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Hydrolast Cutting Balm (peppermint)

Back when I first started into wet shaving, I, like a few others, decided to take a foray into the world of method shaving. Like most others as well, I decided the whole process was not for me, and now do not use the cube or paste, and infrequently use the tonics. The cutting balm, however, is still a part of my everyday shave.

The balm comes in this brown plastic tube, with a flip cap for dispensing. The packaging is fairly ho-hum, but like our Mothers tried to teach us, it's what's on the inside that counts.

AT $35, for 4 oz., this is not a cheap product, however, as with trumpers skin food, proraso pre-post, and other similair products, a little goes a long long way. Just a pea-sized amount gives you all you really need.

When out of the bottle, it looks like a standard jojoba oil.

(Note: this is about 3 tims the amount you need to use)

The ingredients are simply stated as a proprietary mix of vegetal oils and essential oils, so the exact content is a little unclear, but for me, it does wonders on the skin. It has a light peppermint scent and mild cooling effect on the face. I can't speak for the other scents since I have yet to try them, but this one is very mild and non-offensive.

I am a perfectionist, and love having a BBS shave, and this is what helps me get it every time. After the 3-4 passes with my cream/soap of the day, I do a warm water rinse, take a pea sized amount of cutting balm, rub it between my hands, and then gently massage my face and neck. Immediately you'll notice how smooth the skin feels, and as it sinks in, it only gets better. This is viscous, water repelling stuff, so after I apply, I will splash my face with warm water, providing a cushion of H20 on top of the cutting balm for the T/C. I feel around for whatever remnants of stubble there are, and take quick, short, and light blade buffing strokes until I am smooth all over. After 3-4 passes, this oil seems to replenish anything you've lost from the first part of your shave, and the T/C is noticably more comfortable than that lass pass with the cream/soap.

Between the splash of water during the T/C, and the coldwater rinse afterwards, the oil sinks into your skin nicely, leaving zero residue, and smooth and supple skin. At this point the A/S balm is optional, but I enjoy a spray of chilled hydrosol or WH, followed by a small amount of cooling A/S to leave my face with that chilly feeling.

If you check my SOTD's, the one constant throughout will be this product, and if it's missing, it's because I forgot to put it in. I highly recommend it. On a closing note, I have never tried Pacific shave oil, or anyother kind of jojoba oil that could be similiair to this product, so there may be other things out there that provide the same great effect for under $35 a pop. If that's the case, I'd probably choose that over the cutting balm.
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