Shaving is a fact of life for most. Both men and women have felt the need to chop off hair as close as possible to their skin for thousands of years. I am no exception. Seeing as I shave my face almost every day and realizing that there’s millions of other things I would rather be doing at 7:00AM, I have made it my mission to find the best, most comfortable, fastest and generally most enjoyable method of shaving available. I have tried disposable razors, fancy razors with up to 6 blades, straight razors, shaving cream, shaving gel, shaving soap and for a period of time I even just gave up and let my beard grow. This has all changed now though, because I found olive oil.
It all started when I read an article called The Shaving Cream Racket that explains that shaving cream does more harm for your skin than good. In the article, it says that you should shave with baby oil or mineral oil instead of the foamy cream most people use. At the time, I wasn’t ready to make the switch. I only had this one article and no real proof that shaving with oil was actually good for you.
A few months later, I was walking through the shaving section at the drug store, and I noticed that they were selling shaving oil in tiny little bottles. It was at this time that I realized that people must actually shave with oil and decided to give it a try. The instructions were pretty simple: “Wet face and hands. Put 4 or 5 drops of oil in your hands and rub into skin. Shave and admire.” The ingredients were even simpler: A few natural oils, including sunflower oil and grapeseed oil, vitamin E and aloe vera. No olive oil though.
It was pretty weird at first, because I was used to lathering up my face and then shaving nice lines through the foam. Now, however, my face looked bare, and I was shaving through nothing. The feel of the shave is a bit more sticky although I’m sure there’s a better way to describe that feeling. It has less glide than using shaving cream, but it is still smooth. I didn’t find that it was any harder to shave with oil. Cleanup, however, was much easier. There were no globs of shaving cream on the counter or hidden behind my earlobe. I didn’t have to wash my face all over again. I only wiped off a few hairs and I was good to go.
The little bottle of shaving oil lasted surprisingly long. A few months at least. During this time, I read another article which listed several interesting uses for olive oil. Number 21 in the list states “Soften your skin. Rub olive oil daily on notoriously dry areas, such as your feet or elbows, especially after a shower, shaving, or waxing.”
I realize this doesn’t directly state that you should shave with olive oil, but once my little bottle of shaving oil was done, I thought that I’d give it a try anyway. I poured a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a dish and used the little bottle to suck it up. I then had a small bottle of olive-shaving-oil ready for use. The shave is the same as if I was using the store-bought oil mixture, however, there are several advantages to using straight up EVOO.
- Cost. You’re paying far less for a huge bottle of olive oil than if you were to buy the little shaving oil bottles which can cost between $5 and $10 each.
- Health benefits. Olive oil is well known to have many health benefits. Even Jeanne Calment who lived to 122 years of age claimed she rubbed olive oil into her skin which contributed to her longevity.
- Less oily than mineral oils. This goes against what the first article suggested. I have never tried shaving with baby oil or mineral oil, but probably never will.
In addition to the above, you’re getting all the other benefits of shaving with an oil. It’s faster, cleaner and leaves your skin feeling smoother. I don’t use aftershave and I often purposefully leave the oil on my skin without rinsing when I’m done shaving.
I urge you to give it a shot. Have a hot shower, then while your face and hands are still wet, rub in 4 or 5 drops of extra virgin olive oil into your skin. Or, for women, try rubbing it on your legs. Then just shave it off using your favourite razor. Stick with it for a month or two and see how you feel. I think you’ll agree that olive oil is better than what you’re using now.