It’s no mystery that we love a home-grown small batch beauty range! Now, nearly a year after launching our Great British Beauty Collection instore, we’re excited to be welcoming another London-local to our selection: Guy Morgan Apothecary.
This organic beauty range hailing from Clapton is designed to look after skin, hair and body with key products that exfoliate, hydrate and purify using sustainably sourced ingredients. All products are hand-crafted with care by Guy Morgan himself and each ingredient meticulously researched, before being bottled up in stunning packaging – but more on that later. First, we asked Guy to share his inspiration behind the range and brand ethos. Discover it below.
What motivated you to start your own range of organic natural beauty products?
I was motivated to start creating out of a personal need for effective skincare that held true to my ethos of maintaining a healthy and much as possible, natural, lifestyle. Prior to that I had been trying for many years existing products from off the shelf, and had been disappointed by the results. I also became more aware of the many, often dubious, ingredients in so many mainstream products. I wanted to create something that was more natural and pure, yet effective. I was influenced by friends and family to start my own business after sharing my results.
How does living in the UK and working in East London influence your craft?
I grew up in the beautiful countryside of Somerset. My mother would always point out and educate me on the names and species of the surrounding trees and flowers on our daily walks. Despite living in such a large city, I’m fortunate enough to still have access to so many parks, nature reserves, and woodlands. This helps keep me grounded and motivated.
Living in East London has defiantly influenced me, or rather liberated my more creative side, and encouraged me to think more outside the box. There’s an amazing hub of creation and creativity in East London that’s infectious and encouraging. Seeing so many other small start-ups gave me the encouragement to make a go with the Apothecary.
Can you describe the process of creating your range in more detail – what is a typical day in your life like?
The products I produce have had years of personal research and development put into them as quite a lot originated from requiring solutions for my own skincare requirements. I’m debuting a new line of water activated clay facial masks with Content, this range called The Three Principals, stemmed from needing a versatile range that addressed common everyday skin concerns.
The Three Principals is a series of water-activated organic face masks and scrubs, made using natural clays, organic herbal powers and minerals. The first Principal is the White Marble Clay Mask to Exfoliate; followed by the Himalayan Salt Clay Mask to Hydrate and the Midnight Black Clay Mask to Purify the skin. These three work great on their own, but when all three are used together as a routine they work in tandem to play each other's strengths.
On an average day working on the Apothecary I’m found in my kitchen which has every tool needed to make these. Facial masks require a lot of grinding and powdering of clays, minerals, and organic dried herbs. Products such as Black Thorn Facial Oil revolve around carefully measuring unique formulas using organic cold pressed oils.
Why is using organic ingredients so important to you? Where and how do you source them?
For me it’s important to use organic ingredients as I take into consideration the detrimental effects that come from supporting and buying products that use ingredients none organically grown, which can damage the environment as well as ourselves. Supporting more organically grown ingredients and crops is a win for yourself and the planet. Just like food, when we apply something to our skin we are absorbing whatever may come with that. This could potentially be chemicals and pesticides used to produce ingredients, or chemicals used to prolong the shelf life or add so-called desirable qualities, such as thickeners and skin conditioners.
Any ingredients I use are certified as organic by such associations as the Soil Association. Likewise I work closely with the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep database, which has access to nearly 60 databases and sources from government agencies, industry panels, and academic institutions concerning the chemical hazards, regulatory status, and studies on ingredients. All salts used for the Apothecary come from suppliers using nickel free grinders, this precaution stops any heavy potential damaging metal residues.
We love your elegant packaging – what inspires it? How do you go about creating this?
Coming from a strong design and artistic background has helped a lot with packaging. I was inspired heavily by old apothecaries, such as Victorian ointment pots and jars. Another inspiration comes from the elegance found in the formatting of old books, even such things as beautifully laid out table of contents can be inspiring. I wanted to take this essence and cut it down to a more minimalist, elegant, edge.
All of my packaging and graphic design is done by myself. I only use traditional forms of packaging such as thick heavy stock white card and crystal. Another reoccurring motif is hand sealing my products with black wax, using a blank stamp. The round logo of the tree and mysterious hands was found in a 17th century book of religious emblems. I had an instant affinity with this illustration as I felt it represented the Apothecary perfectly, taking directly from nature. I would dare to describe the Apothecary as having a glamorously dark look to it, yet representing a completely pure product.
What are your absolute must-haves from the range?
My absolute must haves from the range would be Black Thorn Facial Oil. This oil has a base of jojoba and wild rosehip oil, which aid in skins natural renewal, with vitamin A & C. Rosehip keeps skin hydrated and aids in the diminishment of the appearance of fine lines. The Raspberry Seed Oil content give your skin protection from sun damage, whilst blackthorn extract enhances skin elasticity and suppleness. I use the oil daily in the morning as a moisturiser. It’s light and easily absorbs, needing only 5 drops or so.
My second top pick would be White Marble Clay Mask. This is a two in one product that can be used as a water activated cleansing face mask, but also as an exfoliating scrub. I use this nearly daily to unclog my pores and brighten up my complexion, gently removing any dead skin cells. The exfoliate property comes from ground pumice and marble powder. It features a base of Kaolin clay sourced from Cornwall, England.
And now, for our favourite #ContentApproved must-haves:
- Salem Rose Oil: Every organic beauty needs this oil in their beauty cabinet. Dab a little on eyebrows to condition and nails and cuticles to strengthen. The 'Rose' refers to Rosemary (the herb rather than the flower) making it good for hair and beards, so you may want to hide it well should it end up in the hands of your other half.
- Midnight Black Clay Mask: We’ve raved about the benefits of using charcoal in organic skincare in The Green Edit – case in point, this clay mask featuring activated Coconut charcoal powder is the key ingredient, which helps draws out impurities and toxins for clear skin. Looks like a beautiful volcanic beach too, which appeals to our inner natural beauty.
- Dead Sea Salts: Want to extend that seaside wellbeing feeling into Autumn? Keep these sea salts handy – just add half to one cup in running water and let it dissolve before dipping into a deeply relaxing and de-stressing bath.