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Thread: Proper Use Of Pre-shave Oil.

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    Senior Member Firefighter2's Avatar
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    Question Proper Use Of Pre-shave Oil.

    How long do you guys leave pre-shave oil on your face before you apply the lather?
    1: Does it work better the longer it sits? (I would assume it does, but it also might disappear if left too long)
    2: Should I apply it after I wet my face, or should I not wet my face at all?
    I guess I'm really just looking for the correct way to use the oil. I haven't noticed any difference after using the oil. Any tips will be greatly appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefighter2 View Post
    How long do you guys leave pre-shave oil on your face before you apply the lather?
    1: Does it work better the longer it sits? (I would assume it does, but it also might disappear if left too long)
    2: Should I apply it after I wet my face, or should I not wet my face at all?
    I guess I'm really just looking for the correct way to use the oil. I haven't noticed any difference after using the oil. Any tips will be greatly appreciated.
    When I first started straight razor shaving, I used pre-shave oil, but as I got more experienced with SR shaving, I tried different creams and found some that provide me the lubrication I need to help my razor glide across my face and soften my whiskers to get a good close shave. I also make sure my skin is moist with warm water rinses between passes.
    To answer your question with my humble opinions based on my own experiences when I used to use the oil, I did not let it sit for long before adding the lather because the oil would actually start drying on my skin and even with the lather, it made shaving difficult. But that may not be the case for you. My best advice to you would be to try different lengths of time to see how it works out for you. You have nothing to lose, but you could gain a lot!

    Remember, oil is lighter than water, so my speculation is that if you apply the oil to wet face, it might only sit on top of the water/moisture. My best advice is for you to try out different scenarios to see what works and what doesn't. What works for one person may not work another person.

    Just my couple cents for what they are worth.
    Good luck and let us know how you make out.
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    There are certainly two different schools of thought on this, but here is my take on the issue of oil for shaving. If it works for you then use it and enjoy it.

    I was taught to wash my face thoroughly to get all of the oil off so that each whisker would be able to stand up better and get softer with hydration. If you cover the hair with oil, they will not hydrate and they might not stand up as well. Ever seen the Williams Lectric Shave commercial where all the whiskers stand up? Same thing in my mind.

    Soap cuts oil as well so then you lather up with soap and scrub the oil off anyway. I believe that good preperation is the key here to get a good shave. Nothing like a hot shower or a steaming towel and a good lather on a clean face to get a great shave.

    So that is my two cents worth and I hope that helps you.

    Will N.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WillN View Post
    There are certainly two different schools of thought on this, but here is my take on the issue of oil for shaving. If it works for you then use it and enjoy it.

    I was taught to wash my face thoroughly to get all of the oil off so that each whisker would be able to stand up better and get softer with hydration. If you cover the hair with oil, they will not hydrate and they might not stand up as well. Ever seen the Williams Lectric Shave commercial where all the whiskers stand up? Same thing in my mind.

    Soap cuts oil as well so then you lather up with soap and scrub the oil off anyway. I believe that good preperation is the key here to get a good shave. Nothing like a hot shower or a steaming towel and a good lather on a clean face to get a great shave.

    So that is my two cents worth and I hope that helps you.

    Will N.
    Well said/written.

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    It's one of those things some folks really believe in and some simply don't. I tried it and it did nothing for me. I don't think leaving it on any length of time will do anything because it just sits on the face to provide lube. It doesn't penetrate into the beard.

    If you use it make sure you wash your brush out really good. Oil build up on the brush will not help it hold water.
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    I was told that the longer you use it, the better it works. So, it's best to use it on a daily basis. Over time, it's supposed to have a commulative effect. Since it's oil, I guess on some level it must soften whiskers. Seems logical. I normally place a hot towel on my face, let the pores open up, and soften my beard somewhat, then I apply the pre shave oil. I rub it in really well, just 4 or 5 drops. I'll let it sit on my face while I prepare my lather. I guess I'd have to stop using it, to see if I'm missing anything. I get great shaves. No complaints.

    Now, Castle Forbes makes a non oil based pre shave which they say is better....?
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    Quote Originally Posted by zib View Post
    Now, Castle Forbes makes a non oil based pre shave which they say is better....?
    I have that Castle Forbes pre shave balm and I quite like it. I'm also trying a pre shave gel from Taylor, which seems to work extremely well. I've tried a couple of oil concoctions and they just didn't do the trick for me. .

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    All other things being equal (razor, shaving cream, brush) my skin becomes noticeably more irritated whenever I do not use pre-shave oil. I put it on right after heating the facial skin (towel or shower), and leave it while I prep the brush and lather, sometimes also while stropping. I do not wash it off prior to lathering, and have the impression that it combines very well with the T&H cream. I generally also use T&H oil, but have occasionally substituted - don't be shocked - Johnson's baby oil when out of the good stuff. Still works better than without.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefighter2 View Post
    How long do you guys leave pre-shave oil on your face before you apply the lather?
    1: Does it work better the longer it sits? (I would assume it does, but it also might disappear if left too long)
    2: Should I apply it after I wet my face, or should I not wet my face at all?
    I guess I'm really just looking for the correct way to use the oil. I haven't noticed any difference after using the oil. Any tips will be greatly appreciated.
    My pre-shave routine involves a good cleaning in the shower and just before I get out, I put my face right up to the shower head and crank the heat up as high as I can stand it for as long as I can stand it. I love that ultra warm sensation. After I set out, I immediately dry my face and apply the pre-shave. Then I make my lather. Just before applying the lather, I hit my face with hot water from the sink (or a warm towel if I'm so lucky). Sometimes I reapply a bit of pre-shave between one of the passes.

    Try a pre-shave balm if you can. They work better for me anyway.

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    Thanks for all the advice, everyone. It's looking like I'll have to experiment with the oil a bit more. It seems to work for just as many people as it doesn't work for.
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