Meet the Founder

Interviewed by Angela Touitu

Shawn Weiland (pronounced "Y-LAND") is not your typical skin care founder. He is a trained architect, sculptor, painter, designer and surfer who has designed houses, chairs, retail stores, and for the past few years developed one of the best natural face care systems in the world. I sat down with Shawn in one of his retail stores (he is also co-owner of Social Studies of California, a California Lifestyle Boutique) to discuss the launch of FORM+MATTER.

AT: For those who don’t know you, talk about your background.

SW: I grew up in southern California. Most of my youth was long hours surfing at the beach. That is where I learned first hand what the sun can do to your skin and how important it is to protect it. I began researching the science behind skincare and the best ingredients for healthy skin...that started me on the journey to develop the Form+Matter Skincare System.

AT: Why natural and organic skincare?

SW: Most people do not realize how easy chemicals are absorbed into your skin. So I was always on the look out for natural skincare products.  I have tried almost every product that is out there...the cheap stuff to the most expensive and what I found was that most of it didn’t work. So I made it my goal several years ago to develop a natural face care system that works and is good for your skin.

AT: All your products have a incredibly fresh scent that is unique in all your products. what is the role of smell in developing a new product?

We use natural essential oils in all of our products. The ingredients are chosen for the effect that it has on your skin not because it smells nice...that is an added benefit. A lot of people buy the products because they smell great and stick with them because they work so good.  


What’s your favorite FORM+MATTER Product?

I use all eight face products...each has a unique benefit to your skin. What is very important is educating people the right way to use the products. There are four steps to effective skincare: CLEANSING, TREATMENT, HYDRATE + PROTECT. Your skincare routine needs to cover each of these.

If you could tell people one thing to educate them about better skincare, what would it be?

Own the right skincare tools. Everyone should own a facial washcloth or facial puff. Using a gentle cloth when you wash your face will clear up many skin issues. Would you clean your teeth without a toothbrush? Of course not...then why do most people not use the right tools for taking care of their skin?

AT: Form + Matter does not look like your typical skincare brand...especially, a natural and organic skincare brand. Tell me, what inspired you when developing the direction of the brand?

I am a minimalist at heart and wanted the brand to reflect that philosophy. So I stripped away everything that was excess. I only want what is essential to be fluff. This philosophy starts with the products all the way to anything visual.

I love the simplicity of the packaging. Tell me about the design.

Less is More is something I live by and that is what inspired the packaging. We chose the amber glass bottles because the glass protects the natural ingredients better than anything else.

What inspires you?

Art. Architecture. Design. Nature. Living clean.

For somebody who stumbles upon FORM+MATTER by chance, what is unique about your products?

We offer a natural and organic face care system and we really push educating people on how to care for their skin. I am always amazed at how many people do not understand that their skin needs to cleaned correctly and stay hydrated. That is why every Form + Matter product comes with skincare guides and advice.

As a city dweller, what are the best daily products to use?

Keep your skin hydrated with the Fresh Face Serum, the Fresh Face Moisturizer and the Hydrating Facial Mist. Do not let your skin dry out.

The skincare industry is a labyrinth of conflicting information from different do you know what products to use and who to trust.

Wonderful question. I am stilling trying to figure that out. I would recommend not following skincare fads and trends. Educate yourself about what ingredients are good and which ones are bad for you. There is a wonderful website: which has much of this information.

AT: What future plans and products can we expect?
We are developing a facial sunscreen and lip treatment which will be available very soon

Any last thoughts?

Be yourself...everyone else is taken.