While there's still progress to be made in modern-day beauty, we're thankful that it isn't completely defined by products made for "perfecting" women for the purpose of attracting a mate — and yes, men are allowed to be just as obsessed about their visages in the year 2018. When LA-bred fashion and tech industry veteran Bryant Knight was looking to upgrade his own skincare routine, he couldn't find anything that appealed to his ingredient-conscious, minimalist sensibilities — so he decided to create his own brand.
Enter KNIGHT CO., a made-in-America label that's here to simplify the men's (and women's!) skincare game, starting with just three products. There's the pore-purifying Daily Face Wash with its gentle formula made with organic aloe leaf juice ($28; we're fans of the lavender scent that manages to wake us up in the a.m. and calm us in the p.m.). The Complete Moisturizer ($30) is a fast-absorbing, lightweight product that helps to boost collagen production, reduce fine lines, and hydrate dry and stressed skin.
Rounding out the debut trio is the Exfoliating Face Scrub ($30), which ditches those pesky little plastic microbeads (so not good for Mother Earth) in favor of amber and walnut shell particles in order to slough off dead skin to reveal a clearer complexion.
Even better: Everything in the vegan and cruelty-free line is made with natural and organic ingredients, and there are absolutely no synthetic fragrances, artificial colors, parabens, sulfates, and toxins. In short, your sensitive skin will definitely thank you.
Before launching KNIGHT CO., the SoCal-bred branding and marketing pro was the longtime director of operations over at edgy-luxe LA label Stampd; he's also done time at LivingSocial. (Oh, and he also produces music in his spare time, too.) Here, the LA native tells us what he took from his experiences in fashion, tech, and media in creating his brand as well as the most common misconceptions that men have when it comes to skincare, the effective ingredients people should look for, and more.
How did your background in media, fashion, and tech inform your leap into the skincare industry?
I worked in the fashion industry for many years mostly providing the operational structure and systems creative endeavors need to succeed. My background in media and tech has has helped me with putting the proper marketing campaigns in place while using technology to make everything run efficiently. Whether you are fashion brand or beauty brand, you need to have systems in place to maintain a strong foundation while you build and scale.
What was the "a-ha" experience that inspired you to create your own solution to your skincare conundrum?
What sparked the idea to create KNIGHT CO. was the frustration I experienced finding products specifically geared towards men's grooming with high-quality ingredients and a clean design. Most of the brands I have used over the years frequently didn't meet my needs completely, so it became my personal quest to fill that gap. After researching the market it became clear that the opportunity was there.
What are the effective ingredients that people should look for when buying men's skincare products?
Personal health and wellness have always been essential to me, so eliminating harsh chemicals that you find in other brands was the first step for me when formulating KNIGHT CO. Your skin is your largest organ and deserves the same attention to detail and quality as the rest of our existence, which is why it's important to us to be completely transparent to our customers with what ingredients they are putting on their body.
All of our products are made in America and contain zero toxins, parabens, sulfates, artificial coloring or synthetic fragrance. Some of the key ingredients are aloe leaf juice, seaweed, algae, rose hip seed, lavender, avocado, carrot seed, rosemary, apple, and vitamin E.
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What are some common misconceptions that other men have when it comes to skincare?
I think a lot of men think that they are being feminine when they use skincare products but it's not different than taking vitamins. It also might seem complicated to some men as well which is why we try to keep is as simple as possible. Thanks to millennials,
I think the market is changing and my desire is to be on the forefront of this emerging market. If you look good, you feel good — I'd like to think KNIGHT CO. changes this misconception and ultimately enhances a man's self confidence.
How has Los Angeles inspired you the creation of KNIGHT CO.?
Growing up in the arid climate of Southern California attuned me early on to the importance of skin care, especially given my love for the outdoors and passion for skateboarding and surfing. Many of us Angelenos are health-conscious, career-driven, and social impact-oriented. Our products are ideal for that consumer.
What other products do you have coming down the pipeline?
I'm passionate about taking the time to test and perfect the details of each formula. We are currently developing a face oil, shaving cream, and a couple of other products that support the core range — we're excited to share the result.