Is It Necessary To Use A Shaving Cream?


I get this question quite a lot. When I get asked this question, I always try to clarify what exactly is meant. Like, “are you asking if you could shave on a dry face?” or “are there alternatives to using a shaving that would be just as effective?” or both questions.  I’m secretly tempted to ask, “Do you have anything against shaving creams? Thankfully I don’t.

For those who ask this, whether as a means to find out if dry shaving was ok, or in a search for more suitable alternatives, I hope I can be able to provide answers to satisfy you.

What’s The Purpose of a Shaving Cream?

The primary purpose of a shaving cream is to lubricate your face so that your razor will glide smoothly and effortlessly across the surface. It’s an extension of the function of the warm water wash, as it locks the moisture into the hair, keeping them soft, pliable and ready for the shave. This lubrication reduces the friction and resistance between your face or beard and your shaving tool, thereby reducing cases of nicks and cuts, irritation, skin diseases and infections.

Shaving cream, therefore has the essential moisture/lubrication to facilitate the process of shaving.

Should You Shave On A Dry Skin?

Absolutely not! If this is a way of asking if the moisturizing and lubrication function is expendable, you have my answer. It is not. Your beard must be thoroughly wet and well-conditioned to avoid irritations and razor burns. Your beards in contact with moisture absorbs up to 30% of its volume. It becomes “swollen” with water, hence, becomes weak and easier to cut. It is recommended that you shower, or at least wash your face and apply a moistened towel to your face for a few minutes before you start shaving.

So showering is the prelude to the shaving cream, and they clearly serve similar functions – wetness, moisture, and conditioning for softening – all of which are not negotiable.

Are There Other Materials That Can Serve The Function Of A Shaving Cream?

Yes. There’s the shaving cream, shaving foam, and shaving gel. What you need depends on the same factors that determine how you pick any other product in the market in a capitalist society; your unique needs, the amount you’re willing to pay for it, and want you want – if you are the person shopping and not the lady of the home.

How Would You Know Which One To Go For?

Which is best? Like I earlier said, each of these shaving variants (foam, gel, and cream) have the function of preventing stubble from drying out and easing the shaving process by providing a cushion between your skin and the razor.

However, foams which happen to be cheap, convenient and easy to use tend to dry off the skin faster than the other two. They won’t make great recommendation for people with dry or sensitive skin. Gels usually offer more lubrication, and transparent ones are useful if you have facial hair and need to see where you’re going with the razor.

However, the shaving cream is a favorite for most experts and gentlemen. This is because it provides the richest and most lubricating lather. Many are glycerine-based to reduce the chances of the cream drying your skin out, and their moisturizing properties are good “softeners” for tough stubble.

After all has been said and done, it comes down to your choices.

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