If you love that baby-soft feel of your skin after a close shave, you know that two types of skin can spoil your fun—sensitive skin and dry skin. Most commercial aerosol shaving creams do little more than lubricate the skin just long enough for you to glide the razor over it. Men often find it irritating to apply an after shave lotion after shaving with one of those shaving creams, and women often find it unbearable to apply antiperspirant immediately after shaving.
It’s not just the quality or sharpness of the razor blade that matters. Prepare the skin to receive the razor blade and conditioning the skin after shaving is just as important as a sharp razor. Dead skin cells in need of exfoliation provide the drag that causes an uneven stroke when you shave, and that often results in nicks, scrapes, and bumps.
Oil and glycerin present the best surfaces for the razor blade, creating a minimum of drag. Both also contain conditioning properties. You should be able to apply one of the quick fixes below.
It’s best to know your options before you run out of your favorite shaving cream, lotion or oil. Once you try a simple solution, you may never purchase the commercial preparations again.
• Baby oil – Apply the baby oil to wet skin, allow it to penetrate the skin and shave.
• Body scrubs – Most body scrubs are suspended in an oil-based solution. Use the body scrub according to the directions, and rinse lightly to remove the pumice, coffee, flax seed, salt, or sugar, but not the oil. Using a body scrub is a great time-saver when you’re in a hurry. It serves triple duty–exfoliating, lubricating and moisturizing.
• Hair conditioner – Rich conditioners, applied to wet skin before shaving, work well as a shaving cream and the remaining traces serve as an after-shave moisturizing agent. The very best hair conditioners are the ones that come with hair color. The next time you color your hair, save the spare hair conditioner for shaving emergencies.
• Aloe – If you have an aloe plant, you have an entire bathroom closet full of simple lotions, potions and remedies. Break off part of a stem, and squeeze the gel onto your wet skin. The razor blade will glide right over the skin. Apply a little more as a moisturizer after shaving.
Making Your Own Shaving Oil
If you’re going to the trouble of making your own shaving oil, it’s probably because you want something better and less expensive than the commercial shaving concoctions. Even if you use the finest ingredients, you’ll still pay less and get much better results than you would using a store brand.
You’ll need a minimum of two ingredients: a base oil (also known as a carrier oil), one or more essential oils, and an optional third ingredient–glycerin. Mix and match the suggested ingredients until you find just the right combination for you skin.
Carrier or Base Oils
Use one of the following oils as your base or carrier oil.
• Olive oil
• Coconut oil
• Palm oil
• Sweet almond oil
• Jojoba oil
• Sesame oil
• Grape seed oil
Note: You can substitute cocoa butter for the carrier oil if you prefer a shaving cream.
Basic Shaving Oil Formula
• Carrier oil
• Essential oils (see essential oil combinations below) – 5-10 drops per ounce of carrier oil
• 1/8 teaspoon glycerin per ounce of carrier oil
Mix all ingredients thoroughly, and shake well before each use. Store in a dark amber glass container in a cool area.
Note: The formula above creates a 1-2% dilution. ALWAYS perform a small patch test on the inside of your arm for sensitivities or reactions before using. Do not use essential oils if pregnant, ill or recovering from illness. Start with a 1% dilution, and never use a stronger dilution than 2%. A little essential oil goes a long way. If you experience any unpleasant effects, discontinue use immediately.
Adding a Single Essential Oil
Add any of the following single oils to the carrier base.
Adding an Essential Oil Blend
Start with equal amounts of the oils listed below, and adjust to accommodate your personal fragrance preference. When you’re experimenting, start with a 1% dilution, and increase to a 2% dilution. If you still need to add more of one or more essential oils, add more carrier oil.
• Sandalwood and cypress
• Lavender, chamomile, geranium
• Lavender, lemon, thyme
• Lavender, chamomile, marjoram
• Lavender, lemon, rosemary
• Orange, lemon, geranium
• Orange, lemon, chamomile
• Orange, lemon, lavender
To use the shaving oil, apply a small amount to wet skin before shaving. After shaving, apply aloe gel to sooth and moisturize skin.
Creating your own shaving oil allows you to create what you want to put on your skin, not what Madison Avenue deems will make you young, sexy, and rich, all with the flick of a razor.Creating your own