne. Cleanse morning and night, but more often or over-washing can strip the skin’s natural oils (so can toners, astringents and harsh cleansers) and force it to produce more oil, clogging pores, etc. – very counterproductive! And remember, use warm water as hot water can be drying and irritating to sensitive skin.

- Vitamin E Face Moisturizer: Now that the face is clean, choose the right moisturizer to pH balance the skin. Our Vitamin E Face Moisturizer is intensely hydrating AND oil free choice, so it won’t clog your pores or leave any sort of greasy residue. Great for under make up and day and night use in general.

- Detox Face Mask: A deep cleansing once or twice a week can help reinforce the efforts to clear and prevent break outs. Unlike traditional clay masks that can be drying, our Detox Face Mask is a hydrating gentle gel. In 5 easy minutes, the gel oxygenates or foams, opening pores to pull impurities to the surface. Rinse off. Don’t wash before or after—it is also a cleanser. Skin is deeply cleansed and intensely hydrated for bright clarity! Instant results. (Guys, you can shave the foam off as well!)

Brian Lynch, Training Manager

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Skin Stories: Christy’s Rosacea

07.11.2011 | Posted by MALIN+GOETZ in Advice, Skin Conditions, Skin Stories

First in an ongoing series of customer stories, Christy shares her tips on living with Rosacea.

“I first dealt with the horrors of Rosacea as a young adult. Recently out of college, first “real” job, and a live-in boyfriend. And suddenly — bright magenta spots, painful skin, and a 70+ year old dermatologist who told me to “take some antibiotics, never use soap, sunscreen, moisturizer, or makeup, and to stop taking any medication that would interfere with said antibiotics.”

Oof. This was not looking good – literally or figuratively.

Medication stabilized things, but I could never seem to find the right products to make my skin truly clear. I would just get to a place where I could slather on enough makeup where I felt I could go out in public. The red, patchy skin was always lurking underneath. And since the list of things that elicit a Rosacea flare-up seem to include: nothing hot, nothing cold, nothing spicy, nothing bland, nothing bright, nothing dark, and ‘no breathing’, I realized that this was something I was going to have to deal with my whole life. And, that I was not happy with always having skin that hurt and was embarrassed to show to the world without a Tammy Faye-esque makeup job.

Then one afternoon I visited a local salon, and they had a special Rosacea facial. And they used products for that treatment, and recommended others, that were by a company I hadn’t heard of…you guessed it: Malin + Goetz. Suddenly there was a moisturizer I could use that actually pampered and protected my skin! And since the grapefruit cleanser complemented the moisturizer, and was also so natural and gentle, I had a soap that cleansed and nourished too.

It has been several years since I discovered the company that truly helped me ‘save face’. And I’m very grateful. I know it is a true success story recently because an acquaintance told me, “You’re so lucky – you have the BEST skin…what do you use?” I figured she must be talking to someone else, because I still didn’t think of myself as someone who had anything but the bumps, the redness, and the flakiness of a Rosacea sufferer. But that night when I looked into the mirror after washing my face, I realized that she was right – it’s not perfect, but it is healthy, smooth, and radiant.

So here are my tips on living with Rosacea. Not everything will work for everyone, but give it a whirl:

  1. If you don’t care for your skin, it will not get better. Get thee to a dermatologist! (Not a cranky old dude, though.
  2. Cleansing and gentle moisturizing are key — Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser and the fabulous Vitamin E Moisturizer work well together and are light and fresh.
  3. Cleansing with lukewarm water with clean hands and no washcloth has worked well for me – even the finest Egyptian cotton isn’t soothing when you are rubbing it all over sensitive skin.
  4. If you wear makeup: — after many trials (and tribulations) I’ve found that cosmetics that use minerals or the most natural possible ingredients work best to both mask Rosacea, as well as not promote flare-ups.
  5. SPF, baby! With as little grease as possible.
  6. What you use on your hair and hands can have an effect on the skin on your face. Think about it — the products you use in the shower to wash your hair come streaming down your face when you rinse. If there are a ton of chemicals or a trigger ingredient, it can cause a flare-up. Once I switched to a more natural shampoo + conditioner (by guess who?) I noticed a wonderful difference.
  7. Drink lots of water. Doesn’t every helpful list include this? Well, it appears there for a reason.
  8. If you do use cosmetics, don’t go to sleep in them! Wash that face! Same thing if you’ve worked out.
  9. Find a gentle laundry detergent — especially for your pillowcases! And change them more than once a week if you are having a breakout or particularly oily day. And if those pillows are old, break down and treat yourself to some new ones.
  10. Realize that you are more than your worst skin day – you’re gorgeous, and you deserve to take good care of your face. It’s the only one you’ve got!”

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Wieden+Kennedy Pop Up Shop: Skin Advice

06.23.2011 | Posted by MALIN+GOETZ in Advice, Apothecary and Lab, Products

andrew goetz and matthew malin with isaora

Matthew Malin purchased this Isaora jacket, modeling here with Marc Daniels and his partner, Karelin (and their dog) at the Wieden+Kennedy Pop Up Shop. Both Marc and Karelin are M+G customers. I asked if I could share the skincare advice I gave Marc and Karelin while at the event.

Karelin–who has nearly perfect skin, was concerned with acne. She has a few hardly noticeable little bumps on her forehead. It is a hot and humid summer in NYC, and, perspiration most likely created some unwanted oiliness near her hairline. I recommended our Grapefruit Face Cleanser which she loved. She doesn’t moisturize in the summer, and, if oily enough, it is fine not to.

Marc asked about enlarged pores. This is a more common question for both women and men. There is a simple answer: as we age, our skin sags and our pores become larger as we loose skin elasticity. As such, it is easier to see clogged pores. While the Grapefruit Face Cleanser is the best every day choice for maintenance, the Jojoba Face Scrub works to dislodge dirt and oil (make-up, etc.) trapped in the pores, giving them a clean and “smaller” appearance.

Please send us your feedback, thoughts and experiences to share with our customers info@malinandgoetz.com

Matthew

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Personal Skincare Experiences by Matthew Malin

06.16.2011 | Posted by MALIN+GOETZ in Advice, Lifestyle, Products, Skin Conditions

Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz, founds of (MALIN+GOETZ)

As some of you know, I suffer from a variety of skin concerns including rosacea, eczema, seborrhea and fragrance allergies. I’ve been making frequent trips to the dermatologist’s office since my teens and have tried almost every cream, treatment, and Rx out there. What I’ve learned after a lot of trial and error: there is no permanent cure for my skin conditions. But I can find relief by using the right products and ingredients. This discovery actually inspired me and my partner, Andrew Goetz, to create MALIN+GOETZ. Our mission is simple: to make skincare easy and less complicated, and most importantly, to address irritated and sensitive skin needs.

It’s our goal at MALIN+GOETZ to offer you highly-effective daily use treatments that won’t irritate or exacerbate your skin, and complement your prescription skincare routine and procedures, if you’re seeking the care of a dermatologist.

While I’m not a medical professional, I’m often asked for advice by fans of our products about how I cope and care for my skin. So I’ve decided to share some of my personal experiences and research here with you in the hopes that they might bring you some relief and address your top questions. (Please note: We are not making medical suggestions or claims and suggest that you consult a dermatologist about any health issues you might have before making changes to your skincare routine, should you be concerned.)

Topic: Rosacea

What It Is: We know Rosacea as a chronic skin disorder related to blood circulation and characterized by dilation of capillaries, redness and occasionally pustules.  Millions suffer.  Rosacea is most common in people over the age of 30 and first appears as red cheeks and nose.  All skin “types”, dry to oily, can be affected.  Drier skin seems to be more common with noticeable flakiness.  Many afflicted are sensitive and easily irritated.

What Causes It: The exact causes are unknown or unproven and heredity and ethnicity (of fair skin) are theories for origin.  Self-perpetuating, triggers can include exercise, spicy foods, skin care products (yes!), sun exposure, alcohol, stress and temperature extremes.

What I’ve Learned: There is no cure and medications are specific to each person.  It is often trial and error and customized to each individual as recommended by your dermatologist and what is suitable to your skin.  Rosacea can recur as flare-ups even when managed.  And, managing your triggers is important, while the right gentle skincare can be your best friend!  Less is more, in my opinion.  Topical and oral medications, as prescribed, are often recommended as ongoing treatment, even in remission or without a flare-up.   This lessens recurrence.  Laser treatments may help broken blood vessels and redness, in some cases.   Seborrheic Dermatitis (see Seborrhea) may also afflict those with Rosacea, as it does me.

My Personal Triggers:  All the usual suspects like weather changes (I have about four annual flare-ups), exercise (I am a runner), spicy foods, chocolate, red wine.  If I run outdoors, it is with sunscreen and on cooler days, in the morning or at night and I limit myself to a piece of chocolate (EVERYDAY—who can give this up?) and one glass of red wine with dinner.  I don’t deprive myself.

My Skincare Regime: My skin is dry, flaky and ultra sensitive.  Nice, right?  I have a lot of redness and I am easily irritated.  The most important part of my routine is simply to keep my skin clean. I wash every morning and evening with our refreshing Grapefruit Face Cleanser—I find that this brings calm, clarity and evenness to my tone.  The Rosacea is not gone, but tolerable. 

Tip: our Grapefruit Face Cleanser works also as a make-up remover, eliminating another potentially irritating step or product.

My Personal Trick: I only wash with my hands and cool water, never a cloth or sponge.  It is too irritating and creates skin flushing.  I pat my skin dry with a cotton towel—never wipe or tug.  More Personal Recommendations:  We created our Jojoba Face Scrub for my dry skin.  While “scrubbing” can often irritate, ours is gentle, hydrating, and helps with flakes.  Gently massage once/week.  Also, our Detox Face Mask is soothing and hydrating to help reduce redness and add clarity once/week.  It won Allure Magazine’s Best Mask too!

I follow cleansing with our hydrating daily moisturizer, either Vitamin E Face Moisturizer or SPF 15 Face Moisturizer, depending on my needs.  I’ve had luck avoiding heavy moisturizers and pore-clogging oils and sticking with our fatty acid-based botanical lotions, which absorb well and help clear the redness and itchiness.

Dry Skin Tip: When I need more hydration, I integrate our Replenishing Face Serum after washing and before applying my medication or moisturizer.  It helps both to penetrate the skin better and add noticeable clarity to my ruddy skin.

Personal SPF Tip: Unlike a little “good” sun that can help clear my Seborrhea, I do not find the sun a friend of my Rosacea.  I really avoid sun on my face and use SPF 15 Face Moisturizer, wear a hat and walk in the shade.  It is true, ask Andrew Goetz.

My Medications: Check with your doctor about the medication that is best for you and your skin type.  Ask questions.  Many topicals can be quite drying, especially to an already dry and sensitive skin (eg. Metro Gel for me).  Others are more moisturizing and less irritating (eg. Metro Cream or Noritate in my experience).  Currently, I’m using Finacea lotion before moisturizing and after cleansing.  My skin has acclimated to tolerate stronger medications for daily use but starting with a gentle topical has worked well for my personal condition.  I have used various antibiotics as an initial, short term treatment for flare-ups and find that they upset my stomach (eg. Minocin, Oracea, Tetracyciline).  They have helped with general inflammation in conjunction with on-going topical treatment.

Personal Tip: avoid using skincare products that burn, sting or irritate.  Various ingredients are known irritants and we at (MALIN+GOETZ) avoids these and levels of actives or naturals that could irritate: alcohol, peppermint (or any active natural), colorants, AHA’s, astringents, perfumes, pore clogging oils and harsh exfoliators, to name a few.   When in doubt, patch test an underarm area for irritation.   Anyone can be allergic to anything…

What To Ask Your Derm About:

Topical Medication:  One that is right for your personal skin type (see my experiences above).

Oral Antibiotic Therapy:  When or if needed and the side effects like an upset stomach, diarrhea, sun sensitivity, allergic reactions , yeast infections, etc.    It is generally recommended, as I know, to clear an initial flare-up and for short term use.

Laser or PDT (photo dynamic therapy): I am focusing on PDT since I have some personal experience.  It is a medical procedure performed in the doctor’s office, which involves treating the skin with prescription medication Levulan followed by a laser blue light to kill bacteria under the surface and even out your skin-tone. It’s commonly used for acne but my New York City dermatologist, Dr. Soren White, believes it is helpful for rosacea, eczema and seborrhea on the face, back and chest.   I’ve had four treatments over the last two years and have seen positive results.   

PDT prices can range from $300-$3000 based on several factors (like the area treated, doctor, etc).  When your dermatologist says the laser will feel like a rubber band snapping against your face, well, that does not do it justice.  I manned-up for vanity, but, let me tell you, it hurts!  Here’s what happened: An alcohol solution is applied to remove any makeup or oil (I bring my own Grapefruit Face Cleanser to wash my face) followed by a topical medication, Levulan, a photosensitizing agent and activated by the laser’s blue light.  For me, it was left on for about 30 minutes before the laser.  If you have dry skin, you are left REALLY dry before the treatment starts and well after.

The procedure inactivates bacteria, can unclog pores, exfoliate and decrease sebaceous gland production of oil.  It can be an alternative to Accutane (which I took briefly for cystic acne as a teenager).  It is also known to help improve wrinkles, pore size, skin texture, pigmentation, rosacea (yay), sun damage and possibly prevent the development of skin cancer.

Next, the dermatologist applies a cold gel before administering the laser (I think it is to buffer or prevent burning from the laser—as a man with facial hair, you can actually smell the hair burning.  Nice.)  If the freezing cold gel does not shock you into reality, the laser will make you feel more alive than anything.  The procedure lasts for five minutes. For the next three days, my skin is dry and peels—a lot.  The skin is sensitive.  It is red and inflamed. It’s best to moisturize a lot and avoid any sun (per my doctor) during the recovery period.  And, if you’re like me, you don’t really want anyone to see your face! But after three to five days, your skin begins to look really clear and refreshed—and in my case, it stays this way for several months.

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For more information on skin conditions, please visit American Academy of Dermatology at http://www.aad.org/

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