Do you hate razor burn, ingrown hairs, and nasty skin irritation when you shave? Then you are definitely not alone! Some of the most common complaints by men about their shave routine revolve around these very things. Just what are some of the things men hate most about shaving with a cartridge razor? Here are some of the stats we found:
- 24% Not a close enough shave
- 22% Ingrown Hairs
- 19% Skin Irritation
- 13% Nicks/Cuts
- 13% Razor Bumps
- 8% Razor Burn
- 1% Grip of Handle
That is an astonishing 62% complaining about some form of skin problem due to shaving! To fully understand the skin benefits of a traditional shave, and how it can alleviate the above problems, you have to look at the individual components: These are the shave soap/cream, brush, and safety razor.
Shaving Soaps & Creams
Whether you decide on a shaving soap or a shaving cream, you will find that the ingredients used are superior when compared to commercial shave products. Not only are the ingredients of higher quality and more natural, they are also much friendlier towards your skin, which will ultimately leave you looking great and leave your skin feeling healthy.
Common ingredients in canned shaving foam include Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES), Parabens, Fragrance, and Triethanolamine, among half a dozen other chemicals. Looking at these ingredients (let alone trying to pronounce them!), it becomes evident that shaving foam is not all it’s cracked up to be.
SLS and SLES are lathering agents that are known skin irritants. Manufacturers of shaving foams find it necessary to use these agents, otherwise their products wouldn't come out foamy; they would just be gels. Parabens are used to inhibit microbial growth in cosmetics, however they have also been found in breast cancer tissue and are known estrogen mimickers. Fragrance, too, is harmful and was named "Allergen of the Year" in 2007 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. This is because fragrance can be any of 2800 different ingredients, and at minimum 100 of those are considered known allergens. The last ingredient to look at is Triethanolamine, which is an emulsifying agent; this means it holds the oils and water together. However, it is also a known irritant with potential carcinogenic effects.
Traditional wet shaving products on the other hand, for the most part, do not feature any of these ingredients except for fragrance; often this is from natural sources such as essential oils, or the irritants are listed. Not only that, but beneficial ingredients such as shea butter, lanolin, aloe, glycerin, coconut oil, vitamin E, and many others are often part of their formulation.
The Shaving Brush
Boar, badger, synthetic—no matter which brush you choose for your shave it will bring some amazing qualities to your skin. As you lather on your face, the brush gently exfoliates (think of those exfoliating scrubs people use—this is a softer version of it), and helps to release trapped hairs, minimizing ingrown hairs.
The Safety Razor
Lastly we come to the razor, the tool that will ultimately remove your beard. Regardless of whether you go with an Open-Comb, Closed-Comb, Butterfly, Adjustable, or a Slant, the benefits will be there. Because there is only one blade, the chance of ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and general irritation is reduced, as you are not experiencing the hysteresis effect, which actually cuts the hair below the skin.
Not only that but because you control the closeness of the shave, the chance for irritation is further reduced. In fact, dermatologists recommend one-bladed razors for exactly this reason. And since you can purchase a grip that suits you, the last 1% of the issues presented by men have been addressed.