Having spent years shaving with typical shaving creams using Aveda’s shave cream that boasts only natural ingredients was a breath of fresh air. A bit of a Cliché response I’m sure you’ll agree but let me talk you through my experience and some of the key differences between this product and one you can buy in any supermarket.
I’m not someone who has a particularly sensitive skin, I do however always notice the almost acidic nature of typical shaving creams. When you leave shaving foam on your face for long periods of time you will develop a burning sensation. The cause of this is quite often menthol, which is used as a fragrance. This shaving cream doesn’t exhibit this behaviour and was the first test I did.
Most shaving creams form a lather, this is due to the hydrophobic nature of the fatty acids common to most creams trapping air molecules. This is another area this cream differs. Although when you look at the ingredients later on you’ll notice the fatty acids present and lather formation must be hindered because of their quantities. The next difference is the smell, with ingredients being natural this shave cream has many earthy textures. It can’t be described as neutral, but with hints of lemongrass and cedar wood you won’t be complaining the scent smells feminine. This scent lasts up to an hour after shaving and in most cases is a great compliment to any eau de parfum you apply.
One of my first worries when realising this didn’t form a lather was the cushioning effect on the razor. My razor blade is by no means top of the line, it’s a simple 4 blade Gillette razor which means shaving without any cream is hellish. It was a nice surprise that the low viscosity of the cream meant the glide was incredibly controlled and comfortable.
How It Feels
Many men have to worry about what they put on their face after they have had a shave. I for one have never been subject to shaving burns or rash but my typically cream does not leave my face feeling hydrated and smooth. Taking a look at the ingredients of Aveda Pure-formance was enough for me to realise this will have a moisturising effect. It contains Palm Kernel Oil which is a oil derived from the seed of the Elaeis guineensis palm species. This excited me because it’s quite similar to coconut oil with a high percentage of lauric acid which is very kind for your skin. Another ingredient which was of interest is Plai essential oil, an oil which is distilled from the roots of the Plai plant which grows naturally all over Thailand. It’s been used as a massage oil for centuries because of it’s powerful analgesic and anti inflammatory applications. All of which are greatly welcomed in a shaving cream.
How it Differs
I have below assembled a table that is a comparison between Aveda’s ingredients and that of a leading competitor. You’ll instantly notice that it in fact it has double the number of ingredients than that of of the leading retailer. This did surprise me as with most natural products the ingredients are often far less. It’s hard to make a chemical comparison because you don’t get given quantities. One of the ingredients in the competitor that is something i’d prefer not to use on my skin due is BHT as it’s been phased out over the last 40 years, with some studies linking it to cancer.¹
- Aloe Barbadensis Leaf
- Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil
- Boswellia Serrata Extract
- Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Seed Oil
- Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
- Ceramide 3
- Cetearyl Olivate
- Citric Acid
- Decyl Glucoside
- Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract
- Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract
- Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil
- Hydrolyzed Algin
- Lauramidopropyl Betaine
- Oleic Acid
- Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract
- Silybum Marianum (Lady’s Thistle) Extract
- Sodium Chloride
- Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate
- Sodium Gluconate
- Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate
- Sorbitan Olivate
- Stearic Acid
- Ursolic Acid
- Xanthan Gum
- Zingiber Cassumunar (Plai) Root Oil
- Palmitic Acid
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Stearic Acid
This shaving cream is a very good alternative to typical shaving creams. It still works as an excellent moisturiser and lubricant and has a very pleasant fragrance. It’s quite pricey at around $18 a bottle and each shave does require slightly more cream than one that lathers, but you’ll be saving some money on aftershave lotions.
¹ Kensler TW, Egner PA, Trush MA, Bueding E, Groopman JD, “Modification of aflatoxin B1 binding to DNA in vivo in rats fed phenolic antioxidants, ethoxyquin and a dithiothione”, Carcinogenesis, 1985;6(5):759-63.