Why is James Dean pictured here? I'll get to that...bare with me.
The other day I was out making deliveries (something I really enjoy- so many neighborhoods to be explored in our city) when I realized I hadn't had a blog post for a while. I figured I had one in May, but it turns out I have been really bad at keeping this up- the last one was in April! So, first and foremost my sincere apologies as I do enjoy writing these small blogs and the truth is, I've been so busy with fulfilling orders and chores around the house that writing a blog hasn't been at the forefront of my "To Do" list. My bad.
So James Dean was the epitome of being cool. But we're not talking about style here. Today we're talking about the other cool. You know, the one that makes you go brrrrrrrr.
Wet shaving in the summer is much different than wet shaving in the winter. For example, during our Winnipeg winters, I'm more concerned with dry skin than I am during the summer. The one thing I really crave in the summer time is a nice cool shave. How does one do this? While some people might lean towards using cold water, using cold water doesn't always work best during a shave because it closes the pores. I'm not saying that you can't use cold water, but in all likelihood you'll walk away with a less than stellar shave. There's an even better way!
One popular choice is to lean towards scents or fragrances that give you that cooling sensation. Things like mint, spearmint, eucalyptus and menthol are great at giving us that "cool" sensation, even when doing a hot shave. Let's talk about one of the most popular ones- menthol.
Of the 4 I listed, menthol seems to be the most popular choice and guys will go to extreme lengths to get that "cold" feeling. Some look for high levels of menthol in their products while others will actually add their own menthol to their favourite soap. So what exactly is Menthol? Well menthol is a natural substance found in mint plants, such as peppermint and spearmint. It gives a cooling sensation and is often used to relieve minor pain and irritation. When it is applied to the skin, menthol produces a cooling sensation. It does not lower the temperature of the body or skin. Instead, it produces a cooling effect by blocking the calcium current along the nerves responsible for detecting temperature. In the quest for that extreme cooling sensation, guys are often looking for products that pack a punch. However, one must always be extremely careful when using menthol. If a high-percentage menthol product is applied to the skin, irritation and even chemical burns can occur. Health Canada has documented quite a few over the counter products with menthol that can cause more harm than good.
Let me be clear, I don't want to try and scare you about using menthol. I use quite a few products that contain Menthol and are safe to use. When menthol is used in small amounts (often 1% or less) and blended with other ingredients, the wet shave experience is phenomenal.
Here are some products in our online store that will help keep you cool over the summer:
One of my favourites and new to our online store is a pre-shave cream by Ratlestick. This Canadian based company makes their pre-shave cream using a variety of natural ingredients such as camphor, menthol and eucalyptus. (It also has broccoli!)
One of the most popular shave soaps with a menthol kick is the classic Proraso Green. A classic must have for wet shavers and their shave den. Even after all these years, Proraso is still made in small batches. Combining the properties of Eucalyptus Oil and Menthol, the formula is designed to unite excellent smoothness with toning and a pleasant cooling effect.
Another popular shave soap that we recently brought back is Stirling Soap Co. Their Iced Pineapple is the perfect way to enjoy your summer shave. Sweet pineapple with a cool, menthol blast. A limited summer fragrance.
If you're looking for a nice cooling shave- but aren't quite ready to dive into the big vat of menthol, I recommend Purely Skinful Handmade Essentials "Ridge Runner" shave soap. A crisp, refreshing mountain breeze with the aroma of sweet cedar branches, dry wood, earthy patchouli and sandalwood and a nice hint of menthol.
The products I listed above do have matching after shave splashes or balms. However, I wanted to highlight another after shave that often gets overlooked, but is a great post shave summer treatment. O'Douds Apothecary makes a really nice after shave cream. It moisturizes, cleanses, cools, and protects the skin and pores after shaving. This aftershave is non-alcohol-based and contains witch hazel and menthol.
Staying cool in the summer is important. These products will not only keep you cool, they'll make you feel great and your skin will thank you. We have lot's of other great products to keep you cool. Here are just some of them. Shave On!