Whether it’s camping, fishing, backpacking, or any other activity, us men love spending time in the outdoors, enjoying nature to its fullest while being secluded.
One reccuring concern however for many of us who spend more than a day or two outdoors, is how to handle shaving.
There are two issues regarding shaving outdoors :
1. While many guys just settle for growing a temporary beard, others like myself who suffer from sensitive skin or specific facial hair types, find that a beard irritates their skin, followed by their moods.
2. Shaving outdoors is usually an experience that resembles a prison shave. For classic wet shave enthusiasts such as myself, this is quite depressing.
Luckily, I found that with pre-planning and some creativity, a classic wet shave in the outdoors is possible. In fact, I noticed that after implementing these methods, shaving in the outdoors turned into something I look forward to, rather than dread, as it has a rewarding and even spiritual feel to it.
A quality washbag provides room for all my wet shaving necessities, while maintaining one of the most important factors in camping… keeping things minimal. My favorite is The Bluebeards Revenge washbag as it was made with shavers in mind and is also extremely durable. It contains a special room for items like my shaving brush (which helps keep it undamaged), shaving cream, razor, and plenty of room for other items to put inside its zipped compartments, as well as a hanging hook and a detachable mirror.
Items I Put In The Washbag (Shaving Related):
- Merkur 42 Nickel “904 Replica”Double Edge Razor
- Edwin Jagger Best Badger Brush
- Truefitt & Hill Authentic Ultimate Comfort Shaving Cream Bowl
- Styptic Pencils (in the case of cuts and nicks).
- Mirror (comes with the washbag)
Why I Chose An Unscented Shaving Cream
Since you’re in the outdoors, it is most recommended that you go with an unscented shaving cream, as the ones with fragrance could attract annoying bugs, not to mention bears or other wildlife. Additionally, unscented shaving creams are much more forgiving on sensitive skin, and prevent annoying burns and bumps, which trust me, you do not want to experience during your time outdoors. I chose to go with Truefitt & Hill Authentic Ultimate Comfort Shaving Bowl because not only is it fragrant free, it has enough moisturizing capabilities to enable me to skip the use of an after shave, while providing excellent skin protection.
Shaving Outdoors, How It’s Done:
1. Begin the process by warming water using a water boiling pot over the campfire, or even a grill.
2. Take a washcloth and dampen it in the warm water, then simply let it rest on my face for about 1-2 minutes (be careful not to let the water get too hot)
3. Start lathering using your choice of shaving bowl or mug. I actually love using the same pot I used for warming water, as it tends to provide a uniquely effective lather.
4. With a mirror in one hand, you can begin to lather up your face with your favorite shaving brush. Take this time to get used to using the handheld mirror before moving on to the next stage. I personally prefer to hang the washbag with the mirror on a branch in front of me, as it allows me to have the other hand free to use various skin stretching techniques for a better shave.
Tip: If for some reason you forgot to bring a mirror, you can always use a vehicle’s side mirror as a last resort.
5. Apply your favorite razor using the same techniques you would at home.
6. Rinse off your face using cold water in order to close your pores, then rinse off your razor and clean your brush before putting it all back.
That’s all there is to it! Remember, none of this is set in stone. Feel free to alter things in order to address your own shaving needs.
Do you shave outdoors?, if so, how do you go about it? Leave a comment below
In today’s market of endless possibilities, one can’t help but feel dizzy when having to choose a shaving cream (or any item for that matter).
After all, when it comes to shaving, making a poor choice is more than a waste of one’s money, it also means a poor shaving experience, which as most shavers know could set the tone for the entire day.
In order to ease the process of finding the most suitable shaving cream for your needs, I’ve created a list of what I consider to be the top 10 shaving creams available on the market today. Please let me know if you agree or disagree with my selection by posting a comment below.
1. Proraso Shaving Cream Tube
The Proraso brand, which comes from the beautiful city of Florence in Italy, is a piece of Italian history which dates back over 100 years. It is considered to be the oldest industrial cosmetic product in Italy, and its unique recipe has been passed down from generation to generation.
The Proraso Shaving Cream Tube contains key ingredients like eucalyptus, menthol and glycerine; Which in turn gives a refreshing, tingly sensation on the skin that lasts long after the shave is over.
However, don’t let the eucalyptus and menthol put you off, this shaving cream doesn’t smell “mediciny” at all, it actually has a nice subtle scent which kind of reminds one of an old school barbershop.
One of the most amazing things about the Proraso Shaving Cream Tube is that a small drop of shaving cream, about the size of a dime could be used up to lather one’s entire face.
It comes in the form of a tube as a container, which is quite unique, and helps one squeeze out even the last drop. Both these facts enable one tube of Proraso Shaving Cream to last for approximately 4-5 months.
The pricing of the Proraso Shaving Cream Tube, is quite surprising, as it is one of the most affordable Shaving Creams available today, with a price of only £6.09 (150ml). This, combined with the fact that the Proraso Shaving Cream is considered one of the best shaving creams in the world (if not the best), almost gives me a sense of guilt whenever I purchase it.
2. Musgo Real Shaving Cream
The Musgo Brand comes to us from an uncommon country in the field of shaving, the country of Portugal. Far from being a new player in the market, Musgo has been around since 1887.
Musgo are considered unequalled in terms of combining lanolin in their shaving products.
Their successful combo of lanolin and glycerin creates a fantastic moisturizing effect which makes it possible to begin the shaving process quicker than almost any other shaving cream in the market without having to settle for the quality of the shave.
Its wonderful fragrance is due to the fact that it contains Patchouli, a herb of the mint family which has been used for centuries in alternative medicine and in perfumes. It is also responsible for the enjoyable cooling down sensation during and after the shave. This, as well as the fact that it contains alcohol could be a downside for those with extremely sensitive skin. However, most individuals with sensitive skin who have tried the Musgo Shaving Cream reported no such issues.
3. Trufitt & Hill 1805 Shaving Cream Bowl
Like the Art of Shaving, the Trufitt & Hill Shaving Cream is glycerin based (which locks and maintains the water and their moisturizing effect). But while the Art of Shaving is relatively a new player (having been founded in 1995), Trufitt & Hill have long stood the test of time having been in operation since 1805, a time when they provided service to all the reigning monarchs of the Victorian Era. They have also recently received a Guiness book world record for being the oldest barber shop still in operation today.
The scent of the 1805 Shaving Cream is considered by many to have the best fragrance of all the shaving creams offered today. This is due to the fact that it is infused with their famous 1805 cologne, which has a fantastic oceanic fragrance.
The Trufitt & Hill Shaving Cream is also known among shavers to give an unusually close shave, which is ultimately the goal of most shavers (knowing the products you’re using were also used by King George III is also nice).
4. Castle Forbes Lime Essential Oil Shaving Cream
The Castle Forbes brand hails from the beautiful country of Scotland, and is named after the famous Forbes Castle built in 1815 by the 17th Lord Forbes, which is still being run and used today by his great-great-great grandson Malcolm Forbes. After deciding to help his wife’s passion for perfumery, Malcolm decided to turn the old dairy near the castle into a perfumery. With the help of their friend and perfumer Andy French, they soon thereafter began offering quality perfumes under the Castle Forbes Brand, as well as Shaving Creams, Aftershaves and Soaps.
The box containing the Lime Essential Oil Shaving Cream has by far one of the most beautiful presentations of a shaving cream I’ve ever come across. The jar is pretty small in height, yet very wide which makes it extremely helpful when you load your brush with cream. Inside the jar you’ll find a very thick cream which has a terrific sweet scent of lime that is claimed by many to have the best fragrance out of all the lime scented shaving creams in the market.
The Castle Forbes Lime Essential Oil Shaving Cream contains many ingredients including glycerin, lime essential oil and coconut acid. It also contains aloe vera to help sooth the skin, and ease the shaving process.
In terms of latherability this cream performs incredibly well. It lathers quickly and creates an extremely thick and rich lather with exceptional cushioning.
What I find most impressive about this product, is that it is able to moisturize the skin in a perfect balance by not leaving the skin completely dry nor over moisturized.
In addition to the Lime Essential Oil, Castle Forbes also offers : Lavender and Cedar & Sandalwood Scented Shaving Creams.
5. Geo.F. Trumper Extract of Limes Soft Shaving Cream
It’s almost impossible to make a complete list of high quality shaving creams without mentioning the Geo. F. Trumper brand.
Geo.F. Trumper has been in the industry for more than 135 years, and is considered by many to offer the best shaving creams in the world.
The jar of the Trumper Extract of Limes Soft Shaving Cream comes inside a pink cardboard box which may sound a bit peculiar at first, as most lime scented shaving creams usually come in green colored packages. The pink color was actually chosen as a replacement for the original color during World War I due to a shortage of green color, and became its trademark ever since.
Inside the jar there’s a nice, foamy light green shaving cream which has a fabulous mild fragrance that resembles citrus. The cream lathers very quickly and builds up to a rich and thick lather which provides great cushioning during the shave and also keeps the skin moisturized longer than most shaving creams.
In addition to this magnificent lime scent Geo.F. Tumper offers six more scents: Almond, Coconut Oil, GFT, Rose, Sandalwood and Violet.
6. All Natural Speick Shaving Cream
The Speick brand is named after the unique ingredient that is present in all their products, known as the Alpine Speick, or Alpine Valerian. An ingredient that can only be found in the high alps of South Austria.
After the Speick is harvested, it is then transported to their factory located in Stuttgart Germany.
The speick plant is the source of the fantastic spicy, yet light fragrance present in all their products. It is also known to have a wonderful effect of calming the nervous system and rejuvenating the mind as well as the body.
The All Natural Speick Shaving Cream is a perfect fit for those who suffer from sensitive skin, as it also contains bees wax which has an amazing natural moisturizing effect that gives one the freedom of not having to constantly relather as it stays on the skin even after several passes with the razor.
The All Natural Speick Shaving Cream is an amazingly affordable product, with a price of £2.48 for a tube containing 75ml, perfect for traveling and carrying during flights.
The only noticeable downside of this product, and I’m nit picking here, is its poor packaging, as it arrives in a generic red box which does not market very well.
It has also received the highest rating from the German consumer “Oko-Test Magazine” which focuses on authentic tests of natural based products.
7. Omega Shaving Cream
The Omega Shaving Cream belongs to the Pennellificio Omega S.p.a. and is being manufactured for them by Proraso. Most shavers argue about the differences between the Proraso Shaving Cream and the Omega as they are strikingly similar. So what are the differences?.
1. The Omega Shaving Cream is considered more subtle than the Proraso, containing less Eucalyptus.
It also contains Lanolin, which the Proraso does not.
What is Lanolin?
Lanolin is a unique ingredient which is made from the wax taken from sheep’s wool, and is done so without harming the sheep during the process.
It is used medically in order to treat rashes and burns and has an incredible moisturizing effect as it binds the water from escaping the body as well as rejuvenates the skin cells.
2. The pricing of the Omega shaving jar is £4.09 as opposed to the Proraso shaving jar which is 5.69. Both are of course amazingly cheap considering they’re quite possibly the best shaving creams in the world.
I prefer, and also rank the Proraso way above the Omega because I find that the Proraso does its job almost perfectly, and is both time tested and the original.
8. The Gentlemens Refinery “The Standard” Shaving Cream
The Gentlemens Refinery brand was founded by Perry Gastis, who has a rich history of working for both The Art of Shaving as a master barber, and an executive barber for Truefitt & Hill in North America. Needless to say he has the credentials.
Dissatisfied with the use of synthetic additives present in most men’s grooming products, Perry Gastis decided to develop his own line of products, with a focus on using the rarest and finest natural ingredients.
The Gentlemens Refinery “The Standard” Shaving Cream arrives in an elegant black box with silver lettering, which gives it a lavish look. When opening the jar there’s a light “soapy” smell of coconut.
The cream contains glycerin and coconut oil, French lavender oil, sandalwood oil, as well as the unique Ylang Ylang Oil. The Ylang Ylang Oil is a natural moisturizer commonly used in anti-aging treatments.
“The Standard” Shaving Cream is also alcohol and paraben free, which allows it to be more forgiving on the skin.
Overall, “The Standard” Shaving Cream performs quite well and creates an excellent lather lubricating your skin throughout and after the shave. However, I see no added value that could justify its price tag of £17.5, which is nearly triple what the Proraso Shaving Cream Tube costs.
9. The Art of Shaving Shaving Cream – Unscented
The Art of Shaving is currently one of the hottest names in the men’s grooming niche.
They specialize in providing Aromatherapy based, alcohol free products.
While they offer a variety of shaving creams with unique scents, the unscented shaving cream is definitely their best product. It is hypoallergenic which is perfect for men who have sensitive skin and suffer from razor burns, ingrown hairs or simply hate the smell of scented shaving creams in general.
The thick formula contains key ingredients like glycerin (which locks the water and sustains their moisturizing effect), coconut oil and essential oils. It is perfect for handling a thick beard due to the thickness of the foam.
A major downside for the Unscented Shaving Cream, as well as most of the products offered by The Art of Shaving is the high prices. The Unscented Shaving Cream costs around £18, and offers a poor value for the money as it does not surpass its more affordable competitors mentioned above.
10. Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Cream
Located at the well known Jermyn Street in London, the Taylor of Old Bond Street is a veteran in the field of luxury grooming products for men, with an experience of well over 150 years.
It is considered an alternative to the somewhat expensive Geo.F. Trumper brand, especially when it comes to their Sandalwood Shaving Creams.
Some of the ingredients of The Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Cream include : Sandalwood, Cedar, Rosemary, Jasmine, Rose and Lavender.
The latherability of the TOBS Sandalwood Shaving Cream is definitely up to par with the Geo.F. Trumper, some would even say it is slightly better, as it gives one of the most durable lathers of almost all the shaving creams offered today.
There are two main reasons for the TOBS Sandalwood Shaving Cream to be ranked lower than the other shaving creams mentioned in this list.
1. The scent of the TOBS Sandalwood Shaving Cream is way too powerful and intrusive, and even if one enjoys the smell of sandalwood, this specific shaving cream tends to bring a somewhat artificial sandalwood scent.
2. The moisturizing effect of the TOBS after the shaving process does not have as much of a lasting experience as some of the other shaving creams in the list, and tends to leave the skin dry at times.
Still, at the end of the day, if you decide to give The Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Cream a try, you are most likely going to have a very luxurious and affordable shaving experience.
For the price of £7.95, the Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Cream is a great bargain, especially compared to the Sandalwood Shaving Cream offered by Geo.F. Trumper for £14.
In case Sandalwood is not your cup of tea then you’ll be glad to know that there are eight more scents for this shaving cream including: Almond, Lavender, Rose, Lemon & Lime, Avocado, Eton College, Mr. Taylor and Shaving Shop.
Additionally, Taylor of Old Bond Street offers two shaving creams which are made especially for men with sensitive skin, both parabens free.