Using a pre shaving oil to help you shave is an undiscovered revolution for many men. A good pre shave oil will warm, moisturize and lubricate the skin making the whole process of shaving more comfortable and easier, leaving you with smooth skin that is not sore, stressed or irritated.
The skin becomes more pliable making it easier for the razor to cut the follicle. The other great thing about essential oils is that they are completely natural so contain no chemicals or parabens and, if you make your own blend, then you can choose your fragrances to suit the day or your mood on the day.
Choosing your base or carrier oil
Whilst essential oils are nature’s lubricant, they can also be incredibly strong and should not be used on human skin in undiluted form. Oils are always diluted in what is called a base or carrier oil and this oil will make up about 90% of the finished product. The other significance of the carrier oil is the moisture it provides to the skin and it is this which prevents those annoying cuts and nicks. Here are some of the most popular choices for carrier oils:-
- Sweet Almond Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Borage Oil
- Castor Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Evening Primrose Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Macadamia Nut Oil
- Shea Butter
- Sunflower Oil
- Walnut Oil
Many of these base oils are already used to treat skin infections and prevent itchiness and irritation so they can make a significant impact on the comfort of your shave and the end result, particularly if you are prone to reddening of the skin or angry lumps or patches post-shaving.
Essential oils for pre-shave
Essential oils provide additional moisture and lubrication and above all fragrance and, can be used in any combination that you like. There is an endless choice of oils and blended combinations but remember, they are quite potent and so you will only need a few drops of any of your favorite oils to add to your base oil. Popular starter oils include tea tree oil, pine, cedar, and sandalwood which are the key components of many proprietary aftershaves and nourishing shaving balms.
These give a lovely fresh zesty fragrance that will linger on your skin for hours, a world away from those harsh artificially scented shaving products.
Here are some shave oil recipes to get you started. Just blend the different oils, shake, and store. Always remember to shake the bottle before you decant the oils.
Classic Barbershop Shave Oil
- 20ml of Castor Oil
- 10ml of Olive Oil
- 5ml of Vitamin E Oil
- 10 drops of Sandalwood Oil
Woody Shaving Oil
- 15ml of Castor Oil
- 15ml of Jojoba Oil
- 4 drops of Tea Tree Oil
- 4 drops of Pine Oil
Festive Christmas Scents Oil
- 15mil Sweet Almond Oil
- 15ml Argan Oil
- 5 drops of Nutmeg Essential Oil
- 2 drops of Vanilla Essential Oil
- 3 drops of Bay Essential Oil
When trying out new oils, only ever use a few drops first to see if your skin reacts adversely and becomes irritated. The best place to patch test is on the inside of your elbow or behind your ear. The citrus oils are the most likely culprits when it comes to skin irritation so that would include sweet orange, lemon, and grapefruit. Try out each oil individually before making a blend.
Essential oils are great news for your skin whether you are shaving it or not. Many are known remedies for sore, irritated and sensitive skin with properties that soothe and calm and they can also be antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.
What do you need to get started?
You will need your choice of base or carrier oil (this may vary depending on the blend you are making), and your favorite essential oils. Pipettes are really useful to make sure you add just the right number of drops of oil and it is better to use one pipette per essential oil to avoid mixing up the blend inadvertently. Some oils can be bought with an integral pipette in the bottle to help disperse them. Make sure you store your essential oil blend in amber glass to protect it from the UV rays of the sun.
Essential oils offer a natural and healthy way to care for your skin and protect it from the repeated trauma of shaving. They are absent from the harsh and drying chemicals of modern branded products which will detract from your skin’s natural balance and moisture more than they add. All you need to do is pick the fragrances that you like and once you have the ingredients, they only take a matter of minutes to make.