As with all things Dr. Bronner’s, there is versatility and choice in shaving with the Magic products. The simplest is the Dr. Bronner’s Shave Gels. In DBMS (Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps) time, these are relative newbies. Ingredient-wise, the shave gels are closely related to Dr. Bronner’s Shikakai pump soaps. Their high concentration of Shikakai powder makes them effective yet mild and nourishing, as well as giving them a distinctive dark golden brown color. The shave gels lather to a very creamy foam that shaves closely.
Coconut Oil Pre-treatment
Now let’s take things up a notch with Dr. Bronner’s coconut oil. Let me just say that I love this stuff. If you need a particularly close shave or if your skin is super dry or your hair is super coarse or if you need to shave more than your norm, coconut oil is the key for not stripping your skin. Unless you like that scaly, ashy, razor-burn dappled not quite fully shaved look.
A few minutes before shaving, massage a thin amount of pure coconut oil on to the areas to be shaved. Now here’s a fork in the road: you might be able to shave straight from this point with just the coconut oil for lubrication and a wet razor, or else you can wash this off and proceed with the shave gel. If you can get by with just the coconut oil, go with that and celebrate the simplicity of it. Otherwise, use your regular soap (hopefully Dr. B’s) to wash this off and then lather up some shave gel (or see below).
Coconut Oil Post-treatment
If you didn’t put the coconut oil on before shaving, you can still enjoy its fabulous feel afterwards. Personally, I usually stumble directly from my bed into the shower (with a very brief stop by the closet) and the idea of taking a moment to apply coconut oil just seems like an insurmountable hurdle. So, I often end up going this route. A little coconut oil massaged in afterwards, especially when the skin is still slightly damp, gives a long-lasting smoothness and softness. For me, it seems to make my shave last longer.
Castile and Shikakai Soaps
Honestly, all too often, I don’t have the shave gel at home. Yes, I know. My family runs the company, but still, the cobbler’s children are unshod. So, I combine the coconut oil application with one of the other Dr. Bronner’s soaps. In order of increasingly better shavability, I go with the castile liquid, the castile bar, or, the best of these three, the Shikakai pump soaps. Lather them up really well and apply to warm, wet skin to shave.
The DBMS Advantage
Let’s look at the benefits here, besides the excellently close shave. These products are all very understandable to our minds as well as to our bodies. Our bodies will be able to deal with whatever they may absorb from any of these products. The ingredients are botanicals, and our bodies speak Botanical. Our bodies don’t speak Triethanolamine or Polyethelene Glycol or Isobutane (common conventional shaving cream ingredients). Also, you do not need to beware of the scents of D. B’s; if any scent is added (which it is in all of the above except the coconut oil and the unscented Baby Mild varieties), it is from pure essential oils. The ingredient “Fragrance” is not your friend. (Here’s my rant on that topic.)
So go forth, and be shorn, my friend.