The Secret to the Perfect Shave – Our Review of 4 Types of Shaving Product

What do you use to shave? Soap? Gel? Just water? There are so many shaving products out there at the moment it’s almost impossible to know what’s good and what’s not.

I’ve tried quite a few and thought I’d share my findings.
4 types of Shaving products

Soap stick and brush

To be honest, I’ve found this old-style product to give the best results. Soak the brush in a basin of hot water while you wet your face and rub the stick over your stubble. Ring out the brush then use it to froth up the soap on your face.

I use the Palmolive soap stick. It’s perfume free and leaves a good finish. If – like me – you have sensitive skin and suffer from shaving rash, this is the best product.

Make sure you get a good quality brush but be aware – some bristles are from unethically farmed animal products.

Shaving oil

I really wish this stuff worked better. You pump a small amount into your hand and rub it into your stubble. The oil is supposed to lubricate the blades but it doesn’t really. Instead it collects all the cut hair and glues it between the blades so your razor can’t cut.

You have to scrape out the goop on the razor every three or four strokes. It’s very annoying and doesn’t leave you with a very close shave.

It’s a real shame because the oil does leave your skin feeling very hydrated and soft, and the small bottles travel well.

Shaving foam

These canisters of compressed gas that squirt foam into your hand are much better than they used to be. I’ve been using a Gillette Sensitive Skin for a while and have found it’s pretty good. It used to react badly with my skin but not anymore.

You only need a blob about the size of a ping pong ball to cover your face – you don’t need to turn into Santa every time you shave!

Shaving gel

I’ve recently started using this and I’m pretty happy with the results. It’s somewhere between a soap and the oil. You only need a couple of pumps of the gel on wet skin. It kind of foams up a little bit as you rub it into your stubble.

Leave it for about 20 seconds while you get your razor ready. Then just shave as normal.

The shave still isn’t as close as the foam or the soap, but it’s pretty good and it leaves a nice moisturising finish.

I’ve only talked about a few brands here, and there are literally hundreds to choose from.

If you’ve had a good experience with other products (or different experiences with the ones I have mentioned), let me know in the comments!

Title image compiled by Mr Romance.


  • Reply February 12, 2014


    I love the gel! I use it on my legs. 🙂

    • Reply February 12, 2014

      Mr Romance

      It’s really good stuff that gel, isn’t it, Carly? And it’s water soluble so it washes off really easily too unlike the oil.

  • Reply February 18, 2014

    17 Shaving Tips for Men

    […] settle for one shaving product type – experiment. Here’s our post on comparing 4 shaving product types. I like the traditional shaving stick or the Oscar Shaving Gel. There is another one I use: […]

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Shaving Emporium

    Personally I think a really good quality shaving cream works best like one from Taylor of Bond Street or an Italian brand called Proraso. These are rich creams made specifically for wet shaving and work a treat. Shaving soaps are great also but they do take a little more work. You can apply these by hand, but you get better results with a good quality badger shaving brush.

    I really hate those foams and even though they have made them much better, they are still not anywhere near as good as a proper shaving cream. The gel I have had a similar experience to your own that although it is not quite as good as a cream, it is way better then those foam type shaving products.

  • Reply February 22, 2014


    i would also opt for gel…never tried shaving cream really..just foam and gel but I might give it a try

    • Reply February 26, 2014

      Mr Romance

      Thanks, Sebastian. Yes, give it a try and let me know how you get on… though I don’t suppose you’ll be doing that anytime soon with your new beard project under way. Good luck with that, by the way. I’ve tried a couple of times to get a beard on the go, but Mrs Romance tends to vito it a week or so in.

  • Reply February 22, 2014


    Mr Romance you should check out the “Parker Safety Razor 100% Pure Badger Bristle Shaving Brush” on amazon…thats the brush I have been using for the last 6 month and its an awesome product…i can highly recommend it.

    • Reply February 26, 2014

      Mr Romance

      That’s great! Thanks Logan. I’ve been meaning to get a new brush for ages. I’ve had mine for quite a while and the brush head keeps falling out of the handle. It’s doing my head in!
      Cheers mate. J

  • Reply March 1, 2014

    Ben Morgan

    Hey Mr. Romance!

    Thanks for the shave post it was a nice read.

    Currently I am using Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood shaving cream with a boar brush and a double edge razor. I absolutely LOVE it. I have had no issues with razor burn or ingrown hairs and it produces a excellent relaxing shave.

    I am glad you mentioned how some may have issues with animal hair brushes because of it being unethical. Thankfully, there are synthetic brushes that are made out of nylon and other synthetic materials and are animal free! They can work just as good or even better than some animal brushes.

    Shave Away!

    • Reply March 2, 2014

      Mr Romance

      Thanks Ben! Your review on the Jagger razor makes me want to change from my Gillette. Have you tried the Razorpit razor sharpener? I’ve got one and it extends the life of my blades by months and months!

  • Reply February 19, 2023


    This review of 4 types of shaving products gives a helpful overview of what works best for different skin types and preferences. With the right tools and techniques, you can achieve a smooth, close shave that leaves your skin feeling healthy and refreshed.

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