Skin Care Products Shaving Cream

Grooming rituals for most men and women involve the use of shaving creams. For many, it’s a matter of grabbing a can and racing through the process. For others, it’s a luxury that begins with a search for the right cream to match the job.

A host of brands at all prices and quality levels fill the shelves, both at local stores and across the Internet. While this vast array of choices can be overwhelming, understanding which ingredients will best suit skin conditions and lifestyles will help you choose the best shaving cream for you.

Uses of Shaving Creams

When using shaving cream, facial, leg and underarm hair removal probably receives the most attention. However, other body parts may also require treatment.

As a shaving aid, shaving cream’s greatest feature, perhaps, is the fact that it is foamy and thick. Shaving cream stays in place on the face, legs or other body parts, softening the skin and hair follicles to make shaving easier.

Shaving cream serves several other purposes, including:

  • pre-moistening the skin
  • preventing irritation
  • reducing risks of cuts from the razor.

Types of Shaving Creams

The most common types of cream come in aerosol cans and are generally inexpensive. These tend to contain more chemicals that can cause increased irritation. At the higher end, tub and tube creams achieve the same lather effect through the use of a brush, rather than an aerosol component.

Some of the unique formulas that shaving creams feature can cater to those who need or want products that are:

  • for sensitive skin
  • fragrance-free
  • natural/organic
  • scented.

Shaving Cream Ingredients

Shaving cream ingredients and additives can provide varying experiences, including smoother skin and fewer dry patches. Some common shaving cream ingredients are:

  • aloe that promotes healing from razor damage
  • eucalyptus oil that cools the skin
  • glycerine that reduces irritation and drying
  • lanolin that moisturizes the skin
  • oils, such as coconut oil and olive oil, that protect the skin from cuts and razor damage
  • stearic acid that softens the skin and makes it easier to run a blade across the skin.

Avoid shaving creams that contain menthol and benzocaine. These are actually detrimental to maintaining healthy skin. Another ingredient, Sodium laurel sulfate, aids in foaming and is usually not harmful, but it can further irritate sensitive skin.

Choosing the Right Shaving Cream

Men’s and women’s shaving products do not vary much in terms of ingredients. All have choices in softening and irritation-reducing agents. The largest differences lie in scents and packaging.

The main thing to consider in choosing the best shaving cream is your skin type. Dry skin will benefit from products with moisturizers and those with oily skin can use shaving creams with mild astringents.

Choosing a shaving cream that caters to your skin type will also reduce the risk of razor burn and irritation. Most skin types can benefit from creams designated for sensitive skin. Women who shave at the bikini line will also want to choose the mildest product available.

How to Use Shaving Creams Effectively

Regardless of brand, an effective routine will provide a smoother shave. Here are some helpful tips for an effective routine:

  • Use warm water to soften the skin first. For the best results, try shaving after a shower. If shaving the skin at any other time of day, use a facecloth and allow the warmth to take effect for at least three to four minutes.
  • Avoid thickly layering shaving cream onto the skin and let it rest on the skin for a minute or two before shaving.
  • For men especially, hair should be shaved with the grain, or in the direction of hair growth. This will reduce or eliminate razor burn. In some areas, such as the underarms, hair tends to grow in several directions and requires several passes with the razor.
  • After each swipe of the razor, rinse the blade thoroughly to prevent clogging the blade with excess cream and hairs.

Resources

Hairchick.com (2004). Cream of the Crop: Choosing and Using a Great Shaving Cream. Retrieved April 5, 2008, from the Hairchick.com Web site: http://www.hairchick.com/shv/shaving-cream.php.

Healthy-Skincare.com (2006-2008). Choosing the Right Shaving Cream. Retrieved April 5, 2008, from the Healthy-Skincare.com Web site: http://www.healthy-skincare.com/shaving-cream.html.

Satisfied-mind.com (n.d.). Shaving Cream. Retrieved April 5, 2008, from the Satisfied-Mind.com Web site: http://www.satisfied-mind.com/drugstore/shaving.htm.