Glycerin should never be in your beard oil!

When looking into recipes and ingredients of beard oil, from DIYers to major brands you will quite often find glycerin listed as an ingredient.

Often used in numerous skin and hair care products for its hydrating properties. Glycerin attracts moisture, that is the job it performs. It also helps move that moisture from one place to another. In lotions, soaps and conditioners it will carry the moisture of the product and transfer it to your skin or hair. With hair conditioners it is rinsed out after application limiting the ability to pull moisture from your hair. With a beard oil being designed to work as a leave in conditioner, if it were to contain glycerin it will begin to drain your beard of the moisture it needs. This can lead to dry, brittle hair. Some consumers will assume they need to use more of their beard oil which will only make it worse.

I have encountered many gentlemen that have used certain major brands that are known for using glycerin in their beard oil. These gents clearly stated that beard oil does not work because of their experience using such low quality oils. It also taints their opinion of all beard oils as they are unaware that better oils exist that do not use glycerin. Often it is too late, and the damage is done to their beard as well as to beard oil being considered a beneficial product for their beard hair.

Whether these other brands use it because they feel it is a benefit or they consider it an inexpensive filler ingredient doesn’t matter. It shows they lack knowledge of hair care science and have not done their research.

We here at J&L Pogonotrophics have never used glycerin in any of our beard oil formulas. We rely strictly upon the awesome powers of pure natural oils that work well to condition your beard. We formulate specialized formulas to help you get the right level of conditioning for your beard. We also offer our beard oils at a price lower than these so called “premium” beard oils. You have to ask yourself what makes a beard oil premium…

Please, share with us your experiences

New Products in the Works: Shampoo Bars, Natural Deodorant

We have been toying with the idea of making a couple items for quite a long time and until recently felt it was beyond what people are interested in at the time. Recently personal care trends have caught up with our ideas and we will explore bringing these products to market. The products are Shampoo Bars and Solid Deodorants. We have had an increase of interest expressed around these products which is leading to us add them to our assortment.

Shampoo was strictly made in a bar form until the 1940s when liquid soaps became more available. The current resurgence in popularity of solid shampoo comes from a growing demand for more natural products combined with reducing the reliance upon plastic bottles. One bar of shampoo can replace 3 bottles of liquid shampoo. As ingredients go, hard soaps rely upon natural oils and butters over synthesized ingredients to achieve great hair and scalp. Today we can combine the best of both worlds by adding environment and body safe additives to natural oil hard soaps to ensure a rich lather, solid conditioning and voluminous body.

We are working on a base formula that can then be adapted to target your hair and scalp needs from dry to oily. We will rely upon the power of essentials oils to narrow in and tackle each need as well as offer a pleasant aroma. Our mission is to have these available as we enter Autumn.

Natural Deodorant is a little trickier to get people to try. Many people have relied upon antiperspirants for many years and have not noticed why these are not an ideal product to manage and prevent body odor. Where a deodorant uses mainly alcohol bases and perfumes to cover your scent, antiperspirants rely upon a crude function of putting tiny solids into your pores to act as a dam to block sweat. Science has proven that all this does is force your body to make more sweat to “unclog” the pores. The rest of the work an antiperspirants does is identical to that of a deodorant – cover of scent with perfume and kill bacterial with alcohol.

Why is this process not so ideal? The answer is simple, clogging your pores is counter productive if your body is only going to fight harder to sweat. Alcohol will dry and irritate your skin; and the perfumes are often doing the same with no other added benefit. A natural deodorant relies upon the properties of the ingredients that are naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal while they also offer great scents and other skin benefits. While they may not stop the sweat they will lead to less sweat being produced and allowing you to manage your perspiration better in other means. Doing an under arm detox will help you transition to natural deodorants. We will share the simple process later, when we launch our natural deodorant.

We will be hard at work developing these items and rely upon proven science and recipes to begin our testing and then detail them to meet our expectations. As like all of our products, they will be more affordable natural alternatives to major brands as well as other specialty makers as part of our mission to help every body be epic.


Bamboo Boar Bristle Beard Brushes are Back!

New J&L Pogonotrophics Brand Beard Brush

We love alliteration!

It has been out of stock since last holiday season as we were looking for a more reliable supplier. We hope to have these back in our store by July 12. We decided to be a little vain and place our logo on the back this time.

The base is made from bamboo which gives a strong hard wood that is more moisture resistant than common hardwoods. As with the previous edition, this military style palm brush contains 100% boar’s hair bristles.

Check back to get yours before they are gone again.


Constrained Inventory: Shower Wash

We are currently experiencing inventory issues related to our Shower Wash in both 240ml and 360ml sizes. If the issue worsens it may also affect our Shampoos and Beard Wash.

There is a supply issue related to a key ingredient that is out of stock with all of our preferred suppliers. Secondary suppliers are showing limited inventory but due to costs we are holding out for normal stock levels to resume with our preferred suppliers.

Until we are able to source the necessary quantities at an appropriate price we will not be producing the 240ml Shower Wash. To ensure we can meet demand we are producing 360ml items in single units to replenish sold units.

We have spoken with the distributor/maker of this ingredient. We have been assured that there is no issue with their production but they are aware of our suppliers’ situation that is causing out of stocks. They hope that this will soon be resolved and they will be replenished.

This is very disappointing for us as we are just introducing our new scents along with an increased demand for these items.

We will post to Facebook as well as here when situations change. We sincerely apologize for any disappointment or inconvenience.



Us vs Them: Beard Oil

Them: “Big Name Brand” commonly found online and in select barbershop chains.

30ml / 1 oz bottle of beard oil. $20 – $35

  • 7 Scents – base formula varies by scent, but not specialized for any special benefit to the user.
  • Best base oil used: Argan, & Jojoba. Uses “cheap” filler oils (oils with little or no hair conditioning benefits or have a high rancidity factor) such as Castor  & Olive Oil. Other beneficial oils used: Almond, Safflower, Grapeseed
  • Filled into clear glass bottles – does not provide UV protection

Us: “Little Specialty Brand” with a hard to pronounce name.

30ml / 1 oz bottle of beard oil. All are $15

  • 10+ scents, each available in 3 specialized formulas that target light, medium and heavy conditioning needs.
  • Best Base oil used: Organic Argan & Organic Jojoba. No Castor or Olive Oil, no “filler” oils are used. Other beneficial oils used: Almond, Apricot, Avocado, Babassu, Coconut, Grapeseed (use and quantity varies by formula to focus on the unique strengths of each oil).
  • Filled into dark blue glass bottles – provides UV protection to allow your oil to last longer without going rancid.

It is important to know what is in your beard oil. Not everything other brands will use are genuinely good for your skin or hair, nor worthy of the price they charge. With J&L Pogonotrophics, each formula is specially blended with 100% beneficial oils designed to give the right level of conditioning your beard needs.

Do not buy oil in clear bottles. Tinted glass bottles are the first line of defense against a natural oil’s enemy – light. Colored glass costs the same as clear, so why not protect your customers purchase?

We could charge more for our products, by using the highest quality ingredients that are in their purest forms; and using only natural and essential oils for fragrance. We strongly feel that charging a fair price helps you to use them as intended as part of a regular care regimen. By being a comparative value allows more men to have access to quality products for conditioning and grooming their facial hair. We sincerely want you to Be Epic and show it every day. We want you to feel great knowing you are using a quality product that is made by bearded gents who have thoroughly tested every product they make and sell to ensure it performs as intended.

A note on discounts and pricing

Recently I read a post by a friend complaining that a business only discounted their prices 10% for a sale. In their opinion, such a discount is too little and hardly worth it. That in fact, nothing less than 20% should be considered a discount.

I was floored with this personal opinion as a business owner and as a consumer. I do feel that it is sometimes true that a 10% discount is not attractive enough for me to make a purchase on certain items. My opinion is more closely tied to how much of a necessity the item may be. I will always comparatively shop for many items and factor in hidden costs like shipping and ease of purchase. If I have to drive to save 20% and can have it shipped free for 15% off then I may opt for the lower discount because it saves me time and effort.

I started thinking about our pricing strategy here at J&L. We rarely have sales, we offer few discounts and specials throughout the year. There is a very real reason why we don’t. We already operate off of very tight margins. After we factor in our hidden costs we don’t have a lot of room to give big discounts. We have even been told our prices are too low, that people may feel that we are of lesser quality because of our prices. That is simply just plain wrong.

We could simply raise our prices and then offer an array of sales, promotions and discounts. This would skew our inventory and production schedules to meet anticipated spikes as well as mean that when a customer is in need of a product they are paying a higher price so at another time they can save. In the end, for a regular loyal customer, they are paying the same if not more.

Our pricing strategy has always been to make our products as affordable as possible within our niche industry. Along with the intent that the user will get the best benefit out of the product by using them as they are intended and not too sparingly that the long range benefits are not adequately achieved. It is not lost upon us that many of our products cost more than name brands found at Target, Walgreen’s or even the local grocery store. Those products are not within our niche industry. When you look at brands like Lush and The Body Shop you will find we are on par with ingredients but our retail pricing is substantially lower. Even looking at some of the specialty brands you will find us to be comparatively priced and sometimes even cheaper. For example; our Lip Balm is $3.00 for .25 ounces while Burt’s Bees runs $2.79 to $3.89 for .15 ounces – that’s 40% more balm for roughly the same price and we are using the same ingredients.

We may not run sales and big discounts but we strongly feel we offer a great value when it comes to natural personal care products. This just means that when we do offer a discount it is something special above our already great prices.

Share with us your thoughts, we love to hear from you what you think.

Into the Scent Matrix

We honestly love producing so many varying scents. From traditional basics like Lavender and Citrus; to our very one-of-a-kind creations like Jakarta, Oceania and the new Shanghai we try to give a broad array of fragrances. Our hopes are that you will find at least one you love and others you like. It actually has been hard for our customers to decide which scent they like most.

Outside of our Beard Care lines we have not done the best job at sharing the scents across many of our products. People want to coordinate their fragrances and we have not been so good at meeting that expectation.

As we transition through some older options in scent and products, we are going to establish our most popular fragrances that will adapt well to other products and bring them to more of our most popular items. So far we have identified 9 scents that will be available in either Beard Care or Body Mist; Shower Wash; Bar Soap; and solid colognes.

Our all new bar soaps are expected to launch in a few weeks and we will highlight the coordinating products shortly after.

We will also bring back our popular holiday scents. We skipped it this last holiday season and disappointed many fans. This year we will have the Beard Oil scent and the Body Mist scent with coordinating Shower Wash and Bar Soap. We will also build these into our gift sets as well!

Keep a watch for when we announce our new bar soaps to see what we are talking about!


Saying good-bye to some scents and products

We are always dabbling and trying out new ideas. From the start our scents and fragrances have been a key attribute that sets us apart from most of our competitors. At times we have maintained over 12 scents in our beard care line and 11 in our Shower Washes. Scents were always intended to be a revolving collection with a few core constants. We are aware that these scents have their fans and we regret having to do this. For those who will miss them, retired fragrances may return as part of a custom ordering option in the near future.

Today we are announcing what scents we will be placing into the vaults.

Going from our beard care line

  • Havana – tobacco leaf
  • Kununurra – teak & sandalwood

Going from J&L Apothecary

  • Almond Spice
  • Sea Storm/Rapa Nui
  • Green Tea (Shower Wash only, changing to Matcha Mint)
  • Nectarine Ginger (changing to Shanghai)

We have new scents that were introduced this year that have really taken off. They have done so well you will see them expand across our products over the next few months.

  • Shanghai (green tea & nectarine) will be made as a limited edition scent in beard care come later this summer.
  • Tarocco (bitter citrus) will expand into select J&L Apothecary products

There are also select products coming to an end, at least for the foreseeable future.

  • Moisturizing Body Oil – replaced by Soothing Body Mist
  • Bar Soaps – all existing varieties except for our Activated Charcoal & Lemongrass. We have new bar soaps in the works!

As these items wind down you will see prices drop until they are gone. Stock up before they are gone!


Primp & Jol is coming!

What is this all about you may ask.

Primp & Jol will be the name we will apply to our retail Pop-Up experiences as we go forward. The purpose is to prepare for a full retail experience that we aim to bring in the near future. Those of you that have been following us have seen us present a different take on the “festival” vending circuit by offering a shopping experience that allows you to browse and explore versus approaching a table to be sold to. We strive for our interactions with you to be welcoming and pleasant and not a seller versus buyer encounter.

We plan to move into a direction where we will offer more than the products we make to further satisfy your needs and offer more than just “products”, but an comforting experience that appeals to more than your personal care needs.

Branching out from accessories for the products we make, we wish to offer tastes of items to help you enjoy the little things in life; family, friends and even alone time. While J&L Apothecary and J&L Pogonotrophics will be the center of our merchandising strategy, we will complement them with little zones that speak to helping you create those happy occasions. This is where the name comes into play: Primp & Jol! Primp – spending time to make little adjustments to one’s appearance; Jol – a word with old Norse roots that means happy occasions (it also has J and L in it).

This will be a testing concept at first, as we learn from you what experiences and items you are most interested in to help us curate our offerings. As we have with all that we have done, we are going to continue to learn from you. It is never in our mission to dictate a lifestyle to you, but with Primp & Jol we are offering mini lifestyle enhancing items for you to pick and choose from as you see fit. It is important to us that it all works together and makes sense for you and for us.

You will start seeing more about Primp & Jol as we transition our retail experience and create our branding. This is not a new company name for our products, it is simply the brick & mortar extension of our brands that will sell our products. Both of our brands will be exclusive to Primp & Jol in the communities we will operate within.

It will mean so much to use to hear from you through comments, social media and in person what you think. Ask questions, offer suggestions and help us build an experience that many will enjoy.

Introducing: Clay Mask Creator System

We first launched our first clay masks summer of 2017. They were an instant hit with customers, often selling out at every pop-up. When the season came to an end we started to analyze what we learned from our customers as we were introducing and selling our clay masks. A few months were spent looking at what others offer in the way of clay masks.

First we learned that they are pricey for all that they really are. A single use prepared mask was running anywhere from $2.00 to $5.00 at most retailers with upscale brands that offer little more being at the higher end. For products that were intended to offer multiple uses the prices started out at $20.00 for a 2 ounce jar or tube. Reading the ingredients in many of these masks also concerned us; use of lesser quality oils, harmful preservatives and very little of the good stuff.

Customers informed us that different masks were needed for varying needs throughout the year. Seasons and activities would require purchasing multiple masks to be bought and stored, creating a much higher expense. For us, to make masks that suited the ever changing tastes and needs of customers would mean making dozens of clay masks, leading to an inventory nightmare and the potential for customers to have products that would lose their effectiveness as they sat waiting to be used when necessity struck.

We love the idea of customization; making things personal for each person and for each situation. We have offered this concept in much of our beard care line already. It is the reason why we offer so many scent variations in most of our products as well. We had to ask ourselves how we could bring this concept to clay masks and keep it inline with our values.

It all starts with great clay mixtures that target base skin needs – dry, moderate (normal), oily, sensitive and combination skin types. Then we thought about all the great liquid add-ins that one could use to build their mask. Some great ingredients are likely already in your pantry, others ideal ingredients may be expensive to keep in sensible quantities in your home. We broke down each possible ingredient that would be part of a perfect clay mask and focused on those items that are less likely in the household –  organic natural oils, glycerin, essential oils. From there we started building our system in stages.

First stage is to select a clay mix powder engineered for your specific needs. These mixtures all contain aloe vera and a couple clay powders. Each jar of clay is roughly 2 ounces in volume – due to the differing densities of clay they weights vary. You can easily get up to 12 masks out of each jar when prepared.

Second stage is to select liquid add-ins. Pulling from your pantry try coconut oil, organic cider vinegar or honey; or goats milk from the fridge. You can use any of our scented Body Oils, Junk Oil or even beard oils that you are already using. Or, you can buy one of our liquid add-ins like Argan + Jojoba Oil, or Glycerin + Aloe. Best to use a combination of liquids to craft your mask. We plan to keep adding items to the list based upon feedback. Basic rule is to mix equal parts of clay & liquid. Less liquid for a thicker mask, more for a creamy one. No set rule of how much, it all depends on where you wish to use it – 1.5 tablespoons would do your entire face for sure.

Third stage, to really make it yours, add some aromatherapy essential oil dilutions. A few drops of any one to help stimulate your mood or get more out of your mask. You can mix it up here too. Choose scents to help you relax, meditate or rejuvenate.

The best part is you can mix and match any of these add-ins. Use 2 or more liquids along with a couple aromatherapy oils to make the ultimate mask for you. You can even mix any of our clay powders for your base to really change it up.

R: Moroccan + Bentonite clay mask prepared

Like any mask, apply to washed skin and let dry. This often takes 15 minutes on average. Oils alone won’t “dry” but they will form a firm layer and thicken as it sets. With more water based add-ins you will see the clay change color, often becoming lighter as it dries. Some report that a mask tingles when dry or feels tighter on their skin. Once dried satisfactorily, rinse off the mask with a circular rubbing motion. This adds to the exfoliating power as you remove it. Upon the mask being completely rinsed away your skin should feel silky smooth. After drying your face, you may apply a small amount of our body oil or misting spray to add moisture – but you really don’t need to. Avoid applying heavy creams or lotions immediately afterwards as this essentially defeats the purpose of a mask by adding back in the toxins. Let your skin breathe!