Why Malia Transitioned to Clean

I. Love. Skincare. For me, it’s not a hobby, it’s my life. I am so passionate about skincare, that I made it my career.

I started out as a makeup artist when I was 18. Still, skincare never meant much to me until I was about 23, and I went into Special FX Makeup school. I’d never had troubled skin in my life, but the constant exposure to solvents, glues, latex, and other chemicals, combined with skin-clogging makeup removers, filled with petroleum byproducts, left me covered in painful cystic acne.

I tried harsh benzoyl peroxide products, aggressive detergent based cleansers, scrubs, and more. All of my efforts ended up inflaming my acne, making my skin dryer, while also oilier, and SO raw + flakey. I’m a professional…why couldn’t I figure this out? Out of pure desperation, I kept going. It took me another two years of serious research into dermatology and skincare ingredients to figure out what I was doing wrong.

What I found out was eye-opening!

Many of the products marketed specifically to treat acne actually made it worse. It seemed like a cycle to keep insecure people with acne stuck on product, rather than truly trying to address the issue. My ingredient list began to narrow down to more and more clean, natural ingredients.

I set a skincare regimen based on the new information I’d gathered. Bit by bit, not only did everything go back to normal, my skin looked better than it ever had. Even my scars began to diminish. I was converted. I began proselytizing to everyone that would listen: clean beauty will make a difference; it could make ALL the difference.

I’ve now been in the skincare/beauty industry for over 20 years, and I’m still constantly learning new things. Some of those things are disheartening, and even scary to think about…the things allowed to be sold in the US are far more dangerous than those in the EU. However, many of the newer generation of skincare give me hope, and really excite me for the future of beauty and personal care.

The skincare industry is trending much more human + planet friendly. Your skin is your largest organ. What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body.

Seeking out skincare is tough. It’s very intimidating to newcomers. Most people have absolutely no idea what they’re looking at. Trying to eliminate the most dangerous chemical ingredients is even more difficult. So I’m using my expertise to help make the process of transitioning to clean skincare as simple and accessible as possible. We started with researching and developing our Never MadeWith list, so our consumers know what our level of clean means, and what ingredients will NOT be included in our products (and why). We’ll also help educate by not only choosing products that work best for their condition, but also by educating them on how to best use it.

Not only am I a professional, I am a consumer. I want to give other consumers a chance to expand their knowledge, find clean effective products, and feel confident in their skincare choices. MadeWith shares that same ideal; that’s why I’m so committed to our mission.


Malia has spent 21 years in the beauty industry with the following training + education:

– Over 5,000 hours of formal training/seminars
– Over 10,000 hours education in skin physiology/function
– Over 10,000 hours education in skin states/concerns
– Over 10,000 hours education in skin health factors
– Over 5,000 hours education in new product + ingredient formulations

Malia’s past roles include Skin Expert (1st level elevation) & PhD (highest level of education) at Sephora. She’s been an Educator and Trainer at Sephora, Blue Mercury, Ole Henriksen, Caudalie, Peter Thomas Roth, Amore Pacific, and many others. Here at MADEWITH she is using her expertise to drive a more stringent level of clean, scale her education around products that are effective for different skin states, and help others find regimens they feel good about and can stick with.

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