Choosing Your Shaving Foam

Shaving doesn't have to be a chore

This is the first of a series of texts aiming at debunking some misconceptions about wet-shaving. In order to do this, GROOM is inviting you to explore some of the key components that will drastically change the way you shave – and the pleasure you get out of it.

Let’s get started with a guide on how to choose your shaving foam.

From chore to ritual

Regardless of the reason why you shave, it seldom is anyone’s first pick of activity to start the day. Let’s be honest, we all face the temptation of leaving the stubbles on whenever we’re in a hurry, or when on holidays.

Since the three-day-stubble and the full-bead looks are not so frowned upon so much anymore, here’s the big question: why bother shaving?

It’s a clear call for us at GROOM: because shaving, when done properly, is a true, daily pleasure. Also, there’s a timeless elegance to a perfectly shaven face. So we’re switching the question for you. Instead of « why do I shave? », how about « why do I shave this way? ». If your shave is something you beast through with little care, using cheap tools and products of questionable quality, it is and will always remain a chore. On the other hand, adjusting what you already know how to do with a few details will make it a welcome pause in the morning, a genuine « me moment ». In one word, a ritual.

« My skin is too sensitive »

Disliking shaving is one thing, but sporting a beard out of despair is another. Some fellows secretly wish to get rid of their beard but reluctantly admit their skin is « too sensitive to shave ». And they have tried it all too! Three-blade cartridges, aloe strip, the seven-blade cartridges, not forgetting the vibrating handle with echolocation that runs on diesel (say what?). They have bought everything in the « men’s section » of the drugstore, they’ve listened to all the expert marketers that claim revolutions in shaving at every new gadget, they’ve even tried the pressurized cans of foam for sensitive skin. And nothing works, they still get the burn, the in-growns and the shaving bumps.

One could even think that someone, somewhere really doesn’t want them to shave. Or wants to keep them unsatisfied with their shave, maybe because that will keep them buying the new gadgets?

But let’s get something straight: while indeed a portion of the population is more vulnerable to irritation, you should not let that stand in the way of your perfect shave. For all it is, it could simply be a question of getting used to the right techniques. Let’s do a walkthrough of these tips that will tip your shave from pain to pleasure.

First of all: preparation. The morning is the best time of the day for shaving, this is when the skin is more relaxed. Then, don’t underestimate the importance of warm water, which helps open up pores, relaxes the skin’s micro muscles and softens the stubbles. It’s also a key ingredient for preventing in-growns and irritation. « Morning » and « warm water » often rhyme with taking the morning shower; it’s indeed a great moment for shaving, while you’re just stepping out of it. The other option would be to soak a hand-towel in warm water and apply it to your face and neck for a couple of minutes. This should then be a moment to reflect on your day’s planner or the meaning of life, whichever seems most important on the spot.

Once you’ve given your face a warm-water treatment, it will be time to apply your shaving medium. We won’t surprise anyone by saying that here at GROOM, we strongly recommend using products that are 100% natural. The reason being irritation is more often than not caused by compounds in these pressurized cans.

A word on pressurized cans

Our eyes don’t see what’s happening in these cans, but you can certainly imagine this heavenly foam isn’t coming out of it by magic. Instead, it has to be propelled using a highly volatile gas. Isobutane is the most widely used in the industry… that’s right, the same « butane » that heats your cooking grill in camping. While there’s no proof of it being toxic for the skin, it is extremely flammable and caution is mandatory when manipulating it, hence the huge hazard notices on the labels. Maybe not quite the thing to put you in the right mood this morning?

The various gases and other propelling chemicals in the pressurized cans do however have a drying and irritating effect on the skin. In order to compensate for these, a lot of moisturizing and soothing ingredients are added, aloe extract being a champion here. That’s why phrases such as « moisturizing formula », « with natural ingredients », or the overstated « for sensitive skin » are being used, because there are some moisturizing, natural agents in there. But what is that worth when the said ingredients are there because – and can’t manage to cover up the drying effect – of the other ingredients? Adding aloe extract to hinder the irritation caused by the propelling gases and compounds is comparable to putting up a frame in front of the hole and claim you’ve fixed the wall. But wait a minute. Not seeing the hole doesn’t answer the question: why on Earth did you punch a hole in it in the first place?

What we’re getting through here is this: making the right decision from the start by picking natural ingredients, such as those found in GROOM Shaving Cream and Shaving Soap, is the best way to stay clear from irritation and discomfort while shaving.

Shaving cream or soap: what is the difference?

Both of our cream and soap are made using 100% natural ingredients. They offer incomparable comfort and an enhanced quality of shave by softening the stubbles, allowing a smooth glide of the razor, all the while moisturizing the skin. What else do you need?

But what is the difference between the cream and the soap? While both excel at the same job, they slightly differ in how they are being used, depending mainly on one thing: do you, or do you not own a shaving brush?

We’ll tackle the benefits of the shaving brush in another post. For the moment being, let’s simply state that the brush is meant to turn the soap into a lather by incorporating air and a small quantity of water. The fact that the soap has a solid form greatly increases its durability, but in order to use it a brush is mandatory. Therefore, the soap could be seen as the more traditional shaving medium, but what do you know, it also is more economical and environment-friendly!

On the other hand, GROOM shaving cream is a more versatile product that can be used with or without a brush. You can apply it rather simply using your fingertips on a wet face. As you massage it on, you’ll notice it begins emulsifying, and it spreads thinly on the skin. Don’t be shy to add a bit more water to your face; it’s all about getting the moisture balance right. However if you do own a brush, you’ll be happy to know our cream works fantastically with a brush too. Dip the tip of it in the jar to get some cream out – you need about a pea-size, and lather your heart away (using a bowl or straight onto your face). Moreover, the cream is an ideal stepping stone for anyone new to shaving brushes, or making the first steps into better shaving practices. It is very intuitive to use and will clearly highlight the benefits of using a better quality shaving medium.

Wrapping up

We hope this first introduction to shaving by GROOM has encouraged you to engage into a better shave. Or, even better, that we’ve convinced you that shaving doesn’t have to be a chore, but rather a pleasurable, relaxing moment, as long as it is performed with quality, ethical products.

You’ve enjoyed the read? Make sure to visit back, we’re only beginning here 🙂

Next in line: the shaving brush (there’s quite a bit to say!), the aftershaves (splash or balm?) and the safety razor (aka your new best friend). Talk soon!

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