Datum poslední aktualizace
Published: 03/21/2020
Datum poslední aktualizace
Last update: 07/30/2022
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Foam, gel, soap or shaving cream? Which shaving product is best

When and why to use shaving cosmetics

Ideally, use shaving gel, foam or oil whenever you shave with a razor or electric shaver that is suitable for wet shaving. Regardless of whether it is a blade or electric shaver. Cosmetic shaving products soften the hairs and prevent excessive friction of the blade against the skin and irritation. It is always better for the skin with them than without them.

Use shaving cosmetics if your razor allows it.

If you have sensitive skin, don't even consider dry shaving, you'll irritate your skin unnecessarily.

Skin irritation after shaving can resemble acne
Skin irritation after shaving can resemble acne

With which razor can you use shaving cosmetics

Shaving cosmetics can be used with disposable razors, manual razors and electric ones. If you're picking out an electric shaver and are confused about which models to wet shave with, check out comparisons of foil and rotary electric shavers from Braun or Philips to read reviews of each model.

What shaving products are there

In addition to the notorious foams and gels, you'll also find lotions, creams, alternative oils and traditional shaving soaps on the market. All variants are available in both women's and men's versions.

The downside of products in pressurized bottles is that you never know how much content you have left. By shaking and shaking you can only roughly estimate, but you can't be sure if you'll have enough left for another shave. A handy feature is a transparent content indicator so you can see where you stand.

Avoid the rusty wheels on your bathroom shelf and reach for packaging that won't rust.

If you use your shaving product sporadically and it will be sitting in your damp bathroom for long periods of time, choose a glass bottle or container with a stainless steel bottom.

Before you start shaving, give the products a few minutes head start so they have time to soften the beard sufficiently. The exact duration of action depends on the manufacturer's recommendations for the specific product. It should be added that many do not specify it. If you don't find it, wait 1-2 minutes before you start shaving. If you find that your beard is still quite hard, wait another 1-2 minutes.

Shaving Foams

Shaving foams are typically sold in pressurized bottles, which presents some limitations when traveling by air. So if you travel a lot, always make sure you can carry the specific type of packaging for your shaving product. A good quality shaving foam should be rich and thick, and should last at least 10 minutes on the skin in this state to give you plenty of time to shave.

The foams are especially suitable for shaving pubic hair and for men with finer beards. They can be used in combination with both a razor and an electric shaver.

The foams are mostly white and easily visible. As you shave, you'll be able to see which areas you've already shaved and which you still need to shave. You won't miss anything and you won't go over the same spot multiple times, avoiding unnecessary irritation.

Shaving foam in the palm of your hand
We all know that feeling when we miss it. Dispense foam from pressure vessels with sensitivity.

Shaving gels

Shaving gels have the thickest consistency and are suitable for shaving tough beards and hairs. They offer good glide and intense softening of beard and pubic hair, thus protecting the skin from minor injuries.

Gels are suitable for shaving tough beards or hairs with electric shavers and razors.

Always spread shaving gels in circular motions, they will gain volume and turn white as they lather up, so you can clearly see on your skin where you've already shaved and what areas are left. Some gels don't lather and retain a gel-like consistency. However, they are usually re-coloured so you can still get a good idea of which areas you've already covered. Shaving gels are packaged either in pressurised bottles or in plastic tubes, like toothpaste or hand cream.

Shaving Gel in the Palm of Your Hand
Be sure to lather the gel in circular motions in the palms of your hands before use

Shaving oils

Shaving oils are the least numerous group of shaving products, they make it easier for razors to glide, protect the skin from irritation and nourish it at the same time. The downside is that they are transparent, so you can't see which areas are still missing and which have already been shaved. You have to be careful not to irritate your skin by shaving several times.

Applying is also problematic. The oils are liquid, so they run off quickly. Another minus is that the shaver is harder to clean. The oil is greasy and you can't remove it from the blades with plain water like other cosmetics. They are therefore suitable when using disposable razors or razor blades.

If you want a natural shaving product without unnecessary chemicals, look for it among the oils.

Oils are made up of a combination of plant and essential oils, so they're suitable for sensitive skin care. They also have the advantage of multifunctional use, the oils take care of the skin already during shaving, so you don't need to use aftershave products. 

Shaving oil on the palm of your hand
Shaving oil unfortunately has more disadvantages than advantages

Shaving Soaps

Shaving soaps contain caring ingredients in the form of vegetable butters and oils in addition to a glycerin or tallow base. Shaving soaps can come in the form of a classic bar or in a cup.If you choose a natural soap, you may be disappointed by the low lather.

The downside of soap is the labor involved in creating lather. If you want to go the safe route, reach for a cream. You can also lather it using your fingers and water right on your face.

Soaps are solid, you have to wet them and lather them with a shaving brush in a bowl or mug. Getting the perfect ratio of water is a bit of alchemy, and may not be successful the first time. But the resulting lather is worth it, and the blade glides over it easily so you can see which areas you've already shaved. Traditionally, soaps have been used for razor shaving, but they are also suitable for shaving with a razor or electric shaver.

Shaving Soap
Creating the right consistency of soap takes practice

Shaving lotions and creams

The last two types of shaving products are lotions and creams. The difference between them lies in the thickness. Creams are thicker, more nourishing and contain less water than lotions. Some creams can be lathered after applying to the skin, while others retain their creamy consistency. Lathering is easy. Much easier than soap. Simply apply to a damp face and massage into a lather with wet fingers.

Both lotions and creams offer good slip, beard softening and intense hydration. They reliably perform as aftershave products. They are suitable for shaving all types of beards using a razor, electric shaver or blade.

If you have dry skin, try a lotion or shaving cream.

Which shaving product to choose

Choose a product according to your skin type, coarseness of beard/hair and the area you are shaving. A well-chosen cosmetic will make shaving more comfortable and prevent unwanted skin reactions after shaving.

Based on skin type

Choose products according to the intended use and manufacturer's recommendations on the packaging. With a few exceptions, it is generally impossible to say whether one consistency is better for a particular skin type than another. The range is so wide that you can find products of the same type suitable for any skin type.

  • Oily and problematic skin is characterized by increased sebum production, on which dead skin particles and impurities cling. These clog the pores and cause acne. If you have acne-prone skin, focus on non-comedogenic cosmetics with antibacterial and exfoliating properties. These products don't clog pores and rid the skin of excess sebum and dead skin particles.
  • Dry skin, on the other hand, suffers from a lack of sebum and has a weaker protective barrier, drying out easily, becoming tight and itchy. Cosmetic products for dry skin should intensely moisturize and nourish. Oils, lotions and creams are the best shaving cosmetics for this.
  • Normal skin does not suffer from tightness or oily zones, but it also appreciates nourishment and hydration during shaving.
  • Cosmetics for all skin types are neutral. You can't go wrong with it, but it is a compromise solution in every respect, and is no match for specialized products that are designed for specific skin needs.
  • Intolerant, allergic and sensitive skin is easily irritated and prone to redness. The ideal shaving product is dermatologically tested and free of irritating ingredients such as perfume or alcohol.

According to the body part

In addition to your skin type, match your product selection to the areas you will be shaving. This recommendation applies especially to ladies. For shaving women's private areas, choose specially designed products with a slightly acidic pH that contain lactic acid. This way you will not disturb the natural balance of the female body when shaving.

Disturbing the natural microflora during shaving results in an overgrowth of unwanted bacteria or yeast.

Other shaving products for women, which make up the majority, are primarily used for shaving legs, underarms, arms and other parts of the body; the choice of consistency and type depends on your preference and skin type.

Even men's private parts require preparation before shaving. You will avoid skin irritation and uncomfortable ingrown hairs.

Gentlemen, choose a special or gentle, dermatologist-tested product for shaving intimate areas that will soften unruly hair without irritating sensitive skin.

Based on beard coarseness

The coarseness of the beard should be taken into account especially by men. A really hard beard resists even the sharpest razor blades, catching and causing painful pulling. If your beard has the qualities of a steel brush, use a combination of a special exfoliant and shaving gel to soften the beard and ensure a smooth glide over the skin.

How to shave a very hard beard

Start with a special exfoliating cleansing gel to rid the skin and especially the beard of dead skin particles and dirt that coat the beard and make it difficult to shave.

Then wash your face with warm water and leave it wet for 2 to 3 minutes.

Then apply a thick, emollient shaving gel, leave it on for at least 2 minutes unless the manufacturer specifies a different interval, and begin shaving your cheeks.

Save the lip area for last, the gel will have plenty of time to thoroughly soften the beard.

After Shave Care

In addition to products that make shaving more comfortable, you can also find after-shave care products on the market. These are usually aftershave balms, creams and lotions whose primary function is to soothe, relieve irritation and moisturize the skin. Some products also promise to slow hair growth, soften hair texture and prevent ingrowth.

If you're worried about ingrown hairs or rapid regrowth, look to specialty cosmetics to help.

When shaving gel won't help

In addition to choosing the right cosmetics, many other factors affect the quality of your shave. One of the most important is keeping your razor or shaver in perfect condition.

Never leave your razor in the bath or shower after use. Always clean it properly, dry it and store it in a place where it will not be exposed to moisture that would encourage bacteria.

Red pimples after shaving
These red pimples are a typical symptom of irritation caused by bacteria buildup on the razor

The same is true of shavers, whether they are foil electric shavers, rotary electric shavers, or women's epilators or depilatories. Always wash the device properly and blow out any debris from the shaving head. Some shavers come with a cleaning and charging station. Which not only cleans the razor but also disinfects it. Such stations are offered, for example, by Braun 9290cc, or Philips S9711. If maintenance is a challenge for you, you'd better reach for them.

Foam, gel, soap or shaving cream? Which shaving product is best
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Foam, gel, soap or shaving cream? Which shaving product is best
Is it better to use shaving gel, foam or soap? In fact, it always depends on the specific product. Each product group offers different products depending on the condition of your skin or the part of your body you want to shave. In this article, you will find out how shaving products differ.
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