Article edited for scientific accuracy by Illuminate Labs Blog Editor Taylor Graber MD
Dr. Squatch is a personal care products brand targeting men which has blown up in the last few years due to their viral marketing campaigns. They claim their products are much better for you than most of the personal care products like soap or shampoo you’d buy in a convenience store, because they use natural ingredients.
Most of the reviews of Dr. Squatch you'll find online focus on smell and cost, which doesn’t really address the brand’s claims. We figured a research-based review of the health benefits would be beneficial for consumers.
In this article we’ll review the ingredients in Dr. Squatch to determine whether it’s really better for you than commercial products. We’ll review their soap, deodorant and shampoo formulations.
Dr. Squatch Soap Review
Soap is the core product offering of Dr. Squatch, and is surprisingly well formulated. In their ads they mention how many questionable ingredients exist in commercial soaps and they’re mostly right.
Even the basic Dove Men’s body wash has tons of questionable ingredients (image above).
Sodium benzoate is a preservative and antibacterial agent with no health benefits and questionable health effects. There’s no need for this in soap.
Fragrance is one of the topical ingredients we always recommend consumers avoid, as we discussed in-depth in our recent review of another popular skincare company called Monat. It’s an essentially unregulated term and consumers have no idea what chemicals are actually constituting the fragrance.
Some fragrance chemicals may be safe and some may be harmful, but if all you see is “fragrance” you’re better off avoiding the product.
Dove Men+ Care also contains iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, another preservative which is banned in Japan due to toxicity concerns.
Finally, it contains three separate artificial dyes which are known to be harmful based on medical research even in cosmetic products.
This is how crazy the cosmetics industry is: we just listed six separate ingredients which may be harmful in a basic, run-of-the-mill men’s body wash.
So Dr. Squatch actually does have a point and now it’s time to review their formulation to see if it’s superior.
Most ingredients in Dr. Squatch’s soap (we used their Pine Tar product as a reference above) are safe and non-toxic, but unfortunately they use fragrance too.
Saponified oils are a safe and effective soap base. Shea butter is nutrient-dense and has a conditioning effect. Essential oils can add a safe and non-toxic scent. Oatmeal, sand, activated charcoal, clay and sea salt can all work as natural exfoliants.
It’s unfortunate that they included fragrance because otherwise this would be an ideal formulation. We also don’t see a need for fragrance since two separate essential oils are already included.
Overall this is certainly a safer and healthier formulation than most popular commercial soaps, but we cannot recommend it because we have no idea what chemicals are used to create the fragrance.
Dr. Squatch Deodorant Review
Deodorant, much like soap, is a cosmetic product category that has legitimate health concerns depending on formulation. A recent medical review of deodorants found potential issues with many ingredients in commercial deodorants, including aluminum, antiseptics, fragrances and certain essential oils.
Dr. Squatch’s deodorant (listed above), like their soap, has a perfect formulation except for the fragrance. All of the ingredients are botanical and nontoxic. The arrowroot powder and probiotic combination is a creative and arguably effective natural deodorizer combination, though this will of course vary based on the individual.
We cannot recommend this product due to the inclusion of fragrance, though we do believe it’s a much better option than nearly every commercial deodorant formulation in regards to health.
Dr. Squatch Shampoo Review
Commercial shampoos tend to have fewer product safety issues than soaps and deodorants based on a medical study. There’s still the potential for contamination in commercial shampoos, but this makes the Dr. Squatch advantage less powerful.
Dr. Squatch shampoo, listed above, has mostly effective and safe ingredients, but unfortunately also contains fragrance, so we can’t recommend it. We do believe this formulation is safer than most commercial shampoos on the market.
We urge Dr. Squatch (and other consumer products brands) to transparently publish the ingredients used in their fragrance. That way consumers and researchers can determine if the product is safe.
Dr. Squatch makes naturally-derived personal care products for men, which are generally well-formulated and have less potential for harm than similar commercial products.
If the brand didn’t include fragrance in nearly all of their formulations we’d recommend them.
Unfortunately due to the addition of fragrance we can’t recommend these formulations because there’s no way to determine if the products are truly safe without knowing exactly what’s in them.