Baby Oil as pre-shave oil

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by Not4you, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. So my Cromwell & Cruthers pre-shave oil is running low so I am looking at alternatives. I've read some things about using olive oil, but what about something like Johnsons & Johnsons Baby Oil? Has anyone tried this? In theory I should think it would work, but I'm still new to wetshaving so there could be something I'm missing.

    I have tons of the Vit.E & Aloe enriched stuff in the house that we have for my baby daughter so I thought I'd see if its a viable alternative to expensive "shaving" oils.

  2. Johnson & Johnson baby oil is a mineral oil and I wouldn't recommend using it on the skin - especially not the baby's.

    I don't use a pre-shave oil, so I couldn't really suggest an alternative, but I really do think you should avoid the baby oil.
  3. I've used J&J Baby Oil before, this was back during my cartridge days. It worked well at the time, however, looking back on it I'm not sure it allowed my face to stay wet. It did help the razor glide through better though. I'm exclusively on Corn Husker's Lotion right now as pre/post shave and before each pass, and for me it just works great. But, give the baby oil a go, it'll only take you a couple of strokes to rate it. Oh yeah, baby oil was too darn messy too.
  4. +1 on this advice.

    Mineral oil - not good for baby, or you
  5. I would definitely recommend NOT to use baby oil for shaving purposes (or pretty much anything involving your face). There's no better way to clog your pores and give you a good amount of pimples and unclean skin after a couple of days.

    Almond oil is always a good choice, olive oil is rather good as well - provided you wash it all off after shaving.
  6. This is very interesting, thanks all for the tips. I am quite surprised though that it is not good for babies but has been used for them for ever.
  7. Conventional wisdom isn't always right. Not to derail this thread, but when my son was an infant, we used both grapeseed oil (located with the cooking oils) & Burt's Bees baby oil, which is Apricot oil.
  8. Olive oil seems to be the most recommended shaving oil outside of specific brands, like Trufitt & Hill.

    Honestly, I never have seen the need for oil. It seems it would be messy, it would inhibit glycerin from penetrating the skin, and plenty of shaving soaps and creams provide great slickness. We talk about the best here all the time.
    Unless oil softens the whisker even more than water, soap and heat, or it stands the whisker up for easier cutting, I don't get it.

    Am I missing something?
  9. I don't think you're missing anything. Shaving oils work great if you use them ALONE; i.e., you wet the face, apply the oil, wet the face again, and shave. As you're shaving you continually wet the face.

    Putting shaving oil UNDER a good cream doesn't make a lot of sense to me, and when I've tried it it hasn't made any discernible difference.
  10. What are the issues with using mineral oil on the skin?
  11. I'm curious about this as well. Please enlighten me.
  12. I tried it. The mineral oil is way too sticky and causes the blade to skip. Spend $4 and get Shave Secret at Walmart. If you want more luxury, try Truefitt and Hill shave oil.
  13. See post number 5 for a short answer...
  14. In my mind, wet shaving, by definition uses shaving soap and water. What is the purpose of shaving oil in this context? Am I missing something?
  15. Oversimplified: mineral oil clogs up the pores, creating a waterproof film on your skin. This may be a welcome effect for baby butts (bacterial moisture of all sorts + wide open pores = risk of excoriation and infection) - but mineral oil is said to accumulate in some of your organs with unknown effects. More and more baby-related products specifically advertise the lack of mineral oil.

    For shaving techniques mineral oil is a completely inappropriate additive. Yes, after shaving you don't want your pores to be open for bacteria - that's why you use cold water and after shaves with pore refining ingredients. But these methods don't seal your pores (and whatever bacteria slipped in there) the way mineral oil does - your skin still can breathe, tallow still can drain off. Shaving and using baby oil for a couple of weeks will almost certainly give you more zits than you had during your teenage years.

    Manufacturers often claim that mineral oil is clean, pure and overall great stuff. The truth: it's cheap. A gallon of avocado oil costs around a hundred $, a gallon of nut oil comes at more than 220. A gallon of mineral oil? Fifteen bucks.

    Long story short: don't use it.

    No, not at all. At least not anything that's scientifically proven. Quite a few people claim that their shave feels better - others counter (and rightfully so) that oil will keep the water away from your beard, rendering the act of shaving worse.

    I'd say that both sides are right.

    Personally I've experienced that while some combinations of oil, cream / soap and blade are impossible to enjoy, others work well. Using a fresh red personna, French almond oil and Speick shaving cream gives me a notably better shave than without the oil. But mostly (and that's the reason for me using oil) it leaves my skin remarkably soft - even without using further skin care products.

    The shaving quality of oil in combination with soap, cream or foam is something I haven't found the answer to. Just like for some people soap XYZ is an epiphany while others hate it, the oil shave is less of a unequivocal matter and more of a question of individual taste. You'll need to give it a shot - using several products in different combinations - to find out more.
  16. Zyx


    I've seen baby oil recommended for head shaving, but as a replacement for shaving cream/soap, not a pre-shave.

    I'm afraid this may be a little off-topic, but, weird as it sounds, I have a friend who swears by silicone lube as a shaving cream replacement, which I think is roughly the same idea. (No, not the stuff for hinges, 'personal' lube, the kind from adult stores.) Since it's safe for one's *ahem* delicate parts, it's probably face-safe; a little goes a long way, but it's not cheap, and it's not as much fun as using soap/cream. Also, I think she was using a cartridge razor.

    As far as effectiveness, silicone lube is definitely slick, and doesn't dry up, but most straight silicone lubes don't cushion much. A water-based lube would simulate a cream better; most of them include glycerin as well.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but my impression was that the purpose of pre-shave was to soak in a little, moisturize your skin/beard, and keep the soap or cream from causing or exacerbating dryness?
  17. A lot of people do not know the many benefits of standard oils on their skin. A lot of 'house hold' oils, Olive, Sunflower, Safflower, etc., have natural anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal properties. The majority are non-comedogenic, so they will not clog your pores, and a lot will actually unblock clogged pores after which they will naturally purge out the bad oil. Many are renowned for their anti-aging and anti-wrinkle effects. Some are even natural protectants against the sun.

    Most oils will dramatically alter the end lather attained by shave soap / cream, most types for the better and some for the worse. Some are amazing facial lubricants, as they sit superficially on the epidermis and take much longer to absorb. Finally, the vast majority, as Whitmore stated, will leave your face feeling much more hydrated and moist then your face would otherwise be had you not used them. This is the reason why many are utilized as the primary ingredients in very expensive anti-wrikle creams / oil mixtures.

    My time spent in Organic Chemistry and BioChemistry courses has moved me to research stuff like this well beyond the point most people would consider normal :001_rolle .
  18. If you are interested, take a look at this wiki:

    Mineral oil sits on the skin and is not absorbed, while in a pre-shave you really want something to make your skin more supple and therefore less susceptible to nicks.

    Personally, I have been using a little jojoba oil as part of my pre-shave routine. It is a light enough oil that seems to absorb into the skin rather readily. But, if you use any oil, unless you are replacing the shaving cream or soap, the object is not to slather it on, just to make your skin a tad more supple with a very light application. As with most routines- YMMV.
  19. I have grown fond of grapeseed oil as a preshave. GNC carries it locally as well as some EO's from the NOW! company. Easy to combine the oil with your favorite EO in small containers without breaking the bank.

    Im with the others on this--dont use mineral or baby oil as a preshave.
  20. I have very sensitive skin. Most creams cause me skin irritation. BullGoose recommended I switch to soaps and it has made a tremendous difference. If you want to use oil, then I suggest a very thin refined oil, such as grape seed oil. I apply my shave soap and let it penetrate my beard. Then I mix in some grape seed oil with my hand before shaving. It works great.

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