Why You Should Finish Your Shave with an Oil Pass

Brooklyn Grooming

Instagram: @brooklyngrooming

We are avid fans of Michael Ham, the author of Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving, and one of the methods he advocates for finishing up your shave is the polishing pass. The idea is that once you’re done with your last pass (ATG), there’s one more step you can throw in to get rid of every last trace of stubble.

The polishing pass can be done with water, but you’ll get better, smoother results using shave oil or pre-shave oil. Keep in mind not to do the polishing pass over any irritated areas, and most certainly not over razor bumps.

How to do the oil pass:

During your shave, let your shave oil sit in warm water so it’s nice and pleasant when you apply it later.

After your shave, coat your wet beard area with a thin layer of shave oil (like Brooklyn Grooming Commando Shaving Oil). Using your non-dominant hand, feel your face for remaining stubble. Begin a process called blade buffing: do short ATG strokes with light pressure, without lifting the blade as you move it back and forth.

Repeat this process anywhere you feel rough spots.

When you’re finished, simply rinse your face and dry as usual, following up with an aftershave to seal in the moisture for a nice post-shave conditioner.

A note on the types of oil you can use:

Any shave oil or pre-shave oil will do for a polishing pass. While marketed for use before a shave, pre-shave oils can be used post-shave. They also tend to be lightweight and contain fatty acids that protect your skin’s lipid barrier.

If your pores clog easily or you are prone to acne, look for non-comedogenic oils like argan oil, shea butter, sunflower oil, and castor oil.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, if your skin is dry or sensitive you may want to consider mineral oil, which is an odorless, ultra-effective moisturizer that doesn’t cause allergic reactions . Johnson’s Baby Oil is a good choice for a gentle oil to use during the oil pass.

Product recommendations:


SHOP: 1. Taylor of Old Bond Street Pre-Shave Oil, 2. Jack Black Epic Moisture MP10 Nourishing Oil, 3. St. James of London Pre-Shave Oil, 4. The Art of Shaving Pre-Shave Oil, 5. Brooklyn Grooming Commando Classic Shave Oil


The Grooming Artist News Roundup: September 2016


Starting September is like pushing the reset button. Summer’s over, the kids are back in school, and a brand new season of men’s fashion and grooming products tempts our bank accounts. The Sharpologist’s Jay Harrell actually tries out one of these trendy grooming products – the very hip Harry’s razors, and gives an honest assessment and comparison with safety razors.

A man who most definitely prefers safety razors is Malcom Harris of The New York Times, who ditched his Gillette Fusion out of frustration, purchased a Merkur 23C, and never looked back.

If you are a straight razor devotee yourself, make sure to take a gander at our guide to caring for a leather strop. It’ll keep your strop in excellent working condition as well as increase its longevity.

Finally, we are giving summer a due sendoff with Labor Day recipes.


Over at the Sharpologist, Jay Harrell tries out Harry’s razors and gives his take on the Gillette competitor. (Sharpologist)

Fall and winter are coming, and so will those party invitations. The Gentleman’s Gazette not only deciphers dress codes, but also gives you tips on how to look for cues in case no dress code is indicated. (Gentleman’s Gazette)

Labor Day is the last big hurrah before summer ends. Saying goodbye to summer won’t be so sad, however, with these finger-licking good recipes perfect for a relaxing outdoor BBQ. (Food Network)

2016 has taken a lot of great talents from us, most recently Gene Wilder. Here, New York Times’ Wesley Morris waxes on Wilder’s career and brilliant comedic timing. (The New York Times)

Also from The New York Times: a Letter of Recommendation for safety razors. (The New York Times)

Keep your strop working well and long with our leather strop care tips. (Grooming Artist)


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