Skip to content

Post-Shave On Your Largest Organ

Listen to this article
man shaving

It was never my intention to become a kitchen chemist, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Allow me to explain…

Shaving And Skin

Shaving, no matter how well executed, subjects your body’s largest organ to trauma. This is the reason why good shave prep, quality hardware, and software, all coupled with good technique is so important. Those blades scrape away more than just stubble; removing skin cells as well important surface oils which help protect one’s skin. Hence, the importance of your post shave regiment. 

Clearly, a thorough post-shave rinsing is called for. Lather, no matter how produced (soap or cream, with or without a brush), and no matter how many moisturizing elements are present (often down-label; more on that later) will dry out your face. Some of the brushless creams I have used need to be rehydrated when I reach the parts of my face that I shave last. Quality instructional videos on lather building with a brush always recommend you keep adding yet more water even after you’ve produced a usable lather; the more water in your lather, the longer before it starts to dry out your face.

Most people rinse using coldish water conveyed to their face using cupped hands. One can increase the volume of water conveyed by draping a washcloth over your hands. Be careful; you’re about to make a mess! At least for me, with my current sink height configuration, no matter how much I lean over while rinsing, whenever I line my sieve-like hands with a washcloth, the floor needs a good toweling as well.

Speaking of toweling, don’t forget to pat dry your face after rinsing. Be kind to your post-trauma skin; rubbing your face with a towel, no matter how Turkishly plush will only further irritate. 

Post-Shave And All-In-One

man applying lotion to face

It is now time to apply one’s, hopefully alcohol-free, post-shave product. I use two products – a little weird, I know. Maybe it is something innate to me since I also superlather: a process where I build my lather using both a soap and a cream. For years I used a product called “All-In-One Clean Shave Oil+Moisturizer – Earl Grey,” produced by Beta Naturals. It was basically a mixture of various oils: grapeseed, argan, and jojoba. I wouldn’t use much: enough drops to form a nickel sized puddle in one palm, rub my hands together and then gently rub on. I must have really liked this stuff, since I would rub it in all over my face; especially my forehead.

Not only did this regiment work for me it made sense, at least given what little I know about skin. What do I know?

  • Pores don’t open and close. They are not gates. They do, however, expand and contract.
  • Skin does not absorb water. Eat your heart out GoreTex, but skin is the ultimate breathable, waterproof membrane.
  • Skin absorbs oil.

Shaving removes the protective oils one’s body produces that help protect the skin. So, step one after shaving; apply a mixture of oils to your newly traumatized skin. Also keep in mind that as one ages, your skin gets drier and drier – production of the skin protecting oils slows. Yes, this is an unsatisfactory response to teenagers whose overproduction of skin oils often leads to acne.

Post-shave skin trauma rehabilitation does not live by moisturizing oils alone. Aloe for instance helps soothe razor burns, witch hazel is an astringent, and shea butter is an anti-inflammatory (and moisturizing) agent. This is why sometime around 15 minutes after applying the post-shave oil product I then apply a small amount of a more traditional aftershave cream/lotion. My current two favorites are Burke Avenue 3-in-1 Face Balm and Village Barber Shaving Balm (affiliate links). However, truth be told, I often forget about this round two of aftershaves: I am usually good to go at this point.

A Replacement For All-In-One

man at crossroads

Life was cheery, at least with my shave routine, until disaster struck. “All-In-One” could no longer be found. The company’s website began to redirect to a different company’s website. For a while my beloved product was available from this new manufacturer. Then it went “out of stock.” Then it disappeared from the company’s website altogether. Emails to both the old company’s email and to the new company’s email went unanswered. Alas, those of us in the shaving community that live by the boutique, artisan producer, die by the same sword. This was not my first such experience; years ago I used to use Al’s The Bomb shave cream. That is until Al Raz decided to no longer produce The Bomb shave creams.

I recall eyeing my last bottle of “All-In-One” with a mournful eye – there was not a lot left. Sadly, Google searches did not uncover comparable products. Maybe they’re out there and I did not use the right search terms. In ChatGPT terms, I failed as a prompt engineer.

Wait, isn’t one of the reasons people turn to DE/wet shaving is to save money? (HAH!) If by saving money you mean purchasing inexpensive DE blades over multi-blade cartridges – yes, of course. However, if by saving money you mean four (or more) boutique produced shaving creams and soaps; well maybe not. However, not to be deterred, I thought I could recreate “All-In-One” on my own, and probably for a lot less money. “All-In-One” was not cheap.

Step 1: Read the ingredients for “All-In-One.” Great, only 5 ingredients (grapeseed oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E, and bergamot oil), and the last one was primarily just for scent: Earl Grey. While the ingredient list does not include proportions, I am aware that USA labeling laws dictate that manufacturers list ingredients in decreasing volume order. Hence, by the time you get to the fourth or fifth ingredient one is usually talking about very small amounts.

Step 2: Find a website to help me. Even before ChatGPT, there is a LOT of useful DIY information on the web. The one I settled on is from Crunchy Betty:

Step 3: Go shopping. I leave it to you to decide between Amazon or a local retailer.

Step 4: Don your chemist’s apron and goggles before performing your kitchen alchemy. Actually, all you need is a small, clean, empty pump bottle and a funnel.

Step 5: Fill according to your decided upon ratios. Crunchy Betty recommends a 3 oil formula: 2/3 base oil, 1/3 nourishing oil, and top it off with an essential oil or two. However, Crunchy Betty categorizes all three of “All-In-One’s” oils as base, so I just went with equal shares of grapeseed, argan, and jojoba oils. I also skipped on measuring and just eyeballed it.

Step 6: Deploy: place the newly filled pump bottle in your shave den and apply after pat drying your face.

pump bottle

I am happy to report that after all the double-blind clinical test results were compiled, shavers could not tell the difference between the original and the clone. Ok, it was just me doing the testing, but really, I couldn’t tell the difference.  Hallelujah, crisis averted, and if I live long enough I’ll have saved some serious money as well. While the price per ounce of my homemade moisturizing oil is a fraction of “All-In-One,” I did buy largish bottles of each ingredient oil – so I’m set for a very long time.

When it was time to refill my pump bottle/dispenser, I decided to branch out and try adding a nourishing oil: rosehip seed oil. I chose this because that was all I could find at my local Whole Foods store. Now the proportions were 1/3 rosehip seed oil, and then equal parts grapeseed, argan, and jojoba oils. Again I let my eyeballs do the measuring. I also discovered some Lavender and vitamin E oils in the bathroom cabinet. Basically, I created a lavender version of “All-In-One” enhanced with some nourishing rosehip seed oil.

Summing Up

Insider tip: I can’t tell the difference between the two formulations, but the ever so faint hint of lavender is nice. Once I use up my small (and surprisingly expensive) bottle of rosehip seed oil, I doubt I’ll replace it: grapeseed, argan, jojoba, and a little vitamin E seem to be sufficient for my needs.

Who knows, maybe I’ll start to market this stuff myself.

P.S. I shared a draft of this article with a friend in Italy whose only response was a picture of a small bottle of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) on his bathroom sink counter.

Michael Goldweber

Michael Goldweber

2 thoughts on “Post-Shave On Your Largest Organ”

  1. I shower after shaving and don’t even have to pat my face dry because I live in a high desert climate (Albuquerque). After showering, I apply a high quality cruelty-free and alcohol-free post-shave splash to the shaved areas. Then I apply Epionce Renewal Facial Cream to my whole face and neck. It’s expensive but a little goes a long way and I just use it once every 3 days after shaving. The DermStore or SkinStore often have it on sale. The results are amazing! Any irritation disappears instantly. My face looks and feels hydrated without looking or feeling oily.

  2. A “regimen” is a plan of medical treatment; this is what you meant.
    A “regiment” is a military unit, consisting of four battalions; this is what you wrote.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *