Pre-shave oil is a must-have in any man’s skincare arsenal. This type of oil goes the extra mile in making sure that your skin stays soft, glowing, and healthy, even when you’re shaving it on a regular basis.
Plus, it’s simple to apply and will make the process of shaving more comfortable overall.
But, once you decide to start using a pre-shave oil, you come to the difficult question of which shave oil to use. There are countless products out there, and determining the best pre-shave oil to use may seem like a total shot in the dark.
That’s where we come in!
Here, we’ve gathered up the best pre shave oil products, along with essential information about this type of pre-shave treatment. So, read on to experience the benefits of shaving oil for yourself.
Best Pre-Shave Oil Overview
Anthony Pre-Shave and Conditioning Beard Oil
American Crew Ultra Gliding Shave Oil
Lather & Wood Pre-Shave Oil, Sandalwood
The Henna Guys Lemongrass & Eucalyptus UNISEX Pre Shave Oil
The Art of Shaving Pre Shave Oil
Shaveology Natural Pre Shave Oil for Men
What is Pre-Shave Oil?
Before we get into the best pre shave oil that money can buy, let’s review what exactly pre-shave oil is.
This type of shaving product is oil that you apply to your skin prior to shaving. Generally, pre-shave oils are made from all-natural oils and botanical extracts that leave your skin both moisturized and refreshed. Many shave oils even include ingredients to clear your pores of dirt and bacteria, minimizing your chances of breaking out or getting razor bumps.
One misconception about pre-shave oil is that you can use it as an alternative to a shaving cream, gel, or foam. This isn’t the case.
Pre-shave oil is meant to be used in combination with a shaving foam or a shaving cream as an added layer of moisture and protection. The oil is applied prior to your cream, gel, or foam to soften the hair and treat your skin.
If a product is comedogenic, it means that it may clog your pores. Especially for those with sensitive skin, clogged pores lead to breakouts. Around the areas that you shave, this is typically in the form of ingrown hair and red bumps.
So, when you look for a pre-shave oil, be sure to look at the ingredients and double check that the formula is noncomedogenic. Certain oils, namely coconut oil, can clog certain people’s pores and cause problems.
Oil is a different consistency than other skincare products that you may be accustomed to, such as creams, gels, and foams. Oil is thick and intensely moisturizing. Ideally, a pre-shave oil won’t leave behind a residue once you’re done shaving, but this does happen occasionally. You may need to gently pat your skin with a clean towel to get rid of any excess shave oil.
You should note that this shaving product isn't exclusively meant for use on your beards! Pre shave oil for shaving heads is popular, too, and men with bald heads can benefit from using it regularly. Many men may experience redness, irritation, and ingrown hair on both their scalp and face, so using shaving oil in both areas is often a great choice.
People often get confused about the difference between shaving oil and shaving cream. To learn more about the factors that differentiate these two products, check out our article on the difference between oil and cream. This article will clear up any confusion that you have over the differing characteristics of these two popular shaving products so that you can get the best possible shave.
How to Use Pre Shave Oil
So, how will a great pre shave oil fit into your shaving routine? You likely already use a soap, cream, foam, or gel to lather up before you shave. Pre-shave oil will be applied prior to that first product to condition and protect the area.
When it comes to shave oil, a little goes a very long way. The consistency of oil means that just a single drop can cover a large area of skin. You don’t need a large amount of it, in the way that you may need a foam or cream, to completely cover the entire area.
With that said, start by putting a few drops of your pre-shave oil into your palm. Rub your hands together so that the oil is in a single, even layer. Then, apply to oil to your scalp or to your facial hair, depending on what you’re shaving. Allow approximately 30 seconds for the oil to soften your hair and seep into your skin. From there, start your shaving routine as you normally would!
You may be thinking that since pre-shave oil adds an extra step onto your shaving routine, you simply don’t have time for it in your hectic schedule. In that case, you need to read our article on how to shave your head fast. This will give you the tips and insights to maximize your time and shave minutes off of your shaving routine, even with the use of a pre-shave oil!
Why Do I Need Pre-Shave Oil?
If you’re new to the shaved head look, or if you’ve simply never used preshave oil before, you may be wondering why you should include it in your shaving routine.
We get it: The list of skincare products that are said to be absolutely necessary for optimal skin health can seem endless. But, the fact is that all men can hugely benefit from using pre-shave oil and making use of it on a regular basis. Below, we’ve gathered up the main benefits of shaving oil so that you can see it for yourself.
Reduces the Chances of Razor Bumps
Razor bumps are an uncomfortable and frustrating issue that many people have to deal with when they shave. These small red bumps are caused by skin irritation from your razor. When you shave, your skin may become inflamed (especially if you have sensitive skin) and these bumps may appear. Fortunately, there are a handful of strategies to combat razor bumps; one of these methods is to utilize a pre-shave oil.
Pre-shave oil can lessen your odds for getting razor bumps and even minimize irritation from existing razor bumps. This is because the oil softens your skin and hair, reducing the razor’s tendency to pull on your hair as you shave. As a result, the razor blades are less likely to irritate your skin and cause bumps or ingrown hairs.
Razor bumps are an incredibly common issue among people who shave as their method of hair removal. To learn more about razor bumps and how you can avoid them, read our article about it here. You’ll find everything you need in the article to address the issue of razor bumps, understand their cause, and maintain healthy skin.
Leaves Skin Soft and Moisturized
Skin that you shave frequently can quickly become dry and dehydrated. Shave oil can help with this issue by bringing natural moisture to your skin while you shave. Taking the extra step to apply a shave oil will also leave your skin feeling smooth post-shave, without uncomfortable dehydration. This helps to protect against signs of skin aging for healthy, glowing skin.
Common pre shave oil ingredients that work to moisturize your skin include:
- Castor oil
- Olive oil
- Sunflower oil
- Rosemary oil
- Safflower oil
- Grapeseed oil
While certain ingredients, oils, botanicals, etc. are known to provide superior benefits for your skin than others, everyone is different! One oil may work wonders for one person’s skin, but when used by someone else, the same oil could clog their pores.
So, it may take some trial and error to figure out which shaving oil for sensitive skin is the best for you. Take note of the oils that leave your skin feeling great, as well as their ingredients, and don’t be afraid to try something new! You never know, you may just discover the perfect product for you.
Makes the Shaving Process Easier and More Comfortable
Pre-shave oil allows the blades of your razor to move across your skin more easily, which will in turn prevent skin damage like razor burn, cuts, and nicks. Plus, when your razor goes across the surface of your skin without pulling on hair or irritating your skin, the process of shaving will be more pleasant overall.
The reason why you should wait for about 30 seconds before shaving after applying an oil is so that there’s time for it to soften your hair. We’ve all been there: you go to shave, but your hair (especially if it’s just stubble) is so tough and thick that the razor can hardly move across it. A great shaving oil will eliminate this issue by soaking into the hair and softening it so that the razor can move through it, struggle-free.
The Best Pre Shave Oil Products
There seems to be a never-ending selection of shaving products available today. But, which option on the market today is the best pre shave oil to use? Below, you’ll find a list of the top pre-shave oils for men and women. With top-caliber ingredients, stellar customer reviews, and fantastic scents, these shaving oils are the best of the best.
1. Anthony Pre-Shave and Conditioning Beard Oil
This bestselling product from the brand Anthony isn’t your average pre-shave oil. It works to prep and soften your hair prior to shaving to reduce irritation. But, in addition to the typical pre-shave oil ingredients, this formula includes vitamin E and calendula oil to condition your skin and hair, minimizing dryness or flaking in the future.
This pre shave oil for beards uses rosemary oil and basil oil to make beard hair softer and easier to shave. It also contains olive oil, soybean oil, castor oil, orange peel oil, eucalyptus oil, and spearmint oil. The eucalyptus and spearmint oils give this beard treatment a bright, refreshing scent that’s ideal for men’s day-to-day wear. The minty fragrance also makes a great addition to your morning routine and can help you wake up with energy.
The pre shave oil reviews for this product are mainly positive. Men love that the formula is thick enough to be effective without clogging pores. Plus, users say that in combination with a shaving cream, this shave oil from Anthony provides a close, irritation-free shave.
2. American Crew Ultra Gliding Shave Oil
This shave oil from American Crew is designed to give you a close, irritation-free shave without leaving your skin feeling greasy or oily. This shave oil is a popular option among men and can be used as either a pre shave oil for heads or a shaving oil for your beard.
This American Crew product is designed to be used underneath a shaving cream or a shaving gel. The oil provides an extra layer of protection so that even the most sensitive skin is left feeling soft and smooth post-shave. The moisturizing effects of this shaving oil will last you until your next shave, providing your skin with the hydration it needs all day long.
In addition to moisturizing oils, this formulation includes potent antioxidants that can help to reduce signs of aging for glowing, youthful skin. We all want to fend off the visible signs of aging for as long as we can, and this American Crew Shave Oil is made to help you do just that.
The American Crew Ultra Gliding Shave Oil includes olive oil, bran oil, eucalyptus oil, clove oil, peppermint oil, and rosemary oil. The peppermint oil, combined with a touch of menthol, gives this oil blend a refreshing kick that’s sure to help you wake up in the morning. Additionally, this special formula has antiseptic and antimicrobial effects, which will help to keep your skin free of pore-clogging bacteria.
To use this shave oil, start by wetting your face with warm water. Then, put of few drops of the oil into your palm, rub your hands together, and massage the oil onto your scalp or face. Apply your favorite shaving gel or cream and shave regularly.
3. Lather & Wood Pre-Shave Oil, Sandalwood
An exceptionally popular and highly reviewed shave oil option, the Lather & Wood Sandalwood Pre-Shave Oil is the perfect fit for many men. One of the most attractive features of this pre-shave oil is its sandalwood scent, which is both traditional and masculine. So, in addition to providing a most comfortable shave, this pre-shave oil will give you a lasting and pleasant scent.
The Lather & Wood formula is all-natural to give you the healthiest skin possible. It makes use of seven different oils (grapeseed oil, organic olive oil, wheat germ oil, cranberry oil, red raspberry oil, neem oil, and meadowfoam oil) so that you can reap the benefits of many types of oil, not just one or two. This sandalwood-scented oil also includes rosemary extract for an herbaceous undertone.
A great pre shave oil for electric razors, this product is designed to soften even the toughest beards to make shaving easier and gentle on your skin. The seven-oil blend conditions your skin to reduce your risk for irritation, redness, and ingrown hair. All you need is a single drop of the potent formula; allow it to seep into the hair and skin for 30 seconds, then layer on your shaving foam or cream.
4. The Henna Guys Lemongrass & Eucalyptus UNISEX Pre Shave Oil
The Henna Guys is a brand of natural beauty and skincare products. Their focus is on chemical-free products and safe, high-quality, and ethically sourced ingredients. The Lemongrass and Eucalyptus pre shave oil from The Henna Guys was developed with these principles in mind, using a blend of natural oils for an effective formula that’s paraben-free, preservative-free, and cruelty-free. It’s possibly the best shaving oil for men with sensitive skin that you can buy.
The lemongrass and eucalyptus essential oils included in this pre shave oil give it a bright, fresh fragrance that you’ll love to wake up to. It’s ideal for both men or women, and can be used when you shave any area of the body. Additionally, the formula has grapeseed oil, avocado oil, argan oil, and marula oil for deep skin hydration that’s safe for sensitive skin. Instead of having raw, red, or irritated skin after you shave, you’ll have soft, hydrated, and soothed skin after using this pre shave oil.
One of the main selling points of this pre shave oil is its unisex fragrance, which works well for both men and women. Many people may assume that only men shave their heads, but plenty of women do, too!
To use this shaving product, first shake the bottle to ensure that the formula is evenly mixed. Then, put a few drops of it into your palms. Massage it into the area that you plan to shave, then apply a shaving cream or gel. Continue to shave as you usually would, and see the difference that this gentle shave oil makes on the health of your skin.
5. The Art of Shaving Pre Shave Oil
This pre shave oil from The Art of Shaving is the top luxury shave oil option on the current market. The formula features sandalwood essential oil for a classic scent you’ll love using every day. It’s free of synthetic dyes and alcohol, making it safe for sensitive skin.
The Art of Shaving is a brand that was created in 1996. As a luxury shaving product brand, The Art of Shaving works with top-caliber essential oils and botanical ingredients that are wonderful for your skin. Whether you’re shaving your head or your beard, we highly recommend products from The Art of Shaving, especially this pre shave oil.
This pre shave oil is formulated with just three ingredients: castor oil, olive oil, and sandalwood fragrance. This formula is simple yet effective, working to soften hair for a close, irritation-free shave. It works to make your razor glide more easily across your skin, reducing the risk of razor burn and bumps. Plus, it’s designed to work without leaving your skin feeling oily.
To use, massage a few drops of this oil into your beard or onto your scalp. Then, apply a shaving cream, gel, or soap, and work it into a lather. Proceed to shave as you regularly would and experience, softer, healthier skin.
6. Shaveology Natural Pre Shave Oil for Men
The Shaveology Lubricating Pre-Shave Oil is designed to soothe skin and prevent razor burn. As a result, you can get one of the closest, most comfortable shaves of your life. What’s more, this pre-shave oil is made especially for sensitive or breakout prone skin; it won’t clog your pores or cause other related skin issues.
Formulated with a blend of safflower oil, walnut oil, avocado oil, and jojoba oil, this shaving product is ultra-hydrating and acts as a protector for your skin against the harsh razor. These essential oils and botanicals work to soften even the thickest of hair so that you can shave it with ease. This pre shave oil even includes Vitamin E, which helps to make skin feel soft and reduce redness.
It only takes a few drops of the Shaveology Natural Pre Shave Oil to reap its many benefits. It’s formulated to spread on easily in an even layer, but without making your skin feel greasy. Use this pre shave oil in combination with a shaving gel or cream for a nick-free shave that leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth.
The best shaving oil for men, as well as for women, must include high-quality ingredients, a blend of a variety of hydrating oils, and a top-notch scent. The whole purpose of a shaving oil is to minimize irritation from shaving, so this type of skincare product should leave your skin feeling smooth and healthy.
While it may add a step to your shaving routine, a pre-shave oil is undoubtedly worth using for its long-term, positive effects on the health of your skin.