Preparation wins you half the battle.

I’m not trying to be Sun Tzu here and start a war. The beauty of the saying is that it applies to our daily routine as well. For example, how good you shave depends on what you do as part of the process.

I know many who’d use a quality shaving gel or a soap to kick things off.

Me? I start the process by applying a Pre-Shave Oil. Yes, there are oils which aid you in shaving.

I don’t have any quirks with people who start things off with a soap. But wet shaving has subtle nuances to it. If you want to enjoy the results of a quality shave, you need to prep well for the job.

This is especially true for people who have sensitive skins and beard like dead grass like me. They need the best Pre Shave Oil to untangle coarse, ingrown hair and liven things up a bit.

If this idea of an oil is alien to you, this is the only guide you’ll ever need to understand what it is, which products are dominating the market, and how one should handle them.

Let’s get started!

Pre Shave Oil – Comparison Table

ProductsSizeOur RatingPrice
The Art of Shaving8 OZ4.5 Check price
Sandalwood Pre-Shave Oil1 OZ4.4 Check price
Thrive Natural Shave Oil1 OZ4.4 Check price
Shaveology Pre Shave Oil2 OZ4.2 Check price
American Shaving Pre Shave Oil2 OZ4.1 Check price
The Blades Grim Smolder2 OZ4.3 Check price
Truefitt & Hill Ultimate2 OZ4 Check price

What is Pre-Shave Oil?

I don’t blame you if some of you are hearing these words for the first time. A “Pre-Shave” oil is what people apply to their facial hair before shaving (Duh!).

It helps to condition dense beard and softens it starting from the root. Although the application method is same, Pre-Shave oils are NOT beard oils.

I use my palms and fingers to apply this product to my face. One can also use shaving brushes. One thing is for sure… if you are looking to cut down on your shaving costs, use these. Provided one knows how to apply these products, he won’t need shaving creams or soaps.

Best Pre Shave Oil Choices that I Want You to Pick From

I’m not the one who pushes the envelope on the other side. But with so many options and mediocre products on show, I chose to take the onus to research into them. As a result, I found the ones that deserve your attention. So, here’re you, me, and the seven shave oils.

Thrive Natural Shave Oil for Men

Natural Shave Oil

My reasons for starting the list with Thrive Natural Shave Oil are simple. This is one oil that’s “Thriving” with many great qualities. I’m sure you got the reference, didn’t you?

Let’s not rush it from the get-go. I’ll start from the outside giving my readers an idea of how this thing looks. This bottle of shave oil comes with a pump-nozzle that can be locked into a fixed position.

It helps when you have to pack it with other things when traveling.

The locking mechanism prevents leakage or spilling of the oil. The oil is definitely great for your skin (I’ll go there shortly), it is just as great for your razor. This little product provides lubrication and reduces friction during shaving.

Of course, this lets you enjoy a very close shave. Plus, it extends the life of your razor blades by protecting them against oxidation and microscopic rust.

In fact, this is where Thrive Natural Shave Oil can prove to be the best pre-shave oil you ever used. It will be so because this shave oil replaces eliminates the need for pre-shave oils, creams, foams, and gels.

That is, you can shave after applying product alone. That is to say, not only is this product affordable but also it helps to cut many of your other costs.

This shave oil is a life saver for those who have sensitive and dry skin.

This oil helps to hydrate and moisturize your skin, leaving it nourished and irritation-free. Premium quality essential oils have been infused with this oil to bring out a sophisticated yet natural scent.

Thrive Natural has put together two Costa Rican elements in this product to bring out the best results. These are Juanilama herb and Fiorillo vine. These help to reduce razor burns, ingrown hairs, blemishes, and acne.

They aid in healing your skin and keeping it nourished too.

Furthermore, these ingredients are rich in anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. They also help to protect your skin against the harms caused by pollution.

Get Thrive Natural Shave Oil at Amazon

Things I Found Interesting

  • The face of the users will adapt very nicely when using thrive pre-shave oil.
  • This thing doesn’t cause nasty irritations and clears the existing irritation on your face.
  • The protective layer between your beards and the razor blades works! The razors will last longer now.
  • Anti-oxidants in the oil help by allowing the users to uphold their younger-looking skin.
  • Natural ingredients are completely safe and hypoallergenic to your skin as well.

Things That Are Not So Good

  • It has a thin consistency than your average shaving oil, cream, and soaps.
  • Price will be a daunting factor that’ll influence the purchasing decision for some.

The Art of Shaving, Pre-Shave Oil

Pre-Shave Oil

Most people don’t realize the importance of these products when it comes to shaving. They think it’s unnecessary to spend a few bucks and own one. But once you have tried one for yourselves, you will never want to go through the routine without it.

The pre-shave oil prepared by “Art of Shaving” is one of a kind. For some, it is the best pre shave oil there is. Sure, it is costlier than most belonging to its league, but it is so due to its volume. Most such products come in 1 oz. packs, but this pre-shave oil comes in a large pack of 8 oz. (240 ml).

One purchase will last eons (Okay, I’m kidding, it’s “Years”)! You just need a small amount of this oil to get going.

No matter what kind of beard you have, this wonder from “Art of Shaving” will work wonders on it without compromise. While I’m at it, let me correct a part of your routine for you. Some people simply apply the oil on their face before shaving and go about this the business as usual.

That’s not enough. You need to gently massage the oil onto your facial hair. This way, all your beard, and skin will be evenly coated with the oil.

The first thing it does is it makes shaving a frictionless and effortless business. “Art of Shaving” helps to form a protective layer over the skin and the beard. This lubrication aids your razor in gliding swiftly over the face.

As a result, you will not have to endure any nicks and cuts, razor burns or skin irritation. Anyone would be able to guess that this oil is a must-have for people with sensitive skin.

This thing has its fair share of olive oil, castor oil, lavender, and clove. These ingredients not only help to protect your skin against irritation and burns but also help to nourish and revitalize it. It helps to maintain your skin’s moisture content, without leaving any oily residue after shaving.

Although The Art of Shaving oil claims to be and appeared unscented to me, some users have found a sort of mild yet pleasing scent when massaging their beard.

Get Art of Shaving at Amazon

Things I Found Interesting

  • It’s amazing to see how little you need for each shave, this product can even last for years!
  • The scent lasts for a long time. It lingers for two to four hours depending on how much I use.
  • The oil prevents any friction of the razors with our beards and any nicks and cuts in the process.
  • There are moisturizers present in this thing; your face won’t dry up after shaving.
  • This little shaving oil is anything but greasy; it doesn’t stick onto your hands.

Things That Are Not So Good

  • It is definitely a bit pricier than its competition on the market.

Lather & Wood Pre-Shave Oil

Lather Wood pre-shave oil

Lather and Wood Shaving Co. has been working to provide you with a vintage and satisfying shaving experience. This little product here is no different. This oil that I’m referring to is infused with sandalwood oil and some more natural oils.

Owing to the Sandalwood oil, this pre-shave oil has got a soothing scent. This makes your everyday shaving into a relaxing one. In fact, those who are a fan of the old-school, this sandalwood infused pre-shave oil will prove to be the best.

Along with Sandalwood oil, this product contains Grapeseed Oil, Organic Olive Oil, Meadowfoam Oil, Wheatgerm Oil, Cranberry Oil, Red Raspberry Oil, Neem Oil, and Rosemary Extract. These ingredients help to soften even the toughest of beards.

As a result, you can enjoy a friction-free and seamless shaving every day. Plus, this oil helps to get rid of ingrown hairs and is greatly helpful for sensitive skin. People with sensitive skin are prone to get razor burns, skin redness and irritation after shaving with the best of razor blades.

I often massage my beard thoroughly with this pre-shave oil to coat it and my skin. Trust me, you will need only a few drops and need to wait around 30 seconds to get the best result possible.

How many days the oil lasts, is entirely up to you. Each pack will work for at least 60 shaves.

This pre-shave oil is so good at lubricating your beard and protecting your skin that you can shave by applying only the oil.  Lather & Wood Shaving Co. has never disappointed their customers. This is suitable for you if you are only beginning to use pre-shave oils.

Get Lather & Wood Pre-Shave Oil at Amazon

Things I Found Interesting

  • I like the relaxing and subtle “Sandalwood” scent this product carries with it. It lingers on for hours.
  • Meadowfoam, Wheatgerm, and Cranberry oils help users to enjoy a friction-free shaving.
  • Each pack of this shaving oil last for 60 shaves (give or take). How soon it runs out is entirely up to you.
  • This Lather & Wood product lubricates your beard so well that you’ll need only the oil for shaving.
  • This little “Vintage” formula helps people with sensitive skin types.

Things That Are Not So Good

  • There are people who think that this one is a bit pricier than it should be.

Shaveology Pre Shave Oil for Men

Pre Shave Oil for Men

If you have just begun shaving and want to try one out, I’ve got just the thing for you. the Shaveology Pre Shave Oil is “All Natural,” affordable, and the next product on my list.

This is considered one of the top pre shave oils in today’s date. It helps to prepare your skin and beard before shaving. Take a few drops on your palm, rub it with both hands and then thoroughly massage it on your beard and skin. While massaging, remember to rub your palms against the grain of your stubble.

Doing so helps to lift the hair follicles so that you don’t miss any flat-lying hair while shaving.

The bulk of this Shaveology Pre Shave Oil contains mainly a blend of natural oils just like I said in my pitch for this short review. They are – Safflower Oil, Avocado Oil, Walnut Oil, and Jojoba Oil. These natural oils help to soothe, nourish, and moisturize your skin.

Vitamin E is also there. It helps to keep our face rejuvenated during and after the shaving routine.

This ultimately contributes to an effortless shaving. These oils condition your skin without leaving any residual oil. They help to protect your skin against razor burns, skin redness and irritation. And so, it is also suitable for people with sensitive skin.

I must tell you that most pre shave oils are meant to for safety razors. So is the Shaveology Pre Shave Oil. Don’t use this oil, or any other pre shave oil for that matter, before shaving with an electric razor.

This 2 Oz bottle of pre shave oil can be used for almost half a year, depending on how frequently you like to shave. This has got a subtle scent that is just as pleasing and refreshing as the pre shave oil.

Things I Found Interesting

  • Natural ingredients provide it the “Hypoallergenic” nature to this shave oil. It is safe for allergic people.
  • I don’t need to mention that natural ingredients don’t trigger skin sensitivities, do I?
  • Vitamin E grants your skin the youthful look that people so desperately desire.
  • Depending on how often you shave, a 2 Oz. bottle can last for almost half a year (6 months).
  • There aren’t any filler ingredients in the formula. People won’t find any chemicals in there.

Things That Are Not So Good

  • Depending on what brands of shaving oils you previously used, the consistency might tick you off.
  • The lemon fragrance might not prove to be lucrative for some users.

American Shaving Pre Shave Oil For Men

American Shaving

Researching for the best pre-shave oil brought me face-to-face with a number of products. Each claiming to be the best in its own right. All seven on my list took the cake in one way or the other. American Shaving Pre Shave Oil is a special vial even within these top choices.

This pre-shave oil is meant for men of all ages, experience levels, and with any skin type and beard type. That is, it is perfectly suitable for men with sensitive skin.

This oil helps to moisturize, nourish and protect your skin. It contains a blend of Grapeseed Oil, Argan Oil, Hempseed Oil, and Jojoba Oil. These oils are fast absorbing and help to prepare our skins by moisturizing and conditioning them.

This is not the end of the ingredients by any means. It also contains a blend of slow absorbing oils like Sweet Almond Oil, Olive Oil, and Avocado Oil. This second group of oils creates a layer of lubrication by simply sitting over our skins.

As a result, the razor blades can smoothly glide over our skins and through the beard without causing us any discomfort. This means, no itches, red spots, and irritations. Don’t worry about being left with an oily skin after you are done with the shaving. All we are left with is a healthier and softer facial tissue.

Hold on, I’m not done yet!

The constituent blend of oils adds another quality to your shaving. It provides you with a lingering scent, which is manly and refreshing. The scent is not overwhelming and does not comprise the scent of your cologne. It does not last THAT long, but it lasts long enough to give you a reviving sensation to start your day.

This 2-ounce bottle of American Shaving Pre Shave oil is set to fuel our shaving routines for at least 4 months. You will require only a drop or two to get your job done during every shave.

Things I Found Interesting

  • The natural oils in this mix get absorbed by the skin and provide nourishment from within.
  • You get to enjoy a nice soothing scent while you shave and it stays on for some time after.
  • The natural oils reduce razor frictions and bring down nicks and cuts in the process.
  • Grapeseed Oil, Argan Oil, Hempseed Oil, and Jojoba Oil condition the users’ skins.
  • One pack of American Crew Shaving Oil satisfies our shaving urges for as many as four months.

Things That Are Not So Good

  • This product contains Isopropyl Myristate which is a thickening agent and a synthetic oil.

The Blades Grim Smolder Pre-Shave Oil

The Blades Grim

“The Blades Grim” is a USA based company which has been producing shaving products for a long time now. Remember I referred a product of the brand in my article about best shaving soaps? Well, this brand has made it my list of best Pre Shave Oil too!

This pre-shave oil, like all of their products, has a vintage feel to it. Unlike most pre-shave oils in today’s date which come in bottles with pump-nozzles, this oil comes in a glass bottle with two lids.

The inner lid (or stopper) makes sure that the oil does not leak. This makes it safe for packing it along with your other toiletries while traveling.

The Blades Grim Pre Shave oil is said to be a competent product due to its efficiency in helping to shave tough beards. It helps to lubricate the toughest of beards and also helps to lift flat-lying hairs. ‘

This results in a smooth and seamless shave with a very close finish. In fact, the secret to getting a close shave lies in managing your facial hair prior to shaving. And that is where The Blades Grim oil comes handy.

This pre-shave oil reduces the itchy feeling people with sensitive skin have to endure after every shave. It stops skin irritation and skin redness, which are also results of sensitive skin. It helps to soothe and moisturize your skin and protect it throughout the day.

This Blades Grim product has a smoldering scent. This scent is hard to describe, but we can tell you which ingredients form this scent.

This product contains Orange Peel, Coriander Leaves, Star Anise and Venezuelan Tonka. This toasty mix creates that smoldering scent which is a trademark of The Blades Grim.

Things I Found Interesting

  • This thing adapts well to our face and softens the facial hairs to make shaving easier than ever.
  • Although the shaving oil helps by lubricating the beard, it doesn’t prevent a razor from having a close shave.
  • Orange peel and coriander deliver somewhat of a blended scent that’s unique to this shaving oil.
  • I like the pump-action head that blade grim comes with. It makes pouring oil on my palm easier.
  • I could use this product even when I wasn’t shaving. It has moisturizing qualities.

Things That Are Not So Good

  • The smell can be a cause of concern for some of the users.

Truefitt & Hill Ultimate Comfort Pre-Shave Oil

Truefitt Hill

The Truefitt and Hill Ultimate Comfort Pre-Shave oil is as good as its name suggests. This shave oil helps you to achieve barber shop quality close shave. This pre-shave oil helps to lubricate any kind of beard be that rough or coarse.

This allows the razor blades to smoothly shave the beard without causing you any discomfort. The oil also helps to extend the life of your razor blades. The oil is easy to rinse off, so no oil residue is left on the blades. Oil residues can cause the blades to rust.

Since it will be on a microscopic level, your beard will know of the damage before your eyes can detect it.

This Truefitt & Hill product helps to moisturize and condition your skin, giving it life and luster. Unlike many oils of its kind, this one does not clog pores. In fact, it helps to unclog them and also reduces ingrown hair. This has been possible for the pre-shave oil due to the anti-oxidants present in it.

It may seem irrelevant, but “Ultimate Comfort Pre-Shave Oil” actually helps to repair your skin.

As a result, it proves to be suitable for sensitive skin. People with sensitive skin have to endure skin irritation after every time they shave. The TrueFitt & Hill pre-shave oil will be highly beneficial for them, as then they will be able to shave without any worrying.

A product this good will be incomplete if it didn’t have any soothing scent. And it has a scent, which is not only soothing but also refreshing and energizing.

Things I Found Interesting

  • Truefitt dished out a product that gives you a “Barber Shop” quality shaving experience.
  • This Ultimate Control product slowly repairs our skins after we are done with shaving.
  • Skin irritation is a thing of past for me after I’ve started using this little product.
  • This vial of oil reduces the probabilities of your razor blades rusting after repeated use.
  • It doesn’t contain any sort of agitating product or alcohol for that matter to make our skins react.

Things That Are Not So Good

  • This thing will cast a thick protective layer onto your razors. This will clog the blades.

Why Should I Even Bother to Use One?

Valid question. Why spend 15 to 20 bucks (or more depending on the brand) to buy a product such as this? If you are suffering from indecision, let me give you a few reasons.

  • These products hydrate your skin and soften your beards. Many of us have coarse hairs that are tough to get a hold of when using razors and shaving cream. Softening them up prior to shaving prevents unnecessary cuts and skin-pulls. That’s what a shaving oil is for.
  • Many of these products allow our skins to soak in natural moisturizers which are present in their formulas. Call it a form of nourishment for our skins.
  • Believe it or not, a pre-shave oil helps to exfoliate your skin as well. The best ones act as disinfectants. They remove bacteria and reduce the chances of irritation as well.
  • If you are a fan of Cut-Free shaving, these oils are here to help. These things protect your skin from razor burns, cuts, and bruises.
  • Some of the top pre-shave oils help to remove acne too. Top brands put in anti-inflammatory properties in the formula. This helps to reduce red spots and itches on the skin.
  • I must tell you, I’m a sucker for quality scents. These oils often smell quite nice. Sometimes, the smell is subtle but it stays there for a long time after shaving.

What Should Influence Our Buying Impulses when Selecting a Pre-Shave Oil?

I don’t mean to be stingy about this but this “Needs” to be done. You have a heap of products waiting for you. Not all of them will serve your needs. To sort through the pieces of junk, one needs to look into certain specifications that narrow the scope of his/her view.

Hence, I came up with this section of the guide describing the specifications I look into while choosing these things.

  • Check the Ingredients First

Hey, we are dealing with your faces here. People must be “Extra” careful when choosing a grooming product such as this. I’m not too much into chemical ingredients. Companies use them as thickening agents but these things react with our skin and age it rapidly.

I’d prefer natural ingredients instead. Check if you have almond oil, avocado oil, olive, and castor oil as parts of the formula. If you get one, my friend you’ve hit the jackpot.

Ingredients like these work to moisturize your skin alongside Vitamin E. The vitamin component works to reduce skin inflammation too.

Some franchises use mineral oils in their formulas as well. Mineral oils are safe on the contrary to what people may think.

  • Get to Know Your Skin Type

As Socrates once said, “Know Thyself.”

This is true even when you are window shopping for the Best Shaving Oil. Frankly, the term “Best” and its implications differ from person to person. What works for me, might not work the same way for you.

For example, people might have a coarser skin than mine. If you are one of them, you’d need an oil that’s thick. Thicker oils penetrate our skin cells better and provide better moisturizing services.

People with sensitive skins do require special care. This skin type is susceptible to nicks, cuts, and red spots after shaving. Choose a product that doesn’t have alcohol or any artificial smell enhancers that might react with your skin. If you are still unsure, check my list and pick one from the seven.

  • I Check the Performance Track Record Too

For me, the reputation of a brand doesn’t mean “Jack.” I’m more of a “Practical” kinda guy. I did experiment with a lot of these products before settling on one. I checked how each product performed when applied to my dense beard.

That’s right! Performance is everything. One should pay attention to his beard type and how the pre-shave oil works to soften it up. An ideal product would go to the roots of our hairs and work its magic. After massaging the face two or three times, the beard should begin to soften up. In this case, quicker is better.

  • The Pre-Shave Oil Should Counter Irritation Better

I know, I’m repeating myself at this point. But stopping irritation matters. Irritation isn’t caused by ingredients in a formula ONLY. In fact, our razor blades are equally (if not more) responsible.

When we shave, our razors glide pretty close to our face. If the face is rough or the blades are too sharp, we end up feeling razor burns, itchiness, and cuts.

To counter that, your “Pre-Shave” oil needs to be well-equipped. It should have the cooling effect (more on that later) and should lubricate the hairs better.

Oils from the “Art of Shaving” franchise can be apt examples. These products create a protective barrier in between our skins and the blades. Razors glide smoothly and we stay safe. It’s a win-win scenario.

  • Your Product Should Cool the Skin Off

This is the aspect I addressed a few seconds ago. Most of us think that these oils tend to soften the beard and… that’s it. No, my friend. That alone is not the extent of the task. Sure, a good shaving oil lubricates well. But the best ones tend to cool the face when shaving is done.

To achieve this, many brands include “Peppermint” or “Menthol” in their extended ingredients’ list. Some of the users apply these products on face after shaving too. This helps to neutralize the effects of irritation on our skins.

  • How Does the Product Smell?

Honestly, I could’ve titled this section, “Does it Stink?” Well, does it? Because if the product stinks, then one’s better off without it. Shaving is pretty much the result as well as the experience itself. For me, it needs to be a “Feel Good” session every morning. How I smell during the session and after counts too!

A good scent gets you into the mood for shaving. It would be great if you can find some pre-shave oils with brilliant smells. I got to use products with a wonderful aroma that linger long after I’m done. Quite a lot of them ended up on my list today.

For example, Thrive Pre-Shave Oil can engulf you into a sweet scent.

We’re Gonna Use it – But How?

It would absolutely suck if anyone has bought one of these things but doesn’t know how to put it to good use, right? Then there are people who use these things but can’t bring out their full potential. That’s why I’m putting this “How To” class in session today.

  • The first thing to do is to apply warm water on our faces. This makes the skin softer than before. Another thing it does is getting rid of any bacteria or contaminants that might inhabit the nooks and crannies of our facial hairs.
  • Next thing to do is to take out few drops of the oil onto our palms. Don’t make it under 3 drops and over 6. Too little will leave areas with no oil. Too much will make the facial hair greasy. It also leaves some residue onto our razor blades.
  • It’s time to make the coating. You’d do well to rub your palms together at this point. It spreads the oil evenly just before you apply it onto the beard (or mustache for that matter).
  • You’d do well to use your fingers in addition to your palms to spread the oil onto your beards. Apply the coating wherever you want on your face. The key thing is letting the oil reach your skin. People with a thicker beard than others will need more oil to achieve that.
  • Now we take a pause. It’s a good practice to allow the oil to settle in our skin. A timeout of one to two minutes is good enough.
  • This is the step where people proceed to use the best shaving cream or soap they can get their hands on. Honestly, if you have an oil like that of American Shaving Crew, you don’t need a soap or a cream anymore.

Let’s Put an End to All This

As much as I’d love to write more, there’s nothing left for me to document on best pre shave oils. These products are like problem solvers. People might use all kinds of shaving soaps or shaving creams for sensitive skins. But nothing beats a good product that sets you on the right track.

While soaps and creams help to conjure up a good lather, these oils work on a different plain. They help to soften up the beard and reduce inflammation. Thus, safety razors can glide through peoples’ faces without sudden stoppages.

Now that you have a sophisticated list and know how to research on your own, you don’t need anything else. I even gave you my own manual on how to use these things. Hopefully, you’re a tad bit better at handling your pre-shave preparation this time.

One Response

  1. Mahesh Kothari

    Hello Casey,

    Have to commend you for the well researched article. Hats off to you. I have been reading a lot of reviews and Pacific Shaving Company’s Natural Shave Oil made the grade in most of those reviews. It’s just that, I really loved the way, you presented the facts about each and every pre-shave oil, that made the cut to your list of best ones. Can I take the risk of buying Pacific Shaving Company’s Natural Shave Oil and would love to know the reason for your not recommending it.

    Thanks for the time and effort, put in, coming out with this list of best ones.


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