Beauty Talk

Marla Beck on 'Maskne' and the Importance of Skincare Rituals

Bluemercury's CEO on her best-selling skincare line and the one product everyone should incorporate into their routine.

By Heather Dunhill December 8, 2020

Marla Beck

Bluemercury founder and CEO Marla Beck

Marla Beck is the CEO and co-founder of the beauty powerhouses Bluemercury and M-61 Skincare, the company's best-selling line for the past three years.

In founding M-61, Beck knew that the modern woman was looking for a benefit-driven skincare line that married high-performance products  with dermatologist-loved ingredients. With that inspiration, she spent the next five years poring over scientific journals and testing thousands of non-toxic formulas before launching M-61.

Her entrepreneurial achievements have covered Inc. magazine twice, as well as recognized in books like Shopping: Why We Love it, How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience, and Be Happy at Work: 100 Women Who Love Their Jobs and Why. Beck has also shared her expertise on CNBC, CNN and Fox Business News, and as a guest speaker for WWD’s CEO Summit, Columbia University’s Lang Center for Entrepreneurship's Distinguished Speaker Series and the Inc. Women’s Summit. 

In this interview, Beck speaks directly to the beauty needs of the Sarasota woman, from the dreaded maskne to the proper way to cleanse to whether toners are in or out.

I heard that you are intimately involved with every batch of M-61. Why is this important to you?

Before I founded M-61, I noticed clients coming into stores saying things like, ‘I love natural products, but I’m not seeing results,’ and ‘I want products that have ingredients like glycolics and peptides, but don’t want all the other added chemicals.’ I was also struggling to find effective skincare options that fit my lifestyle.

So, I set out to create a streamlined, benefit-driven skincare collection that combined advanced actives, dermatologist-loved ingredients and high-performance naturals. I have always been—and continue to be—intimately involved with our product development. I personally review every batch of M-61, including our PowerGlow Peel.  I make sure to approve every batch before it goes to market.    

Let’s start at the beginning—cleansing—what is the best way to properly wash our face?

Cleansing is one of the most important steps of your skincare ritual. It's the first step of your routine, morning and night. I recommend gentle, soothing cleansers that thoroughly remove impurities and makeup residue without stripping the skin’s natural barrier. 

Toners seem to go in and out of popularity—should we use one, or is it an unnecessary step?

You’re right. Not long ago, toners were deemed unnecessary, but today we know that it's the foundation of a great skincare routine. I wanted to create a universal, pore-refining toner that would work to deepen your cleansing routine and provide a brighter complexion post-cleanse.

How should our skincare change as we age?

Everyone’s skin is different. It’s important to examine your own skincare needs and develop a routine that works for you. I think it is beneficial for women of all ages to exfoliate the skin on a regular basis and wear sunscreen daily.

How about caring for the neck? And does that advice change by decade from the 40s to 50s to 60s?

As we age, it’s extremely important to take care of the neck and décolletage, as they are the first to show signs of aging. No matter your age, it’s important to use hydrating and plumping ingredients to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, like hyaluronic acids, peptides and vitamin B5.

Now to serum application. Do we apply morning or night? Before or after moisturizer?

Serums should be used post-cleansing and before moisturizing. Depending on what the formula does, serum can be applied in the morning or evening. Typically, I would recommend using a hydrating, soothing formula during the day to ensure skin is hydrated and balanced throughout the day.

For nights, I recommend serums with high doses of actives, like Vitamin C, which works overnight to boost collagen levels and radiance so you can wake up to glowing, youthful skin.

These are the days for home facials. What do you recommend?

I love chemical peels, but I didn’t always have the time to go to a facial appointment. So I was inspired to create an easy, at-home solution that would give the results of a professional peel without the time commitment. I created the PowerGlow Peel as a one-step, one-minute chemical peel. The serum-soaked pads are easy to use and foolproof, formulated with a potent dose of glycolic and salicylic acids to reveal glowing skin, while soothing aloe, lavender, and peppermint and hydrating vitamin B5 ensure the formula is safe even for sensitive skin.

Everyone is talking about maskne these days. How do we treat it?

Although mask-wearing is crucial, masks can trap humidity and bacteria while creating friction and rubbing our face, resulting in acne and breakouts. To prevent blemishes and to heal current ones, I’d recommend chemical exfoliation to clean pores and remove excess oil without over-drying.

We tend to be creatures of habit when it comes to skincare—is it important to switch up? If so, how often and which products should we change and for how long?

Our skincare issues change seasonally and as we age, so it’s important to adjust our routine accordingly. If it is compatible with your skin, I suggest incorporating Vitamin C into your skincare regimen no matter your age or time of year for its brightening properties and ability to combat environmental stressors.

Bluemercury is located at 1500 Main St. in downtown Sarasota.

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