Saturday, August 6, 2011

First thoughts on making shaving cream and final thoughts on shaving cream

Here is the recipe I used (with accompanying instructions)

*with my notes

Natural IngredientsA homemade recipe consists of a few essential ingredients. Everything should be easily found at a natural market, such as a Whole Foods store.

Four tablespoons of an essential fatty acid-rich oil. Sweet almond, jojoba, and apricot all work really well. *I used grape-seed oil*
Two tablespoons of a natural skin nourisher and moisturizer, such as shea butter, cocoa butter, or beeswax.
*I decided to add a few drops of vitamin E since it is so fab for skin*
One and one-half cup of water; use a distilled or filtered water for the purest source.
One teaspoon of baking soda, which acts to soften and protect the skin.
Four tablespoons of castile soap. Castile soap is vegetable oil-based, usually from olive oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil. It can be found in liquid form, which is easier to use for this shaving cream recipe; in bar form, simply grate the soap. Dr. Bronner's is probably the most popular manufacturer of this eco-friendly, natural product.
One-half cup of either aloe vera gel or honey, this ingredient is optional, but really beneficial for people with sensitive skin. 
Essential oils, again, they are an optional, natural aromatic. For men's shaving cream, use three drops of pine essential oil and three drops of bergamot; for women's shaving cream, use three drops each of rose essential oil, and lavender. *I used lemongrass essential oil (I had purchased previously for homemade body spray) b/c it is a "relaxer" and unisex scent*

How to make shaving cream? First heat the oil and skin nourisher over a double boiler at a low heat. Stir until the mixture is clear, then pour into a large bowl and let cool. In another pan, heat the water, then add the baking soda, and castile soap, stirring until completely diluted. Add the aloe vera gel or honey to this solution and stir. Pour the soap mixture into the bowl with the now room-temperature oil and skin nourisher. Add essential oils if desired. Blend everything very well with a hand mixer, or throw into the blender. For best results, blend for two minutes, stop, and then blend again for another two minutes. *Beware, blending causes this mixture to foam and increase in amount considerably. I strongly recommend letting the blended mixture "settle"- letting the foam die down, before transferring to container(s)*

Store the cream in an airtight container in a dry, cool location. This natural cream can be stored for about three months; none of the ingredients are perishable but oils such as sweet almond and apricot have a limited shelf life. This is a great opportunity to reuse old jelly jars or pickle jars. Wash well with soap and warm water to get rid of any odor residues. Not only is this homemade shaving cream wonderful for personal use, but also makes a great eco-friendly gift for someone else.

Grapeseed Oil, Castile Soap, Shea butter, honey, vitamin E and lemongrass essential Oil
Parts and Price
Organic Shea Butter (if chosen): $7.99
Organic Grapeseed oil (if chosen): $3.99
Organic Castile Soap: $3.99
Essential Oil of your choice: (prices vary considerably depending on oil chosen and size of oil)
Raw Honey: (prices vary considerably depending on size of raw honey)
Total: approx $16 (assuming you have none of these ingredients on hand previously) 

The Process: Easy enough. I just mixed ingredients (as described above) in two separate jars, then soaked in a hot water bath (boil water in a larger bowl, then place a smaller bowl inside that bowl for mixing. Just make sure no water from the larger bowl gets in your mixing bowl!) while stirring. Once your two mixtures have cooled, combine and blend. I chose to do this in a blender and, as I mentioned before, it foamed and expanded considerably. If you wait a few minutes the solution dies down and becomes much easier to handle.

Complaints: Again, if you don't have any of these ingredients at your house already, it's an investment. Luckily ALL of the ingredients easily serve multiple purposes and have several uses, so I don't see any money "wasted." Due to how many products I have made from home now, each product is becoming much less of an investment for me. Also, the more knowledgeable you become about each ingredient the more you learn what can be substituted for what and what can be left out, etc. Other than price, I was alarmed at how thin the mixture is. I would hesitate to call this a shaving "cream" but more of a shaving "serum" or "liquid." It is a bit watery which can make for harder application.

Compliments: Easy to make and ingredients were easy to find. Also, although the solution is thin, it feels AMAZING when used. I don't think I will even need to use lotion on my legs the days that I shave because this is so ridiculously moisturizing. My Husband used it on his face and loved it. It feels (and smells) very light and refreshing. It serves its purpose (protecting your skin from the razor) while having an added bonus of actually being good for your skin. One batch of this made enough for my Husband and I to each have 1 full jar.

My Final Thoughts:
Cons- Up front price you have to pay if you don't own any of the ingredients, how thin the mixture is.

Pros- Easy to make, it REALLY works. Also, every ingredient is natural, chemical free, and beneficial to skin health. No hard to pronounce ingredients. Next time you're in the shower, grab your can of shaving cream and see how many ingredients it has + how many of them you know. I checked the back of mine and got to ingredient #2 before having no clue what was in it. All of these unnecessary ingredients going onto your skin and into your pores. Also, if you go the organic route (purchasing organic shaving cream to eliminate some unwanted chemicals) you will see that they run anywhere from $7-$20+ dollars for smaller portions than you're accustomed to. 

Overall- This product is an investment, but because of how much it will get used, I can justify it. I also love how nourishing it is to the skin. 

Bottom line, it works.

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1 comment:

  1. Another natural blog YEY, I havent attempted shaving cream yet, I am still so new to all of this.

    Good Luck on your new arrival. I am your newest follower:)