Choosing Your Shaving Foam
This is the first series of texts to debunk some misconceptions about wet-shaving. To do this, GROOM is inviting you to explore some of the critical components that will drastically change the way you shave – and the pleasure you get out of it.
Let’s get started with a guide on choosing your shaving foam.
From Chore to Ritual
Regardless of why you shave, it seldom is anyone’s first pick of activity to start the day. We all face the temptation of leaving the stubbles on whenever we’re in a hurry or when on holiday.
Since the three-day stubble and the full-bead looks are not so frowned upon so much anymore, here’s the big question: why bother shaving?
It’s a clear call for us at GROOM: because shaving, when done correctly, is a genuine, daily pleasure. Also, there’s a timeless elegance to a perfectly shaven face. So we’re switching the question for you. Instead of "Why do I shave?" how about "Why do I shave this way?". If your shave is something you beast through with little care, using cheap tools and products of questionable quality, it is and will always remain a chore. On the other hand, adjusting what you already know how to do with a few details will make it a welcome pause in the morning, a genuine "me moment." In a word, a ritual.
"My Skin is Too Sensitive."
Disliking shaving is one thing, but sporting a beard out of despair is another. Some fellows secretly wish to get rid of their beards but reluctantly admit their skin is "too sensitive to shave." And they have tried it all too! Three-blade cartridges, aloe strip, the seven-blade cartridges, not forgetting the vibrating handle with echolocation that runs on diesel (say what?). They have bought everything in the « men’s section » of the drugstore, they’ve listened to all the expert marketers that claim revolutions in shaving at every new gadget, they’ve even tried the pressurized cans of foam for sensitive skin. And nothing works; they still get the burn, the in-grown and the shaving bumps.
One could even think that they don’t want them to shave somewhere. Or wants to keep them unsatisfied with their shave, maybe because that will keep them buying the new gadgets?
But let’s get something straight: while indeed a portion of the population is more vulnerable to irritation, you should not let that stand in the way of your perfect shave. It could simply be a question of getting used to the proper techniques for all it is. Let’s walk through these tips that will tip your shave from pain to pleasure.
First of all: preparation. The morning is the best time for shaving; the skin is more relaxed. Then, don’t underestimate the importance of warm water, which helps open up pores, relaxes the skin’s micro muscles and softens the stubbles. It’s also a key ingredient for preventing in-grown irritation. « Morning » and « warm water » often rhyme with taking the morning shower; it’s indeed a great moment for shaving while you’re just stepping out of it. The other option would be to soak a hand towel in warm water and apply it to your face and neck for a couple of minutes. This should then be a moment to reflect on your day’s planner or the meaning of life, whichever seems most important on the spot.
Once you’ve given your face a warm-water treatment, it will be time to apply your shaving medium. We won’t surprise anyone by saying that here at GROOM, we strongly recommend using products that are 100% natural. Irritation is more often than not caused by compounds in these pressurized cans.
A Word on Pressurized Cans
Our eyes don’t see what’s happening in these cans, but you can certainly imagine this heavenly foam isn’t coming out of it by magic. Instead, it has to be propelled using a highly volatile gas. Isobutane is the most widely used in the industry… that’s right, the same butane that heats the cooking grill during camping. While there’s no proof it is toxic for the skin, it is highly flammable, and caution is mandatory when manipulating it, hence the vast hazard notices on the labels. Maybe not quite the thing to put you in the right mood this morning?
However, the various gases and other propelling chemicals in the pressurized cans have a drying and irritating effect on the skin. To compensate for these, a lot of moisturizing and soothing ingredients are added, aloe extract being a champion here. That’s why phrases such as "moisturizing formula," with natural ingredients," or the overstated "for sensitive skin" are being used because there are some moisturizing, biological agents in there. But what is that worth when the said ingredients are there because – and can’t manage to cover up the drying effect – of the other components? Adding aloe extract to hinder the irritation caused by the propelling gases and compounds is comparable to putting up a frame in front of the hole and claiming you’ve fixed the wall. But wait a minute. Not seeing the gap doesn’t answer the question: why did you punch a hole in it in the first place on Earth?
What we’re getting through here is this: making the right decision from the start by picking natural ingredients, such as those found in GROOM Shaving Cream and Shaving Soap, is the best way to stay clear from irritation and discomfort while shaving.
Shaving Cream or Soap: What's the Difference?
Both our cream and soap are made using 100% natural ingredients. They offer incomparable comfort and an enhanced shave quality by softening the stubbles, allowing a smooth glide of the razor while moisturizing the skin. What else do you need?
But what is the difference between the cream and the soap? While both excel at the same job, they slightly differ in how they are being used, depending mainly on one thing: do you, or do you not own a Shaving Brush?
We’ll tackle the benefits of the shaving brush in another post. For the moment being, let’s state that the meeting is meant to turn the soap into a lather by incorporating air and a small quantity of water. The fact that the soap has a solid form dramatically increases its durability, but using it as a brush is mandatory. Therefore, the soap could be seen as the more traditional shaving medium, but what do you know, it also is more economical and environment-friendly!
On the other hand, GROOM Shaving Cream is a more versatile product used with or without a brush. Instead of simply using your fingertips on a wet face, you can apply it. As you massage it on, you’ll notice it begins emulsifying, and it spreads thinly on the skin. Please don’t be shy to add a bit more water to your face; it’s all about getting the moisture balance right. However, if you do own a brush, you’ll be happy to know our cream works, especially with a meeting too. Dip the tip of it in the jar to get some cream out – you need about a pea-size, and lather your heart away (using a bowl or straight onto your face). Moreover, the cream is an ideal stepping stone for anyone new to shaving brushes or making the first steps into better shaving practices. It is very intuitive to use and will highlight the benefits of using a better quality shaving medium.
We hope this first introduction to shaving by GROOM has encouraged you to engage in a better shave. Or, even better, that we’ve convinced you that shaving doesn’t have to be a chore but rather a pleasurable, relaxing moment, as long as it is performed with quality, ethical products.
Have you enjoyed the read? Make sure to visit back; we’re only getting started here.