Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Noxzema Instead of Shave Oil on Sensitive Skin -- Genius!

Whoever thought of using ladies' Noxzema cleansing cream instead of shave oil was a genius.
Classic Noxzema cleansing cream is a superior alternative to pre-shave oil.

I have been evaluating a Bluebird blade this week, which I'm finding to be as sharp as my other usual blades (Personna Super Blue, Astra Superior Platinum, et al), but even more smooth. Yesterday, using only Arko shave stick for my shave prep, I got a very close shave that was as low on the irritation scale as I've gotten with such a close three-pass-plus shave.

So today, since I'm in the mid-week shaves with the Bluebird blade, I felt safe deviating from my minimalist routine, to try out the Noxzema as a pre-lather lubricant.

My process today was the usual cold-water treatment right out of the tap. I used splashes of cool water to wet my beard. Then with wet hands, I rubbed a thin layer of the cool, menthol-scented Noxzema over the wet stubble. With a brush directly over the Noxzema layer, I used my latest custom shave-soap prototype formulation, #10B, which as a stand-alone lather has been a step back -- not quite as good as other formulations, but it was what I had at hand. For each pass I re-applied the Noxzema before re-lathering.
Frankenrazor II is one of my go-to razor set ups. It is a Merkur 33C head with a Maggard MR3B "big boy" handle. Today's shave was with a third-use Bluebird blade, which is proving quite capable and smooth.

After three passes with Frankenrazor II (the Merkur 33C head paired with the ultra-heavy Maggard MR3B handle), I had no sense of any skin irritation, so I made a final, partial-fourth pass to go for baby smooth, which I achieved on about 80% of my beard. This is about as good as I can get without risking lots of weepers.

Afterward I used no balms or lotions. I did use an alum block to see if there would be any irritation burn. There was next to none, although that may be due to the menthol-like ingredients in the Noxzema, which could mask any alum burn. Now, after about 20 minutes, my face and neck are smooth with only the most minor after-shave irritation.

I may apply some balm or lotion to moisturize before leaving the house.

In sum regarding this maiden flight with the Noxzema cream as shave oil, it was a big success. I may continue to use Noxzema under my shave lather, especially when I use second-tier blades (according to my preferences) such as the un-coated Lord Platinum blade.

Happy shaving!


  1. We have a product here in SA called Prep shaving cream, it has a logo of a sun on it. Many guys here use it as a base before shaving.