Simon Rex Wants Guys to Stop Stealing Their Girlfriends’ Skincare Products
Last Wednesday, I found myself at the Ned Nomad to meet Simon Rex in a posh hotel room.
The MTV veejay-turned-acclaimed indie movie star and I wouldn’t be alone, much to the disappointment of teenage Megan. Instead, we were joined by a handful of men’s lifestyle writers and creators to preview Rex’s latest professional foray. This one in men’s grooming.
Rex is the co-founder of Mox Skincare, a science-forward men’s product line backed by forty years of pharmaceutical research. The rundown is simple by skincare standards: cleanser, toner, serum, mist, and undereye treatment.
I sat down with Rex to ask him about the state of men’s grooming, how to be manly, and more.
You said you started Mox because you were always using your ex’s skincare products. What didn’t exist that prompted you to create your own skincare line?
Anytime I’d go to CVS, it was all this cheap stuff that simply wasn’t good quality, and so I’d always use—through all the years of my life—all my girlfriends’ products. And they’d get mad at me because I’d scoop too much of their $75 moisturizer.
So when this opportunity presented itself, I was like, Oh, this is perfect. I feel like, for the first time there’s been a de-stigmatization of men taking care of themselves. It used to be, “Guys don’t need to take care of your skin and moisturize. Guys don’t need eight hours of sleep.”
And I think that shift has been happening for guys. For everyone, but men especially.
So the timing was so perfect. And I used the product for a couple of months because I said before I sign on, I want to make sure I like the product. And I’m not kidding, everyone was saying to me, “Your skin looks so good.” I gave it to my friends and everybody loved it.
So I was like, Okay this just makes sense.
Not only do I want to be a face of the company, I want to be more involved as a co-founder and a partner in the company.
You talk about adopting a skincare routine as a way to show pride in your appearance and still be manly. What’s the most manly thing a man can do?
Oooh, that’s a very good question. What’s the most manly thing a man could do? The old way of thinking would be like, “Let’s go cut down some firewood.” “Go work a hard day’s work.”
But there’s something—and this sounds really cliché—but being honest, and vulnerable, and not being afraid to really communicate that’s manly now.
I just think it’s time men level up—with skincare, with grooming, in being communicative. And vulnerable. And talking about emotion!
Before it would be like “We don’t talk about that stuff.’ And it’s not healthy to push all that down.
Ive been going to therapy for years and I think it’s good to acknowledge the stuff we’ve pushed down in the past.
And I think there’s a big shift that’s happening for the better that all this falls into.
Favorite Mox product?
The Multi Nutrient Serum. It’s about giving your skin the nutrition it needs to be stronger and more hydrated. I think that’s something that guys can understand better than traditional skincare jargon. You want to get jacked at the gym, you change how you eat. You want your skin to look better? You’ve gotta change how you feed it.
Best music video during your tenure at TRL?
Technically for the record, I was there right before Carson Daly. So there was no TRL when I was there, but I basically did a different version of that.
I played a lot of—and I’m dating myself—Alanis Morissette. Jagged Little Pill was the one that we played the most. That was such a big album. We’re talking 1996 (editor’s note: the album came out in 1995). We’re talking 25 years ago. 27 years ago? I’m not good at math.
So the heavy rotation was Jagged Little Pill and then, do you remember Sublime?
::Editor nods in elder millennial::
Sublime had just come out with their album and got a nationwide record deal. I had been following them around for years in California where I’m from, so I was really proud and excited.
I remember getting to announce their video and [sings] “I don’t practice Santeria!” and I remember being so proud to be able to support this band I’d been seeing at dive bars. Then Brad Noel, the lead singer, passed away way too soon.
So those two were in heavy rotation. There was Metallica. The heavy metal days.
Tupac and Snoop, [sings] “Ain’t nothing but a gangsta party”
And I was one of the last people to interview Tupac. It’s very cringey for me to watch because i was so nervous to interview Tupac so I was looking at the floor. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone with more charisma. He had rizz.
So that was a big one. Interviewing Tupac. It was like interviewing Elvis.
Last thing. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you miss Vine?
I miss Vine a 6 out of 10, because it was six seconds long.
Vine was the best. I know they tried to bring it back recently but there was something magical about the 6-second loop.
Something about the repetition.
I miss it 10 out of 10, honestly.