Essential Oils for Shaving – A Man versus Oils Mansperiment

Hello again manly oilers. Hopefully you all had a fantastic break and if you are like me, you are starting to wind up again for another big year ahead. I admit I have struggled to get myself moving but after a major shaving issue just after Christmas, I have the results of another essential oils mansperiment to report. This time it is about all things shaving.

You see I had got a little ‘hairy’ over the break and when it came time to shave, ooohhh the shaving rash… I have always been susceptible to shaving rash and hence always used aloe vera shaving gel for sensitive skin, some decent razors with a moisturising stripe and some good manly moisturiser afterwards. This works most of the time, but if my skin has had a bit of extra exposure to the sun, salt or wind – which is a constant occurrence for me based on where I live – then some razor burn is always going to be a given.

So rather than try and locate some even more sensitive skin friendly shaving cream, I decided to test the chemical free path and use some essential oils for shaving.

Oh, and if your man-time is short, you can click here to jump straight to the final result…

What is Razor Burn?

Razor burn is essentially any inflammation or irritation to the skin that is caused by the use of a razor against it. man skinThese irritations include:

  • Stings
  • Rashes
  • Pimples
  • Burning
  • Swelling
  • Itchiness

I personally tend to suffer from itchiness and lots of little pimples that give a slight buring sensation when touched.

What was I using?

As outlined above, I was using an aloe vera based shaving gel with a decent razor (i.e. The $9 disposable kind not the $2 ones). I will admit that this did work most of the time and really didn’t give me too much grief. However, the shaving gel in particular does contain a lot of chemicals with loooooong names. Some are natural and some not so much. I also use a man-moisturiser afterwards.

It is probably important to note here that I do not intend on changing the razor as such here as my aim is to utilise the non-chemical based shaving cream to see if I can get similar results without the use of chemicals. I do also plan in the future to use a chemical free after shave moisturiser. In the interests of keeping this test stable however I will continue to use my current moisturiser as it contains a SPF15 sunscreen which was recommended by my skin guy (yes, I have a skin guy… after all I do live on the coast in a warm climate with freckly fair skin).

I have included below some pictures of the chemicals found within my current shaving gel.  They are not real clear due to the type of can, but hopefully you get the guist…Shaving gel chemicals 2Shaving Gel chemicals 1

What will I be testing?

For my chemical free, sensitive face shaving creams I have created three mixtures that I will be trialing. As a carrier oil for these I have chosen Coconut Oil due to its common use in skin care products. It also has natural antioxidant properties which make it great for skin irritation.

Note – the drops of listed is the number of drops for every tablespoon (tbs) of Coconut Oil.

My three chemical free shaving recipes to be tested are as follows

YL Frankincense Essential Oil
Click here to purchase

Test 1

3 drops of Frankincense essential oil

1 tbs Coconut oil

Why? – Frankincense essential oil is also used in many skin care products especially those aimed at treating dry skin and scarring. It is also used in a range of acne treatment products.

Test 2

3 drops of Peppermint essential oil

YL Peppermint Essential Oils
Click here to purchase

1 tbs of Coconut oil

Why? – I chose Peppermint essential oil for its soothing abilities as well as its acne treating capabilities due to its properties as a natural anti-inflammatory.

Test 3

3 drops of Idaho Blue Spruce essential oil

1 tbs of Coconut oil

Why? Well firstly because I love the smell of this one. In reality however I decided to choose

YL Idaho Blue Spruce Essential Oil
Click here to purchase

one that is not really known for its skin care qualities so much as its supposed benefits in al things manly. It is said to be extremely invigorating and calming for the male of the species as well and for leveling hormone and testosterone levels (not to mention the heh..hmm libido). So why not give it a shot hey?

Others

Look, there are a few other essential oils you could try including Lavender, Wintergreen and Tea Tree. All of these oils contain similar soothing, anti inflammatory and moisturising properties as the ones I have chosen. They are all commonly used in skin care and acne control products so if you have them instead of the oils I have listed, give them a go instead!

How did I use them?

In order to ensure that I was giving my little potients of manly shaving goodness the best opportunity possible to work, I made sure that when I tested them that I followed other protocols aimed at avoiding irritation to my sensitive man-skin. These include:

  • Shaving directly after a shower.
  • Applying a lubricant – my test recipes.
  • Using a new, sharp blade.
  • Shaving in the direction of hair growth – this one I admit to breaking often – I mean it just seems to shave closer going against the grain.
  • Keeping the razor clean – some of the research I found outlined rinsing the blade after EVERY stroke. I tend to do two or three strokes per rinse minimum.
  • Not shaving the same area over and over – another one I tend to break.
  • Applying a post shave man-moisturiser – see above re continued use of current brand.

I also tested my chemical free shaving cream options at least 7 days from a previous shave. This is when I am usually most susceptible to shaving rash. My final judgment of the success of the mixture was also determined on the day after shaving as this is when I normally feel my worst discomfort. Oh, and no after-shave lotions were used.

Shaving kit 2

The results

In all honestly, I was able to shave quite well with all three. I do have to admit that the coconut oil doesn’t feel as though it sticks to the face as well as normal shaving cream but it is certainly oily enough to provide a good level of lubrication. I also found that due to the coconut oil I did need hot water to clean the blade which is also a common cause of razor burn so be sure to cool the blade a little before your next stroke – I just waved it in the air a little.

Post shave I did also find it a bit of an ‘odd’ feeling applying the moisturiser when using these shaving ‘creams’. This may be due to the fact that I already had an oily substance on my skin so to be honest, I am not sure I needed it. I guess it may just demonstrate how much normal shaving gel can dry out the skin??

Test 1 – Frankincense

During shave – No discomfort

Directly after shave – Smooth and no discomfort

Day after shave – Minor shave related pimples and no redness

Now is probably the time to admit I was skeptical, but this one worked. I felt no discomfort during shaving and only had a couple of minor shave pimples the following day. This is common for me with my original shaving gel so it certainly didn’t perform any worse.

Test 2 – Peppermint

During shave – Slight discomfort due to the ‘cooling’ sensation of the oil’s menthol properties

Directly after shave – Smooth and no discomfort to the actual skin once I rinsed my face quite thoroughly

Day after shave – Minor shave related pimples and no redness

This one also worked, in fact probably a little better than test 1. What I didn’t really like however was the sensation that the peppermint oil gave whilst I was actually shaving. It is probably just my skin type and may also be due to the fact that I really don’t love that menthol, minty goodness but never the less, I was not a fan.

Test 2 – Idaho Blue Spruce

During shave – No discomfort – LOVE the smell

Directly after shave – smooth and no discomfort

Day after shave – Shave related pimples more evident that tests 1 and 2 – probably not as good as with my original shaving gel and definitely not as good as the Frankincense and Peppermint options

As said above, this one definitely didn’t work as well as the previous two tests but certainly not bad enough to discontinue use in a chemical free ongoing capacity if I chose to. I admit to not really identifying any difference in testosterone levels or calmness but I only used it once so maybe that is a mansperiment for another day.

Conclusion

In short, whilst there was no real tangible improvement in my face when using my coconut and essential oil mixtures, there was no increased discomfort or rash either. Simply put, in my quest to go with a chemical free option, then I would have to recommend this mansperiment as a way to go.

My own personal choice would be to use the frankincense option as I personally didn’t really enjoy the sensation of the peppermint. However, the peppermint essential oil is $12 cheaper per bottle for 10ml more oil so if you can handle it, then I would go that way purely out of cost-effectiveness.

Young Living Shutran Shaving Cream

If you would prefer to go for a more standard, robust chemical free shaving cream experience, then I would also have

YL Shutran Shave Cream
Click here to purchase

a look at the Young Living Shutran Shaving Cream option (in light of the fact that the coconut oil option does feel a little ‘loose’ on the face – yes, that is the technical term). Shutran is an essential oil blend consisting of many of the most manly essential oils on the planet and is especially recommended as a natural skin care ingredient for men. Why didn’t I use it in my mansperiment? Quite simply, as it is priced at around $125 per bottle, I wanted to give you some more realistic and cost effective options.  But if you are looking to spoil yourself then go for it!

The shave cream however is much more cost effective at around $33 per 70 gram tube. I haven’t tried or tested this as yet as I still have a little of my own mixture left to use – my wife is a stickler for not wasting oils – so once they are done I will order some and update this post.

Bonus material – Chemical free aftershave recipes

Man after showerAgain, I haven’t got around to testing these for the reasons outlined above, but as I found them during my research why wouldn’t I want to add them in for you. These recipes do require a few more ingredients however for a complete chemical free experience in all areas shaving, give these a try:

After shave 1 – Woodsy aroma

8 drops Cedarwood

YL Cedarwood Essential Oil
Click here to purchase

8 drops Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood

2 tbsp of witch hazel

½ tsp of almond oil

½ tsp vegetable glycerin.

Add to squeeze bottle and shake it well to combine everything.

After shave 2 – Fresh aroma

YL Lemon Essential Oil
Click here to purchase

8 drops Peppermint

8 drops Lemon

2 tbsp of witch hazel

½ tsp of almond oil

½ tsp vegetable glycerin.

Add to squeeze bottle and shake it well to combine everything.

After shave 3 – Manly aroma

8 drops Cypress

8 drops Marjoram

1 drop Wintergreen

2 tbsp of witch hazel

½ tsp of almond oil

½ tsp vegetable glycerin.

Add to squeeze bottle and shake it well to combine everything.

Apply to face directly after shaving and allow to dry.

Alternatively, if you are after a more eau de cologne type mixture, simply add the essential oils to a spray bottle with 1 cup of Vodka or witch hazel and apply to neck and wrist areas as required.

That’s it!

Have fun

Paul


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8 thoughts on “Essential Oils for Shaving – A Man versus Oils Mansperiment”

  1. I have suffered from razor burns all my adult years but never have i once thought of using an oil to shave other than the traditional shaving cream. I know there are many oils that can be used on the skin like coconut, olive oil or even jojoba oil. Switching to a natural alternative is always my goal when it comes to skin care, so i will definitely be checking out some of these oils to in cooperate in my grooming routine. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Reply
  2. This is a great article. I am really into natural alternatives and solutions and this is something my husband could do with. I never really thought about a natural way for men, but after reading this, I will definitely be getting my husband to try some of these. And I enjoy the smell of essential oils. Thanks for a great review, and the multitude of choices.

    Reply
  3. Wow that was such a nice information and experiment! I personally afraid to conduct experiment due to my sensitive face skin. In my country, the aromatic essential oil you’ve listed above (except peppermint) is hard to find.

    Maybe in the near future (just maybe), I want to try experimenting with available essential oils near my place. When conducting experiment, how many days should I check before moving to next oil type? Thank you for your suggestion

    Reply
    • Hi Alblue, I was aiting a full 7 days for the tests only because i wanted to see how the shaving rash went.  I would say you could swap around every few days till you found the best one for you.  Let me know how you go.

      Paul

      Reply
  4. Hi Paul
    I love that you are a man and doing a website to help people understand essential oils better from a man’s perspective. I already use essential oils and it is very difficult to even talk about them to a lot of men. I’m not sure why but maybe they think essential oils is more targeted for women. There is not enough education out there for men to find so hats off to you for taking steps to put essential oils in front of them, man to man. Well done.
    Ange

    Reply
    • HI Angela, yeah, I am not real sure either but I guess from my own experience it was my wife who got me interested. I honestly thought that they were a crock. Although I will say that once I started talking about them and my mates found out, some of them have come out of the woodwork and admitted use as well. I guess my role here is to try and remove some of the stigma.

      Thanks for your comments
      Paul

      Reply

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