Monday, 9 April 2012

The perfect shave - Olive oil

It’s that time of year when trees are turning green, flowers are blossoming, and our legs brace themselves for yet another season of chafing and razor burn. Argh! But — this year, say no to suffering; there IS a better way.

Olive Oil to the Rescue
Did you know using Extra Virgin Olive Oil not only works just as good as shaving cream, but it also provides your skin with vitamin E and natural antioxidants? Turns out, it’s one of the best, most affordable skin moisturizers and blemish-removers out there! Plus, it softens the hairs, making for a smoother shave. (Just avoid using “pure” or “light” olive oils as those have been processed, chemically, and could cause irritation.) Of course, this means, you would need to shave out of the shower… wouldn’t want you slippin’ and slidin’ in that tub.
I tried this method myself to see if it works. It does. I was excited because my legs had that celebrity shiny-sheen to them. ‘Course, I also smelled like a tossed Italian salad. Though, after about 20 to 30 minutes, the olive fragrance does dissipate.
Add Your Own Touch
But, for you creative types, like me, who like flowery scents in your soaps and creams, pour some Extra Virgin Olive Oil into a glass jar or bottle or one of those olive oil spray bottles (what have you) and add a drop or two of rose oil or vanilla oil or any natural essential oil of your choice to create a more perfumed fragrance. (Just make sure the essential oil you choose is safe for your skin type.)
Another trick I tried was using the olive oil method BEFORE getting into the shower. (You’re probably like, “Ummm, yeah, duh!”) That way, I could just wash off the olive oil and smell lemony fresh from my favorite lemon verbena body wash.
Long Live Your Razor!
Oh and the bonus? If you pour some olive oil in a cup or jar and let your razor stand in it while you’re not using it, it’ll actually increase the life of your razor; apparently, the oil slows down the rusting process. How ‘bout them olives?!
Oil-Free Advice
Now, if olive oil is not your thang, try simply shaving your legs with COLD water instead of warm/hot water. (Again, you might want to do your shaving out of the shower… might get rather nipply in there.) Warm/hot water opens your pores and encourages blood-flow to the surface of the skin, which explains that redness and irritation that can happen when we shave in our warm, toasty showers… (In addition to the fact that we’re scraping razor sharp blades against our flesh.)
With or Against the Grain?
You also might have heard that shaving WITH the grain versus AGAINST the grain is the way to go. Pretty sure I saw that on Oprah once. So, of course, I tried it…and unless you have an enormous amount of patience and/or a weed whacker, I don’t recommend it. I found that my skin became even more irritated and red because when you shave with the grain it takes more razor strokes to get all the hairs since there’s nothing for the razor to grab onto, which just rubbed my skin the “wrong” way. Frankly, I would have had better luck plucking out my leg hairs one by one.
To Recap:
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a shaving agent, moisturizer, blemish-remover as well as razor protector.
  • Cold water instead of warm/hot water to prevent redness and rashes.
  • Shave against the grain… no matter what Oprah says. (Sorry, Oprah. I love you, but I got extra sensitive skin to protect, here.)
Happy shaving olive you! (I can never pass up a play on words.)

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