That’s my grandmother above, enjoying a nice day on the porch in her playsuit. Isn’t she a knockout? Now that warm days are here again (both in NYC and in my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida, from where I'm happily posting this), I’m looking forward to spending a lot of time just hanging out outside like she did. Of course, with balmier temperatures comes sparer clothing (I’d love to make a copy of what she was wearing here) and lots more leg.
I’m not sure what the ladies used back then when they shaved – probably just good old fashioned soap, and certainly nothing like ‘Skintimations Pomegranate Mango Dream Smooth Shaving Cream’ or any of the other similarly ridiculous-sounding stuff that abounds these days. No joke, I actually once saw a scent labeled 'Frosted Velvet.'
You can pretty much tell just by looking at the packaging on one of those crazy bottles that they’re loaded up to here with the grossest, most artificial junk. From parabens to phthalates to petrochemicals to the fakest fragrances ever, they tick off almost every bad ingredient on my list. I’d bet good money they’re not great for our skin in the long term, and I know what’s in them certainly isn’t good for our bodies.
Good news: you don’t have to stick to plain soap and water if you want to avoid shaving creams. In fact, since I’ve used this magic stuff, I’ve never had such smooth, soft legs after shaving – and they hardly require any moisturizing either. For someone whose skin tends to get pretty dry and suck up moisture like a sponge (thanks, Mom), that’s pretty remarkable.
So what’s my secret weapon? Once again, coconut oil saves the day! Is there anything this stuff can’t do? I cook with it, use it for moisturizing, use it as a deep conditioner – the list goes on.
I’m a huge fan of multi-use products, and I think it’s almost comical how many hyper-specialized items there are out there these days. I often think about the fact that when my grandmother was young, pretty much everything was multi-use, from vinegar to baking soda to food scraps. No one suffered for not having one type of lotion for extra dry skin and another for super duper dry skin. I’m convinced most of that labeling is simply marketing, especially when comparing ingredients. It can actually be fun and pretty informative to go to the grocery store, pick up a few bottles of conventional shampoo that all claim to be remedies for specific hair issues, and comparing the ingredients. Plus, I hate being a sucker – my mama didn’t raise no fool! Picking a multi-use product helps cut down on waste and says with your wallet that you don’t want to perpetuate a wasteful culture.
Some tips for shaving with coconut oil:
- In case you’re not familiar, coconut oil is solid at room temperature. I usually run the jar under hot water and let a little bit melt, then pour it into my hand.
- It may seem weird at first, especially if you’re used to a thick lather or foam. Give it a few tries! You’ll get used to it and love it.
- Shave after you’ve already scrubbed down. You don’t want to wash away the moisture left by the coconut oil after you’re done shaving.
- Because coconut oil solidifies at room temperature, you’ll need to shave with hot water, or use a glass filled with very hot water to rinse your razor as you go along.
- I buy a giant tub of this stuff – it’s my favorite brand and it’s of superior quality. When choosing a coconut oil, pick one that’s cold pressed, extra virgin, generally un-messed with. It shouldn't be deodorized and the label should specify hexane-free (hexane is a solvent that is also a neurotoxin). I also like to stick with organic. Especially if you’re going to use your oil for many purposes, as I do, you may want to consider these guidelines.
- I also like to transfer some of my coconut oil from the giant jar into a smaller one, keeping it reserved specifically for the shower. This way, you can keep your coconut oil for cooking free from contamination and feel free to put your hand in the jar used for shaving.
What do you think? Would you ever try shaving with coconut oil? Too weird for you? I’d love to hear!