Do you remember the first time you shaved your legs? Looking back it was kind of a rite of passage. I watched my mom do it on her gorgeous long, lean legs and could not wait to try it myself. I don’t remember the exact moment, but I do remember the (putrid) smell of that white foaming cream, though.
Little did I know how toxic this stuff is. It's why using a DIY Moisturizing Shaving Balm is way better for you! There are a lot of chemicals in shaving creams; I am going to highlight three of them.
Toxins in shaving cream to avoid in shaving creams
1. Propylene Glycol
Is derived from petroleum. My first question is why the heck is this in my shaving cream? I mean this stuff is found in anti-freeze, brake fluid and paint. The by-product from this “oil” creates a layer on your skin and over time does way more harm than good. It strips away your skin's natural oils and dries it out.
If you are buying a shaving cream (you won’t want to after you see how easy this recipe is) look for ones with moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, jojoba or coconut oil.
2. Mineral Oil
Mineral oil also comes from petroleum and may contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which have been shown to be carcinogenic. It’s a cheap, synthetic ingredient that’s added to certain skincare products to help the skin retain its moisture - which Propylene Glycol is stripping away- but what they don’t tell you is that this ingredient creates an impenetrable layer on the skin prohibiting it from releasing toxins. NOT GOOD! And when used over a long period of time, it will clog pores and dry out the dermis. Take a look at my in-depth graph in my Smart Swaps Series It outlines how to read and understand labels.
Like butane, isobutene and propane are chemicals that are used in aerosol cans to push the gel, foam or substance from the can. They are also known to dehydrate the skin.
Why should we care about dry skin? Because it ages us, it makes fine lines and wrinkles more prominent (no thank you) and daily exposure to toxic chemicals can lead to health problems too.
You are probably thinking, why the heck are they adding this crap to cream that is supposed to help hydrate, heal and calm my skin?
Well, because they are cheap and because they can! But don’t worry about it for another second, it’s why I'm here to help and why I started this blog.
Full recipe for the DIY Moisturizing Shaving Balm For Smooth Legs
Let's begin with the basics, shaving cream is meant to protect the skin from the blade and hydrate it too, so choosing ingredients that do both was really important to me when creating this recipe. I've tried using coconut oil and shea butter (both great) to shave my legs but found they weren't helping with in-grown hairs and razor burn (ouch)! I need to amp up this recipe to make it effective.
I've also added essential oils to this recipe. I am a firm believer in the effectiveness of essential oils when used properly, they have amazing healing benefits not only for the skin but overall health.
Sandalwood Essential oil is soothing, hydrating and aids with razor burn thanks to its antiseptic properties.
Neroli Essential oil has antimicrobial properties and improves the appearance of skin irritations and helps to balance oils too.
German Chamomile Essential oil is excellent for sensitive skin and aids in reducing redness. And it's soooo calming!
So you see all of these oils are chosen because of their specific benefits to the skin and ones I feel will aid in the shaving process.
By using three carrier oils, coconut, grapeseed and sunflower and combining them with shea butter and carnauba wax, you get this smooth creamy balm, that I simply love.
The shea butter lubricates the skin allowing for a close shave and I chose to use Carnauba wax mainly because it's vegan. It's used widely in everything from lipstick to balms. It's a great alternative to beeswax but has a higher melting point (180-185 degrees) so keep that in mind. It's also harder than beeswax. It's an excellent thickening agent and efficient emollient, which helps make the skin soft and smooth.
This moisturizing shave cream will not foam like the ones you are used to and that's okay. I hope you will give it a try anyway.
- 2 tbsp Coconut oil
- 1 tsp Grapeseed oil
- 1 tbsp Sunflower oil
- 1 tsp carnauba wax
- 1 tsp Shea nut butter
- 4 drops Sandalwood essential oil
- 4 drops Neroli essential oil
- 1 drop German Chamomile essential oil
Melt the oils, butter and wax in a double boiler on the stovetop
Once the ingredients have melted, remove the bowl from the heat. (Caution - It will be hot.)
Add the essential oils
Pour the mixture into a sterilized jar and let it sit to cool for at least 1 -2 hours
- In the shower, let the water run on your legs for a bit. This will help to soften the skin and open up the pores, making shaving easier.
- Apply the balm directly to the skin. Use as much as you feel comfy with.
- Use short strokes and don't push too hard.
- Rinse and dry.
- Apply a really good moisturizer.
Recommended for: All skin types
Usage: When you need a good shave
Make sure you do a patch test before trying any new products
If you are pregnant, make sure to check with your doctor before using any product with essential oils
Do you use shaving cream? Are you willing to give this homemade version a try? I'd love to hear from you!
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