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balms aftershaves and other potions

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balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby nicodemus38 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:32 pm

if our fancy soaps give such a good smooth silky shave. then why do we need after shaves and other potions to sooth and restore the skin?

the razor takes off dead cells as it shaves. and the rich wonderful lathering 40 dollar shaving soap is supposed to be moisturizing in the process and making all things good. so why then must I purchase after shaves and soothing moisturizing balms?

please help me figure it out.

this is one of the questions that got me banned from badgerandblade,
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby Squire » Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:42 pm

I don't need them nic and I highly suspect many others don't either. One cannot fault the companies for putting out so many diverse pre and post shave products (that is their business purpose) but I doubt most of us actually have a need for such things. Use 'em or ignore 'em I say, just don't tell me I need them cause after half century of shaving I know I don't.

Traditional alcohol based aftershaves are another matter in that they fill an actual need. I believe our freshly shaved face can use some protection from ambient bacteria and other unavoidable airborne stuff (wild Yeasts, etc.) so a quick sterilization is useful. The neat scents are a bonus.
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby nicodemus38 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:29 pm

pre shave stuff is something I don't understand. at all. period. why do I need to buy a 30 dollar bottle of oil or cleanser or softener when my 30 dollar shave soap says on the label "wonderful rich lather that softens the beards and creates a wonderful slick layer of protection for your razor"?

its like in the start of fargo when the car dealer is charging people extra for the factory standard galvanized anti rust coating on their car.
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby ShadowsDad » Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:48 pm

Who said soap is moisturizing? I'm not trying to put you on the spot. I know who, a soap manufacturer who wanted their product to somehow supply something that a soap is ill equipped to supply. Don't believe all of the hype that a manufacturer will use to convince one to buy a product.

We don't take a shower and soap up to moisturize. The water does the moisturizing, the soap provides a different function. The same with shaving. Soap can provide something temporary that appears to be moisturizing, but that's only in the short term. A good moisturizer provides all day protection. Soap can't do that because that isn't it's role, and to try to get a soap to moisturize is extremely inefficient. But yes, because some folks think that soap should moisturize we do our best to accommodate. That's why I was quite adamant when my Frostbite soap was developed that the frankincense should be added to the mix. It's not there merely as scent. But the real work of moisturizing comes after the shave. The last thing to touch the skin has the largest effect, not something whose specific job it is to clean, allow water to penetrate the whisker, and lubricate, and then gets rinsed off. In the case of soap, unless you plan to wear the soap throughout the day, the water is the last thing to touch the skin, and if the soap is good it will rinse off easily. The moisturizing that you feel is the water that the soap allowed to penetrate the skin and that will evaporate in short order.

That's one of the reasons I didn't want to make a Frostbite soap and resisted it for quite some time. But I have to admit that I quite like the soap now, but even though it's laced with good stuff for the skin, it's job is NOT specifically to moisturize. That's the job of the companion splash.

I'm not trying to convince you that you need a skin conditioner after the shave, only that if you think the soap is providing long term conditioning, well, it isn't and can't in a meaningful way.
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby Squire » Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:00 am

I don't think nic's post claimed soap as a moisturizer, rather asked why use a pre shave oil to soften whiskers when the shave soap was designed to do the same thing. Why indeed? Seems to duplicate a process that should have worked just the once.

Much like instructions on a shampoo label saying after finishing shampooing we must relather and do it a second time. Is this at all necessary? Hell no, just sells twice as much shampoo.

Multiple shaving products were designed to sell us more stuff, that's all.
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby Rufus » Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:06 am

I don't use any kind of pre-shave prep., but I do always use an alcohol-based aftershave. I find if I don't use such an aftershave my face feels itchy no matter how good/expensive my shaving cream or soap. I've tried non-alcohol-based concoctions and balms, witch hazel, etc., but none leaves my face feeling as refreshed and invigorated as a good old alcohol-based formulation, especially if it contains menthol.
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby ShadowsDad » Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:52 am

I agree, I don't use a preshave. It fights the soap IMO, and I didn't detect any positive effect. I think that the best pre-shave is a long face lathering to allow the soap to do it's work. But lots of folks swear by it. A case of YMMV.

The first post definitely mentions balms and such in the 2nd paragraph. That's what I was addressing.
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby brothers » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:34 am

I've formed a habit of using a tiny dab of 444 mentholated after shave balm and a splash of something that smells good and may or may not contain alcohol, just because I can, and I like it. :wink:
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby nicodemus38 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:30 am

theres a lot of shave creams and soaps that claim to be moisturizing as we shave. otherwise why would anyone want to spend 50 dollars on a shave soap that would be equaled by a 10 dollar puck of haslinger?

and ive been reading a lot of reviews and a lot of folks swear that certain soaps do help the skin out afterwords. namely haslinger seaweed and la toja. I haven't used those yet. so cant really say if the reviews are good or not.

the classic wet shave pre shave routine was always get a face towel wet and hot as you can get stand it. and soak your beard for a bit. then lather up.
that worked with the soaps we have on the market since Gillette started selling razors to the us army in ww1. So why suddenly do I need to do the towel soak, THEN use a 30 dollar pre shave oil/tonic before my high grade 30+ dollar shave soap?
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby brothers » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:31 am

I'm with you on the pre-shave nic. The hot shower activity works as well as anything else.
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby ShadowsDad » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:47 am

Yes Nic, you make my point for me. Yes, you could use ARKO and follow it with a good skin care product and get much better skin care than the $50 soap. I do that frequently. It's the last product on the skin that has the lasting effect. You may not like that answer, but you asked the question, the truth is what it is.

The more expensive soaps are because of the ingredients, or could be, it could also be BS and advertising copy. I can't discuss other soaps, I only know what I have made for me. The frankincense alone is quite expensive, but there are other EOs in it as well. It costs something to add good ingredients and that cost must be passed on. Because of manufacturer claims that soaps actually do something beyond their obvious value, and most folks not being able to see beyond advertising copy, it drives us all to try to appease customers. Not necessarily because it's the most efficient delivery system.

The folks you refer to make soap, yes? So they won't tell you to use a more efficient product to care for your skin, yet that is precisely what should occur for maximum benefits for the skin. Notice that when I made product for my own skin conditioning that I didn't first make soap and think that by some magic it would benefit the skin after the shave. I made the skin care product first and the soaps were added years later because folks wanted them. I made the soaps as good as I possibly could (hence the price), but the real skin care comes from the splashes and always has. My soaps are really good, but I make no claims for them. Maybe I should and then have folks part with more $ to get them, but I simply can't and won't do that; clearly I'm a lousy businessman, but I need to be able to look myself in the mirror in the morning. I can't make it any clearer, a soap is a lousy way to care for the skin, but marketing has clouded minds into thinking the opposite. Any benefit evaporates away in short order since it's mostly water doing the job.

I like the fact that expensive soaps GENERALLY use better ingredients. I like the use of EOs and beneficial ingredients in them (despite the inefficiency) and not synthetic scent and short cuts. There are some that I have no doubt make claims only to market snake oil at a high price.

I said I wouldn't discuss other soaps. I'll break that and will discuss one; Martin deCandre. It uses quality ingredients and the scents no doubt are naturally derived from processes that have been used for at least hundreds of years. That section of France has lavender farms and I have absolutely no doubt that the scent in their soap is 100% naturally derived. That process costs something. I like MdC quite a lot and it's one of the few soaps that ages like a fine wine. It works for the shave as nicely when it's new or after it has aged, but the scent is so much better if one puts one away for a few years and then "pops the cork".

Enjoy soaps for what soaps do, but be smarter than the advertising copy. If you want skin care get a product specifically for skin care. I'm not trying to sell you my products. Of course I'd like you to, but for skin care buy the right product to get the job done, just don't count on soap to do it.
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby Squire » Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:55 pm

The towel soak works, very well for most, but is time consuming for those who seek a shortcut. Basically you're just getting and keeping your whiskers wet and water does that as well for me as anything.
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby ThePossum » Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:12 am

Preshave oils are humbug! If anything I would do like Squire suggests and that is a minute or so with a hot towel wrapped around my face while in the shower. Seems to soften the beard a bit. But it is usually a few minutes after the towel treatment before I can start the shave so I don't think the hot towel matters as much as one might think.

Have always used some kind of after shave. Used to be the alcohol based stuff you bought at the drug store. Now a days I just use Thayer's witch hazel toner to close up the pores on the face and neck and then on occasion some EDT for effect.

Now the wife, that is another thing all together. She loves the soothing feel of the witch hazel and some of my AS Balms. I have her shaving now with good ol fashioned shave soap and creams and one of my brushes. She also, at my insistence began to 2 pass shaves and gets the best results she has ever had. Now to just convince her to ditch the mult blade razor for one of my DE or Injector razors and she will be even more satisfied. Oh, and by the way, I even get to help her. As I mix the lather for her. Some day I may teach her how to make lather but for now . . .
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby Squire » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:00 am

Tell her the money we save on blades can go to shoes.
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby ShadowsDad » Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:49 am

Bryce, my wife told me in no uncertain terms that she didn't want a razor. So naturally I got her a Lady Gillette for her b'day or some such. After she had it in her possession she had to use it. Anyway, that worked on my wife.

Now if I could just get her to change the blade once in awhile. It appears she can use just about anything in the razor and get a decent shave, to the point of using the same blade for what appears to me to be 6 months. I have no idea how she does that. Oh, and she uses blades that didn't make the cut for my face when I was testing blades. They work fine for her.
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby Big Swifty » Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:10 pm

Hello gents,
I don't know about other users here but to me the aftershave step is my most favourite part of my shave! I love everything about aftershave, the great face feel when we're all done, the burn upon initial application, and the great variety of scents that are out there. To me it doesn't matter what soap I use I always finish off my shave with a generous dose of an alcohol based splash (lately I've been hooked on Myrsol) and if I want a little balm effect I go straight for the emulsion... ahhhhhh 8)
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby Squire » Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:29 pm

Nothing like a great finish.
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby Big Swifty » Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:52 pm

Squire wrote:Nothing like a great finish.


true words of wisdom squire
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby nicodemus38 » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:24 pm

im feeling naughty..

but if that fancy preshave, fancy shave soap, and fancy badger brush, and 100 dollar de razor with feather blades gives that wonderful sexy shave..

why do you get that burn when you put your alcohol aftershave on?

and don't go on about how shaving removes the dead layer of skin cells. just living does that. and if the dead ones are removed, the healthy ones left shouldn't have that burn.
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Re: balms aftershaves and other potions

Postby CMur12 » Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:50 pm

nicodemus38 wrote:im feeling naughty..

but if that fancy preshave, fancy shave soap, and fancy badger brush, and 100 dollar de razor with feather blades gives that wonderful sexy shave..

why do you get that burn when you put your alcohol aftershave on?

and don't go on about how shaving removes the dead layer of skin cells. just living does that. and if the dead ones are removed, the healthy ones left shouldn't have that burn.


Why wouldn't they?

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