Pre-shave oil

Discussion in 'Shaving Soaps' started by awa54, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. My limited research seems to indicate that most pre-shave oils are mainly composed of Almond and/or Grape seed oils. I'm certain that different balances of these oils yield a differing level of slickness and conditioning, but at $20 or more for a few ounces I was reluctant to try them.

    Enter the weekly special at my local foods coop; a 4oz. bottle of "bath, body and massage oil" for $6, containing Grapeseed, apricot, almond, lavender and spike lavender oils... Having no previous "product" to compare the results to I can only say that it seems to add an extra level of skin protection and my face felt less irritated and more moisturized when I used it as a pre-shave, better IMO than the results from Proraso pre.

    Anyone else try this approach and if so what were your results?
  2. noahpictures

    noahpictures Contributor

    I use Shave Secret pre shave oil when I shave with straight razors. I plan to make my own using castor oil, olive oil and lavender essential oil for scent. I've read this formulation is comparable to the AOS pre shave oil.
    For some reason I don't like using pre shave oils when using DE or SE razors. Instead I use glycerin as a pre shave or proraso pre.
  3. I make my own using grapeseed oil, vitamin D oil, and whatever essential oils I happen to think smell good at the time together, but I'm particularly fond of cedar, orange, and lavender together.
  4. I am very limited to what I can use..Dr Harris Arlington pre shave works wonders for me
  5. I made my own pre-shave oil recently using Now Solutions Castor Oil (16oz for $8 on, extra virgin olive oil (originally bought for cooking), and a bottle of Now Organic Lavender Oil (1oz for $8 from a seller on I found an old shampoo bottle you get from hotels and mixed it at about 2:1 ration of castor to olive oil. I then put in a few drops of lavender oil, and it smells great! The bottle I use can only hold 1oz, but it's enough as I find I don't need that much oil to rub in.

    After starting to use pre-shave oils, my shaves have been much smoother. I recommend trying this out. It'll save you a lot of money compared to AoS pre-shave oils.
  6. Castle Forbes's Water-Soluble Pre-Shave works for me. I use it virtually every single time. It's not cheap, but a bottle lasts practically forever.
  7. noahpictures

    noahpictures Contributor

    I plan to do that once the lavender oil arrives.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  8. I made a preshave oil with castor oil (2 parts) and sweet almond (1 part), scented with peppermint EO.

    I had the same impression as you, that it was giving me some extra protection and a bit of extra glide. I used it for a week solid last week, this week is a no-oil week. I'm still getting pretty awesome shaves so I'm not sure if it was the oil or something else about my technique.
  9. I wonder if possibly (most) soaps have glycerin and enough other oily substances to create an equally smooth glide as with pre-shave oil.

    I haven't tried it myself personally despite having some because I am 1. afraid of ruining my brush and 2. it seems like most people have an experience similar to yours, just seems to be possibly a little helpful, but very hard to tell a difference.

    I wonder if pre-shave oil is better suited for stuff like gel in cans which definitely could use some help.
  10. Maybe. It's starting to look like another change I made without thinking about it (lather instead of preshave glycerin soap) is just softening my beard so much there's nothing to interfere with the glide.
  11. Price

    Price Steward Contributor

    The general rule is simple: do what works for you. If bath&body massage oil gives you a more comfortable shave, then there really is no reason not to use it.

    Personally, I've tried the T&H oil, and while I really liked the scent, I didn't find much added benefit for me, and in fact I found it made it harder for me to stretch my skin taut because it kept slipping. So for me, no thanks. But for you...whatever works.

  12. I thought about mixing in almond oil with the castor oil. Only I had extra virgin olive oil at home so it seemed appropriate to use it. I might mix it up in the future with almond oil and possibly even grape seed oil.

    As for the shaves, the pre-shaves help me a bit because my face is naturally very dry to begin with. Also, I seem to have tiny scabs on my face from not having enough protection. The pre-shave oil feels like coats over those areas and allows a smoother shave.

    It may differ for you because your technique is better than mine. I've only been wet shaving for a year, and I'm still refining my skills with a safety razor.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  13. Interesting, the dry skin could be doing it. I also wonder if maybe it would help more with tallow as glycerin seems to make the blade really glide well.

    I wonder if this is really a personal thing or if there really is something with the glycerin and maybe less-glycerin soaps. To me rationally it seems like a heavy-glycerin soap should put enough oil where you wouldn't need to pre-oil, but maybe the tallow doesn't? Would be neat if someone could get this to be more factual and less just YMMV....
  14. Just out of my own weird curiosity, what soap are you using? Wonder if we can narrow this down, would be interesting either way...
  15. I doubt it's any superiority of my shave technique, I'm much newer at this than you, just 4 months.

    If it's a technique thing for me​, it's probably my lathering technique. I have been working on that pretty hard lately.
  16. Kinda makes sense though too that oil would help a poor lather, whereas it may not help with fixing other technical problems...
  17. +1 As always, YMMV.

    I received some The Home Body pre-shave oil (an etsy vendor) in a PIF, and I think it works great for me. I find that it leaves my face feeling softer after the shave. This might have more to do with the oil's effect on my skin rather than on my facial hair.
  18. The ingredients can be commonly found at local retailers and health food stores and it is fun and expensive to make your own. But getting the right consistency is gonna be difficult since the retailers have chemists make this stuff in labs or factories.
  19. GNC has a variety of oils that are unscented and that work fine. I don't really like a pre-shave oil only though I do like to use it to soften things up.

    Heck... you can use Lubriderm and get a great shave with nothing else added.

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