Words by Barney Bishop
Walk into most drug stores today to browse through the grooming section, and it’s quite easy to become overwhelmed by all the shaving cream choices now available. And more so than at any other time, the offerings available can leave most at a loss, especially when it comes down to what to choose.
So to cut down on the amount of time you spend figuring out what to buy, we’ve put together an easy guide with some key ingredients to help you make the right choice.
The Ground Work
As a lubricant, shaving cream essentially performs a few important functions, including cutting down on any friction when shaving, all while protecting and repairing your skin. And since you’ll be performing this act several times a week, the easier your razor glides across your face, the better it will look and feel.
Now if you didn’t already guess, moisture is crucial to the shaving process. It keeps skin soft and supple, which cuts down on friction that can often lead to razor burn and nicks. Additionally, your facial hair absorbs water, which makes it more weak and easier to shave. Given that water is typically in most shaving creams, bear in mind that there might be a slew of ingredients listed before the one you’re ideally looking for. You can also find moisture in other natural ingredients such as Aloe vera, shea butter, jojoba, almond and coconut oil, which lock moisture in place. If you have sensitive skin, definitely be on the lookout for shaving creams with aloe vera. It’s medicinal properties provide skin with the extra protection it needs.
When shaving, use as little pressure as possible to avoid any cuts or razor burn. Using priming oil prior to applying your cream is an excellent way to ensure the surface of the skin is slick enough for the razor to glide across. For that extra smooth shave, look for formulas with ingredients such as Macadamia Nut Oil, Glycerin and Soybean Oil.
The way we prepare for shaving is layered in such a way to protect our skin, because let’s face it, rubbing a sharp object across our face enough times is bound to cause a reaction. Quality shaving creams, however, offer a remedy that keeps stubborn irritations at bay. So look for natural anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe, chamomile, calendula and linden extract.
If you suffer from dry or sensitive skin, stay clear of scented creams. The extra ingredients used will only dry out your skin.