Helena Sampson On Malin+Goetz’s 20th Anniversary And What’s Next For The Skincare Brand

Malin+Goetz turns 20 this 2024 and the brand is thrilled to celebrate this anniversary with new product launches and new plans all throughout the year. Helena Sampson, Senior Vice President of International of Malin+Goetz, recently sat down with Robb Report Malaysia to talk about how the brand has earned its success in the past 20 years, as well as what’s in the store or the next 20 years and beyond.

Helena Sampson, Senior Vice President of International of Malin+Goetz.

But first, some backstory: Malin+Goetz was founded by Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz 20 years ago. The New Yorkers desired to look for uncomplicated skincare products, which led to the launch of six, easy-to-use skincare products such as cleansers and moisturisers for the face, body and hair, and for even the most sensitive skin conditions. For the past 20 years, the brand has focused on diversity and inclusivity, creating products that are suitable for every skin type and tone for any gender.

Grapefruit Face Cleanser (left), and Vitamin E Face Moisturizer.

As part of their 20th anniversary celebrations, Malin+Goetz has also recently launched the Bergamot Supercandle (RM890). “Bergamot is the brand’s best-selling scent, and there has been plenty of demand to bring back the supercandle—so we listened and delivered,” Sampson says, while adding that the limited-edition supercandle has plenty of uplifting and energising benefits, and has a burn time of about 180 hours. “I would personally leave the candle unlit, so the aroma can slowly fill the room,” Sampson says.

SPF30 Mineral Sunscreen.

The Bergamot Supercandle opens with a burst of bergamot, bell pepper and grapefruit, followed by ginger, muguet and cardamom at the heart. It then closes with musk, sandalwood and amberwood for a relaxing mood. Its glass vessel is designed by Jonas Damon, an acclaimed industrial designer. Damon designed the vessel with beauty and function in mind; its high-quality and heat-resistant amber-coloured glass has a traditional touch that also doubles as a great decoration piece.

Sampson—who has been in the beauty industry for more than 30 years, leading teams from brands such as Huda Beauty, Laura Mercier, L’Oreal and Unilever—shares what fans can expect from Malin+Goetz elsewhere in its anniversary campaigns as well as what’s in the pipeline. 

Helena Sampson, Senior Vice President of International of Malin+Goetz.

Malin + Goetz focuses on uncomplicated skincare products. Tell us more about this.

For the past 20 years, Matthew and Andrew created products based on what our skin only needs—cleansing and treating. If you have some additional skin condition, then you can add on the Detox Face Mask. The same goes for body and hair. We adapt the concept of how apothecaries were back in the day—simple and uncomplicated.

What makes Malin+Goetz so successful?

The goal from the beginning was to focus on simple skincare products that cater to all skin types and genders. With only six products, Malin+Goetz sold their skincare everywhere. When you’re building a brand in the accessible luxury industry, you have to make the right choices in the right order. Matthew and Andrew first worked very closely with skincare professionals and hairdressers to understand what people need. Next came the packaging ideas and the store concept, which the duo worked on with hotels and concept stores.

Describe the Malin+Goetz customer. 

They are young professionals living in urban cities. They’re not beauty junkies and they don’t spend hours looking in the mirror—but they are always on the go and travelling. We speak with thousands of our customers every year, getting them to fill out survey forms, so we can understand and cater to their lifestyle.

The best-selling Detox Face Mask.

What is the best-selling Malin+Goetz product to date?

The Detox Face Mask is our number-one bestseller. It’s a three- to five-minute oxygenating gel mask that’s packed with vitamins to thoroughly purify and brighten skin. It has a cooling effect and will leave your skin firmed and radiant immediately. I love using it when I get off the plane. The mask foams up after three minutes, making it easy to wipe. It’s easy to use when you’re travelling and need a quick pick-me-up, fitting right in the modern lifestyle we aim to create.

On the other hand, what is the best-selling fragrance and candle in the past 20 years?

The Bergamot scent is our signature and we have the Dark rum from South America, and Strawberry. They all have a gender-neutral scent that’s suitable for everyone.

What would you say is the brand’s most interesting and versatile product?

Our deodorant. Many of our customers use it on their feet when they need to wear heels or sneakers for long hours. Also, golfers love our deodorant as it keeps their hands from sweating.

What is the big plan for Malin+Goetz’s 20th anniversary?

The brand is big on travel-size products, so we aim to create an entire modern lifestyle for people living in the city. They can easily use Malin+Goetz everywhere they go, develop a healthy grooming habit, and then come back to a peaceful, sweet-smelling home after a long day—hence the launch of the Bergamot Supercandle.

How do you see Malin + Goetz in the near future?

We are grateful for this success over the past 20 years. After launching the new Bergamot Supercandle, we are looking to expand with more scents by next year alongside other launches and events. We are very excited about what we have planned.

The Malin + Goetz Bergamot Supercandle is available at KENS Apothecary Pavilion KL, Bangsar Village 2, BSC, One Utama, The Gardens Mall, Sunway Pyramid and Gurney Plaza in Penang, as well as online.

Malin + Goetz

KENS Apothecary

Sign up for our Newsletters

Stay up to date with our latest series