Beauty Board tests shaving gels and creams
If you're never quite sure whether the ads for popular beauty products can be believed, relax. Our 4you Beauty Board is made up of veteran testers ready to try the latest when it comes to all things beauty. We'll share what worked and what bombed with the hope of making life a little easier for you. Check out our online database of reviews at TBO.com, search: Health.
Dove Men+Care Shave Gel
"Helps protect against irritation. Smooth skin feel."
Available at Target and Walgreens; $3.99 to $4.99 for 7 ounces Rating: C
Dennis says: The issue for me is whether you need a shaving cream at all. If we resolve that the answer is yes, then this entry into the men's beauty market by Dove -- which positions itself as the populist against the luxurious excess of its competitors -- is as good as any, I guess. Does it dispense efficiently? Check. Foam up quickly? Check. Spread smoothly over the skin? Check. Maximize razor glide? Check. Still, I must ask: Why not just use whatever you have on hand rather than go buy another product? The razor is doing all the work anyway. All you need is something to keep it moving over your skin. A decent face soap does the trick. Body wash, too, if you use that. When did we decide that the only way to shave is to envelope your mug first in billowy clouds. The green guy in me says this is a waste of resources. But if you must, go ahead and grab this one. It billows less than a lot of brands.
Dennis Joyce, 56, is Metro editor for The Tampa Tribune.
Eshu shave gel
Available at Macy’s, Sephora and online at Amazon.com. Prices range from $9.63 to $18 for 4.7 ounces.
“Eshu uses Australian quandong fruit … which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and helps calm your skin during the onslaught of shaving.’’
Ken says: If you’re expecting that foamy Santa beard for the morning scrape, this shave gel will leave you wanting. It’s watery, thin and foams very little. But if you want pain-free results, this stuff delivers. You get a close, painless shave with no razor burn. This product has Australian blue cypress oil, which the manufacturers say helps sooth the skin. The smell is woodsy but not overpowering. The final result is a close shave, smooth but not dry skin and no pink afterglow from razor burn. All in all, it’s worth a few bucks more than your typical can of Barbasol.
Ken Koehn, 50, is managing editor of The Tampa Tribune.
MKMEN Shave Foam
Available from Mary Kay consultants and online at marykay.com; $10 for 6.5 ounces
“Surrounds and clings to each whisker, creating a comfort zone between razor and skin.”
Julio says: A shaving cream review from a bearded guy; I’ll understand if you weigh my submission accordingly. But the truth is, I do have to shave my neck daily and I’m always fighting razor burn. Though the initials MK meant nothing to me, my wife pointed out it was Mary Kay, and the skeptic in me wondered if this designer of women’s products knows anything about beards. My concerns grew when the can dispensed foam. I haven’t used foam since Gillette came out with that cool gel substance that turns foamy when you rub it on your face. Lately though, I’ve been using a cream, which is more like a soft soap. It’s not the cheapest option, but it’s easy to use and it seems to help with the razor burn. Surprisingly, the foam worked even better. After a couple days, my razor burn was gone. And it stayed gone, even when using a razor that was a little older. Not bad for a company whose products are commonly found in pink bottles.
Julio Ochoa, 40, is assistant regional editor for The Tampa Tribune.
Jack Black’s Supreme Cream Triple Cushion Shave Lather
Available at department stores such as Nordstrom and Macy’s, or online at Amazon.com; about $13 for a 3-ounce tube
Rob says: I’m a sensitive guy with sensitive skin who normally uses the super foamy shave creams that look like you’ve applied giant globs of Cool Whip all over your face. But in Jack Black’s Supreme Cream Triple Cushion Shave Lather, I’ve found a new friend. The macadamia nut oil and soy combine to provide a very thin, controlled layer of shaving excellence and smoothness. No nicks, no cuts, no razor burn. And no big honking dollops of white goo flying all over the place – the faucet, the sink, yourself. I don’t use a fancy razor; I just use the cheap plastic disposables. The only downside with the product is that the whiskers shaved off can get stuck along with the cream in the double blades of the razor. But the closeness of the shave and the lack of any damage afterward make up for that small issue. I can really tell a difference in the closeness of the shave and how long it lasts when I bop back and forth between the two kinds. The bottom line: Once you go with Jack Black, you’ll never go back.
Rob Shaw, 49, covers education for The Tampa Tribune.