Contents of Page
- Background of The Shave Cream
- The Downsides to Aerosol Foams and Gels Versus Creams
- The Benefits of Using Your Shave Cream
- How You Lather Using a Shave Cream
- Qualities to Avoid for in a Shaving Cream
- Ingredients to Look for in the Best Shave Creams
- Get the Best Shave of Your Life with a Shaving Cream
- Check Out the Top Shave Creams in 2018
As a guy, your grooming needs to be impeccable. Picking the best shave cream requires precision. It’s going to be a powerful tool in your grooming kit that’s going to keep you kempt at all times.
Shaving creams have become a staple since over 94 million men shave regularly in the U.S. alone. Picking out the one that’s going to accentuate your safety razor is imperative to getting the smoothest shave and the least amount of razor bumps.
In a previous post, I went into a detailed review of safety razors and how they are beneficial when shaving. I wanted to follow-up on that post with another one to help you pick out the perfect shave cream your face.
So, here’s the all-inclusive guide on how you can find the best shave creams to use to help keep you from being unkempt.
Background of The Shave Cream
There is a long history of shaving mechanisms that have been released throughout the years to help both men and women with getting the closest shave. The 1900s revolutionized the way people looked at their hygiene and the need to shave become more dominant for men and women.
Prior to WWI, shaving was only starting to become popular on the market. Shave creams became the main lubrication for a man’s face while shaving. Although we can see shave creams dated as far back as 3000 BC, using animal fat and wood alkali, it wouldn’t become popular until the 1940s and 1950s again.
Shaving creams had been tested all throughout the early 1900s to help enhance the shave. These creams were more efficient than shaving soaps and seemed to appeal to more men. However, the constant mess with the cream became a nuisance for too many guys.
Developing a better lathering system was necessary for the eyes of Carter-Wallace. He was on a mission to make the average, unkempt guys’ shave easier, smoother and less prone to infection.
By doing so, he created and commercialized the first pressurized shave cream in 1949. This would later become known to use as our typical, everyday shaving gel or foam from a can.
The Downsides to Aerosol Foams and Gels Versus Creams
Shaving cream manufacturers were facing serious competition with the birth of the aerosol spray foam. They were fast, efficient and less messy.
However, research was later performed on this cans, showing serious signs of environmental risks. The aerosol spray can also disperse out pollutants that promote greenhouse gasses.
As awareness has raised, most men are finding that they want to go back to the traditional way of shaving, using shave creams. Less abrasive and harmful to the environment, they are created for the perfect lather.
The Benefits of Using Your Shave Cream
Shaving creams have been considered the most beneficial for wet-shaving. From personal experience, I would never go without a shaving cream. You’ll get the best shave with your cream with the least amount of problems involved with shaving.
Here are some of the benefits you’ll get from using a shave cream.
- Helps Soften Hair
If like myself, you have facial hair that is coarse and, at times, unruly, a shave cream will be the most useful tool in your shaving kit. Shaving creams are created from 30- to 50-percent fat, which helps loosen and soft the texture of your hair.
Most times, the base fat used will be coconut oil, which is an all-natural moisturizer and oil that does not penetrate the skin.
- Lifts the Hair on Your Skin
When it comes to shaving your face, you may sometimes be slacking on the regimen. However, you shouldn’t be punished for having a slightly longer beard or mustache.
Applying a shave cream with a brush helps with lift the hair from your skin and exfoliating the skin. This helps your razor cut through hair without any tugging — which you probably know just how much of a lifesaver this is going to be for your shave experience.
- Reduces the Number of Cuts
When you apply a shave cream to your face prior to your shave, you soften the skin. Softer skins will mean you have more elasticity, so you won’t have to put as much pressure on your face with the razor when you’re trying to get a close shave.
Less pressure on your face from the blade will lead to fewer cuts during your shave.
- Eliminate Razor Burn
Razor burn happens to just about every guy. When you use a shave cream, you provide a barrier between your face and the razor. This barrier protects your face, giving your razor a significantly reduced chance of cutting off the top layer of skin, which causes the razor burn.
When you have razor burn, you are only cutting off enough of the top layer of skin to irritate it, but not make you bleed. This feeling can persist for days until your face fully heals. A lathering cream offers you a great chance at completely eliminating any razor burn when you’re shaving.
- Nourish and Enrich Your Face
Depending on the cream you choose, it will contain special, active ingredients inside of it to help rejuvenate the skin and give it the necessary minerals and vitamins it needs.
Not only will your shaving cream moisturize your skin, it also helps with adding that “glow” that us guys love to have when we are out, trying to impress the ladies.
- Great Fragrance Scents
Listen, guys, there’s nothing wrong with admitting that you enjoy your products smell great when you’re using them, even your shaving cream. Unlike gels, you can pick from a wonderful selection of scents for your shave cream.
Most brands offer different scents, giving you an option of a scent you enjoy in the best shave cream you pick.
If you decide you want to use a shave cream, you won’t have to worry about doing anything after your shave. You just apply the shaving cream, shave and you can head out to your event.
The cream already moisturizes and nourishes your face and it leaves a great scent that you won’t have to mask.
You’ll need to learn practical methods for applying the best shave cream to get the most benefits from it. So let’s move further into how you should use your traditional shave cream.
How You Lather Using a Shave Cream
You will have two options when you are using a shaving cream. You can either use it with a brush or use it by hand.
Using the first option (with a shave brush) is going to be more advisable; however, using your hands is ok as well.
Directions with a Shave Brush
- Wet your face thoroughly with warm water. This will help with dispersing the shave cream around and start to loosen the hair.
- Take your brush and dip it into the cream, taking an almond-shaped amount from the jar. You won’t need a lot of shaving cream when you’re applying it with a brush. The creams are concentrated, so you will never have to use a lot of the cream.
- Lather your face with the cream, using circular motions to spread it throughout the face with your brush. Take your time and ensure that you lather your entire face with the cream to get maximum results.
- Use additional water when needed, adding more of the shave cream as needed. Additional warm water will disperse the remaining cream and prevent you from going through the shave cream quickly.
- Shave with your safety razor, being sure to use as little pressure as possible per pass.
After you’re done, rinse your face off thoroughly, towel dry and you’re ready to go.
Here’s a video to help you with this.
Directions without a Shave Brush
I always recommend getting a shave brush to improve the richness of the later and to help exfoliate the skin better. It’s preferred over your hands, but you can also use that. Here’s how.
- Rinse your face off with warm water and let it sit, partially wet, for several minutes.
- Fill a mug or bowl with hot, boiling water and let it sit for several minutes while you wait for the water on your face to help soften the hair.
- Empty the hot water from the bowl or mug.
- Add the cream to center of your warm mug or bowl. Begin to mix the shave cream in a bit, using circular motions.
- Add in small drops of warm water and continue to mix for about a minute before applying.
- Apply the lather to your face, making sure you massage the hair with your fingers as you run the cream through it.
- Shave with your safety razor, getting the closest shave without applying too much pressure. Add more water to your face as needed to help soften the hair even further if you have coarse hair.
- Rinse and pat dry your face and you’re ready to leave the house.
If you don’t have a brush, make sure you’re taking your time with the hand lathering. You want to exfoliate as best as possible and add that protective barrier between your skin and your razor.
Here’s a great video to help you learn to apply a lather without a beard brush.
Now that you have all the tips you need for lathering with a shaving cream, let’s look further into what you should look for when purchasing a shaving cream.
Qualities to Avoid for in a Shaving Cream
As you go through the purchasing processes with shaving creams, you want to be mindful of the ingredients in some of them. Studies throughout the years have shown that certain lathering products contain harmful toxic and by-products. These are causing more harm than good for men who shave.
Here are ingredients you want to avoid when looking into the best shaving cream.
These can include anything from sodium lauryl sulfate to TEA and MEA. These detergents may strip your face of all toxins, but it also removes all of the essential oils in your face. This can cause dry skin or a dermatitis flare-up if you’re not careful.
- Chemical Dyes
Chemical dyes that contain D& C, HC and FD&C colors are a huge ingredient you want to avoid. Most gels and foams have this color (turning them green and blue), which is one of the reasons they are shunned from the shaving industry.
Certain creams contain these harsh chemicals and they can cause allergic reactions or rashes for men who use them, which is unsightly and painful on your face.
- Synthetic Perfumes
Shave creams with great health properties and scents don’t contain synthetic perfumes. These cosmetic perfumes can cause multiple reactions including skin rashes, irritation, headaches, dizziness and allergic reactions.
If you’ve ever had a breakout from a cologne before, you are probably allergic to the synthetic ingredients and you’ll want to be even more aware of these in your cream.
- By-Product of Alcohol
When you read the label, take a close look at the end of every ingredient. If anyone ends with an -ol suffix, this means that it contains alcohol in it and it will be detrimental to your skin.
When you apply alcohol to your skin, it causes the follicles to dry and cause peeling, burning, skin eruptions and even swelling. Alcohol is no joke and it shouldn’t be in any product you apply to your face.
- Petrochemical By-Products
Mineral oils, petroleum or even paraffin could be found in a shaving cream. While these are meant to help with the lathering process, it actually does more harm than good.
These chemicals clog your pores, preventing your skin from breathing. This can cause acne and hair bumps to surface on your face.
Ingredients to Look for in the Best Shave Creams
Along with avoiding the above ingredients, there are a few ingredients you could look forward to in a natural shave cream that will promote the health of your skin. Here’s what every unkempt guy needs to look for in his cream.
- Natural Oils
Despite having the name “oil” in them, natural oils aren’t oily at all for your skin. Most oils (coconut, jojoba, avocado, tea tree) evaporate almost immediately when they touch your skin.
The essential nutrients from the oils stay on your skin and absorb quickly through the layers of skin. The base of your shaving cream will be an oil-based, so pick one that has a base that works best with your skin.
- Essential Oils
Essential oils provide the wonderful scent to your shaving cream. When you’re looking into scents, look at which essential oils they put in. These are concentrated versions of a plant, flower, root or fruit that provides you with more than just a great smell, but also promotes health benefits in your body.
Most of these will help detoxify your face and can make a huge improvement on how you feel after a shave. Each essential oil will help characterize the lathering cream and make it unique to others. Take time to learn more about the benefits of each essential oil so that you can see which one will ideally work for you and boost your health.
- Aloe Vera for Sensitive Skin
If you’re a guy who suffers from sensitive skin issues during your shave, you may want to look into a shaving cream that has Aloe Vera in it. This is a natural antiseptic, which can help heal any razor burn or cuts you do get during your shave.
You will feel these small little burns and nicks for a lesser time period than without the Aloe Vera. This is essential in the best shave cream
Each of these has an important role in helping to protect your face when shaving. The essential oils can prevent nicks and cuts, even more, eliminate burn and even provide you with a little more energy.
Get the Best Shave of Your Life with a Shaving Cream
While you may have your ideal electric razor for when you’re on the go, nothing will ever compare to the feeling of a wet-shave. Dry-shaves never provide you with the close shave. In the end, you find yourself with less satisfied results.
Switch to a wet-shave and you’ll never have to worry about that again. The ideal shave cream is out there waiting to help give you the best shave of your life.
Remember guys, you want to keep your best shaving cream up and away from your kids. There is a huge health hazard with the ingestion of shaving creams. So, be sure to store your razor kit in a secure spot. This way you’ll have access to it whenever you need.
Check Out the Top Shave Creams in 2018
Now that you know everything about how to shop for a shave cream, you need to go through the process of shopping for it. You should check out our two other posts that include the 5 best shaving cream products and 5 best shave creams for sensitive skin.