Personal Skincare Experiences by Matthew Malin, co-founder 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.)
What It Is: We know Eczema as a chronic inflammatory skin disorder that affects the skin on the face, hands and feet, and knees. Eczema is characterized by dry, thick (called lichenification), itchy and red (in fair skin or an altered pigment in darker skin) patches. Eczema is most common in infants that outgrow the condition. Some people continue to experience conditions on and off throughout their life. Atopic Dermatitis is the most common type and similar to an allergic reaction in the skin. It is known to effect dryer skin types resulting is red, scaly, and crusted itchy pustules. While several systems may appear similar to Rosacea, they are not related.
What Causes It: While exact causes are unknown, professionals believe Eczema is often genetic and associated with an overactive reaction by the immune system to some irritant. Many diagnosed with Eczema also suffer from asthma and other allergies. Flare-ups can come from several triggers including contact with harsh detergents and rough materials, dog dander, contracting a cold, stress, extremes in the weather and temperature, perspiration (exercise), fragrance and colorants in skincare, and various allergies.
What I’ve Learned: While there is no cure, Eczema can be managed with medical treatment, by avoiding irritants and moisturizing the skin. Managing my triggers is important and the most simple, helpful treatment for me. This includes the right gentle daily skincare! Less is more, in my opinion. The goal is to prevent itching, inflammation and infection. A dermatologist may recommend Cortizone or Antihistamines, both over the counter. In more developed cases, a topical steroid may be prescribed.
Personal Tip: Keep your skin moist with a cream or lotion without colors or perfumes, like our Vitamin B5 Body Moisturizer or (yes!) Vitamin E Face Moisturizer. Apply right after a shower when the skin is still moist. Avoid harsh soaps and use a hydratingprotein based cleanser like our Grapefruit Face Wash and Bergamot Body Wash.
My Skincare Regime: My skin, as a general rule, is dry, flaky and ultra sensitive. So, as part of my daily grooming, morning and night, I moisturize the Eczema affected areas on the top of my fingers and toes, as well as my left ankle (weird!) and center of my chest and back (not easy to reach). For my back and chest, I generously apply Vitamin E Face Moisturzer. Luckily it absorbs fast. When it is really inflamed, I will use a topical, over-the-counter Cortizone Cream (any brand is fine for me). Toes and feet with thicker dry patches get Vitamin B5 Body Moisturizer. All of these relieve redness, itching and flaking.
What To Ask Your Derm About: Check with your doctor about the medication that is best for you and your Eczema. Many topical steroids are prescribed for short term use and come in several forms. While I have used various topical steroids for inflammation on my chest and back, I have found that over-the-counter Cortizone once/week (less if I can manage) is all I need if I am keeping my skin well moisturized.