HomeWet ShavingA Fistful Of Reasons To Use A Pre-Shave Oil And A Few Alternatives Wet Shaving Though, for the most part, wet shaving gear acquisition is dictated strongly be personal preference, there are some specific reasons you may want to consider adding the best pre-shave oil to your kit. Let’s discuss some of these reasons. LACK OF EXPERIENCE BUILDING LATHER Lathering a shaving soap or cream is an art. Skill is acquired gradually and it can take months to get the hang of proper lathering technique. Unfortunately, a good, slick lather is essential to a comfortable shave. If you are struggling to master the art of lather and are looking for a “cheat” to carry you through until your lather is up to par, a pre-shave oil will do the trick. Slickness, the most important quality of a good lather can be synthesized by simply putting a layer of slippery oil underneath the soap before the shave. As your skill improves, you can try skipping the oil occasionally until you no longer need it. DRY SKIN Some of us suffer from dry, flaky, itchy skin. A pre-shave oil will aid in retaining the moisture absorbed by your skin from your shower andalleviate dryness. It can also shield your skin from the drying effects of a most soaps. It is important to understand that a person may actually have dry and oily skin. To find out if that’s you try adding a pre-shave oil and an aftershave lotion to the mix. This may actually result in less oily skin and fewer breakouts. Despite what you may think, your oily skin may be your body trying to conserve the moisture of your overly dried and stripped skin. The pre-shave alone may help alleviate this condition, but likely pre-shave combined with a moisturizing aftershave will be most effective in extreme cases. As one who struggled with oily skin and frequent breakouts myself, I recommend anyone with oily skin try this, it may be the answer you’ve been searching for. SENSITIVE SKIN The action of scraping a razor across your face can be very traumatic to thin or sensitive facial skin. Though a good soap or cream generally provides ample slickness to prevent irritation, in some extreme cases additional lubrication is needed to prevent the dreaded razor burn. Liberal use of a pre-shave oil may be just what the doctor ordered to solve that ultra-sensitivity issue while shaving. PERSONAL PREFERENCE Like anything in wet shaving, you may just prefer a pre-shave oil. The wonderful thing is that it’s perfectly fine to use any product just because you want to. Whatever works for you is always best practice, no matter what any so-called expert may say. PRE-SHAVE OIL ALTERNATIVES When you begin thinking about wet shaving you come to realize just how much room for customization there is. If you are just starting out or if you are getting a lot of nicks and irritation you are probably wondering if a pre-shave oil might be the solution. Browsing through the options you quickly realize how expensive these oils can be. The inner skinflint is probably shouting at you about how exorbitant the prices are, and, he asks, “How do you know it will even work?” Some people swear by pre-shave oils and some are apathetic. Many claim they make all the difference in the world, others swear they make no beneficial difference. This presents the following problem: Which camp are you in? If you’re like me you don’t want to drop $20 to find out. If that’s you, then you’re in luck! Lets look at a couple of options that are inexpensive that you can try without breaking the bank trying the more expensive products. CREMO SHAVING CREAM Though this product is marketed as a shaving cream it turns out it makes a better pre-shave. Apply it to your beard area with your fingers, working it into your beard before lathering up your soap. The Cremo will provide some additional slickness which may be just what you need to dispel those razor bumps. I tried it with my Razorock XXX shaving soap and it added the much needed glide for an effortless shave. In this case the orange soda-esque scent of the Cremo original mixed with the soap to produce an even more pleasing scent. The shave was definitely enhanced by the added slickness. Cleanup was terrible, though. The Cremo is “water activated” but not particularly water soluble, making cleanup a laborious chore. I eventually gave up trying to get all the Cremo off and just finished up with my post shave routine. Cremo is a better pre-shave than a shaving cream, but I don’t find it excellent for either application. OLIVE OIL Olive oil has been known since ancient times to be good for your skin. There are still people who rub olive oil into their skin daily for healthreasons. Olive oil as a pre-shave may be just the thing you need to help clear up that pesky acne! Of the diferent grades of olive oil, the lowest (and cheapest) grade works best and is the least pungent. Apply just a few drops to your wet beard area a minute or two before you lather up. Once the lather is applied, the oil on your skin will provide plenty of slickness which is at its best when the head of your razor is wet. Olive oil made an appreciable difference in the glide and I could always tell when I moved on to shaving an area that didn’t have any oil applied. My skin absorbed most of the oil and the excess washed off surprisingly easily. Olive oil smells like. . . olive oil. It’s not the best odor, but it is faint. As an added bonus you can customize the scent by adding your favorite essential oils. There you have it, two low cost alternatives to buying expensive pre-shave oils. Once you give it a test run, maybe you’ll want to give the more expensive options a try, or maybe you’ll want to try a low cost recipe like this one. 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