What is a Shaving Oil?
Once you try a shave oil you never go back
By: Mike Marenick
There are so many choices when it comes to shaving. What part of your body are you shaving – your face, legs, bikini area or even your head? What type of razor should you use – straight razor, safety razor, cartridge razor, electric razor or disposable razors? What type of product are you going to use to shave – cream, gel, soap, butter or shaving oil? By choosing to use a shaving oil you can shave any part of your body and use any type of razor. So what is a shaving oil?
How do other products compare?
SHAVING SOAP: Shaving soaps are generally used with a shaving brush. The brush is wet and rubbed on the soap to create a lather. The lather is then applied to the shaving area where it can be used to shave with a straight razor, safety razor, cartridge razor or disposable razor. Shaving soaps have been used for hundreds of years and are considered somewhat old fashion. These days you can often find barbers that still use soap to shave the necks of men at a local barbershop using a safety razor.
SHAVING CREAM: Shaving cream can come in two forms; the kind you squeeze out of a tube or the kind you spray out of an aerosol can. Aerosol shave cream creates a light fluffy whipped cream looking product. It often contains lubricating ingredients together with alcohol and moisturizing ingredients. The lubrication is designed to help the razor glide more freely across your skin to help prevent nicks and cuts. Because the alcohol can dry the skin moisturizing ingredients are included to help counteract this side effect. Shaving creams that come in a tube are often moisturizing cream based combined with lubricating ingredients. These types of creams do not include alcohol and are actually more gentle on the skin. Shaving creams cannot be used with electric razors.
SHAVING GELS: Shaving gels are produced in aerosol form only. They act very much like a shaving cream and the only real difference is when the pump is pushed a gel is produced instead of a cream. Gels and creams can be used exactly the same way with the same types of razors. Some individuals feel gels produce a slightly more lubricated service then a cream. However, this is really only a matter of preference. Gels also include alcohol which can dry the skin. Shaving gels cannot be used with electric razors.
SHAVING BUTTER: Shaving butters are a cross between a shaving cream and a shaving oil. They provide excellent lubrication and contain no alcohol. They come in tube form only not an aerosol can. Their natural cream and oil base provide for excellent moisture on the skin. Shaving butters are relatively new and cannot be used with an electric razor.
What type of Razor Should You Use with a Shaving Oil?
The great thing about using a shaving oil is that you can use any type of razor that you prefer. A shaving oil will work with a straight razor, safety razor, cartridge razor, disposable razor and even electric razors! Over the years’ razors have grown from single blade razors now up to 6 blade razors. Additional blades were added over the years and were marketed to give a closer and smoother shave. They are supposed to work by using the first blade to slightly lift the hair which allows the next blade to cut even closer. After 3 blades this really becomes overkill and quite often a waste of money. A razor with 5 or 6 blades is not going to give you a closer shave. However, a razor with many blades will cover a larger area more quickly. If you are shaving body hair using a razor with 5 or 6 blades is more efficient. If you want a clean close shave on your face choose a razor with 2 to 3 blades and be sure to rinse it clean after a few drags of the razor. If you are using any type of blade razor you will only need 5-6 drops of shaving oil for your entire face. If you are using an electric razor you will only use 3 drops of oil as a pre-shave product to help reduce friction and burn.
How does a Shaving Oil Work?
A shaving oil is quite simply a blend of lubricating and moisturizing oils. Most often these oils are vegetable or plant based however there are some products on the market that use synthetic oils. Using a shaving oil only requires a small amount. Most shaving oil products are packaged in small 1oz or even ½ ounce bottles. Only a few drops are required for each shave. A shaving oil works by providing a smooth slick surface that allows the razor to glide across the skin. The smooth glide helps to prevent nicks, cuts, razor burn and even ingrown hairs. Having a slick smooth surface is key to a close shave. But most other shaving products lack the lubricants that an oil can provide. For this reason, you will often find glide strips on razors that attempt to help users who shave with other products.
Which Shaving Oil Should You Choose?
A quality shaving oil will cost around $13 for a one ounce size. A one ounce bottle will often provide up to 60 shaves or more. Don’t let the price versus the quantity scare you. Also, don’t use more oil than recommended on the directions or you will be wasting the product. The best shaving oils are ones that combine multiple vegetable and plant based oils. These oils are formulated to provide both a lubricating quality and moisturizing properties. Most people will find they will no longer need an after shave when using a shaving oil because their skin will already feel cool and moist after shaving. You will only have to towel dry when done. Shaving oils can be found online or in store right next to the other shaving products.