Although shave cream has not yet becoming our offering for the upcoming six months, but we are still going to introduce you some unboring, scientifical look at the best shave creams. How they work and what you should know, and look for...
Although they differ in quality and proportion, the basic ingredients of shave creams are relatively uniform across brands. Each component has a distinct function: Fatty acids and oils provide moisture; glycerin helps follicles and skin retain that moisture and also affects viscosity; alkalis like sodium and potassium hydroxide help produce a lather to hold the hair up; and water softens texture and serves as a spreading agent, dissolving and evenly dispersing the ingredients. Altering the proportion of those ingredients is what changes the consistency and texture of the cream (not to mention the price). The more fats and oils included, the richer and thicker the cream should be — like with Dove Men+Care's new Expert Shave ($26; dovemencare.com), which sticks to your face during the shave and moisturizes your skin almost as much as a separate lotion.
Any liquid, like olive oil, water, or even spit, can be used to shave. But it won't reduce friction as well as shaving cream, and it certainly won't protect your skin. At its most fundamental, a shaving cream lets the razor glide through and slice hairs rather than painfully yank them. But a good shave cream also includes high-quality oils to imbue both whiskers and skin with moisture. What's most impressive about Harry's Shave Cream (harrys.com) is that it manages to do all of this for only $8.
When you cut hair off your chin, you're taking a layer of skin with it, which can leave your face feeling dry and irritated. The best shave creams integrate healing ingredients to reduce irritation and keep you protected against whatever elements your skin might encounter that day. Royal Apothic's Ultra Shave Creme-Gel ($30; royalapothic.com) has additional vitamin E, which protects against skin-damaging free radicals, and jasmine and cedar-wood oils to help you smell nice. It's so lightweight it feels more like moisturizer than shave cream. Or, if you don't mind skipping a meal to pay for it, Acqua di Parma's Collezione Barbiere shave cream ($70; groominglounge.com) goes one step further, adding antiaging ingredients like hyaluronic acid. If your skin is sensitive, you're betting off avoiding scents altogether and using something like Art of Shaving's unscented cream ($16; theartofshaving.com).
A Best New Time to Shave: Whenever You Want
If the goal of shave cream is to build up moisture in the hair, shaving after a hot shower, when your whiskers have absorbed water, is ideal. But if time is an issue (and because good shave creams are full of moisturizing agents), you can get the same effect by leaving the cream on for a couple minutes before shaving. Maybe bring your phone in the bathroom to pass the time.