Shaving Oil -- does it have a place?

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mattbramanti
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Shaving Oil -- does it have a place?

Post by mattbramanti » Mon Aug 11, 2008 5:16 pm

I can't seem to find the straight dope on shaving oil (Shave Secret, Pacific, etc). Some swear by it, some say it's useless.

Some apply it before the shaving cream, some appear to use it on the last pass only.

What are your thoughts, gents?
“If you teach a poor young man to shave himself, and keep his razor in order, you may contribute more to the happiness of his life than in giving him a thousand guineas.” --Benjamin Franklin

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deshaveman
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Post by deshaveman » Mon Aug 11, 2008 5:21 pm

As with most things wet-shaving....YMMV :wink:

notthesharpest
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Post by notthesharpest » Mon Aug 11, 2008 5:30 pm

The reason you can't find the straight dope is that there are at least three versions of it, and they disagree on the basics.

My version: Shaving oil is absolutely useless for anyone, and he who finds it useful simply needs to improve his lather; his desire for oil will immediately disappear.

The other two usual answers to shaving oil (as far as I know) are just what you've already outlined.

I think the promoters of shaving oil really mean it to be used alone, without lather - i.e. you just oil and shave, no cream, no soap.

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drmoss_ca
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Post by drmoss_ca » Mon Aug 11, 2008 5:49 pm

It has no place in my shavatorium.

Chris
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Pierre-Simon de Laplace

Leisureguy

Post by Leisureguy » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:27 pm

I like it sometimes for a final pass. After three passes (with, across, and then against the grain), I will rinse, put a few drops of the oil in the palm of my left hand (I'm a right-hand shaver), and rub it over my beard. Then with the left hand I feel for roughness and with the razor in my right hand polish it away against the grain. For me, this produces a very smooth shave indeed, and after I rinse and rub dry my face, the little remaining oil seems to do my skin good. I apply a splash of aftershave and I'm good to go.

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Chaps
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Post by Chaps » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:00 pm

I never use shave oil.

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Post by bernards66 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:12 pm

I agree with David, It is, at best, pointless if you shave with quality cream or soap and know how to use them properly. Some are a down right detriment, IMO.
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ThePossum
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Post by ThePossum » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:34 pm

Leisureguy wrote:I like it sometimes for a final pass. After three passes (with, across, and then against the grain), I will rinse, put a few drops of the oil in the palm of my left hand (I'm a right-hand shaver), and rub it over my beard. Then with the left hand I feel for roughness and with the razor in my right hand polish it away against the grain. For me, this produces a very smooth shave indeed, and after I rinse and rub dry my face, the little remaining oil seems to do my skin good. I apply a splash of aftershave and I'm good to go.
As one of the resident shaving gurus of SMF Michael has caught my attention when he recommends something. I tried his "Last-Pass" Shave Oil and I use it everyday as my final buffing pass. In fact my wife uses the same oil instead of lather when she shaves her legs. Stuff is great. But I must also say that YMMV with shave oils. Here is a link to Michael's thoughts on the Oil Pass
http://www.shavemyface.com/forum/viewto ... t=oil+pass
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Post by Gillette1904 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:35 pm

The reason why so many are against shave oil is elementary.

The whole idea of prepping one's face is to get the whiskers to absorb water. Hot water, even a bit of soap, and either a soaking of wet cloth against the face or rubbing a wet brush, with or without soap at first, getting the shaving area nice and wet so that the whiskers will absorb water and soften enough to cut cleanly.

Oil repels water, thus rendering it somewhat useless in many opinions for prepping a beard for water-based shaving.
Best, Michael

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Shave Cat
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Post by Shave Cat » Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:00 am

On a whim, I've tried "Shave Secret" a few times. My observations are: 1) The oily film it produces is nowhere near as slick as a good lather. 2) Although the oily film seems protective, I found I had to use excess pressure to shave. 3) Its film is too thick to be used for a final oil pass. IMO, if you are used to applying pressure when you shave, and your lather isn't all that good, "Shave Secret" may help. Sounds like it was developed with modern cartridge shavers in mind, doesn't it? Good shaving technique is more beneficial to me.

-Clarke

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Post by Jonnieboy61 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:35 am

It's not for me, just gave me spots.
John

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Post by saman » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:04 am

As always, it's a matter of opinion.

However, never mix the oil directly with the the lather - it can ruin your brush and will reduce the lather to watery goo. A lesson which I learned the hard way.

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ichabod
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Post by ichabod » Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:52 am

I don't use shave oil, because I see nothing it could contribute to my shave.
It seems like, amongst experienced shavers, the only use for it is as a standalone shaving medium to replace lather rather than as an addition.
Richard in Texas (Coche y Bondhu, as it may be spelled), for example, I recall has a high opinion of Pacific Shave Oil to be used on its own in the Texas quick shave.
A friend of mine from Scotland was visiting a while back, and he brought along with him some King of Shaves oil which he swore by - he's a cartridge user and shaves every week or so. Not so long after my parents were visiting from England and my dad had a little bottle of the same stuff. He uses a Sensor these days, having begun with a Valet auto strop many years ago (born 1930, started shaving perhaps 1943?).
I'm not looking to replace my soap/brush lather, or indeed looking to save time, so the oil has no draw for me.
Now - as a beginner I was drawn to everything. I tried jojoba oil mixed with hair conditioner, oil from L'Occitane (nice smell), and so forth. I eventually gave up looking for any magic bullet and went to soap and a brush.
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scottydoint
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Post by scottydoint » Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:28 pm

It definatley does for me. The kind I use seems different than other shave oils and works way better. I think you can find it at walmart for a couple of bucks but it isn't the same brand I bought at a local Health food store. It is called shave secret at walmart.

kelbro
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Post by kelbro » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:08 pm

I tried the ShaveSecret from WalMart and got a really good shave with my Slim DE. I had planned to try it with a straight but haven't gotten around to it. I plan to take it on trips to Asia where the hotel packages of lather are horrible and the blades in the so-called razors are even worse.

My only problems with it are: 1. Unlike with lather, I can't see where I just shaved. and 2. It left quite a mess on my blade. Neither are deal-killers, just my experience.

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Post by Killian85 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:11 pm

For most members here, using oil would be counterproductive. They know how to make excellent lather so adding oil would be unnecessary. I've used oil for a final pass and found that it gives you a false sense of security. You think the oil is going to allow you more leeway in terms of the amount of pressure you use. In my case, I was thinking it would allow for a closer shave below the jaw line. It did, but I ended up with a lot of irritation since so much pressure was used. Now I skip the oil, use far less pressure with the proper blade angle, and get excellent irritation-free results in that area.
Alan

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Zach

Post by Zach » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:53 pm

I would imagine that people who are interested in an oil pass are also interested in getting a BBS shave, and are not able to achieve this with proper lather. Simply stated, they want 'something more' after their 3 passes. For me, there's 'nothing left' after 3 passes, but if you think you need BBS to be happy and oil is a path to BBS (and therefore happiness) then by all means use oil.

scottydoint
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Post by scottydoint » Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:35 pm

I wet my face, apply oil, wet my face some more, and then lather up. It has helped me tons and I can make good lather.

Gillette1904
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Post by Gillette1904 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:47 pm

scottydoint wrote:I wet my face, apply oil, wet my face some more, and then lather up. It has helped me tons and I can make good lather.
I would say it's more the lathering than the oil :lol:

Seriously, as I said earlier in this thread, oil repels water. But, if you apply oil and then lather, then you're emulsifying the mixture on your face...the soap breaks down the oil on your face, and then incorporates it within the soap/water mixture - which includes emulsified oils already in the soap or cream. You've essentially enriched your shaving cream/soap a little bit.

"Emulsifying the mixture". I should have tried to write like CAR: "Emulsifying the cutting preparation solution, which is necessary before you veeblefetzer the furshlugginer potrzebie."
Best, Michael

scottydoint
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Post by scottydoint » Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:30 pm

Gillette1904 wrote:
scottydoint wrote:I wet my face, apply oil, wet my face some more, and then lather up. It has helped me tons and I can make good lather.
I would say it's more the lathering than the oil :lol:

Seriously, as I said earlier in this thread, oil repels water. But, if you apply oil and then lather, then you're emulsifying the mixture on your face...the soap breaks down the oil on your face, and then incorporates it within the soap/water mixture - which includes emulsified oils already in the soap or cream. You've essentially enriched your shaving cream/soap a little bit.

"Emulsifying the mixture". I should have tried to write like CAR: "Emulsifying the cutting preparation solution, which is necessary before you veeblefetzer the furshlugginer potrzebie."
I had a post on B&B about if oils really help because they repel water, but no knew. In theory it probably shouldn't do anything, but I seem to notice a difference.

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