Natural vs. Organic

NATURE-GRAPHIC

Earth Day is April 22nd this year, and to celebrate we’ll be doing several posts over the next few weeks on healthy and natural grooming. With the average Joe spending 3,000 hours of his life shaving, it’s important to step back once in a while and consider your tools and their provenance.

The first issue we want to address: the terms “natural” and “organic.” They two get thrown around a lot in the skincare industry like they’re interchangeable – but we can assure you they’re not.

What is the main difference between natural and organic?

You’ll find lots of products that claim they’re “natural” or “eco-friendly,” but in the end only “organic” offers government-backed assurance that your products are grown and processed without toxic chemicals, synthetic chemicals, or antibiotics. Products labeled “natural” use these factors as guidelines rather than rules set in stone.

If you’re looking to green your grooming routine, organic is your strongest option, since it’s the most strictly regulated farming system. All organic products must comply with state, federal, FDA, and international food safety requirements.

In order for a product to be labeled organic, it must be subject to both announced and unannounced inspections by third party government inspectors. The inspectors get so detailed as to audit companies’ records of purchases, ingredients, etc. to trace production from start to finish.

Because organic products are highly regulated, choosing them over conventional products has been shown to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, including pesticides, synthetic hormones, antibiotics, and nitrogen fertilizers.

Here is a helpful chart from Organic It’s Worth It to compare the difference:

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Organic is also great for the environment.

Organic farming is sustainable, promoting soil health and species diversity while combating damage to water resources and even climate change.

One of the many practices organic farmers put in place to achieve environmental safety is using ecological methods of pest/weed control rather than synthetic pesticides. These synthetic pesticides deprive the soil of nutrients, damaging the ecosystem.

The conclusion?

Organic products offer you that extra peace of mind should you desire it. Opting for an organic shave soap or shampoo the next time you need to restock is an easy way to make your grooming ritual more environmentally friendly while knowing you’re getting the best quality available. That’s something we can tip our hats to.

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Shaving Myths Debunked: Does Wet Shaving Cost More Than Cartridge Razor Shaving?

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There is a lot of confusion out there regarding shaving. Every man shaves differently. Some of us use shaving soap, some prefer shaving creams, and some don’t use anything at all (though we don’t recommend the latter). There are also several types of razors – disposable, cartridge, double-edged, straight.

The sheer magnitude of options has given way to popular assumptions and myths. Since we’re here to help you achieve the most satisfying shave possible, we’re starting a series called “Shaving Myths Debunked,” in which we uncover the truth behind everything you’ve heard.

First in the series is a myth we encounter on a very frequent basis – that wet shaving costs more than cartridge razor shaving.


Myth: Wet shaving costs more than shaving with cartridge razors.

Busted: Quite the contrary – wet shaving is far more economical.

Let’s break this down: as of this blog post publication, a 4-Pack of Gillette Fusion Proglide cartridges costs $17.79 on Amazon, or $4.45 per cartridge. Meanwhile, a 5-Pack of double-edged blades from esteemed wet shaving brand Derby costs $1.75, or 35 cents per blade (blade prices vary and decrease if bought in bulk). A blade lasts about a week. Replacing the Derby blades weekly would come out to $18.20 per year.

While Gillette claims its cartridges last for 5 weeks, if you’ve ever shaved with one of these razors, you know comfort levels usually dip around week 2. Replacing a Proglide cartridge every two weeks for a year would cost $115.70, or nearly 6.5 times the cost of using the Lord Precision blades. Even if you replaced your razor cartridge monthly and braved the burn, you would be paying $53.40 per year, which is still about 3 times the cost of the double-edged blades.

Something else to consider:

Double-edged razors are built to last a lifetime – you can find 80-year-old, fully functioning double-edged razors out there.

Because they are so well made, double-edged razors and straight razors are far more eco-friendly than disposable razors or cartridge razors. Just think about how many razors/cartridges you’ll be throwing away in a lifetime (left to accumulate in a landfill) vs. replacing a straight razor or double-edged razor a few times at most.

In the end, you have to make a choice between quantity and quality.

GOT A QUESTION ABOUT SHAVING?

Whether you’re hirsute or clean shaven, we’re here to answer all your grooming questions! Leave your question in the comments below and we will consider it for a future post.

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How to Treat Razor Burn

boy shaving

Recently we wrote a blog on how to prevent razor burn. But it occurred to us that we should also address how to cure razor burn if you already have it. Because while prevention is key, no technique is 100% foolproof. Thankfully, knowing how to minimize symptoms will save you a lot of pain and annoyance.

Read on for some effective post-shaving skincare tips that calm those unsightly red patches. We’ve included both short-term and long-term fixes.

My skin itches, hurts, and generally looks angry. What should I do?

We’ll be going over 5 methods to treat razor burn:

  • Stop shaving for a while
  • Apply an ice pack
  • Avoid products with alcohol
  • Consider aloe vera, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid
  • Rethink your skincare routine

Fix it:

Stop shaving for a while / Time heals all wounds, at least when shaving is concerned. Put down the razor and let your skin breathe for a few days. Your skin will naturally heal itself. Just remember to use our razor burn prevention tips the next time you shave. During this growing out period keep skin clean by washing your face regularly – this will prevent pores from clogging and aggravating razor burn. Apply an antibiotic to infected sites.

Apply an ice pack / Apply an ice pack or ice cubes to the affected area in thirty-second intervals. The swelling and redness should go down quickly.

Avoid products with alcohol / Pouring alcohol onto skin affected by razor burn is like twisting the knife. Alcohol is an excellent antiseptic, but it seriously dries out skin and can clog pores, leading to more razor burn. Further minimize irritation by avoiding bar soap and anything with fragrance, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Consider aloe vera, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid / ALOE VERA is an analgesic (a painkiller) that fights irritation and swelling while forming a moisturizing barrier that promotes skin healing. Aloe vera contains two hormones, Axim and Gibberellin, that have superior wound healing properties. We recommend applying some aloe vera lotion or gel right after shaving. Because aloe vera is gentle and non-greasy, it’s suitable for both oily and sensitive skin types.

If you tend to break out after you shave, aloe vera’s got you covered there, too – it contains salicylic acid to destroy bacteria that leads to inflammation.

GLYCOLIC ACID is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), a type of acid found in fruit and milk. Glycolic acid exfoliates skin by dissolving the outermost layer of cells to trigger repair. This means razor burn and bumps will heal faster. Glycolic acid regenerates collagen and evens your skin tone.

Used regularly, glycolic acid can enable you to shave daily with minimal irritation.

SALICYLIC ACID is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA), a type of acid found in plants. Salicylic acid is similar to glycolic acid in that it removes the top layer of dead skin cells, though it is slightly gentler. Salicylic acid helps break down whiteheads and blackheads, reducing breakouts. This function is especially useful if you shave and have pimples.

Our tips:

  • Use a shaving cream with salicylic acid for a closer shave: these shaving creams tighten the skin and narrow pores to create a barrier between you and pimple-inducing bacteria. Finish with a salicylic acid aftershave to keep skin moisturized and clean.
  • Salicylic acid can be used in conjunction with glycolic acid – start at lower concentrations for both and work your way up as it suits your skin.

Rethink your skincare routine / Moisturized skin is resilient skin, and resilient skin is less likely to react adversely to shaving. Everyone has a different skin type, and how your skin reacts can also vary depending on climate, weather, and age.

We can give you every tip in the book for wet shaving, but none of it will matter if you’re starting off with compromised skin. Skincare is a weak spot for most men, but such a vital part of a quality wet shaving experience. We will cover proper skincare in future posts, so stay tuned!

Product Recommendations:

RazorBurnRelief

SHOP: 1. Lab Series Skincare for Men Razor Burn Relief Ultra, 2. Geo F Trumper Fragrance Free Moisturizing Lotion, 3. Dreadnought Cooling Moisturizer, 4. C.O. Bigelow Premium Shaving Cream, 5. Ernest Supplies Face Wash, 6. Beardition After Shave.

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Infographic: The Best Beard for Your Face

Well-trimmed facial hair has the power to completely reshape your face. And as you’ll see, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to beards and scruff. Whether you’re interested in growing out your facial hair or need a lifeline for your current overgrown situation, we’re here to help.

Check out Mashable’s infographic below for the best beard for your face shape. And in case you’re looking for some shaving implements, browse our selection here.

The Best Type of Beard for Your Face – An infographic by the team at Mashable

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