I’ve always been a minimalist when it comes to skincare products. Sharing a bathroom with my sister when I was younger meant brushing my teeth amidst a graveyard of half-empty bottles, and that has made me pretty averse to acquiring products that don’t seem totally necessary. In my time working at Kent of Inglewood, however, I’ve learned a lot more about how each product used in skincare and shaving has specific benefits. The most surprising one for me was pre-shave! I only tried it initially to better talk to customers about it, but I wound up a total convert.
I shave my legs, and I never considered my skin to be very sensitive. I would simply slap on some shaving cream and dive right in. I thought little bumps and dryness after shaving was so normal, I didn’t fully realize I was experiencing those problems! When I used pre-shave oil for the first time, it was a total revelation. My legs were next-level smooth, and gone was the uncomfortable dryness that would usually last up to three days post-shave.
Preshave gel is water-based, so no oily hands!
So how does it work? Pre-shave oil is pretty thick, so if you mix it with a little water on the area you plan to shave, a little goes a long way. Put a few drops on your wet hands, rub them together to get an even layer of oil, then apply to your skin. Pre-shave gel works similarly but absorbs into hair more readily, so it’s great for softening really coarse hair. Gels also tend to be popular among folks concerned about clogged pores caused by excess. Once you’ve applied your pre-shave product, follow up with your favourite shaving cream or soap and get shaving!
The pre-shave is doing a few jobs here: it works as a protective barrier to keep your razor blade from irritating your skin. It absorbs into the hairs to soften them while also lubricating your skin so your blade can glide smoothly. It also moisturizes! I’ll even throw a little more oil on after I’ve finished shaving to double up on its moisturizing benefits. And believe me, preshave isn’t just for shaving your legs. It works for shaving faces too, but it’s especially handy for trimming beards as it allows you to see exactly where you’re working. Worried about shaving your scalp with a safety razor? Throw on some preshave for an extra layer of protection!
Here are a few of my top preshave products, and why I love them:
A few of our favourite preshave oils, Hoxton, Like Grandpa, and Truefitt & Hill
This is the first one I tried, and it’s still a favourite. Its scent is well-liked by many folks with different tastes, so it’s great if you’re purchasing a gift. It applies easily and works well as part of a post-shave routine too!
I love Truefitt and Hill because they’ve been around for over 200 years, so they really know what they’re doing. Their pre-shave oil features a blend of citrus fragrances resulting in a delightfully fresh scent. They’ve blended a variety of oils to help even the most sensitive skin through the process of shaving.
Our unscented balm fits into the pre-shave gel category, which is beneficial for those shaving coarse hair as it is particularly effective at softening those hairs. The unscented formula minimizes irritation, and it’s water-soluble, which makes for easy cleanup! It’s the favourite of the barbers in our Calgary shop and anyone trimming their beard.
This aloe-based formula from Scotland was designed for sensitive skin. With plenty of aloe juice and no fragrance, this gel is soothing and works well with no irritation. This product is well-liked by all kinds and has a devoted following! It’s incredibly slick, so it’s like shaving on a slip & slide!
If you shave, you need to try a preshave oil. I guarantee you’ll notice the difference. If you need help choosing one, shoot us a message right here or visit any of our shops for advice!