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Cold Shaving Products + Summer Shaving Tips

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[Note from Mantic59: this post is dedicated to Ernie Baraga, the creator of “Yeti Snot” shave soap, who passed away recently.}

The summer of 2022 is breaking high temperature records all over the world.  Here is how you can shave and cool off at the same time!

How Shaving Can Be Cooling

Shaving is one of the oldest and most common methods of hair removal. While it is often seen as a necessary evil, shaving not only removes unwanted hair but it can also help to cool the skin. When done correctly, shaving can actually be a cooling and refreshing experience.

There are several ways this can be accomplished, either by using a shaving product or by using a shave technique that can cool the skin.  Cooling shave products use ingredients like menthol (or a synthetic equivalent) to cool the skin while certain shave techniques can make you feel more comfortable in hot weather.  Let’s take a look at both.

Menthol And Synthetic Menthol

Menthol is a compound that is found in plants such as mint, peppermint, and eucalyptus. It is responsible for the minty taste and cooling sensation. Menthol has been used for centuries in various forms of medicine. It can be used as a topical agent to treat muscle pain, soreness, and inflammation.

When you use a mentholated shaving product, it stimulates cold-sensitive neural receptors in your skin, which is what makes it feel cold.

For a full discussion of menthol, click/tap here to read “What is Menthol And Why Is It In My Shaving Stuff?”

Unlike their more common and more aggressive cousin, the various  synthetic menthol compounds in use in the shaving world today are not volatile alcohols and thus do not vaporize upon contact with skin. Instead, they cause that same cooling sensation by activating the cold receptors in your skin, without the counter-irritant or anesthetic properties.

For a full discussion of synthetic menthol, click/tap here to read “On Menthol, Synthetic Menthol, And Cold”

Cooling Shave Products

[Note: Amazon, geni.us, and PAA links are affiliate.]

“Megamart” Products

If you’re looking for a cooling shave, there are a few products at your local grocery, drugstore/chemist, or “megamart” to choose from.  Here are some fairly widely available options:

Cremo Cooling shave cream – I find Cremo Cooling to be not only a nicely cooling brushless cream but an excellent over-all performer as well. The cream itself is rich but not heavy, and it’s based on high-quality ingredients including aloe, macadamia seed oil, calendula extract, lemon extract, papaya extract, and olive leaf extract.  Cremo also offers a cooling aftershave balm as well.

Shave Secret Menthol & Clove Shave Oil – I wanted to try this shaving oil because I heard a lot of good things about it. Shave Secret claims to be the best shaving oil on the market, and after using it for a few days, I can’t say I disagree. Shave Secret is very good and surprisingly inexpensive. I only need a couple drops of this stuff. When combined with traditional shave lather it can provide an impressive experience.

Proraso “Refreshing And Toning” shaving cream – Proraso is one of the most recognized names in traditional wet shaving and a best seller for many years. A new formulation retains the same great performance. Contains eucalyptus oil, coconut oil and natural glycerin. Menthol adds a sensational cooling effect.

While you may not be able to find Proraso at your local grocery you can probably find some at discount/overstock stores like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Steinmart, Shoppers Drug Mart (in Canada), etc.  And of course available online: I list a selection of sources at the link above.

Artisan Products

Most mentholated products from the shaving artisan community are considerably stronger than the “megamart” products.  Below is just a sample. Beware….

Barrister and Mann Arctique – If you’re a fan of menthol, you’ll love this soap. It is, however, incredibly cold. As Barrister And Mann’s website puts it: “[t]he goal was to create one of the coldest soaps on Earth, the kind of soap that separates the hobbyists from the seriously dedicated. We’re proud to say that we were successful. It is horribly, hatefully, bone-chillingly cold.”

But Barrister And Mann’s “Omnibus” shave soap base is great. It leaves your face feeling smooth and refreshed, and the scent is very nice. This soap definitely lives up to its name.

Related Post: Click/tap here for my review of Barrister And Mann Arctique

Chiseled Face Cryogen – The Cryogen by is a tallow-based shaving soap that’s loaded with menthol, offering a very cold, tingling shave. The soap lathers easily and smoothly. The menthol scent is intense, and you’ll find yourself puckering and your eyes watering every time you take a drag.

Noble Otter Orbit – I have to hand it to Noble Otter, Orbit is a truly fantastic shaving soap. The scent doesn’t overpower the blend with the additional notes of bergamot, eucalyptus, and cedarwood. The lather is thick, and creamy. The soap was easy to whip up, and shave well without leaving any residue.  Orbit uses a synthetic menthol that will last longer and not create so much of a “burning cold” feeling.

PAA Frost Byte – The menthol is intense, and the Tea Tree added a nice touch. Also available in their “super premium” CK6 formula base.

Stirling Glacial Line – Stirling Soap offers a number of mentholated shave soaps and their “Glacial” line ups the cooling factor considerably.

Other Tips To Keep You Cool While You Shave (Or Just After)

Besides shaving with a cooling shave cream or soap, there are a number of other strategies you can employ to stay cooler by shaving.

Other Mentholated Products

Besides shaving creams and soaps there are other products that provide a cooling sensation.  For example, aftershave products frequently contain alcohol and/or menthol for a cooling sensation.

The Frozen Towel Trick

Here’s a technique I learned from a barber in Las Vegas: soak a hand towel in water, wring it out, then place it in the freezer before you start your shave. After you’re finished shaving take the towel out of the freezer and place it on your face. It’s a great, refreshing sensation for your face during the dog days of summer!

After you take the towel out of the freezer you can also sprinkle a little of your favorite cologne onto it, then apply to your face. The alcohol will act as an antiseptic but because of the cold temperature of the towel it won’t penetrate too far under the skin and you won’t get that sting.  Some have suggested using Aloe Vera juice instead of alcohol.

Cold Water Shaving

Then there’s the idea of using cold water to shaving with.  Besides the obvious temperature difference, proponents of cold water shaves also claim it can provide a better shave

For more on this click/tap to read: The Case For Cold Water Shaving

The Cold Scuttle

If you have a shave scuttle try freezing it before you build lather.  If your scuttle is plastic you could even fill it almost-full of water and freeze it overnight (don’t put the stopper in, though!  There needs to be a place for the ice to expand).  Douglas with PAA has a video about it.

Summing Up

In conclusion, shaving can be an effective way to stay cool during the summer. It is a quick and easy way to get relief from the heat, and it is also a great way to keep your skin healthy. Be sure to shave regularly during the summer months to enjoy the benefits.

 

Author

Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. I have been advocating old-school shaving for over 20 years and have been featured in major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Lifehacker. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

3 thoughts on “Cold Shaving Products + Summer Shaving Tips”

  1. Mark. Another great article. You create a solid read. I was glad to see Chiseled Face Cryogen on the list. It is a favorite in my shaving products.

  2. Zingari Man’s Cooling Recovery Splash is very, very cold and the chill lasts about 45 minutes. And the skin feels great after using it.

  3. My first shaving experience was with a Gillette safety razor and Noxema Menthol shaving cream. Loved the cool feeling! It is likely similar to Prorasso but somehow I recall it being much stronger.

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