Shaving can feel like a chore for most guys. Whether you're grooming your beard or your pubes, shaving will often leave your skin dry, irritated, and feeling like you just used an industrial paint stripper to peel off some skin layers.
By choosing the right skin products, you can minimize the effects of razor burn and feel much more comfortable when the deed is done. However, with so many different products on the market, it can be hard for the casual guy to find the right option. Should you go with the classic shaving cream, a lathering gel, foam, shave oil, and/or after-shave? It can all seem like option overload for the guy who just wants a clean comfortable shave without all the hassle.
In this article, we’ll break down the two most common shaving products you can use: shaving cream and shave oil. Which is best for you depends on what you’re looking for, your skin type, and what exactly it is you’re shaving.
Shave oil can be any oil that is applied to the skin before or after shaving. Its purpose is to soften your beard hair or pubes to make them easier to shave. Pre-shave oil also lubricates the skin, allowing razors to glide over the skin instead of digging down and peeling off skin layers.
Shaving oil can be a great addition to your daily routine. It can be used as a part of your pre-shave routine to soften hair and allow for a smooth close shave without the razor burn. It can also be used as a post-shave moisturizer to keep skin healthy and in-grown hairs away.
Depending on the brand, shave oils can contain a wide range of natural oil types in their ingredient list. Some of the more popular oil types for shave oil include:
- Castor seed oil
- Olive oil
- Jojoba oil
- Coconut oil
- Sunflower oil
- Avocado oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Argan oil
- Almond oil
Castor seed and olive oil are two of the more common types found in many shave oils. Many brands will contain additives for fragrance or other purposes, such as lavender oil or menthol. Be sure to read through the ingredients to be sure your shave oil doesn’t contain anything that you may be allergic to or something that may irritate your skin.
Shaving cream is a cream, gel, or foam that is applied to your hair and skin before shaving. Its primary purpose is to soften your beard hair or pubes while also providing a protective barrier between the razor and the skin.
One of the key advantages of shaving cream is its versatility. It caters to individuals with different skin sensitivities and preferences, offering options for those who prefer a fragrance-free experience or desire additional skincare benefits, such as moisturizing or soothing properties. Moreover, shaving cream tends to be widely available, making it accessible to the majority of consumers.
However, despite its popularity, shaving cream has its downsides. Some formulations may contain ingredients that can be harsh on sensitive skin, leading to irritation or razor burn. Additionally, the need for a brush or hands-on application may not be appealing to those seeking a quick and fuss-free shaving routine.
Choosing the Right Option: Factors to Consider
When deciding between shaving cream and shaving oil, personal preference and skin type play pivotal roles. Consider the following factors to determine which product aligns with your needs:
- Skin Sensitivity: If you have sensitive skin prone to irritation, shaving oil might be a gentler option. Look for formulations with natural ingredients like jojoba oil or chamomile, which can soothe the skin.
- Convenience: Shaving oil is often lauded for its simplicity and speed. If you're looking for a quick and efficient shaving routine, especially for travel or busy mornings, shaving oil may be the ideal choice.
- Texture Preference: Some individuals appreciate the luxurious lather of shaving cream, while others prefer the smooth glide provided by shaving oil. Consider your preference for texture and the overall sensory experience of shaving.
- Environmental Impact: If eco-friendliness is a priority, shaving oil's compact packaging and often-natural formulations may be a better fit. Look for brands committed to sustainability and minimal environmental impact.