This MIT Grad Wants to Make Skincare ‘Boring’
Brad Yim is a smart guy. He’s a former Silicon Valley software engineer with degrees from both MIT and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. But when it came to skincare, Yim was lost.
“There was a massive amount of over-innovation, throwing in speculative ingredients with no research-backed science,” Yim says. “We just felt like there was too much confusion, too many products.”
Instead of wasting hours in the drugstore, Yim decided to simplify things himself. He and a team of friends created Mavericks, a male-focused line that strips skincare down to the basics. “We feel like skincare should be treated more like healthcare than fashion,” Yim says. “It should actually be very boring, like buying a headache medication.”
As part of its quest to make skincare “boring,” Mavericks’ inaugural collection includes only a newly released shaving cream and moisturizer ($29) and a simple three-step facial care system ($89). Each part of the latter is given a directive name—the combination sunscreen and moisturizer is called Protect, the cleanser is called Wash, and the overnight repair serum is called Rebuild—that makes it foolproof to use.
Everything is made in the United States and is free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, microbeads, synthetic dyes, and fragrances. The line is “optimized” for men, Yim says, but it can be used by anybody.
Skincare may seem a world away from the classrooms of MIT, but Yim, who grew up in Western Massachusetts, says his new gig actually isn’t as big a leap as it may seem. Both, he says, prioritize using simplicity and logic to make something great. “In engineering, we are really all about, ‘Get the job done,'” he says. “Engineering is about, ‘Let’s do the best with what we’ve got.'”
Of course, Yim has some valuable personal perspective, too. “I’m a 40-year-old single guy,” he laughs, “so I’m not just a [founder], but also a client.”