Coconut Oil is a made from the meat of coconuts. While high in saturated fat, many natural health professionals advise that the main type of saturated fat in coconut oil promotes the formation of healthy cholesterol (HDL). In fact, many in the real food community recommend coconut oil as the smartest oil you can use in cooking. While coconut oil is great for use in cooking and baking, some have also advocated it’s use in personal care, including using it as a shaving aid. Does coconut oil really work when shaving?
- Better for you – with coconut oil, you know exactly what is contacting your skin – just healthy good, all natural oil
- Better for the earth – no strange chemicals entering the waste stream, and no empty cans of shaving cream or gel
- Smells great (if using unrefined, virgin oil)
- Leaves skins soft, smooth and super moisturized
- Does not provide a lot of “slip” for your razor
- Seems to gum up the razor blades, making them less effective
- Can make the shower floor dangerously slippery
- Much more expensive than using soap or the cheap shaving gels out there
For a long time after I started shaving my legs, I used your standard women’s shaving gel. It’s pretty cheap – costs only a few dollars a can, and smells pretty. As I grew older and wiser, I started trying to simplify and frugal-fy my life. As part of this plan, I ditched the shaving cream and started using my everyday bar soap to lather up for the razor. Making the switch was easy. Using bar soap was less messy than the shaving cream, and cost almost nothing.
Not too long ago, I heard that coconut oil can be a great tool for shaving with, so I decided to try it out. I used some of my virgin, unrefined, cold pressed coconut oil. I scooped a couple tablespoons into a small, plastic container and brought it with me to the shower.* It smelled great! The steam from my warm shower quickly softened and even melted some of the oil, making it super easy to apply.
I smoothed a decent amount of coconut oil onto my leg and started shaving as I normally would. I immediately noticed that there was very little “slip” – my razor did not glide easily across my skin as I am used to with soap or shaving gels. The oil was also clear, with no lather, so it was very difficult to see where I had been with the razor previously. I had to go very slowly and carefully to ensure I was not missing any spots.
I also noticed that the oil seemed to “gum up” my razor, so the blades didn’t seem as sharp. And unless I kept the razor directly under the water, the oil would freeze up and clog the areas between the blades. Yuck. Finally, the bathtub floor became super slippery, as I suppose you would expect it to after spreading oil over it. I had to move VERY carefully to avoid a fall.
One nice thing I noticed after shaving a couple of times with coconut oil was the skin moisturizing benefit. I have always had somewhat dry skin, which got worse when I move to dry Southern California. And for some reason, my skin gets even dryer while I’m pregnant. So my legs are crazy itchy and dry right now, even scaly on some days. I would moisturize them with lotion, if I ever got the chance between my full time job, two little kids, and household to run. Smearing coconut oil on them a couple times a week while in the shower was a perfect remedy! My skin was beautifully soft, smooth, and itch free while I was shaving with coconut oil!
Overall, I didn’t like using coconut oil with shaving. The oil slowed down my razor, clogged it up, and turned my shower into a major fall hazard. While the coconut oil had a pleasant scent, and great moisturizing benefit, they did not make up for the big negatives. I do not recommend using coconut oil for shaving, although I plan to explore it’s body moisturizing properties further.
Have you ever tried shaving with coconut oil? What are other non-food ways that you use coconut oil?
*Please DO NOT bring any kind of glass container into the shower!! I shudder to imagine the gory possibilities…