If you’re reading this, chances are you are becoming more conscious of the ingredients and chemicals in your skin and hair care products and are making concerted efforts to eliminate any synthetic formulations from your grooming repertoire. But, organic skincare and grooming products still haven’t truly hit the mainstream quite as hard as we’d like and it’s often difficult to find quality, all-natural, all-organic products that are specifically designed for men and our skincare needs.
Guise Etiquette has stepped in to fill that gap. Founded by Ada Trinh with the belief that men deserve apothecary-quality grooming products derived from sustainable all-natural, organic ingredients, Guise Etiquette has created a line of three grooming and skincare products guaranteed to free your skin from those non-natural nasties: a facial cleanser, an aftershave, and a moisturizer. With ingredients sourced from “organic urban farms across California, new Mexico, and Arizona,” the collection is cruelty free, chemical free, hypoallergenic and leaves a light carbon footprint. Marketed as a three-step total skincare routine, these products can be used together or individually, according to your preference.
We tested out this organic skincare line so we could give you the scoop on both its effectiveness and eco-friendliness.
Nº1 Mint Cucumber Facial Cleanser, $30
Before going into any details about the face wash itself, we have to give kudos to Guise Etiquette for creating such a beautifully scented product. With hints of cucumber, mint, and a mysterious something that’s almost tropical, this is hands down the best smelling face wash we have ever encountered at The Manual. As a general rule, though, the better something smells, the more chemicals it has in it. Not so with this cleanser.
Made with the aforementioned mint and cucumber, with the addition of Aloe Vera, Chamomile, and a whole slew of natural antioxidants, this facial cleanser won’t clog pores or break you out and will even work to reduce blackheads and acne. Over the course of several weeks of use, we noticed diminished redness, and a firmer, more supple tone. The only problem that we could point to with this product is the packaging. While the amber-glass bottles and labels feature refined styling and a solidly masculine look, the act of getting the cleanser out of the bottle was a little difficult. This bottle has no pump and no squeeze-tube-style opening, so the cleanser has to physically be dumped into the hand before application. This often results in more cleanser ending up in the sink or the bottom of the shower than on your face. While this is by no means a deal-breaker (really, we still recommend this!), it would be nice to be able to dispense the exact amount of product desired, rather than just pouring with the hope that you’re fast enough to not slop out the whole bottle.
Nº2 Aftershave Tonic, $34
Much like the facial cleanser, Guise Etiquette’s aftershave tonic smells absolutely amazing. Seriously, you may find yourself coming back to this product again and again (even when not using) just to get a whiff of the delicious scent.
Putting the excellent smell aside, this after shave really does work wonders. Made with Neroli oil, an organic oil that, according to Trinh, contains “anti-aging properties and antioxidants” that fight age-causing free-radicals and helps promote the growth of new skin cells, along with colloidal silver, which functions as an antibacterial and anti-fungal post-shave calm-down, this post shave tonic offers light and refreshing relief and re-moisturizing after a close shave. While most aftershaves use alcohol which often stings and dries out the face–here the colloidal silver works to reduce razor burn and bumps and prevents ingrown hairs, all while moisturizing. There is a downside, however, and it is once again the packaging. Like the facial cleanser, the opening of the bottle is large and without any mechanism to reduce the flow of the tonic. Although the directions say to apply to a cotton pad before applying to the face, I found a cotton pad left little cotton bits on my newly shaved skin. And, when I attempted to apply the tonic without the pad, the liquid came running out like a river. While this quibble might seem a little fussy, this tonic isn’t cheap and any superfluous loss is money down the drain. If Trinh can tweak the bottle a little bit, she’ll have a customer for life.
Nº3 Moisturizer, $28
Plant-based and oil free, Guise Etiquette’s moisturizer contains Aloe Vera and Aspen Bark as the main active ingredients. According to Trinh, “Every ingredient I chose for this moisturizer has outstanding benefits. For instance, Aloe Vera itself contains over 200 biologically active agents including Vitamin E (an antioxidant that protects and repairs skin), Vitamin B (essential for the production of all skin cells), Vitamin C (known as a natural brightener, it helps smooth skin and fade brown spots) and Zinc, which helps to boost the immune system and acts as an anti-inflammatory.” The aspen bark naturally contains salicylic acid, which is known to reduce and clear acne as well as refine pores. After a couple of weeks of daily application of this moisturizer, we saw reduction in inflammation and a total lack of breakouts. And while this product does a great job of moisturizing without leaving the skin greasy or causing blemishes, the smell for this one is a little bit of a disappointment. That’s not to say the smell is bad (it isn’t), it just can’t compete with the scent of the other two products in Guise’s organic skincare line.
All Guise Etiquette products exclude chemicals, sulfates, mineral oils, synthetic dyes, and all are cruelty free, chemical free, and hypoallergenic. For more information on the products and how you can purchase them, check out their website here.