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Fen's shaving journal

Experiment: Store bought extra virgin olive oil as a pre-shave

Started shaving earlier this year, and through my journey I have tried different pre-shave routines. First with some proraso pre-shave cream, then on to kyle's prep. Before I settled on just scrubbing warm water on my face. Often after I took a hot shower. Which seemed to work just fine.

However what I have noticed is that my chin is a trouble spot that doesnt seem to respond well to just water. It pulls even when I buff and it has become an annoyance. After moving back to using some more of my proraso pre-shave cream sample I found it to often be effective with enough cream. But the downside is that I cant just walk into my local store and buy it.

Recently I've gotten interested in trying pre-shave oils, but I figured I'd go for a cheap alternative that some people swear by. So I decided to buy some extra virgin olive oil from the store. I settled for an ecological kind in a green bottle (frequently used in food and not for frying, according to the info I have read)

The shave:

I decided originally to go bold and just use the oil for shaving without soap, since I saw a video from another Norwegian shaver about the subject, and it seemed to go well for him. After applying a few drops I got concerned that my current growth absorbed it too much, so I settled to use a little more. Lucky for me, the oil doesn't seem to have any strong scent.

The cheeks was smooth sailing, but from my experience the growth there has always been softer. I noticed with my Merkur Progress that I could take multiple passes with no irritation. When I moved on to my neck I faced some resistance so I settled to go for reduction here.

Once I got to my trouble area, my chin, things started to get bothersome. The growth was as resistant as ever. It pulled and I got some red spots on one side of my chin.

Overall I'd say so far that my neck felt a tiny bit sore, but not in a huge amount that seemed to last. While my chin was much more noticable. I attribute this mainly right now to a rougher shave I had on thursday. So I will overlook any soreness and overall burns. As I do not feel that it is fair for this particular test at the moment.

After taking out my proraso white soap in a tub, I lathered up my chin and upperlip. Almost instantly any resistance that seemed to have been there was gone as I shaved with the soap. I am willing to admitt that I suspect part of this was because I had done a reducation pass without any soap. But I feel it is about a 50/50 thing.

Moving on I did the same to my neck and lathered it up. A tiny cut appeared on my upper neck. But another factor to the current equation is that I'm still learning all the angles with my Progress.

After taking a second round on my face and some touch up the result I was left with was what I usually have. Some areas are nice and close, while others are more noticable, but social acceptable.

The result:

My skin felt very soft and slick, similar to how it would feel after using some aftershave balm. After washing my face with both warm and cold water and applying alum I felt a slight burn around my chin. However my upper lip that also frequently is a trouble area that cant handle too many passes didn't have any burn feeling to it. A spot on my neck also had a slight burn, but this was the particular spot where I had a rough shave earlier.

The shave ended with an application of some aftershave balm.


I feel that I need to try this after my neck has healed up propperly from its ordeal several days ago. And I should consider going back to my R89 which I am most used to. To give the oil better odds.

My main worry was that the oil would be too thick and that I'd feel all oily on my face after. But that is not the case. There is hardly any smell at all either, which I am very happy about.

I'm also curious about how the combination of the oil + soap would function on my first pass on my chin. So this needs to be explored during my next shave.

Overall, as things stand, I'd say that the oil brings something that I noticed with the proraso pre-shave. On the other hand just using oil and shaving is not something I want to repeat anytime soon. Due to the bigger amount I felt that I had to use, pluss the case with my chin. Next time I'll settle for it as a pre-shave and just use 4-5 drops of it.

My other concern as a long term result is how my face will react to the oil. Will I risk getting outbreaks on my face or will my face for example feel itchy after using it? If it ends up feeling itchy I believe a wash with some soap is required after the shave is over. And not just a combo of warm and cold water.

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