The opinion on shaving amongst men is quite divided. For some, it is an enjoyable activity – they find the sliding of a razor across their face incredibly satisfying, as the blade precisely removes all of the unwanted facial hair. On the other hand, other guys believe that shaving is a nuisance, and if it were not socially expected of them, they would not be doing it at all.
Regardless of which side of the shaving debacle you’re on, you’re probably well aware of the unpleasant side effects of this routine, such as skin irritations and itchy bumps. More often than not, these are the results of lousy shaving practices, like utilizing a used-up razor or applying the wrong aftershave.
Finally, one of the most overlooked aspects of shaving is the significance of choosing the right shaving cream. Your skin type is not the same as any other guy’s, and it is not enough to simply go off a friend’s recommendation, or pick the cheapest option out there. Choosing the best shaving cream for your particular needs is more than merely a matter of price and other users’ experiences.
Picking out the right option for your skin is a deeply personal matter, and there are quite a few factors that you should take into consideration before making the final decision.
What Is Your Skin Type?
This is the most fundamental question you should be asking yourself when heading out to shop for new shaving cream. In fact, you should be asking yourself this question whenever purchasing care products that you will be applying directly on your skin.
Unfortunately, a lot of men’s skincare and shaving products have not yet implemented the right differentiation when it comes to labeling creams and other substances applied onto your face. This means that more often than not, you will have to resort to scanning the ingredients list on the label to search for irritants that might be the culprits behind your razor bumps and shaving scars.
In order to fully understand the type of your skin and which chemical compounds it poorly reacts to, you’ll probably have to pay a visit to a dermatologist. If you’re willing to experiment, though, here are the three most common irritants to look out for:
- Sulfates: you’ll find them under “SLS,” “ALS,” or “SLES.” Their names are different, but these acronyms are all indicators of the presence of sulfates in your cream. They are the single most common cause of shaving-related irritation and inflammation.
- Emulsifiers: they’re used in many toiletry products, and will most often be listed as DEA (diethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine), or MEA (monoethanolamine). Some of them are actually banned in certain countries due to the risk they pose to human skin health.
- Benzyl alcohol: although it is not as harmful as the compounds mentioned above, alcohol is a known irritant, and is most often used in shaving creams as a means to “freshen up” the smell of the substance.
There are many more suspicious substances that make up the formula for shaving creams of all kinds. Still, the three mentioned above are the most common ones – eliminating them from your bathroom might put an end to damaged skin as a result of shaving.
Besides checking for chemical irritants and determining your own skin type, you should be aware of many producers’ deceptive practices when it comes to pricing and releasing their products to the public.
First of all, do not try to save money on a shaving cream – the cheapest option out there will most likely contain all of the irritating chemicals that can contribute to the deterioration of your skin and overall health. If you really want to get the best bang for your buck, look out for bulk deals (3 for the price of 1, for example) or toiletry kits containing a bunch of male grooming products at an attractive price.
Secondly, do not fall for the trap of thinking that a higher price means better quality. Very often, the price is determined by factors that are completely unrelated to the actual quality of a product, such as branding.
In conclusion, when determining the quality of certain shaving cream in relation to its price, you should ask yourself whether the price reflects what went into the product – if it contains organic ingredients and no irritants mentioned above, then the pricing is justified.
The Bottom Line
There is no definitive answer to the question of which shaving cream is the most suitable for each particular skin type – every face is unique, and has its own needs and vulnerabilities. This is why it is so important to know yourself and investigate changes to your skin’s composition and health. If you think there is no mass-produced cream for you, you can always make one by yourself for the ultimate organic and healthy experience.