Using essential oil for shaving is a good option if you have sensitive skin, or if you just want to avoid using the drying and irritating chemicals in many shaving creams and gels. Shaving oil can be used on its own, or applied under the shaving cream. The oil not only helps the razor glide along your skin more easily, it also softens and moisturizes your skin, preventing irritation. You can also add your own personalized scents to shaving oil.
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Undiluted aromatic essential oils are usually much too harsh to apply directly to skin, and they can cause irritation or allergic reactions. For this reason, a shaving oil should be made with a base oil with aromatic oil added to it. Common base oils include mineral oil, olive oil, almond essential oil and jojoba essential oil. Coconut and avocado essential oils are more expensive, but they contain vitamins E as well as antioxidants that nourish your skin. Be aware that some people can have adverse reactions to mineral oil, which can clog pores.
The base oil acts as an emollient. According to the CNN Health, emollients smooth and moisturize the skin by filling the space between skin cells and replacing the lipids. Emollients also act as a lubricant, making the shave smoother, and keeping the razor from skipping or catching.
Aromatic Essential Oils
Aromatic essential oils are what give the shaving oil its scent. These oils can be expensive, but you do not need to use more than a few drops per ounce of base oil to get a lingering aroma. The essential oils in shaving oil are a matter of personal preference. You can use a single oil or blend of oils to make a unique smell. Oils like eucalyptus and peppermint have a cooling effect on the skin, while tea tree oil can be added as an antiseptic in case you cut yourself. For women, a broad range of sweet and floral scents are available, such as citrus, lavender, geranium or chamomile. For a more masculine scent, try spice oils like cedar, patchouli, juniper or ginger. Before using any aromatic essential oil for shaving, test it on a small patch of skin on the inside of your wrist to make sure you don't have any allergic reaction to it. The CNN Health website points out that it is the fragrances in shaving products that cause skin irritation for many people.
Glycerin is an optional ingredient for a shaving oil. The CNN Health website describes glycerin as a humectant, which means that it attracts water to the skin and keeps it moist. Using glycerin in a shaving oil blend will make it more moisturizing, and can help heal skin that is scaly or irritated from shaving.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- CNN Health: Moisturizers 101: The Basics of Softer Skin
- Shave Oil: Shave Oil Guide
- Essential Oil Recipes: Natural Shaving Cream
- Essential Oils Online: Customer Recipes
- Herb Expert: Using Herbs Around the House
- Cosmetic Grade: Avocado Carrier Oil
- Curbly: 25 Alternative Uses For Olive Oil
- Organic Facts: Health Benefits of Cocnut Oil
- Aromaweb: Aromatherapy Blending Tips for Men