There’s never been a better time to shave properly. We keep discovering exceptional new brands looking to transform your shaving experience into one you can look forward to every day.
This month we have a shaving cream from the recently launched Streatfields Skincare, a shaving balm from French brand Institut Karite Paris, 2 different brands of DE blades from Russia and a styptic pencil from another French brand, Osma Laboratoires.
Streatfields Skincare Shaving Cream
Streatfields Skincare are a new and exciting brand that have entered the shaving scene without pulling any punches. Unleashing a line of 4 shaving creams, each with a unique scent that will have you wanting more. Instead of going for the traditional woody manly scent that a lot of brands play it safe with, they have come up with some really different scent combinations that stand out from other shaving creams. This month we have included their Avocado and Lime shaving cream which smells fantastic, a pleasant zesty scent that holds its aroma when lathered up. And the scent isn’t the only thing they’ve got right, this cream lathers up in next to no time at all. It creates an ample, thick, creamy and stable lather that expertly cushions the blade without needing to re-apply mid-shave.
Despite the modern packaging and scent profile, this shaving cream has been made to an old traditional recipe that Streatfields have refined and made their own. We also love how transparent they are, their website lists all the ingredients in each of the creams with clear explanations of what they do and why they’re included.
To use: Take an almond sized lump of cream and place it into the centre of your damp shaving brush then work into a lather as normal; either in your hand, bowl or straight on the face. Alternatively you can take a dry brush and swirl it into the cream to load it up nicely, then add a few drops of water as you create your lather. We advise you don’t put your damp brush directly into the cream because this can water it down, impeding its longevity.
Institut Karite Shaving Balm
Institut Karite Paris are a French manufacturer that started in 2004 and have gone from strength to strength with their well regarded products. They were the first French brand to enrich all their products with shea butter, and with good reason. Shea butter is rich in vitamins for nourishing and regenerating the skin making it an ideal ingredient for cosmetic purposes but particularly useful to sooth and heal after shaving. As part of their men’s range, we have included the IKP shaving balm, made with 25% Shea butter, this rich cream goes a long way and easily absorbs into the skin leaving it feeling noticeably softer. It has a fairly neutral but pleasing aroma, scented lightly with milk cream. We also really liked how it was packaged, the tube is reminiscent of traditional paint tubes. Suitable for sensitive skin types.
To use: Apply a pea sized amount immediately after shaving to get the full soothing benefits.
September Subscription Box Replacement DE Blades
You’d be forgiven for believing the brand of blade you use doesn't much effect your shave but you’d be wrong. We’re always amazed at the level of difference between each brand and how one person can claim they get the most satisfying shaves from brand “x” while another will say they hate them. We tell all new subscribers that the blades they put in their razor will significantly effect the quality of their shave which is why you need to try as many different brands as possible to find what works best for you. When you get it right, the blade will effortlessly glide across your skin without you feeling a thing.
Remember to change your blade often. Double edge razor blades tend to last, on average, 3-7 shaves depending on how thick your stubble hairs are. This is because thicker hairs are harder to cut through and therefore cause more wear on the blade edge, causing it to go blunt quicker. Once you have been wet shaving for a while you will learn to notice the tell-tale tug of a blunt blade, a sign that it needs replacing. Paradoxically, a blunt blade is more likely to cause nicks and cuts as it doesn't smoothly track along the skin.
Gillette Nacet DE Blades
As you can see from the packaging, these blades are sharp enough to cut through a crocodile! A great blade from Gillette, made in Russia, the Nacet double edge razor blades are relatively sharp, ideal for thicker hairs and give a very smooth finish. They tend to last fewer shaves compared to other blades so may need replacing more often.
Perma-sharp Super DE blades
Another blade manufactured in Russia, these Perma-Sharps live up to their name! A very sharp blade with good longevity has made it a a firm favourite for many wet shavers. Some claim they can get 10 shaves from a Perma-Sharp blade before it needs replacing.
Osma Laboratoires Styptic Pencil
Osma Laboratoires have been making the finest quality alum products, recognised all over the world, since 1957. Anyone that has been wet shaving for long will probably have come across this brand at some point. We decided to include their styptic pencil as it is fast becoming an essential item in anyone's wet shaving arsenal. Made from alum, it’s a natural aftershave treatment with astringent and antiseptic properties to help sooth the skin after shaving. It’s particularly useful for healing any nicks and cuts; simply run over a damp face immediately after shaving, rinse off with with water before applying your shaving balm.
Our favourite use of the stick is as a test for shave quality. If you have poor technique, such as pressing too hard or holding the blade at too steep an angle, chances are you are causing tiny invisible cuts all over your skin when shaving. When you run the pencil over your skin you will feel the tiny cuts as mild stinging. Similarly, when your razor blade has gone blunt it can cause these tiny cuts so it’s a good indicator of when to replace your blade if you feel your technique isn’t to blame. It’s very satisfying after a shave to run the pencil over your face without any stinging feeling. It’s the sign of a job well done!