The Ingredient Gurus: Myriam and Eric Malka

These seasoned brand founders reveal their recipe for success.
The Ingredient Gurus: Myriam and Eric Malka
A good rule of thumb when you’re scanning any ingredient list—especially when it comes to skincare: “If you can’t pronounce it, don’t use it!” says Eric Malka, co-founder of Ingredients®, a newly launched brand dreamed up by the entrepreneur and his wife Myriam, who he describes as the “best green formulator in the personal care industry.”

The couple—who bonded over their shared French-Moroccan roots and mutual passion for natural health and veganism—began their beauty journey after Myriam whipped up a pre-shave oil for Eric in their kitchen. “He loved it and in 1996, we sold our car and co-founded The Art of Shaving,” she says. After the best-selling brand was acquired by Procter & Gamble in 2009, they took some well-deserved time off to raise their two sons—but the creative juices never stopped flowing.

“When we started The Art of Shaving, all of our products were formulated with botanical ingredients and pure essential oils,” says Eric. “It was very innovative at the time, but consumers were not focused on natural ingredients, especially 30- to 50-year-old men…It was frustrating to us, as we knew the secret to The Art of Shaving’s success was what was inside the bottles.” (To be clear, shoppers may not have noticed, but P&G certainly did.)

Products containing 20 to 40 ingredients in their formulas will give you a micro-dose of each, rendering the effectiveness of each of those ingredients virtually useless

Fast-forward to today and you’ll find that the pure, plant-based actives used to create Ingredients®' formulas (as well of the exact percentage of each), are front and center one very product. “We are obsessive about everything that goes into our line, so much so, that we named our company after what’s inside,” says Eric. Not only can consumers immediately identify and pronounce every ingredient they put in or on their bodies, but each formula is sustainable, environmentally friendly, and free of water, petrochemicals, synthetic preservatives, fillers, and solvents.

“Products containing 20 to 40 ingredients in their formulas will give you a micro-dose of each, rendering the effectiveness of each of those ingredients virtually useless,” he adds. “Ingredients®’ products are formulated with eight or less ingredients in higher concentrations to maximize their efficacy.”

This less-is-more approach, however, extends well beyond their business endeavors. Here, the power couple reveals their inside-out beauty philosophy as well as the four-step regimen their entire family swears by for healthy, glowing skin.

Their best business advice:

“Follow your gut and passion,”says Myriam, who also recommends “thinking twice before making a decision or giving an answer.” Eric’s suggestion:Be the only company that does what you do.”

Their beauty mantra:

As their latest brand venture, Ingredients®, suggests, both Myriam and Eric firmly believe that “less is so much more.”

Their family-friendly skincare routine:

“The [beauty] industry wants us to believe that men, women, and children of different races and ages require different products, yet the only differences between these products are usually the fragrance, the color of the packaging, and the marketing claims,” explains Eric. “That’s why we say plants don’t discriminate by gender or age. The nutritive and healing properties of plant-based products can benefit everyone.”

Naturally, every member of the Malka household follows the same step-by-step skincare routine: First, they use Ingredients®’ organic, soap-free foaming Face Cleanser to purify skin without stripping it of protective oils. After applying the brand’s Plant Water Mist, they use the amino acid-rich Face Serum on damp skin for even more hydration. Finally, the Oil Complex locks in moisture for a bright and balanced complexion.

Their good-skin diet:

“You are what you eat,” says Eric. In addition to their topical skincare routine, the Malka family adheres to a macrobiotic diet rich in green, red, and purple fruits and veggies. Myriam also steers clear of unrefined sugar, gluten, and dairy products. “Having a healthy gut is an essential foundation for healthy skin,” says Myriam. “We start our day by drinking alkaline water to hydrate and flush out toxins, followed by a cup of antioxidant green tea, such as sencha or jasmine.”

Her top drugstore discovery:

“Whenever I’m in France, I love visiting pharmacies—the ones with a neon green cross outside,” says Myriam. “I always buy natural ingredients, such as French green clay, Aleppo soap, high-quality essential oils, plant extracts, gemmotherapy, and homeopathy.”

Their ultimate indulgence:

“A four-hour treatment at the hammam located inside the King Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco,” says Myriam. “The experience is out of this world—your body feels physically and spiritually purified.” Eric whole heartedly agrees, noting, “It’s just down the road from where I was born!”

His ride-or-die product:

The Face Cleanser is one of my favorites, but I am especially proud of our Throat Spray for two reasons: It really works to soothe the throat and boost the immune system. Plus, it’s the first ingestible product we made,” explains Eric. “It takes us beyond skincare into wellness, which is where we want this brand to be.”

Her most trusted beauty pro:

“The best facial in Miami is at the Barba Skin Clinic,” says Myriam.

Her glowy skin secret:

“Skin fasting on the weekend,” says Myriam, who gives her beauty products time off on Saturday and Sunday." I use Ingredients®skincare during the week, but skin fasting allows your skin to ‘reset’ and, in turn, improves the way it functions. Skin looks healthy, clear, and there’s no need for foundation.”

Her beauty icon:

“Coco Chanel. She was a visionary,” says Myriam.“ I love her minimalist approach to branding and her timeless designs.”

Her biggest beauty mistake: 

“Years ago, I had my makeup done at a department store counter,” says Myriam. “The day after, I had a bad skin infection due to unclean utensils or dirty hands. Never again!”

Their favorite escape:

“Eric and I love going to St-Barths in the French West Indies,” says Myriam. “We go at least once a year to recharge our batteries and get lost. It’s only two hours from Miami, but it feels like being in France.” She always packs unrefined shea butter; which Ingredients® sells in convenient stick form. “It can be used on face or body to moisturize, relieve irritated or itchy skin, chapped lips, sunburn, wrinkles, stretch marks, diaper rash, and more,” she adds.

Written by Amber Kallor

More Subject:Matter

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