Back in the early 2000s, when Simon Duffy ducked into a Whole Foods to pick up some product for his wife, he thought he might be able to grab some sort of natural moisturizer for himself. He was disappointed to find that, at the time, the health food chain store didn’t have much of a selection that targeted men’s grooming needs. When Duffy and his best friend started kicking around the idea of starting their own business, Bulldog Skincare for Men was born. The brand landed its first retailer (yup, Whole Foods) in the United States in 2010.
More recently the brand has positioned itself against some of the classic “drug store” brands at big-box retailers like Walgreens, Target, and CVS. Perhaps best of all, while staying true to its natural roots — eschewing synthetic ingredients, parabens, etc. — Bulldog has offered a comprehensive, easy-to-understand collection of men’s skin care that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and will save your face (and the planet) in the process.
Sustainability in the (Dog) House
In the spring of 2019, Bulldog announced an aggressive move into sustainable packaging at an event held—where else?—at the American Kennel Club’s recently reopened Museum of the Dog in Manhattan. Mingling with canine-inspired books and objets d’art, as well as some high-tech interactive displays that would make any technocrat proud, were one lovable real bulldog, and vitrines of Bulldog Skincare for Men’s impressively large product line.
As Bulldog puts it, the goal here is “to minimize our pawprint.” The brand is now packaging its products in tubes derived from Brazilian sugarcane, a renewable resource with minimal impact on food suppliers or the Amazon region’s precious biodiversity. In fact, Bulldog is the first men’s skincare brand in the world to use the material as a raw material in packaging. They worked with both a Brazilian company and a United Kingdom-based tube manufacturer to develop new packaging that helps reduce the consumption of fossil fuel materials. (Most modern skincare packaging is made from fossil fuel petrochemicals that are non-renewable sources, releasing carbon dioxide and contributing to global warming.) For every 100 tons of sugarcane plastic produced, 309 tons of CO2 are taken out of the environment, resulting in a significant impact on the ecosystem. The company is so excited about the innovation that they are even trying to convince other cosmetics manufacturers to make the switch. All Bulldog products will display a logo identifying the new packaging.
The Kindest Cut
Besides addressing packaging concerns, Bulldog is also looking at removing plastic from the shaving equation. This year the brand launched a new razor system that removed as much as possible, starting with a steel handle that is sheathed in a changeable bamboo sleeve. The flexible head is made from un-chromed metal that is better for the environment. The disposable blades themselves, still made from tempered steel and plastic, have been made as small as possible, without compromising a close, safe shave. Finally, even the packaging is made from recycled wood pulp, and environmentally friendly inks.
You’re Not Getting Older
Also impressive at the presentation was the full breadth of the Bulldog collection, including everything from multiple solutions to Duffy’s initial quest for a natural moisturizer, to cleansing and shaving products, deodorant, soaps, beard care, and more. The collection is even sophisticated enough to address normal, sensitive, and oily skin, not to mention an impressive Age Defense collection that speaks to the needs of “more mature” skin. The Age Defense Moisturizer ($12) not only hydrates, but it also helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles with a formula that includes rosemary, vitamin E, and echinacea (and you thought that was only good for cold and flu season). An equally impressive Eye Roll-On ($12) addresses dark circles and puffiness with an easy-to-use ball applicator…just the thing to keep stashed in a desk drawer or gym bag for those days and nights spent burning the candle at both ends.
Bulldog’s range for sensitive skin includes baobab oil – an African botanical oil derived from a succulent plant that’s full of vitamins and essential fatty acids. Combine that with oat oil’s light hydration, and willow herb (a natural astringent), and you’ve got a moisturizer that doesn’t go on greasy or sticky. It’s also fragrance-free to help minimize irritation. Those botanicals form the basis of sensitive skin-friendly moisturizer ($10), face wash ($7), aftershave balm ($10), even a face scrub ($7) with quinoa for gentle cleansing.
Similarly, Bulldog has a complete collection to address the needs of men with oily skin. A face scrub ($7) is built on charcoal to minimize excess oil, but then adds witch hazel, juniper and willow bark (which helps fight acne and aids in exfoliation). The scrub is complemented by a similarly formulated face wash ($7), moisturizer ($10), and a face mask ($10) that takes only five to ten minutes to suck up excess oil.
Bearded brethren, don’t despair. Bulldog’s got you covered, too. Its Beard Care Kit ($15) includes Original Beard Shampoo and Conditioner, Original Beard Oil, and a wooden comb. The products incorporate aloe vera and camelina (packed with fatty acids…you may know it from the Paleo Diet) oils, as well as green tea. A beard balm ($10 for 2.5 ounces) rounds out the offering, leaving the beard healthy and conditioned; especially important if you get itchy beneath your beard.
Bulldog offers gift sets and subscription services from its website, bulldogskincare.com, but what may be best of all is that all of this affordable product can be easily scooped up at Target, CVS, Walgreens, Meijer, ShopRite…sometimes even in your local grocery store, right while you’re doing your other shopping.
No need to teach an old dog new tricks.
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