Can We All Just Let Equinox Switch to Grown Alchemist in Peace?

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More money, more problems – that is, if you consider your boujee gym switching up its personal-care amenities a major life inconvenience. Last week, Equinox – the luxury gym with a whopping $300 monthly membership – took beloved skin-care brand Kiehl’s off the locker room shelves, replacing it with Australian-based brand Grown Alchemist. And members are pissed.

Angry gym buffs are taking to social media to express their dismay about what to them felt like a brutal betrayal. One Reddit thread headlined “Grown Alchemist is trash,” which lives in an Equinox subthread, includes pages of members venting to their fellow gym-goers and threatening to cancel their membership as a result of the discontinued partnership. One user shared: “My face dropped when I realized Kiehl’s was no longer there. I am beyond disgusted and I will be canceling my membership over this.”

Gym members are even flocking to the recently debuted brand’s Instagram page to express their laundry list of complaints, one of which is that the products are housed in identical bottles with fonts so small it makes it difficult to distinguish them from each other. Another complaint? The fact that the products are fragrance-forward. Some see this as a recipe for disaster for their sensitive, acne-prone skin; others simply aren’t a fan of the formula’s scents to begin with.

Just to put it out there, Grown Alchemist is a brand rooted in fusing biology and cosmetic chemistry. Founded in 2008, they’re known for their use of plant and biotech ingredients, and rely on scientifically-backed advancements to target signs of aging. In an attempt to hush naysayers and relieve thick tension, a few loyal Grown Alchemist users have surfaced, with one user sharing in the aforementioned Reddit thread: “I have been using Grown Alchemist for years at home and personally prefer it, not sure what you’re on about.”

For some Equinox members, the skepticism lies in the fact that Kiehl’s has a long-established heritage dating back to 1851. “Kiehl’s seems like a more respected and established brand. Never heard of Grown Alchemist, seems like any other beauty social media startup. I can’t help feeling like I’m paying the same and getting less perks now,” wrote one user in a Reddit thread titled “Whoop there it is. Grown Alchemist kicking out Kiehl’s.” True, Grown Alchemist doesn’t have decades of success to back it up, but the brand is definitely a rising star. It’s sold in major department stores like Barneys and Fred Segal, is a favorite of Gwenyth Paltrow, and has been used to prep model’s skin for top fashion designers during Paris and New York Fashion Week. Is there a world where Equinox members eventually see the switch as an upgrade (or at the very least, welcomed) once the sting of the breakup subsides a little?

Let’s all take a collective breath. As skin-care aficionados who have dealt with our fair share of beloved beauty products being discontinued (Becca Undereye Brightening Corrector, we’re looking at you), we can sympathize with the disappointment that ensues when something you cherish is abruptly taken away and you’re forced into breakup. After all, separations involve a mixed range of emotions – shock and denial as you realize it’s over, sadness as you reflect on fond memories, and fear of adjusting to a new normal. (Yes, we’re still talking about skin care.) While we don’t know exactly why the trendy gym broke up with Kiehl’s, being open to new possibilities and giving this new relationship a fair chance may just have you uncovering a new favorite.

Like it or not, the products will gradually roll into the over 100 Equinox gyms and spas worldwide.

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