Monday, January 01, 2007

Why Use Shaving Cream?

You don't need shaving cream to get a close, nick free, blade shave, so why do men spend millions of dollars on it? Jeffrey Tucker describes shaving cream sales as a Racket. Is it basically a glorified soap? I have now completed a few no cream razor shaves making sure to keep my face and the blade wet with warm water. I DIDN'T SUFFER ONE RAZOR CUT DURING THOSE SHAVES and they were just as close. Now the blade I used was somewhat dull, but I was suffering recurrent cuts previously using the same blade with cream. In a piece entitled Razor Blade Blues I pondered the poor performance of hi-tech razor blades, but now I question the cream more than the blades! One absolute in blade shaving is to decrease the tensile strength of hair by keeping it wet, but what role does cream lubrication play? Supposedly the cream "softens and prepares" the skin (easier to nick?), prevents razor burn (wet face and razor should stop that), and skin irritation. I suspect it may actually cause skin irritation especially after the skin is nicked, and some may be allergic to it. I may experiment with a few different brands and types of razor blades, and the jury is out on using brand new blades with water only, otherwise shaving cream is history for me.

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