If marketing companies had their way, we would be reduced to sniveling, needy, financially poor creatures with horrible self-esteem. While a lot of the time I respect how clever marketing folk can be, other times I want to punch them so hard in the face that they’re knocked into next week. Why do I want to punch them? Because they are the BEST at creating mythical needs we don’t actually have just to sell a product that we didn’t want or need in the first place.
Case in point: Shaving Gel/Cream/Oils (I’m just going to call them Shaving Lubricants to lump all the different kinds together). Shaving Lubricants are the bunk because they’re over-priced, stuffed full of weird and unpronounceable ingredients, and are usually counter-intuitive to their point, which is protecting the skin while you slice your hairs off. Not only are they counter-intuitive, but they’re easily replaced with a cheaper alternative most people have in their cupboards: Oil.
I could bore the ever-loving crud out of you by blabbing on about the whole boring history of shaving lubes, where they came from, and how they turned into the chemically-laden, over-priced, cans of waste they are today. But, after suffering through that experience myself, I won’t subject you to the same snooze-fest.
All I’ll share is that the first form of shaving cream was found around 3000 B.C. (apparently personal grooming interests didn’t begin after the 70’s after all). Somewhere between then and now, shaving companies worked with marketing companies to hypnotize the general public into thinking there was a need for their crappy products.
Original shaving “cream” was usually made of wood alkali and animal fat. The animal fat was there to provide a protective and slick surface on top of the skin for the blade to easily glide over.
So, the whole point of a shaving lube is to do just that: lubricate the area where you are shaving so there’s less chance of razor burn, nicks, and cuts. That is IT. In that case, why do we need lathering agents and detergents added when shaving lubes are not meant to cleanse the skin we’re about the shave? Why do they need to be in a futuristic aerosol can that always adds a beautiful ring of rust to the bathtub? Why the hell are there tons of crazy ingredients in shaving products that I can’t pronounce? And why the zippidee-do-dah do I need to pay $5.00+ for a can of flowery shaving gel when I’m already spending 10 billion dollars per month on the damn razors with 50 trillion blades on them?
The answer is that you don’t! Do me a favor, the next time you shower, forgo your waste-of-money shaving products, and grab some oil from your cupboard. Any kind of oil will do really. I’ve used everything from olive oil, to coconut oil, to sunflower oil and they all work great. First positive of using oils? None of the ingredients below are included in them:
Second benefit is that you hardly need any oil to shave and it naturally locks in moisture. So not only will you be saving money from no longer purchasing shaving gel, but you’ll also be saving money on moisturizer, which you will no longer have to douse yourself in after a horribly drying shave.
You see, shaving creams and gels strip your body of your natural oils because they are basically detergents and contain possibly irritating ingredients. But you’re tricked into thinking they’re not because they’re called “creams” and “gels” and promise to “hydrate” and “lock in moisture.” The shaving companies are quite aware of this, and yet they do nothing to improve their products. Do you know what they do instead? Make more money off of you by offering the options for “sensitive” or “dry” skin, which cost more and have basically the same drying ingredients (plus maybe a pinch of aloe). Or they sell you “after care” products to use post-shaving that claim to add back the moisture they’re knowingly stealing from you.
So I say cut out the greedy, moisture stealing middle man. Save your money and your sanity by switching to oils as a shaving aid. Grab some oil, slap that stuff on wherever you’re shaving and shave. I dare you to tell me that you don’t get a close, painless shave and get out of the shower with skin as soft as the day you were born.
And just a wee hint (since I learned the hard way from dropping a glass bottle of olive oil in my bathtub), purchase a little squeeze bottle and fill it with your new shaving oil. You can probably purchase them at any Walgreens, CVS, or craft store. Or you can purchase them on Amazon here. If you’re using coconut oil, you’ll probably want to store it in a container, since it’s usually solid below 75 degrees.
Here’s to saving money and soft skin! Huzzah!