The Truth about Shaving Cream

The number of people who have thanked me for liberating them from shaving cream is uncountable. I was reminded of this last week while at a large convention gathered for FreedomFest in Las Vegas.

“Mr. Tucker, I would like to thank you so much for…”

I always know what’s coming next.

“…for liberating me from shaving cream.”

I’ve reluctantly concluded that my view that exposing the shaving cream racket is my single most influential insight.

Strange? Well, not really. Whether to use cream or not is something directly in our control, and this makes it completely unlike other troubles in the world. We can grouse about war, poverty, and oppression, but we can’t end them on our own.

We can, however, stop pulverizing and tenderizing our faces and bodies with nasty foams that contribute nothing and actually do harm.

I’m the last guy to trash a consumer product. I’m disinclined to blast the manufacturers of a beloved bathroom gel as deceivers who make money off people’s ignorance and perpetuate the problem they are supposedly solving, or charlatans who deliberately hook people on some chemically produced gunk solely for the sake of profiting from repeated uses.

But someone had to say it: shaving cream is a racket.

Why don’t people know this? It’s just part of the lost knowledge of our time. Wean yourself from it for a week, and you will find that your shaves will be closer, unbloody, and quick. Imagine a full shave in less than a minute, with no cuts, gashes, or discomfort. It is within your grasp.

You won’t have the face of a tenderized chicken breast. Your skin will be solid and robust. You will feel the same revulsion I do as you encounter that long row of shaving products at the drug store. You too will feel pity on the seven eighths of the human race that does not understand this simple point.

Why is the world hooked on this stuff? Here’s what happens. Early on in a person’s life, when whiskers and stubble begin to appear on the skin, the young teen is presented a razor and a can — a can with a squirting top that releases a foam. It is a charming little foam. The child is taught to rub it on and then shave it off.

Oh how funny looking it is when the foam is on us! And how fun to zap it off. We are left with clean and smooth skin. Pure magic. But the magic doesn’t last.

It never occurs to this child — so innocent, so naïve, so trusting — that he or she has been hooked into a lifetime of shaving hell. That foam, that sweet looking puff of magic, is in fact the great enemy of a good shave — black magic that relies on perpetuating dependency and ignorance.

The problem is this. Shaving cream does something evil to the skin. It somehow weakens the pores and makes the top layer mushy and unresponsive. The kid comes to believe that somehow the foam is essential to the experience. Without it, surely the razor would leave a trail of blood.

But then strange things start to happen. Red lumps appear. The shaved skin comes to feel sort of strange, oddly sensitive to temperature changes and ever more vulnerable to being sliced and diced.

People think: oh I need a new razor! So they go out and buy ever more fancy brands, with multiple blades, pivoting heads, strange lubricants, and push-out tools to deposit the hair remains in the sink.

They don’t consider that it might be the shaving cream that is the source of the trouble.

Why don’t people imagine this possibility? Because shaving cream seems so frothy and innocent, the glorious barrier that stands as a guard or shield between your skin and the sharp blade. The cream is our valiant protector, so surely that is not the source of the problem!

In fact, it is not our protector. Shaving cream is destroying your skin, turning it into a whining, pathetic, dependent, beaten, insipid layer of pasty pulp. Your skin has become the fatted calf that has been killed, the lamb slain on the altar, the virgin sacrificed in some ancient cannibalistic ritual of an uncivilized people.

Of course the problems persist — and get worse.

There are many attempts to avoid them along the way. People try aftershave, more and more and more of it. Pretty soon, they are tossing handfuls of the stuff on their skin, putting alcohol all over tenderized and sliced up skin. Then they become attached to that too. But it is not enough. The redness and pain are still there.

There are those who believe in hot lather. They buy fancy machines and rise extra early to warm them up. There are those who make the leap toward electric razors that swirl and buzz around in a creepy sort of way.

Stop the insanity!

The core problem is shaving cream itself, and the solution is a radical one: throw it out and never buy it again. It is destroying you and making your skin weak and sickly.

But you say: surely if this were true, it would be common knowledge. But no. There are many things that are true but are nonetheless not generally known or applied. The truth that shaving cream is a racket should be added to this.

Many problems in the world cannot be solved by one person. But this one can. You can begin the process of letting your skin become normal again. You can restore your skin’s health. It won’t take longer than a week or so. Stick with it and you will see what I mean.

The first stage of freedom uses only a razor (I like double blades) and a bit of baby oil or mineral oil. While in the shower or soon after you get out, put some oil on the skin area you want to shave. Then shave it. The end.

At first, it won’t feel right. You might cut yourself. It will be scary. Your skin might hurt a bit. It might swell up. Why? Because you have turned your skin to mush for decades of shaving cream use. It needs time to recover from this. You need to do this for days.

This is your first day of relief from shaving cream hell. Your skin is recovering. Do the same the next day. And the next. And the next. After 5 days, normalcy will be almost returned.
After a week, you can even give up the oil and use only warm water. You will find that you will be able to shave ever more swiftly and with ever more abandon. A man can shave his whole face in 20 seconds without a single abrasion.

My freedom from shaving cream began twenty years ago after a friend uttered to me — just in passing, in the course of a conversation during meal preparation — the great truth that shaving cream is a racket.

I was stunned. It took many months to process the information. Ever since I have exulted in my knowledge and felt deep pity on the rest of the world for languishing in unknowingness.

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Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey A. Tucker is Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute. He is also Senior Economics Columnist for Epoch Times, author of 10 books, including Liberty or Lockdown, and thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture.

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40 comments

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  • I don’t remember what prompted me to stop using shaving cream (nothing so blunt as being told directly of a racket), but I too have shaved without the use of creams or gels for, probably around fifteen years now. It’s good to finally know it’s not as freakish as I thought! Haha! Thanks!

  • I don’t remember what prompted me to stop using shaving cream (nothing so blunt as being told directly of a racket), but I too have shaved without the use of creams or gels for, probably around fifteen years now. It’s good to finally know it’s not as freakish as I thought! Haha! Thanks!

  • Read this in “Bourbon For Breakfast” and it gave me food for thought, but I’ve gone in a sort of opposite direction and went traditional wetshave (oil, soap w/brush) and a double-edge safety razor instead of the off the shelf creams and the thousand blade cartridges that you have to take a loan out for a pack of 8. Blades are a heck of a lot cheaper (pack of 20 for about $8) and the oil and soap go a lot farther than the standard creams and gels.
    I did try going oil only, leading to dry, but it never felt good to my skin.

    It’s worthwhile trying if you can do it.

  • Read this in “Bourbon For Breakfast” and it gave me food for thought, but I’ve gone in a sort of opposite direction and went traditional wetshave (oil, soap w/brush) and a double-edge safety razor instead of the off the shelf creams and the thousand blade cartridges that you have to take a loan out for a pack of 8. Blades are a heck of a lot cheaper (pack of 20 for about $8) and the oil and soap go a lot farther than the standard creams and gels.
    I did try going oil only, leading to dry, but it never felt good to my skin.

    It’s worthwhile trying if you can do it.

  • Read this in “Bourbon For Breakfast” and it gave me food for thought, but I’ve gone in a sort of opposite direction and went traditional wetshave (oil, soap w/brush) and a double-edge safety razor instead of the off the shelf creams and the thousand blade cartridges that you have to take a loan out for a pack of 8. Blades are a heck of a lot cheaper (pack of 20 for about $8) and the oil and soap go a lot farther than the standard creams and gels.
    I did try going oil only, leading to dry, but it never felt good to my skin.

    It’s worthwhile trying if you can do it.

  • I trusted your commentary on hot water heater temperature, so I will share this information with my husband as well. LOL Tomas Forgac!

  • I trusted your commentary on hot water heater temperature, so I will share this information with my husband as well. LOL Tomas Forgac!

  • I’ve always shaved dry. Never saw the need to buy cream when a razor alone does all the work.

  • I’ve always shaved dry. Never saw the need to buy cream when a razor alone does all the work.

  • I’ve also gone “old school” – I use a badger hair brush and mug of shave soap. I find the warm lather not only feels good but the brush lifts the hairs and I get a closer shave with just one pass. I was a poor soul in the US military for several years before my conversion to ancapism, and shaving was such a miserable (and mandatory) experience that I have been in search of the perfect shave for years.

    I will give it a try – I’ve shaved with only shave oil and it seemed to work fine, but was not as luxurious!

  • I’ve also gone “old school” – I use a badger hair brush and mug of shave soap. I find the warm lather not only feels good but the brush lifts the hairs and I get a closer shave with just one pass. I was a poor soul in the US military for several years before my conversion to ancapism, and shaving was such a miserable (and mandatory) experience that I have been in search of the perfect shave for years.

    I will give it a try – I’ve shaved with only shave oil and it seemed to work fine, but was not as luxurious!

  • I’d tried using just a little oil, and was fairly pleased with the result. Ditched the oil 4 days ago, and went to just warm water – what a difference!

  • I’d tried using just a little oil, and was fairly pleased with the result. Ditched the oil 4 days ago, and went to just warm water – what a difference!

  • I’d tried using just a little oil, and was fairly pleased with the result. Ditched the oil 4 days ago, and went to just warm water – what a difference!

  • Everyone–you’re halfway there! Now to expose the truth that razors are also a racket. 😀 Let your face live as free as you do.

  • Everyone–you’re halfway there! Now to expose the truth that razors are also a racket. 😀 Let your face live as free as you do.

    • I’m with you. The thought of shaving again makes me nauseated! A man’s face without whiskers is like a steak without salt – boring.

  • Everyone–you’re halfway there! Now to expose the truth that razors are also a racket. 😀 Let your face live as free as you do.

    • I’m with you. The thought of shaving again makes me nauseated! A man’s face without whiskers is like a steak without salt – boring.

  • I haven’t used shaving cream, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant or any other similar product for at least 30 years now. And you can’t get any cleaner or more odor-free than me. I have always found underarm deodorants to be the most ridiculous. Deodorants work by blocking one’s pores, trapping perspiration inside which needs to be released. When the deodorant wears off, the perspiration will release with more intensity than if it had been allowed to release naturally (think of holding back the urge to urinate for a long time). Therefore, the person will sweat heavier and smell more, and they will mistakenly believe the only solution is to apply more deodorant, even though that causes the problem in the first place. It is a vicious cycle, kind of like the Fed continuing to print endless money in an attempt to cure a problem caused by too much money printing.

  • I haven’t used shaving cream, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant or any other similar product for at least 30 years now. And you can’t get any cleaner or more odor-free than me. I have always found underarm deodorants to be the most ridiculous. Deodorants work by blocking one’s pores, trapping perspiration inside which needs to be released. When the deodorant wears off, the perspiration will release with more intensity than if it had been allowed to release naturally (think of holding back the urge to urinate for a long time). Therefore, the person will sweat heavier and smell more, and they will mistakenly believe the only solution is to apply more deodorant, even though that causes the problem in the first place. It is a vicious cycle, kind of like the Fed continuing to print endless money in an attempt to cure a problem caused by too much money printing.

  • The very first razor I ever bought was an Braun electric razor that advertised the ability to shave dry or with hot water. As an impressionable teenager I was intrigued by the idea of shaving without the necessity of purchasing cream every couple weeks or lugging a can with me on trips. The razor stayed with me for 5 years (Actually, it still works – I just gave it to my father because he would snatch it to use after seeing that i didn’t need shaving cream, so i just bought myself another one) and I can say I have never used shaving cream in my life.

  • The very first razor I ever bought was an Braun electric razor that advertised the ability to shave dry or with hot water. As an impressionable teenager I was intrigued by the idea of shaving without the necessity of purchasing cream every couple weeks or lugging a can with me on trips. The razor stayed with me for 5 years (Actually, it still works – I just gave it to my father because he would snatch it to use after seeing that i didn’t need shaving cream, so i just bought myself another one) and I can say I have never used shaving cream in my life.

  • Very nice. I don’t have that much of a beard at all, but if I put a towel to my face after shaving, it looked like the Shroud of Turin. A year or two ago I remembered that my I heard that a lot of women shaved their legs with bar soap (and I thought it was interesting that they wouldn’t use shaving cream), so I figured I’d give it a try.

    I have not gone back to shaving cream since and I haven’t felt the need the use post-shave moisturizer anymore either. Thank you, Jeffrey Tucker, for making me feel like a genius.

  • Very nice. I don’t have that much of a beard at all, but if I put a towel to my face after shaving, it looked like the Shroud of Turin. A year or two ago I remembered that my I heard that a lot of women shaved their legs with bar soap (and I thought it was interesting that they wouldn’t use shaving cream), so I figured I’d give it a try.

    I have not gone back to shaving cream since and I haven’t felt the need the use post-shave moisturizer anymore either. Thank you, Jeffrey Tucker, for making me feel like a genius.

  • Indeed, I have bought maybe 2 cans of shave cream in over a decade. Just never needed it..
    Now for the costly razor racket too, Dollar Shave Club sends me 5 blades a month for a couple of bucks. They work very well, I even shave my head too.

    I’m not trying to spam the thread but feel free to remove this post if I have violated any terms. Otherwise you can save me a few bucks by using this link to try DSC http://shaved.by/buaiF

  • Indeed, I have bought maybe 2 cans of shave cream in over a decade. Just never needed it..
    Now for the costly razor racket too, Dollar Shave Club sends me 5 blades a month for a couple of bucks. They work very well, I even shave my head too.

    I’m not trying to spam the thread but feel free to remove this post if I have violated any terms. Otherwise you can save me a few bucks by using this link to try DSC http://shaved.by/buaiF

  • I’ve been shaving with nothing since about 2 months after I started shaving, I actually initially got a free razor and gel in the mail from Gillette..used it, tried without it…decided to stick without.

    But I’m curious, do these thoughts extend to similar products like the “Dr. Carver’s Shave Butter” offered at dollar shave club?
    I have gotten razors from them but not bothered with the “shave butter” so I’m curious if you think it too is superfluous, or if you have tried it.

  • I’ve been shaving with nothing since about 2 months after I started shaving, I actually initially got a free razor and gel in the mail from Gillette..used it, tried without it…decided to stick without.

    But I’m curious, do these thoughts extend to similar products like the “Dr. Carver’s Shave Butter” offered at dollar shave club?
    I have gotten razors from them but not bothered with the “shave butter” so I’m curious if you think it too is superfluous, or if you have tried it.

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