Talking Winter Skincare Essentials With Zac Mallard


In light of men making smarter feel-good decisions, the healthy growth in men’s personal care is a firm affirmation that men are gradually graduating from using their body wash as an all-in-one face cleanser. Maybe the spike in interest is one part driven by the women in their lives, and another, the awareness of how liberating it feels to groom dry skin, chappy lips, and in grown hair. Whatever the influence might have been, 2018 marked an exciting year for men’s skincare. Not to drip even an ounce of pessimism to overshadow the light of better days, but truth is, summer skincare routines were a breeze. We are smack in the middle of winter’s coldest months, the unofficial hunger games for skin, where only the most committed men survive. So how do you look after your skin during frigid winter days? think: rich cream, beard oil, and face mask. I could recommend some of the best products, but I wanted to take a look at how real men are tackling winter skin. Luckily, I knew just the right guy: Zachary Mallard - alchemist, and former owner of luxury grooming brand, Empire Apothecary.

If I’m to be honest, I fear we’re in this really boring, low effort phase.
— Zach Mallard

Professional Experience with grooming products and the skincare industry:

“In 2014, I founded Empire Apothecary - an all natural, petroleum free grooming and fragrance brand. I think its important from the start, to stress the importance of timing in regards to this (and all things). At the time, I lived around the corner from Blind Barber. This was in the midst of what could be the early days of what can be described perhaps as a barbershop resurgence, which brought a level of comfort - even excitement for a group of young men that hadn't ever really talked openly about their barbering rituals. You had this newly activated audience getting this great experience in barbers around the city, and the country, but the products on the market didn't match the aesthetic of this lifestyle. I started Empire Apothecary in my East Village kitchen with no experience - just the amazing tools of Google, YouTube and a four burner stove. Five years later, the brand is distributed internationally and operates out of a 1400 square foot laboratory space in Bushwick, Brooklyn.”

Thoughts on Men's personal care and grooming:

“Water ought to be the foundation of personal care, and grooming for all people. Drink more water. Get your sleep. Get your exercise. Seek peace. That's personal care. As far as grooming goes, if I'm to be honest, I fear we're in this really boring, low effort phase. I only take that stance by means of comparison to the historical theatrics that men have had for altering their personal appearance. I think its on the up-swing though, the effort. I do think it's a very exciting time in so far as the product market goes for men though, and I think the competition is leading to some mindful innovation, and interesting approaches to packaging.”

Personal skincare routine:

“I have pretty dry skin, and the climate in the city doesn't help, but my secret is- drink a lot of water. Really, I can't say it enough. Drink more water. Further more I have my little rituals, you know. I use Dr. Bronners Peppermint Soap on my body, I don't wash my hair but maybe once a week, and when I use the Dr. Bronners. I use Cetaphil to wash my face because it's super super mild, and sometimes, the Aesop Parsley Seed wash. I moisturize my face, scalp, and hands with pure jojoba oil. In the summer, or in the case of my skin being oily, I'll use an alcohol free witch hazel as a toner.  I've used so many hair products in my quest to make good ones that at this point, it is just really absurd to even think about. To narrow it down to three products that are always on the hair shelf,  Malin & Goetz Styling Cream, Odouds Matte Paste, and my baby Empire Apothecary Hair Dust.  I also take Vitamin D so I have that glow.”

Advice on fighting off winter-dry skin:

“Right so have I brought up water? After that, jojoba oil on clean, damp skin is my go to moisturizing step. If your skin can handle the fat content, and you plan ahead enough to let the oil penetrate before you touch anything, shea butter can work miracles on dry and cracked hands. Those more holistic approaches aside, I love the Aesop Damascan Rose Facial Treatment as well as the Kiehls Facial Fuel Moisturizer.

Lucky Bastard out of California makes the best lip balm on the market hands down. If you cant find that, Dr. Bronners makes a quality Peppermint lip balm. “

Shop the Story: