Unless you’re wearing a beard, you’ve got to shave every day. That’s just a fact of being a man. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with shaving for a long time – I couldn’t find a razor that I really liked, and I didn’t have a shaving cream that both worked well for me and was all natural.
I made the switch from an electric razor to the Preserve recycled plastic cartridge razor, mostly to get a better shave, but those razors with multiple blades gave my skin a hard time with razor bumps and burn and ingrown hair. And then the fact that I had to throw away the cartridges made me really reconsider the way I shaved.
So I bought a double edge safety razor, and my face was overjoyed. No more razor burn, no more bumps, and the blades are cheap and can be recycled. I recommend the Merkur safety razor, but the Retro Razor is another good choice. One step beyond that is not having any blades to recycle – a straight razor – but I haven’t yet purchased one. (Both safety razors and straight razors are made to last – things you’ll be be able to pass on as an heirloom to your grandson someday.)
That takes care of the tools for shaving, but what about the creams and gels and soaps and such? Most of the commercial shaving products on the market are filled with ingredients that read like the contents of a chemistry set – probably not the best choices for putting on your skin, especially as you’re scraping it with an extremely sharp device. I’ve found two different natural shaving creams that work for me, ones that are all natural and that give me a great shave.
Just the Goods Shaving Solid
Just the Goods makes a shaving cream solid that’s affordable and free of petro-chemicals, with veggie-based stearic acid and kaolin for razor slip and a great lather, plus essential oils of rosemary and lemon to disinfect, and tea tree oil providing antibacterial support. Shea butter moisturizes your skin, leaving a clean, smooth, and happy face.
I tried both varieties of Just the Goods shaving solid, the Tea tree oil and patchouli version and the rosemary and lemon variety, and I was able to work up a great lather without the usual chemical foaming agents. The scents of the shaving soaps were mild, with no strong after-scent, and my razor slipped nicely along my face, making for a great close shave. The product also rinsed cleanly and left my skin soft and moisturized. One of these cakes of shaving soap will last me a long time, so for those on a tight budget, it’s a great choice.
miessence Organic Shaving Products
When I first tried the miessence® certified organic shave gel, I was a bit leery of the effectiveness, as it’s a very light and thin gel, and I was used to thick, creamy products. However, when I began using it regularly, I found the right balance of wetness on my face that would give a good razor slip. The ingredients of the gel are formulated for sensitive skin, with aloe vera juice and witch hazel, plus other botanicals, and I can testify that my face wasn’t irritated by it.
I used the miessence® certified organic after shave balm as well, and that was a nice treat. Many of the after shave products I’ve tried left a waxy residue on my face, and I then need to wash my face again afterward. That wasn’t the case with the miessence® after shave. The product is made with organic aloe vera, organic chamomile and marshmallow root, witch hazel, and some very mild smelling essential oils.
While priced a bit higher than the shaving solid from Just the Goods, miessence® is a great choice for an organic shave gel, and you can feel good about the nature of the ingredients you are applying to your face. It’s available from ELY Organics.
Shaving Solid or Gel?
The two products are completely different – one is a solid, great for use with a shaving brush, and the other is a gel, good for just about any kind of razor. The things they have in common are the cleanness of the ingredients and the quality of the shave. If you’re looking for a natural shave product, I recommend checking these out for yourself or for the man in your life.
[Disclosure: I received review samples of these products from Just the Goods and ELY Organics.]