T Nation

The Shaving Cream Racket


Found this one while searching for shaving cream alternatives:

(From: http://www.lewrockwell.com/tucker/tucker65.html )

The Shaving Cream Racket
by Jeffrey A. Tucker

Look, 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 has 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 seventh eights 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 na?ve, 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. There are those who believe the key to shaving is time: this site, linked from LRC, actually makes the preposterous claim that a good shave should take 12 minutes.

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. Not sure. There are many thing that are true ? the state is a parasite on society, private property would solve most social problems, rock music is tedious and stupid ? 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 (double blade is fine) 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 the great truth that shaving cream is a racket. Ever since I have exulted in my knowledge and felt deep pity on the rest of the world for languishing in unknowingness.

To my knowledge, this is the first and only time that this great truth has been revealed. May this short article serve as a hinge of history.

April 22, 2006


I haven't been using shaving cream for about 10 years (and I don't only shave my face...) and my skin is as smooth as a soyboy's butt. Sometimes lately I have used it and had skin irritation afterwards.

Most cosmetics are not really necessary, and shaving cream is among them.



Agreed, I have been using baby oil for 6 years. The fancy shaving oils with exotic oils in them are just another rip off.


I go many weeks without shaving cream (too lazy to buy when I run out), then I buy the cheap, white foamy kind, and get just about the same results, only that it's more comfortable with the cream.

I've gone months in the Navy, shaving every day without shaving cream.

The regular, white, holloween shaving cream has always worked best for me, and is the cheapest.

I say the article is retarded. It took him way too long to get to a point and was frustrating to read.


For the OP, you gotta work on your authoring skills or something. I skipped most of your post because it seemed to go on for years before ever reaching any kind of a point.

Shaving cream blows but dry shaving sucks worse.

I'm going off to reclaim the last couple minutes of my life now


Agreed. I tried shaving with baby oil this morning and I like the result so far. As an added bonus, the oil stays in the skin and acts as a moisturizer. Which is cool, since I had no facial skin care habits until this morning.


I only wrote the first line. The rest is Mr. Tucker's. But I could send him your comments. J/K


What else am I supposed to shave my balls with?


something Evil??

doesnt sound very scientific to me..


I use soap and a Mach 3. Why buy foam?


I use a Mach 3 right after a shower with no shaving cream. If I really have to shave without showering first, I'll use some soap and maybe put on a new blade.

On the more general topic of possibly useless cosmetic products, my wife uses all kinds of skin moisturizers. I keep telling her to try using nothing on one half of her face for a month to see if it's really doing anything, but she won't do it.


Remember the article about the "Perfect Shave"?

I recently made the switch to using an old Gillette double edge razor. The results have been nice. However, for any bodyshaving I still fall back on the mach 3 and Edge gel.


I use my wifes shaving cream on my face.

Women's shaving cream/gel works much better.


I was skeptical but yesterday I tried shaving with just water to see what it was like and amazingly, no razor bumps today. I shaved my face and head without shaving cream and I kinda liked it. I've always used alcohol as aftershave but sometimes have to use moisturizer on my head to keep it from feeling bad (mainly in winter) but i didnt even do that. It feels fine. I'm still kind of skeptical that it will work for more than a few times without getting razor burn, but I guess we will see.


I do the same thing, except instead of soap sans shower I'll just splash the hair with water and let it sit for a minute.

I do use a basic aftershave most of the time, but that's because my skin needs help shedding dead cells. I imagine most people wouldn't have to.

The only time I cut myself is when I accidentally let the blade slide to the side (hey, it's hard getting up as early as noon...). Feels better than when I used to use gels and crap.



Best shaving cream hands down is the new Gillett Fusion. Like butta.

But yes just some bath soap is fine for a close shvae.


I hate shaving. I also hate wasting money. I shaved this morning. To my surprise, it took less time, and the shave was just as close. For years, I used to bleed like crazy when I shaved. Not today.


I was a bit skeptical about this too. I have worn a beard for many years just because I hate shaving so much. I shaved it off again this spring. I have settled back into using my Norelco electric because it sucks the least. After reading your post, I thought I would give this a try. I work out on my lunch hour and then I sit in the sauna for 10-15 minutes after which I take a shower.

After the shower, I used my Gillette Fusion razor with no soap, cream, or oil--just a wet face. No blood, no nicks, no cuts, no burning. I will try this for a week or two to see what happens.

Thanks for the post.


i use shave cream. i don't see a reason to change. i like the lather and i don't think it's such a hot idea to shave without it... remember when those cops tried to shave rambo dry and look what happened...HE FREAKED AND DESTROYED THE TOWN !!!

when my dad taught me to shave, he had one of those machines that heats the lather right from the can. i wish i had one of those. do they still make 'em ? sure call it a "gimmick". i like "jiffy-pop" for the same reason.


You are welcome.

Any anti-racket, back-to-basics, less-is-more suggestions are always welcome, too, like this one: Natural Deodorant, crystal deodorant stone Products (http://www.pureandnaturaldeodorant.com/productCat49926.ctlg). I think my $5 purchase will last a year. Chemical free. And works fine. I was skeptical at first, but it passed a 30-degrees-Celsius test day flawlessly.