Guy Morgan, the London Alchemist Making Minimal, Gender-Neutral Skincare

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Photography by Thea Caroline Sneve Løvstad

The beauty brand uses ethically sourced organic, vegan and wild-grown ingredients, swapping out harsh chemicals for high-performance botanicals

  1. Who is it? Guy Morgan, an east London-based skincare brand creating natural, gender-neutral skincare products
  2. Why do I want it? The entire range uses ethically-sourced, organic, vegan and wild-grown ingredients, swapping harsh chemicals for high-performance botanicals
  3. Where can I get it? Online and in selected stores in the UK, New York and Germany

Who is it? Somerset-born Guy Morgan struggled with his skin as a teenager. “It would always react so badly to everything, even when I went swimming,” he remembers. “I’d try everything at the local drugstores, throwing anything on my face to try and soothe it. It would always make it worse.” After a few failed experiments, he decided to give up on drugstores altogether, swapping out the chemical-pumped “miracle” products for a more pared-back approach. His mother, who had grown up in the 70s, began introducing him to some of the natural skincare solutions she’d picked up from the era, including grains, clays and botanical oils. Within weeks, his skincare issues began to disappear.

Morgan began working with these ingredients himself, even after moving to London to train as a furniture designer: “I started experimenting, creating products for a few years just for myself, then I made some for friends and family.” The demand steadily grew for his stripped-back, all-natural beauty remedies and, two years ago, he left his job to make it his full-time career. “It was very much like a kitchen origin story,” he says today. “I still make things myself now, but we’ll soon be moving to a small manufacturer in the UK.”

Currently, in keeping with his minimalist ethos, there are only five Guy Morgan products on offer. This includes the hero “Dagger Rose” range: an all-purpose treatment balm, a multi-correctional facial oil, and a cleansing powder. There is also a Flower of 5 Wounds balm, for more sensitive skin, and a Guy Morgan-branded Gua Sha, to give your face a de-puffing massage. 

Why do I want it? Morgan’s Dagger Rose range smells delicious and looks great, but it also works. It’s filled with powerful botanical potions like Rosehip oil (known for evening skin tone and reducing fine lines), Baobab Seed oil (anti-inflammatory) and Shea Butter (a hallowed staple for moisturising). When used with the gua sha, these products will transport you, mentally and emotionally, to a sun-dappled Somerset spa – they feel like an indulgent treat, particularly for skin that’s been slapped with too many modern acids and chemicals.

The ingredients themselves are all ethically sourced, too. As well as being vegan, cruelty-free and (mostly) organic, Morgan also prides himself on his choice of suppliers. “I wanted to look into the labour that goes into the ingredients,” he explains. “I wanted to make sure that they’re coming from reputable places, and that the workers are getting a fair deal.” His shea butter, for example, comes from a women’s cooperative in Ghana which channels profits back into the local community, as well as improving the processing facility for workers. It’s a level of transparency not many brands can match, and something he wants to keep building on.

And of course, there’s the brand’s clean, gender-neutral aesthetic. “What I noticed, particularly as a gay person, was skincare marketed either towards men or women,” he says. “Some men’s skincare brands are just ridiculous, based around whiskey bottles or the lumberjack thing. It’s over the top ... As someone from a design background, I thought a lot of it was downright ugly. I really wanted to create something of my own, to represent my values, and that I thought would appeal to everyone, no matter who or what they identify as.”

Where can I get it? Online and in selected stores in the UK, New York and Germany.

Guy’s Beauty Rituals

“I sell Self Practice Journals on my site. I love journalling. I don’t get to do it every day but at least once a week, during the weekend, when I get a bit of extra time. It’s the same with the Gua Sha Stone – that’s something which, in an ideal world, I’d be able to do every day. On the rare days where I do get the time to myself, it can be so rewarding.

“My favourite product in the Guy Morgan range would definitely be the Dagger Rose Treatment Balm, because of how versatile it is. I’ll use it as an overnight sleeping mask, or on my lips throughout the day. I don’t use a moisturiser – I use a hyaluronic acid serum and then I just use the treatment balm on top, which is more than enough for me.

“I also love Red Raspberry Seed oil as an ingredient – it’s such an amazing protector from UVA and UVB rays. I’m by no means saying you can use it in place of sunscreen, but if you just wanted to give your skin extra antioxidant protection, it’s one of the best you can get.”