The Benefits of Peppermint Oil in Your Shave Routine

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During the holiday season, you’re bound to see peppermint everywhere – in the form of candy canes, mints, chocolates, and seasonal drinks. But did you know that this winter staple is also a fantastic skin treatment?

The peppermint herb, a cross between watermint and spearmint, is the world’s oldest medicine, and its effects have been proven in the scientific community. Its ability to treat a myriad of health problems – including indigestion, headache, sore muscles, and dry skin and hair, means you’ll find it in everything from shampoo to muscle rubs, and even shaving products!

Today, we’ll be focusing on how peppermint is a fantastic treatment for skin, and its benefits for wet shavers. This seasonal mainstay is one that deserves to be used year-round.

Skin/Shave

Antiseptic properties

Peppermint is naturally rich in Vitamin A, C, and omega-3 fatty acids, so it reduces inflammation while restoring moisture for all skin types. Peppermint also contains menthol, which creates that lovely cooling sensation when you apply it to your skin. As an antiseptic, it prevents infection after traumatic events like burns and rashes, as well as shaving-specific events like razor burn and bumps.

Balancing skin

Peppermint is especially useful for balancing your skin. If your skin is oily or acne-prone, it can improve the texture by controlling the secretion of excess oil. It also prevents clogged pores that lead to pimples. If you have dull skin, peppermint stimulates circulation to brighten the complexion.

Skin saver during wet shaving

It’s this combination of skin numbing, moisturizing, and disinfectant properties that makes peppermint oil a common ingredient in shave creams. RazoRock Peppermint Shaving Lube mixes peppermint with aloe juice to produce an invigorating, smooth glide. Taylor of Old Bond Street Peppermint Shaving Cream uses peppermint to add a kick to its moisturizing lather.

Aromatherapeutic benefits

In addition to improving your shave, peppermint is well known for its aromatherapeutic benefits. The energizing scent of peppermint relieves you from stress, depression, anxiety, and mental exhaustion.

Studies have also shown that smelling peppermint’s essential oil vapor instantly increases blood circulation, oxygenating the body and brain and leading to higher cognitive function.

If you’re always multitasking, this means more mental clarity and focus. This energizing effect also extends to tension: peppermint relaxes tense muscles and relieves headaches. If you’re shaving daily with a peppermint-oil infused product, these are benefits that’ll start your day on a high note.

Some product recommendations: 

product-picks

SHOP: 1. Dr K Soap Company Shaving Oil, 2. Triumph & Disaster Ritual Face Cleanser, 3. Simpsons Shaving Cream, 4. Taylor of Old Bond Street Peppermint Shaving Cream, 5. RazoRock Peppermint Shaving Lube.

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5 Wet Shaving Mistakes to Avoid

Using an old fasion safety razor man is shaving his face

Maybe you’re transitioning over from electric razors for the first time, or maybe you’re a veteran shaver who’s looking to fine tune your craft. No matter how experienced you are with wet shaving, there are things we can all learn from the following 5 common wet shaving mistakes. Thankfully, each one is easily remedied.

Read on for the list, and let us know if there’s one you’d like to add in the comments below!

Not listening to the sound

Are you paying attention to the sound your razor makes when it glides across your stubble? If you listen, you’ll be able to hear auditory feedback when your hair growth changes direction. This is especially important because when your face is covered with lather, it’s hard to see the different hair growth patterns underneath. Your razor will make different sounds depending on if you’re going with the grain, across the grain, or against the grain. Scraping sounds are bad; crisp cutting sounds are good.

Our advice is to shave in a quiet bathroom so you can only hear the sound of your shaving. Be sure to turn off running water.

Shaving on unlathered skin

So you’ve just made a not-so-good pass on your neck area. Your natural instinct is to quickly go over the same area again, even though the lather has been removed by your previous pass.

But that’s a one-way ticket to razor burn, nicks, and cuts. Resist the temptation and apply lather, or at least water, before going at the spot again. A little protection is better than no protection.

Not rinsing the razor and shaking water off between passes

Don’t just run your razor under water, or dip it in water, to remove lather between passes. If you don’t flick the water off afterwards, your razor will create a dripping mess once it hits your skin again.

Not creating good lather

Lather should not feel like a thick paste. If it does, it means your lather is too dry. Add a small amount of water to your lather to correct. If the lather is already on your face, dip your brush in water and run it over your face until you get a fluffier consistency.

Globbing lather onto your skin

Are you just globbing lather onto your face with no particular direction or motion?

Use your shaving brush as a tool to both build lather and paint the lather onto your skin. Lathering will always be a somewhat messy process, but to get it evenly onto your skin, apply lather by making circular motions with your brush. Brushing it on like this will also ensure the lather penetrates into your skin, so its hydrating qualities will keep your skin protected during the shave.

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Interview: Captain’s Choice

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Scott Brennecke of Captain’s Choice

CaptainsChoice

Scott Brennecke, better known as The Captain by his loyal customers, is the force behind the shipshape men’s grooming line Captain’s Choice. Based out of Wheaton, Illinois, Brennecke founded Captain’s Choice in June 2011 after discovering a serious lack of high-quality, great-smelling aftershaves.

An entrepreneur for most of his adult life, Brennecke owned a popcorn distribution business at the time and multi-tasked to get Captain’s Choice going, running the popcorn business while creating batch after batch of aftershave prototypes. Many months later, the company’s now-bestselling aftershave, Bay Rum, was born.

Today we speak with Brennecke about what a Milky Way bar has to do with the founding of the brand, how he came up with the name ‘Captain’s Choice,’ and the wonderful cause Captain’s Choice supports to help veterans get back on their feet again.

Enjoy!

We hear Captain’s Choice started with a flash of inspiration you got one day while you were at Walgreens?

Yes, I had stopped to pick up my daily Milky Way candy bar and as I grasped it, a sudden and distinct thought popped into my head that I ought to buy an aftershave.  I call it Divine inspiration.  So I looked at and smelled the offerings at Walgreens and just curled my toes – no WAY I would buy one of those.

I thought, Maybe I’ll go home and try to make my own.  And that is how it all started.  Following that was failure on a daily basis, batch after batch, week in and week out until I hit the 4 ½-month point and had a winner.  It is our Bay Rum aftershave that we sell today.

You were in the popcorn distribution business for many years. Why the transition over to men’s grooming?

I started my popcorn distribution business in 1987 and sold it in November 2015 since Captain’s Choice had grown to take more of my time.  The popcorn business had become more challenging over the 28 years I had owned it, and I have always had an eye out for new business ideas.  With a growing family, I needed to provide as I was able.

For a year and a half while I had my popcorn business I also sold high-end light bulbs door to door.  In the middle of it all I stopped into the Walgreens for my Milky Way which led to Captain’s Choice.  For a good bit of time I actually had three business cards – one for popcorn, one for light bulbs, and one for Captain’s Choice.  Each time I had to call someone I had to make sure that I remembered who I was to the person I was calling:  Am I the light bulb guy?  The aftershave guy?  The popcorn guy?  It was a nutty time, but a lot of fun, too.

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A photo taken by a customer while traveling

How did you come up with the name of your company?

With our Bay Rum aftershave being the first product, I wanted the name to reflect the heritage and the origin of bay rum.  It came out of the Caribbean hundreds of years ago, and so I thought “Captain’s” seemed perfect.  But what else?  I toyed with “Finest” and went back and forth for a few weeks.  Eventually I settled on “Choice” simply because I thought I may want to have the logo with two interlocking “C’s” at some point.  In addition, Captain’s Choice just rolls off the tongue – I like it.

Tell us how you came up with your first product.

I started on Google, searching under homemade aftershave.  Where I started and where I ended up are polar opposites, I can assure you.  I have a long-suffering brother who is candid with feedback, and a wife who is MORE candid.  So when they both said they liked a batch after 4 1/2 months, I knew I had it.

What are some of your accomplishments as a business?

As modest a business as it is, the accomplishment I am most proud of is being able to give back on an annual basis to a local charity: the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans, an act which our customers make possible with their purchases.  This organization provides job counseling and life skills education as well as a place to live while the vets once again become productive members of society.  They have an enviable track record over the years, with veterans moving out of the house after nine months on average.

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A photo taken by a customer in front of Big Ben

What do you believe makes Captain’s Choice products distinctive?

We hear over and over from our customers how much they love the “face feel” of our lines.  Not just upon application, but more importantly, following the dry down.  They rave about the all-day moisturizing!  In addition, our products are made by hand in small batches right here in the USA.  This is important to our customers.

We also use essential oils and extracts in our soaps, balms, and aftershaves.  I only work with ingredients that I would want to use myself.

Each product has been developed to fill a specific niche in the personal care industry.

Here is one example:  when working on our Sandalwood aftershave I purchased the most popular sandalwood aftershaves in the marketplace because I want mine to be unique.  The popular ones were prominent in scent and multidimensional.  So I made my Sandalwood one-dimensional with a more subtle scent.  It is now our number-two seller and has been a hit with customers looking for a more back-to-basics version of the classic sandalwood scent.

What is one Captain’s Choice product every man should own and why?

It would have to be our proprietary lather bowl.  That design took me six months with eight prototypes and ten volunteers.  There is a lot more that went into it than may appear, but it is a real winner.  It incorporates several design elements all together: a convenient diameter that fits the palm, ridges in the bottom to create lather quickly, low sides to avoid the brush knocking against the side, and curved walls to contain the lather.  Once you own one of them your life will then be complete!

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Two bits of advice that apply to any endeavor:  First, you need customers.  It elicits a chuckle at the thought of it – of course you need customers – but too often entrepreneurs focus on getting a patent or coming up with an entirely new invention.  Often they succeed only to discover that nobody is interested in their product.

Secondly, look forward to failing.  At each failure you learn and refine the next attempt.  Get up and try again – over and over and over again.  Solicit feedback and give people license to offer constructive criticism.  This is how you get better.  Eventually you may arrive at a product people want.

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Brennecke’s nephew helping out by assembling boxes

What new products can we expect from Captain’s Choice in the near future?

We have already begun development of a Bay Rum cologne that will last all day and yet not be too prominent.  We expect to release it this fall.  Following that, we will release other colognes based on our Lime, Sandalwood, and North aftershaves.

Quick Question + Answer:

Right Now, I’m obsessed with:

My newly-planted hummingbird garden.  I did some homework on plants that attract them and then spent a fair amount of time working the ground and sorting out the layout.  It is all planted now and, of course, I have decided that if I just dig up a little more ground I can make it even MORE attractive, so that will occupy my time next week.

I’d love to visit:

Europe.  I haven’t really traveled much outside the States and find the history of Europe fascinating.

Rule I live by:

Be considerate and friendly towards others, especially strangers.  This comes easily to me because it is who I am, but here is why I favor it:  life can be a challenge at times, and a considerate gesture or an encouraging word can go a long way towards making someone’s day.

The best part is that by being intentional in this manner, it is a very fulfilling experience for me as well.

Learn more about Captain’s Choice on their website. Follow Captain’s Choice on Instagram and Facebook.

Shop Captain’s Choice products at RoyalShave.

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The Grooming Artist News Roundup: May 2016

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Happy Monday, and welcome to the May edition of the Grooming Artist News Roundup! We’ve got a lot to catch you up on, from the first 3D-printed safety razor to wet shaving for ladies (it can lead to a better complexion). Since Cinco de Mayo is coming up in just a couple of days, we’ve included recipes for 5 cocktails to whip in celebration of the holiday (and in honor of St. Germain creator Robert J. Cooper).

Finally, we’re rounding out the mix with surefire brisket recipes, because come Memorial Day, the invites to BBQs and family gatherings will necessitate some finger-lickin’ good summer staples.

Enjoy!

This 3D-printed razor is made entirely out of titanium and will last you a lifetime, if it can get the funding for production. (Design Boom)

It was a sad day when Robert J. Cooper, creator of elderflower liqueur St. Germain, passed away. Here, 5 cocktails to drink in his honor. (Men’s Journal)

BBQ season means you should probably have a solid recipe on standby. Try these 4 recipes for perfect brisket, every time. (Men’s Journal)

Tom Ford is perhaps best known for his fashion chops, but he also has women’s makeup and men’s skincare to his credit. This June, he will be adding to his men’s line, launching a facial scrub, shave oil, and brow gelcomb. Will you be giving these a whirl? (D’Marge)

Wet shaving – for the ladies, too? Dubai-based blogger Huda Kattan argues that shaving your face exfoliates and creates a smoother surface for makeup application. (SELF)

We pick the top 5 Instagrams you should be following now for all things wet shaving. (Grooming Artist)

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