Enter the RoyalShave + Taylor of Old Bond Street USA Giveaway!

Founded in 1854 by Jeremiah Taylor, Taylor of Old Bond Street was one of the first beacons of traditional wet shaving. With a legacy for crafting hair, skin, and beard products that epitomize classic British style, Taylor of Old Bond Street continues to be held in high regard amongst wet shavers. That’s why we are excited to announce an exclusive giveaway, brought to you by the folks at Taylor of Old Bond Street USA!

We’re celebrating the art of wet shaving with a Taylor of Old Bond Street giveaway!

To qualify, please submit your entry by 11:59 PM PT on Wednesday, July 5th, 2017.

DETAILS:

We will be selecting 1 winner. You can enter on Facebook and/or Instagram as many times as you’d like.

PRIZES:

A fabulous collection of Taylor of Old Bond Street’s bestsellers, worth over $200!

  • Sandalwood Pre-Shave Oil
  • Pre-Shave Aromatherapy
  • Sandalwood Herbal Shaving Soap in Wooden Bowl
  • Luxury Shaving Stick – St James Collection
  • Luxury Sandalwood Shaving Stick
  • Mr Taylor’s Luxury Talcum Powder
  • Cedarwood Shaving Cream
  • Organic Shaving Cream
  • Sandalwood Shaving Cream
  • Eton College Collection Gentleman’s Cologne

HOW TO ENTER:

Facebook

  1. Like Taylor of Old Bond Street and RoyalShave on Facebook.
  2. Answer this question in on RoyalShave’s Facebook page:

How did you get started with wet shaving?

Enter Now on RoyalShave’s Facebook >

Instagram

  1. Follow Taylor of Old Bond Street and RoyalShave on Instagram.
  2. Post a photo and answer the question below. Tag us @RoyalShave and #RoyalShaveGiveaway.

How did you get started with wet shaving?

Enter Now on RoyalShave’s Instagram >

RULES:

No purchase necessary. You may enter as many times are you’d like on both Facebook and Instagram.

Enter by 11:59 PM PT on Wednesday, July 5th, 2017. The RoyalShave staff will announce winners on July 7th, 2017 via Facebook and Instagram. Limited to residents of the United States of America.

The RoyalShave Guide to Pre-Shave Treatments

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As with everything in wet shaving, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to pre-shave treatments. Some men can’t live without them, others notice no difference, and some even find their shaves to be better without a pre-shave. The best way to determine if you should be using a pre-shave treatment is to try shaving 1 – 2 weeks with, then 1 – 2 weeks without, then with again. You can also experiment with applying the treatment only before your shave, or applying before each pass.

There are a couple pre-shave options available: pre-shave oil, gel, and cream. Here, we break down the benefits of each option.

Pre-shave oil

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What is it?

A pre-shave oil makes your skin softer and more supple for a shave, which means you won’t experience as much irritation. Oils penetrate the skin better than creams or gels, so they are able to retain water in your skin and keep it strong during a shave. As noted on Badger and blade, “when a blade drags across the well-moisturized skin, the skin ‘gives’ to the blade and will bend or conform significantly to the shape of the blade BEFORE it will be torn or cut by the blade…on the other hand, if the skin is dry…the skin will not give or conform to the blade but will instantly tear.”

Who should use a pre-shave oil?

We recommend pre-shave oils for any man with sensitive skin, as it will protect you from razor burn and razor bumps.

How do I use pre-shave oil?

It must first be noted that a pre-shave oil is not effective without water. This is because the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin) absorbs water with ease, but does not keep it in well. Thus, an oily substance – a pre-shave oil – is needed to trap the water in the skin.

To optimize a pre-shave oil’s benefits, apply it in the shower, where the steam will open up pores for deeper penetration. Or apply it right before a hot towel treatment to similar effect. Wait until your skin feels ultra soft, then commence lathering.

What are some good pre-shave oils to try?

Highly absorptive oils include jojoba oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, hempseed oil, castor oil, and sunflower oil. You can simply use a few drops of any of these oils (or a blend) for a pre-shave.

In the realm of commercially prepared oils, St. James of London Pre-Shave Oil has excellent reviews. It contains sunflower oil and jojoba oil to leave your skin feeling smooth as silk.

SHOP: St. James of London Pre-Shave Oil

Pre-shave cream/Gel

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What is it?

Whereas pre-shave oil makes the skin itself softer, thereby preventing nicks and cuts, pre-shave creams and gels create a cushion between your skin and the blade. This cushion allows the blade to slide more easily across the surface. Pre-shave creams and gels simultaneously soften the beard, making your hair more pliable and easy to cut.

Who should use a pre-shave cream or gel?

The best way to determine if a pre-shave cream or gel will make your shave better is to try one out for yourself (see method in first paragraph).

How do I use a pre-shave cream or gel?

Apply to damp skin prior to shaving. We suggest applying the cream or gel right before you start building lather. By the time your lather is ready to go, your skin should be thoroughly lubricated.

If you shower before you shave, apply the pre-shave cream or gel right before you shower.

What are some good pre-shave oils or gels to try?

Proraso Pre-Shave Cream – Green, Refreshing and Toning has been said to not only improve shaves, but also to reduce acne and razor burn. It has the added benefit of refreshing your skin with a minty, tingling sensation as you shave.

If you have reactive skin, The Art of Shaving Ocean Kelp Pre-Shave Gel is highly effective for men with sensitive skin and thick beards. Glycerin coats the skin for enhanced glide, and the alcohol-free formula reduces irritation.

SHOP: Proraso Pre-Shave Cream – Green, Refreshing and Toning and The Art of Shaving Ocean Kelp Pre-Shave Gel

A note on Geo. F. Trumper Skin Food

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If you find yourself short on time or just looking for a multitasking product, Geo. F. Trumper Skin Food makes a good pre-shave and aftershave balm. Its glycerin base protects the skin. You can also place a few drops onto your puck or brush to combat lathering issues with hard-to-lather soaps like Geo. F. Trumper Hard Shaving Soap.

Tip: For a step-by-step guide to producing lather with the Geo. F. Trumper Hard Shaving Soap, see our blog post here.

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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:

Oil-Pass-product-picks

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

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How to Shave Your Neck with Minimal Discomfort, Part 1

Hispanic man getting his beard shaved in a barber shop

The neck is tricky, and many wet shavers will tell you it’s their most troublesome spot to shave. Get too close and you end up with nicks, cuts, ingrown hairs, and razor burn; don’t get close enough and you don’t get a good shave.

To help you successfully navigate this unique terrain, we’ve put together a guide to shaving your neck with minimal irritation. Check back for Part 2 soon!

Determine your hair growth patterns

Hair grain – the direction your hairs grow in – doesn’t always go the same direction on your face and neck. Because shaving with the grain gives you the most irritation-free results, it’s a good idea to map your hair grain first so you know what you’re dealing with. Grow your facial hair out for a day or two, then use your finger to stroke your hair in different directions to determine hair growth patterns.

Use a hair grain map like this one to record everything, and keep the map with you when you shave.

Practice proper prep

Even before you start whipping up your shaving lather, you should prime your skin. The skin on your neck is thinner and thereby more sensitive than that on your face, so you must take extra precaution.

We recommend doing the following right out of the shower, when skin is most soft and pores are open:

Start by exfoliating your face with a gentle scrub like Triumph & Disaster Rock & Roll Suicide Face Scrub, which will remove excess debris, sebum, and blackheads that can leave skin bumpy and irritated. A scrub is particularly effective for those with ingrown hairs.

If you don’t have a facial scrub available to you, you can also scrub your neck with a warm, wet cloth. Or just wash your face with a gentle facial cleanser, like Baxter of California Daily Face Wash. The key is to get your neck clean without removing protective natural oils.

Try pre-shave oil

A pre-shave oil is not an absolute necessity, but it is worth a try. Oils penetrate more deeply and faster into skin than soaps, lotions, and creams, so they can really drill in moisturizing ingredients. Truefitt and Hill Ultimate Comfort Pre-Shave Oil is well-loved by our customers for its ability to reduce razor bumps.

Apply pre-shave oil after washing your face and before applying shaving cream.

Use cold water

Typically when you think of a luxurious wet shave, warm water is a given. But there are plenty of wet shavers who believe that cold water does the trick for an irritation-free neck shave. There are two ways to go about this: Warm water prep + cold water shave or cold water prep + cold water shave.

The idea is that warm water brings nerve endings closer to the skin’s surface, causing redness and increasing inflammation.

Use a DE razor with less of the head exposed + a good blade

If you’re a cartridge shaver, consider trying a razor with fewer blades, like a safety razor or straight razor. It will take some time and practice, but once you’ve learned how to maneuver the contours of your face and neck your skin will thank you for it. A single blade will always mean less irritation and/or ingrown hairs.

If you are currently a safety razor shaver, any DE razor with less of the blade exposed will be gentler on skin. Adjustable DE razors allow you to adjust the razor for a more aggressive or milder shave – dial up on your face; down on your neck.

Some have also had success with slant bar razors, which cut hair at an angle rather than straight on (like the Merkur 37C HD Slant Safety Razor).

Finally, pairing the right razor with a super sharp blade, like those from Feather, gets you an efficient cut the first time around.

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