The movement toward more natural grooming products, men’s soaps included, started picking up speed close to a decade ago, and within that shift, Dr. Squatch has quickly made an impression.
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Consumers male and female have noted the often-drying effects on their skin after washing with bar soap.
Similarly, among shampoos and liquid soaps, momentum against sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) kicked off for a similar reason: not only is it a completely superfluous chemical agent added to create a sudsing effect, but it also ends up drying out, if not damaging, your hair and skin when routinely used.
What’s Behind Dr. Squatch Products?
To understand the method behind the products, this Dr. Squatch review, will help you understand why natural soaps, shampoos, and hair care products for men have carved out a place in the rapidly expanding grooming market.
About a century ago, mass-market soaps started being formulated with surfactants, a chemical designed to attract oils and water and remove them from the skin.
While this process helps with washing away dirt, it does something else: it ends up stripping your skin of its natural oils. Over time, your skin develops a dry, rough, flaking appearance that’s often uncomfortable or could influence the development of eczema.
Not all products have the same amount of surfactants, however: the more a soap or shampoo suds, the greater the concentration.
Dr. Squatch founder Jack Haldrup got an idea to reverse this process and introduce a more natural option. While these products can be found for female consumers, the market for men’s soap has remained limited, with only traditional bar soaps and select liquid options available.
After trying out a few methods and recipes and sharing his ideas amongst his friends, Haldrup launched the Squatch Bar, designed to replenish and work with the skin’s natural moisture, rather than strip it like cheaper alternatives out there. And this Dr. Squatch review will be covering some of these products.
As the cornerstone of the Dr. Squatch line, which has since expanded into shampoo, toothpaste, and other men’s grooming products, a traditional process preserves the soap’s glycerin content without preservatives being added.
Glycerin can be found among many men’s and women’s products as a humectant and hydrator, and it performs that same purpose here. Along with this ingredient, Dr. Squatch products help your skin hold onto its natural moisture through:
- Coconut oil offers a soothing effect through its fatty acids. Just as you’ve seen with oil-pulling videos on YouTube, coconut oil further functions as a substance that traps and removes dirt from the skin.
- Olive oil adds antioxidants and polyphenols, helping reduce cellular damage and preserve your skin’s natural barrier.
- Shea butter is also added to preserve the skin’s and hair’s moisture while adding vitamins and fatty acids.
- Palm oil, from sustainable sources, performs a similar function, helping the skin heal and reduce blemishes with vitamins E and K.
After finding his niche with soap, Haldrup has since grown the brand to include hair and shaving products, toothpaste, and scents.
Dr. Squatch Review: Soap
Dr. Squatch natural and organic soaps provide a solution for replenishing the skin’s natural moisture, rather than strip it out.
These handmade soaps utilize glycerin, instead of harsh sodium laureth sulfate and parabens, which can dry out and irritate the skin. Coconut and olive oils provide an extra degree of moisture, so you’re not feeling that tight sensation after washing. The cold process the company uses eliminates the need to include superfluous additives like preservatives.
Compared to other men’s soaps, Dr. Squatch’s offerings don’t exist in a unisex-leaning space of ocean and forest scents. Rather, varieties like Pine Tar evoke a particular degree of exaggerated masculinity (albeit intentionally so) by smelling like freshly chopped wood or an old-school hardware store, for another frame of reference.
Even traditional-seeming options like Cedar Citrus become specific and more like a cologne or body spray, with natural notes of cedar and citrus adding an extra dimension to traditional wood-based combinations.
More for the modern-day hipster, the Grapefruit IPA soap smells exactly as it sounds, like an extra-hoppy craft beer complete with piquant citrus notes. Not just a fragrance oil addition, Dr. Squatch makes this bar soap with actual beer, in addition to its usual list of ingredients.
Dr. Squatch Review: Shampoo and Conditioner
Since introducing its bar soaps, Dr. Squatch has sought to upend men’s haircare products, expanding and improving upon the minimal options out there that can dry the scalp and contribute to the formation of dandruff by stripping away natural oils and altering its pH.
What we learned while researching this Dr. Squatch review is that their hair products are not typical.
Rather than the typical 2-in-1 combinations that blend shampoo and conditioner but leave the hair feeling dry and looking frizzy, Dr. Squatch shampoo mixes in essential vitamins to prevent breakage and dryness and adds tea tree to cleanse the scalp without removing its natural oils.
Cypress oil is in place of artificial fragrances that can contribute to additional irritation.
Dr. Squatch designs its shampoo and conditioner to be paired together. Further adding moisture, Dr. Squatch conditioner uses calendula to prevent additional dryness and breakage, peppermint to increase blood flow to the scalp, and sage to keep your head of hair looking full, rather flat, and thinning out.
Beyond these ingredients, avocado, vitamin E, and vegetable oil act as hydrating humectants to prevent your scalp from becoming dry and irritated. Nettle leaf extract improves the hair’s appearance and helps strengthen the strands.
Dr. Squatch Review: Toothpaste
Dr. Squatch toothpaste uses a similar combination to its shampoo and conditioner. Here, Citrus Mint targets morning breath, and Soothing Spearmint serves as an end-of-the-day option that goes after stains. The formula for both is free of sulfates and parabens and is gentle enough to preserve teeth enamel to reduce sensitivity.
In this Dr. Squatch review, we can tell you that Citrus Mint pairs traditional peppermint with green tea extract, vitamin B12, and ginseng. Aside from feeling invigorating, it gets your teeth clean right from the start. For the evening, Soothing Spearmint provides whitening properties, thanks to natural clay that lifts stains, eucalyptus oil to deliver a deeper clean against a day’s worth of particles, and hydroxyapatite to protect the enamel.
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Ivan Yaskey is a Philly-born menswear fashion blogger and copywriter. When not writing about men's style he's also an EDM and synthpop enthusiast.