What’s Pre-Shave Oil? Does It Make a Difference?

Most guys (myself included) began shaving with a razor and a can of aerosol shaving cream as teenagers; a relatively small number of men used oil after shaving to help with skin conditioning.

The use of oil prior to shaving came into public attention in the 1990s, and it has steadily increased in popularity.

So, what exactly is pre-shave oil; is it beneficial, or even necessary?Pre-Shave-Oil

Most pre-shave oils are a blend of natural plant oils; some of these oils are the same types as those found in facial oils and other cosmetic products.

Although pre-shave oil has begun to enter the mainstream over the past two decades, many have either not heard of it or have not tried it for themselves.

There are several benefits to using a pre-shave oil in addition to a high-quality shaving cream or gel; these benefits include additional lubrication, softening of facial hair, and a reduction in post-shaving irritation.

What’s In It?

Although pre-shave oil can be made using synthetic products, most guys agree that those derived from natural plant oils are of superior quality.

Quality pre-shave oils are packaged in dark glass bottles, which helps to prevent their degradation.

Depending on the types of oils used, they can have benefits ranging from increased lubrication to maintenance of the natural skin barrier.

Most naturally-derived pre-shave oils are a blend of 2-3 ingredients: Continue reading “What’s Pre-Shave Oil? Does It Make a Difference?”

What About Men’s Shaving? A Guide

When I think about shaving, I picture of all the shaving products currently available; all the razors, creams, gels, brushes, aftershave, and other shaving products on the market make it easy to forget that shaving is a crucial part of any guy’s skin care routine.

My Shaving Essentials

Although men have been shaving their faces for centuries, this essential challenge remains: to shave as close as possible without causing skin irritation.

Overaggressive or improper shaving techniques in an effort to shave more closely may only result in frustration and irritation.

Some techniques that have been employed to avoid shaving-induced skin irritation include:

  • Shaving while applying less pressure.
  • Development of pre- and post-shaving skin treatment.
  • Giving up on shaving altogether and growing a beard.

Shaving seems pointless if you have to compromise closeness; one reason that the beard has enjoyed a surge in popularity over the past decade could be due to the perception that shaving is a hassle.

Although growing a beard is certainly a viable option, it should be a matter of choice and not a consequence of becoming so annoyed that you abandon the very idea of shaving.

While no technique or product can guarantee a shaving experience completely free of irritation, following a few simple guidelines drastically reduces your chances.

Preparation is Essential

Before you rush off to pick up your razor, it’s important to make sure that your skin is prepared for the impending shave.

Clean skin is ideal, so the first step is to wash your face to remove oil, dirt, and debris that accumulates throughout the day; shaving during or just after a shower gives the heat and steam time to soften your facial hair, making it easier to shave.

Hydration reduces the stiffness of beard hair by 30-65%; the force necessary to cut a beard hair is reduced by 20% after 1 minute and 40% after 4 minutes of hydration.

If you don’t have time for a shower, a good alternative is to wrap your face in a hot, moist towel for 2-3 minutes, which softens the hairs and opens pores.

Another grooming tip is to exfoliate your skin prior to shaving, which removes dead skin cells that can otherwise end up lodged between the blades of your razor.

A mild physical exfoliant can be used to gently exfoliate your face, which only takes 30-60 seconds.

Since shaving is an exfoliating process, it’s best not to be overly aggressive and to rinse with lukewarm water when you are finished.

A clean, exfoliated face helps to keep the razor free of debris during the shave and helps to prevent razor bumps and ingrown hairs afterward. Continue reading “What About Men’s Shaving? A Guide”