The world can be a daring and treacherous place. Trekking across Greenland ice sheet, volcano-boarding off a slope of Cerro Negro in Nicaragua, swimming with Great Whites off the coast of South Africa, applying your face cream in the morning… No. Wait. That’s one gamble we don’t encourage you to take.

Over the last few years the world of cosmetics has been undergoing a not-so-quiet transition. Words like “Parabens”, “Sulphates”, or “Phthalates” have been thrown like hand grenades here and there; making noise big enough for consumers to start questioning what goes into their toiletry products and for companies to take notice. Some have started ‘cleaning up' their act, while many new brands have appeared singing virtues of their ‘free-from’ products.

But while beauty products for women got ‘cleaner’, somehow male grooming remained stuck in a time tunnel with the same old formulations and “who cares?” attitude.

Well, we care.

The jury may still be out on some of the ingredients that are commonly used in cosmetics – take parabens as an example. While some studies have linked these preservatives to cancer or described them as endocrine disruptors, their advocates continue to discredit the findings.


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So ‘are they’? Or ‘are they not’?

We are not scientists. We are barbers. We know a great product when we use it, but we have also taken a ‘better safe than sorry approach’ so our new range doesn’t contain unpleasant or unnecessary ingredients that are bad for a man’s hair or body. We want our customers to look good, be happy and help them be healthy. An average man uses enough products daily (shampoo, soap, shaving cream, deodorant, the list goes on…) for it to matter what’s in them.

And this is a serious issue, especially considering long-term exposure. Allergy or sensitivity may be a more immediate, noticeable side effect but some of the more worrying health issues that have been linked to hormone-disrupting chemicals include obesity, sperm damage, prostate and testicular cancer. Phthalates in particular lead the way here, being also linked to decreased testosterone and reduced male fertility.

One of the biggest misconceptions about the controversial ingredients in grooming products is that without them you might be sacrificing some unique quality or result. When the real reason for them popping up in your shampoo or a moisturiser is to extend shelf life (parabens), create foam more abundantly (sulphates) or fix the fragrance (phthalates).


Our clients become our friends. We wouldn't want our friends to use products with nasty ingredients in them - we don't want our clients to either.

Carl Taylor, Murdock Covent Garden


As male grooming experts we also eschewed these ingredients because while you may enjoy the abundant foam of a Beard Shampoo, courtesy of sulphates, they will strip your hair follicles of their natural oil, irritate the skin underneath and ultimately ruin your beard. Instead, we came up with a Beard Shampoo that’s pH-balanced, sulphate-free and packed with natural oils and Wheat Protein to condition facial hair while looking after the skin underneath. Your beard will look healthier and feel more comfortable using our clean formula.

So, it can be done. Having great grooming products for men without potentially causing discomfort or ill health. The proof is in our Beard Moisturiser, Sea Salt Spray and all the other great products that we have created and use every day across our barbershops. And now, you too can use them ‘safely’ at home. Or pack them for your next snowmobiling trip through Bay Du Nord Wilderness Reserve in Newfoundland. Just don’t forget to tell us all about it next time we see you in the barber’s chair.


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