The Second Act: Melanie Mayron

Mayron knew exactly who to call in order to create “responsibly conceived,” botanical formulas
The Second Act: Melanie Mayron
Another Father’s Day has come and gone, but for actor, director, and entrepreneur, Melanie Mayron, celebrating dear old dad is something she does 365 days year. In fact, her reason for thinking beyond the small screen (where she nabbed an Emmy for her role as the “artsy and creative” Melissa Steadman on Thirtysomething) and getting into skin care started because of sibling rivalry.

“My sister [Gale] started Jao with my mom and dad and I was a little jealous of her working with them,” said Mayron of the family’s other successful beauty venture. The rare opportunity to join forces with her father, an accomplished chemist, to create something new proved to be equally as enticing as racking up Hollywood accolades. Thus, Mayron’s Goodswas born around the same time that the brand’s founder was trying to get pregnant. After scouring the shelves for a “natural and organic baby line” and coming up short, Mayron knew exactly who to call in order to create “responsibly conceived,” botanical formulas for pint-sized customers.

“It took my dad years to develop our diaper cream, but it turned out to be really amazing,” she said. It was so incredible that even Rosie O’Donnell took notice and felt the need to spread the word before the product even properly launched. “As we were developing it, my mom said to me, ‘If you could get some diaper cream to Rosie, she could talk about it on her show and you’ll get the brand off the ground.’ I’d met her through the business, but Rosie was in New York and I was in LA. We were also still working on the diaper cream and all I had were little white tubes from the lab with my dad’s handwriting on them,” explained Mayron. “The very next day after having this conversation with my mom, I go outside and Rosie was standing in the driveway next door loading a gift into her car. She had flown in for a friend’s baby shower and Parker, her first child, was in his car seat screaming. She took him out and said, ‘He’s got the worst baby rash. You want to see?’” In short, fate quite literally dropped one of America’s leading talk show hosts and her son on Mayron’s doorstep. While they say that mother always knows best, it was dad’s cream that ultimately came to the rescue.

“Three or four days later, I came home and my answering machine said it had 19 messages on it—this was back when we still had answering machines,” Mayron said. “When I won my Emmy, it said 21, so of course I wondered what the hell happened.” Friends and family were calling to report that O’Donnell had called out the diaper cream on air. “Rosie said, ‘I don’t know what’s happened to Melanie Mayron’s acting career, but she’s got a kickass diaper cream,” she laughed. In addition to O’Donnell, Mayron’s Goods—a range that’s “never tested on animals but is tested on actors and their babies”—has made its way around the A-list. Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett are both fans, with the diaper cream remaining a cult-favorite among red-carpet regulars. “Nicole said she keeps it in her medicine chest and uses it as a first aid cream,” noted Mayron of the does-it-all formula that works wonders on cuts and eczema. Even pet owners have praised the versatile cream’s ability to clear up sores on their fur babies’ paws.

The homegrown company has expanded well beyond the infant arena, as the father-daughter duo have dreamed up everything from Man Oil to MILK over the years. Even at age 92, Mayron’s dad continues to innovate. While most daughters know how to push their fathers’ buttons, few ever have a chance to push a parent professionally. Of the best thing that’s resulted from building a brand, Mayron said: “I get to be peers with my father.” Spoken like a true daddy’s girl.

Here, Mayron shares the one product all family members can use and why everyone should baby their skin.

Her ride-or-die beauty product:

“Our calendula balm is an extraordinary product. We sell it to men as a post-shave treatment for razor nicks, but it’s actually great for the entire family. If you burn yourself in the kitchen, it stops the throbbing and stinging instantly. It also works on bug bites, bruises, and cuts. My father was a medic in the army, so he wanted to put a healing element into all of our products.”

Her travel must-haves:

Benefit Cosmetics Boi-ing Concealer is my go-to. I also love Atelier Cologne’s Rose Anonymeand Grand Néroli fragrances, which I bought in New York. Sometimes I mix them, but I use the rose all the time—it’s stunning.”

Her beauty indulgence:

“I love getting a massage. I have someone come to the house because I can go to bed right after I’m all massaged out!”

Her daily skin ritual:

“I wash my face with our baby wash because it’s light and gentle. Then, I use the Easy Oil because it’s not thick and heavy. It’s crazy how dry your skin can get overnight in California.”

Her biggest beauty mistake:

“I’ve done acid peels over the years, but I once tried a laser face peel and it took me forever to heal. I basically had a scab as a face for a few weeks. Here I was being vain and trying to get rid of a few lines and then I couldn’t leave the house!”

Her mane masters:

Anna [McGroarty] and Nicole [Pascual] at Sally Hershberger in L.A. I’ve always had auburn hair, but it was brighter when I was younger. When I was on TV, it flattened the color and people were calling me a brunette. I had to beef up the color so that it translated.”

Her dream beauty raid:

“Diane Keaton. I’m just curious! She was at my house once because we have a mutual friend. She’s really great.”

Her charity of choice:

“Growing up as a kid in a medical family—my father is a pharmaceutical chemist and I have two uncles who are doctors—I always heard about medical testing. Dad often talked about how the male and female body have different triggers, but almost all medical testing is done on male bodies. The National Women’s Health Network is a group that puts out information on women’s health and funnels money to labs that are doing research. I donate [a portion of Mayron’s Goods sales] to them every year.”

Her beauty icons:

“Lauren Hutton and Isabella Rossellini. I like someone who grows older and still looks natural.”

Her approach to aging:

“It’s hard to get older, it really is, but beauty comes from within. If I can stay true to who I am, I’ll stay beautiful.”

Written by Amber Kallor
Photos by Isabella Behravan

More Subject:Matter

→ Top Beauty

9 Simple Solutions for Summer’s Biggest Problems

There’s no denying that rosé-fueled lunches al fresco and blissful days at the beach are what the good life is all about, but counteracting the season’s sweaty, frizzy, and sunburned side effects are decidedly less sexy. From strands that cave under heat and humidity to sunscreen-clogged pores, discover nine ways to survive a cruel, cruel summer.

Read more