Behind The Brand- Madalyn Skincare

By: Samantha Cass

March 16, 2020

Toronto beauty start-up, Madalyn Skincare, worked with us to contribute to the door-prize at the recent launch of THE BOOK 05, Voices, by StyleCircle. Here, they share with us words that speak to the experience of launching a sustainably focused platform in a saturated market.

In this interview, “S” shall refer to Savannah, and “T” to Tess, the sister duo and co-founders of Madalyn Skincare.

  1. Tell me about your experience as a Toronto-based start-up entering the beauty industry. 

S: Our experience so far has been great! Launching a new venture is such a scary concept, but we’ve been well received and have started to make some great connections. When creating anything, you’re always worried (at least we are) about the smallest details, and it’s been so humbling to have gotten the positive feedback and support we’ve gained so far. 

T: We’re lucky to have some amazing friends who supported us early on, and we were kind of blown away by people we admire willing to partner with us and give us feedback early on. Toronto is such an amazing entrepreneurial community, and the advice and relationships we’ve gathered so far have made the transition so easy for us. 

  1. How do you visualize your consumer base, can you paint a portrait of the Madalyn Skincare user? 

T: As a unisex brand, it was important to us to represent both men and women looking for luxurious-feeling, natural skincare products at a reasonable price point. The Madalyn user cares about the details, and is someone looking to (and working towards) feeling good and living well. 

S: At the same time, we were big proponents of not pushing the ideas of “perfect skin” and “ideal body types”. Madalyn is for all bodies. We’re all works in progress, and we like to believe that a smart skincare routine can help be a wellness constant in people’s busy lives. It’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves, whether it be mental or physical, and we wanted to focus on making the little things more enjoyable. 

  1. What are your goals when designing and formulating products? 

S: First and foremost, we have to use it and love it. When we talk about future products, we never want to create a product to simply have a larger skincare line or to capture a corner of the market or anything like that. Our goal is to deliver natural, high- quality ingredients to solve a specific problem. 

T: Once we settle on an idea, we take great care to control as much of the user experience as we can. We spend (too much) time making sure the scent is perfect, the texture feels right, and that it can easily fit into an existing skincare routine. Sav & I always aim to create things that fit seamlessly into our days, and elevate our routines (and moods) in some way. 

  1. Why was it important to create a unisex skincare line? 

T: Inclusivity is big for us. I worked in the beauty industry before starting Madalyn, and always had issues with the stigmas attached to men in skincare. Wellness and learning 

how to properly take care of yourself should be genderless issues, and we want to make sure that Madalyn promotes the art of taking care of yourself regardless of gender. 

S: It’s getting a bit better, but men’s wellness is still primarily focused on getting six- pack abs, and we wanted to steer the conversation towards feeling better and focusing on self-care aspects not revolving solely on fitness. 

  1. Scent can be a big deal when it comes to unisex products. Describe the sensory experience of applying the Face and Body oils. 

S: Our goal has always been to invoke a “spa-like” experience. Scent is such an important trigger, and we want the scent of our face and body oils to help ground hectic routines and busy lives. We’ve focused on unique, natural aromas, and kept everything light to incorporate well with a full skincare routine. 

  1. What’s the best way to integrate Madalyn Skincare into a skincare regime? 

S: Tess and I both use our face oil first thing in the morning and right before bed. I find it refreshes me before heading out the door, and makes me feel clean and cozy before going to sleep. In the winter months, we find ourselves applying both our face and body oils a little more liberally to help combat the dry air, and keep our skin glowing and feeling fresh. 

T: We’re big proponents of guarding what goes on your skin, and what goes in your body. An amazing skincare regime with a terrible diet will only go so far! Madalyn products work best when you’re eating well and drinking lots of water! 

  1. What does sustainability mean to you when it comes to sourcing the ingredients used in your skincare products? 

T: Sustainability is such a popular buzzword these days, but it was important to us to do our part to ensure that Madalyn runs as environmentally-friendly as possible. While on a base level it means we use organic, natural ingredients free of pesticides and chemicals, we wanted to dig deeper than that. We recently released our Transparent Sustainability Report on our website that details each step of our manufacturing process, and highlights environmental successes, works-in-progress, and future goals. It costs more to use, for example, bio-degradable seed paper instead of traditional paper for thank-you notes, but we feel better about what we’re releasing to the world, and we’ve found the modern consumer wants to support companies they feel good about. 

  1. How do you develop an informative platform that helps consumers to understand the products they apply to their skin? 

S: This is something we’re working on! With social media in 2020, it’s so easy to post beautiful pictures and have people flock based on branding, but education is something that’s important to us. Over the next month, we’ll be beginning to roll out highlights on ingredients, uses & applications, and healthy living supplements to truly educate on how different products help or hinder. 

  1. I noticed the Journal page posted to madalynskincare.com. How do you envision this avenue as a vehicle to develop the brand’s identity? 

T: The goal of the Madalyn Journal is to discuss wellness, and dive deeper into issues we care about. While taking care of your skin is important, it’s only a small piece of a much larger puzzle. We plan to focus on topics like modern men’s wellness (go check out our New Year’s Resolution Guide!), sustainability, spending time on passion, and the finer aspects of slow living we often miss in our “grind” culture. The Journal is our way of being a skincare brand that doesn’t believe every problem can be solved with a product. 

  1. If I wanted to learn more about Madalyn Skincare, where should I go? 

You can learn more about Madalyn and what we’re up to at our website (madalynskincare.com), or on our Instagram (@madalynskincare). 


  • Samantha Cass - Writer

    Sam currently pursues a Bachelor of Design in Fashion Communications at Ryerson University, Toronto ON. Outside of second year courses, Sam honours her role as Art Director of Web here at StyleCircle.


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