Guy Morgan: the skincare supremo championing the natural
The former furniture and fittings designer was sick of overly gendered beauty brands, so he decided to make his own essentials-driven, gender neutral line
words Sophie Wilkinson
To celebrate our first birthday, woo has curated a list of our ones. The people in our wooniverse who are redefining fashion, music, clubs, culture and much more.
Fancy a skincare brand that’s vegan, palm-oil free, cruelty free and made from the highest quality ingredients to create simple and direct solutions which have a positive environmental impact?
You’d better check out Guy Morgan, the eponymous line started by the former designer in 2015. Guy used to put his mind to creating furniture and fittings before pivoting to making well-crafted, unisex, no-fuss skincare that works for a range of skin types. The science behind each botanically-derived ingredient is delved into during the creation process so that each item works properly to bring an individual’s skin that easy glow.
Guy, who experienced acne as a teenager, wanted to create a brand that spoke to him and his aesthetic and, now, that very brand lives under his name.
Describe what you do in your own words.
I’m a self-taught skincare formalist of around 10 years. I specialise in botanically derived ingredients and the science behind them, such as seed oils, butters and extracts. With Guy Morgan we offer a range of luxuriously minimalist skincare solutions, using the highest quality ingredients available.
How did you get into your chosen career?
Like many, I had problematic skin in my teens. I tried so many over-the-counter drug store solutions but I found my skin got worse – dried out and irritated. I remember one time going for a swim at school and coming out with my face peeling all over from the chlorine. I was left so upset and self-conscious at an already troubling enough time in my life.
Another reason was not being able to find a brand that spoke to me. In 2015, there were so few brands that were natural and inclusive. Coming from a design background, I found not many brands resonated with my aesthetic. I wanted something that was not only beautiful, but also met my founding beliefs of being vegan, palm oil free, cruelty free, and gender neutral. It felt like so many brands were unnecessarily gendered, and the ones for men were hyper-masculine and often ugly. These days I’ve eased up on my views of "skincare for men" – but just make it look nice at least?
Are there any upcoming projects we should look out for?
I’ve never really explored body care before, but It’s something I’ll be branching out to this year. I can’t say who yet, but I’ll be collaborating with someone who’s a bit of a rebel florist, their knowledge of botany is unparalleled. We’ve known each over for a few years now, it’s thrilling to work on this together.
What’s one thing you’d like to see change in the world?
More care needs to be given to British wildlife. Human activity and development have caused significant harm to the natural world. We need to take action to protect and preserve our native wildlife, including preserving natural landscapes, promoting sustainable farming practices, and reducing pollution and waste.
Is there anything you do that you think helps that change along?
I recently released a new product, Winged Kelp Face Mask, which features hand foraged kelp from Mull, Scotland. In my research of the area and the surrounding ecosystem, I realised what a critical role otters played in maintaining the health and stability of nearshore carbon-storing kelp forests. I wanted to find a way to give back to these amazing (and adorable) creatures, which is why I partnered with the International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF) a charity dedicated to the conservation of otters in Scotland, and worldwide. For every sale of Winged Kelp Face Mask, 5% is donated to IOSF. I intend for future product releases to also work with charities that the ingredient origins are linked to.
What’s the one thing in your career you’re most proud of?
I recently rebranded and brought out a new range of products, like Winged Kelp Face Mask. I was fortunate to work with some amazing talent that I’ve looked up to for a long time, such as graphic designer Natasha Meed, and photographer Tré Koch. The brands come along way from selling to friends and family, and at my local market in London Fields.
And what's one thing you would do if you were Prime Minister for the day?
Probably something naughty, like run through a field of wheat. Or embezzlement.
Is there any one thing you do on the regular to take care of your mental health?
I’ve tried meditation, but it doesn’t work for me as a regular habit. I do however work out around five days a week, along with regular long walks with my dog, Archie. When I’m stressed, self care seems to go out the window. It feels good when I take the time for myself and have a real skincare session.
What’s one lesson that’s changed your life?
To not let fear control me. It’s an ongoing lesson that I still battle with, and one that’s caught me out many a time.
What’s one moment in your career that you will cherish forever?
I don’t have one singular moment. Every time I hear praise and feedback from my customers are moments I cherish.
What’s one thing you want to achieve in the next year?
I've been trying to get a new facial cleanser off the ground for two years now. It’s proving to be my most challenging product yet, yet I know it’ll be worth it. It’ll be a companion product to Winged Kelp Face Mask, using the same wild sourced kelp from Mull, Scotland.
If you had a number one song, what would it sound like?
It’d be inspired by the '80s with a new romantic and goth flair.
Who’s your number one fan?
My dog, Archie. Who else is going to be that pleased to see me every day?
Who’s number one on your speed dial?
My boyfriend of 10 years, Carlos. He’s been there since day one of Guy Morgan. I drive him up the wall sometimes talking business, but he’s always there for me.
Name one person who’s killing the game right now?
I guess that depends on what game we’re talking here. Have you seen Sasha Colby? I’m going with her.
What’s one piece of clothing you can’t live without?
My black leather jacket. I bought it second hand around 15 years ago, and still wear it consistently. I believe strongly in looking after clothing, and investing in high quality pieces – second hand is even better. I took it to be repaired recently, and had the antique brass hardware swapped out with chunky silver, to give it a modern update.
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