Is Shaving Cream Good for Your Skin?

Is Shaving Cream Good for Your Skin?


We live in a fast-paced society, overwhelmed with so many daily tasks that leave us hardly enough time to reflect on our choices and actions. It is especially true if we think about our routine activities like showering, eating, shaving, driving, etc. We pursue them mostly automatically. Even though automation of our actions helps us move quickly and effortlessly between our daily tasks, it makes us take things for granted. We have never questioned the real benefits of our activities. When it comes to shaving, how many of us ask ourselves: “What am I putting onto my skin?” or “What ingredients are in my shaving cream? Are they good or bad for my health?” These questions are very important because skin represents the largest organ in our bodies and whatever we put on it, will be absorbed. During shaving, our skin becomes especially vulnerable because warm water opens pores and shaving by itself exfoliates the outer layer of the skin. Thus, skin becomes more porous and more open to absorbing various chemicals, whether from shaving cream, gel or lotion. And all these chemicals are not good for our skin. The article “Are There Harmful Chemicals in Shaving Cream?” lists the most harmful ingredients in shaving cream.

Is Shaving Cream Good for Your Skin?

Propolene glycol is a humectant like glycerin, but unlike glycerin, it’s more frequently found in antifreeze and brake fluid. Triethanolamine, better known as TEA, is an emulsifying agent, meaning it helps keep the oil and water from separating. It’s also a very controversial ingredient in the cosmetic industry because not only is it a skin irritant, but many formulas containing TEA are found to be contaminated with nitrosamines, which are linked to cancer. Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) are two more controversial skincare ingredients. These make a great lather, but they also have a number of health implications. Lauryl mimics estrogen, which is especially problematic for women, and laureth often hosts a known carcinogen called dioxane.

On the moisture front, an oil that will frequently pop up in shaving creams is mineral oil. This is something you definitely don’t want to put on your face. Mineral oil is a byproduct of petroleum. Yes, that’s right — gasoline. It sits on top of the skin, which locks in moisture, but it can also block your pores. You’re better off sticking with oils that are derived from nature, so look for plant-based oils. You’re also better off avoiding formulas that contain synthetic colors and fragrance oils. Both of these ingredients have been found to be highly irritating.

To reduce exposure to chemicals from cosmetics, experts suggest shaving immediately after a shower. During the shower, our skin softens, and our pores do not need chemicals to open up. In this way, we need less aggressive shaving cream, and the natural shaving gels could be a wise choice. They also recommend an old fashioned style – with shaving soap, a brush and mug. According to them, this is the less aggressive way of shaving, which could reduce skin irritation to a minimum. There are many choices to improve our shaving routine, but the first step to modify this habit is to reconsider carefully our choices and go through all ‘pro et contra’.

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