Tutorial How to make your own Pre-shave oil

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by Sara-s, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. Sara-s

    Sara-s This Pun for Hire

    You can get menthol crystals to dissolve in oil, by crushing them and heating at a low temperature.
    Demidog likes this.
  2. n8wwd

    n8wwd Member

    I've seen a 'liquid' in the shop section, is that alcohol based? I 'spose a guy could dissolve some in a little alcohol..and use lecithin, which is good for the skin, then mix away.

    Yeah..I know you'd have to melt the coconut oil...say..to 200 degrees..add the oils..or whatever. I'd think it would become more of a paste feeling, but would dissolve at body temp.

    Just thinking out loud..lol

    Thanks for all of the feedback!
  3. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    Wind up with a preshave balm instead. Nuttin' wrong wit dat.
  4. n8wwd

    n8wwd Member

    Agree, so, here I am a newb, transcending the oil DIY to something different..LOL

    Anyone add menthol to a DIY pre-shave oil? Honestly, that is one of the reasons I entertained Shave Secret (other than the scent)
  5. n8wwd

    n8wwd Member

    Here I am again. Thinking...(uh-oh)
    Has anyone used lanolin, or aloe in any way for shaving?
    I have a beard, and I'd love to make either a balm or ointment that I can slather on my whole face, and just shave the areas of choice, and help curb skin flakes, and have an overall good skin treatment for the upcoming winter months.

    If there is a forum for such a discussion, please, enlighten me.

  6. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member

    I've used a few times now a DIY shave/post-shave gel combining aloe, meadowfoam, argan, olive, castor and hemp oils. Works great for me. Fantastic post shave feel. I keep the aloe and hemp refrigerated and combine with the other oils as needed to avoid needing to add alcohols as preservative.

    Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
  7. n8wwd

    n8wwd Member

    I am an amputee, and use lanolin to help treat my residual limb, and just wondered if it could be incorporated. (I prefer the one that doesn't smell like I butcherd 'Lamb Chop'
    I also use Aloe Gel at times as well...I was thinking of using coconut oil (Solid but melt to mix), but didn't know how well they would 'work together
    I know different oils may not mix well, and didn't know if it would need an emulsifier as well.
  8. RyX

    RyX DoH!

    Welcome @ n8wwd ! Good of you to jump right in. Serious questions deserve answers. I don't have them, but you should try the Search Box. This forum has a deep database of opinions, advice, even actual information. If you don't find answers start a new thread!

    Not a required activity, but I'd suggest making your way to the Newbie Introduction thread. Great place to give a little history of where you are on your Shave Journey and to pose those perplexing questions.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
    Demidog and Bama Samurai like this.
  9. n8wwd

    n8wwd Member

    Thank you for your warm greeting!

    I have utilized that search feature, and it is indeed, a wealth of great info!
    However, I didn't find the answers I posed.

    I will make my way to that 'room' (Yes..I'm an old mIRC sysop...lol) and 'tell my story'.

    Thanks again!
  10. drone115b

    drone115b Active Member

    This is one of my favorite threads, because it has made such a big difference - making my shaves even more enjoyable.

    I believe there are two broad categories of pre-shave products. The recipes that dominate these threads are what I would call "oils". I use equal parts of castor, grapeseed and olive, and it has been doing really well for me for several months now.

    But I find that Proraso pre-shave is a thicker cream that melts on contact with skin. That reminds me of coconut oil. I purchased some today and will start experimenting with it.

    What is the difference? Well, the PSO leaves my skin moisturized, so the post-shave feels great without the use of extra post-shave balms. But I find that the PSOs do not actually improve the slickness during the shave, which was my original motivation for trying it in the first place.

    When I use my shavette, I have been using the Proraso pre-shave to increase slickness and it has worked well for that purpose.

    I think there is room on this thread for a pre-shave cream recipe that improves slickness. I suspect that coconut has to be a large proportion of the recipe given my experience with the Proraso. I wonder whether lanolin needs to be part of the ingredients. It resists water and remains solid below 100F, so maybe would increase the slickness of the lather? But lanolin is waxy, so I wonder whether it will actually increase friction in practice.

    Like others, I am curious whether lanolin and coconut oil can be incorporated into a recipe, complementary to Sara's original one, so that we have both camps covered: PSO and PSC. For me, they provide different experiences and results. Perhaps that is not the case for others, I don't really know.

    In the short term, I will be using coconut oil in a pure form ($1/100ml at the local grocer), and I will report back on my experiences. My biggest concern using pure coconut oil is that there is nothing in there to prevent bacteria and mold from growing. In Sara's recipe and others containing large percentages of castor oil, the castor oil will act as a preserving agent.

    If I put equal parts of castor and coconut oil together, would it stay hard-creamy rather than becoming liquid-slushy? I might try, but if anyone knows from experience, then it would be helpful to have that input.

    Just my rambling, but if anyone has insight, there seems to be a lot of interest in recipes that include lanolin and/or coconut oils, which behave very differently from the unsaturated grapeseed, olive, castor, etc etc.
    Demidog likes this.
  11. Sara-s

    Sara-s This Pun for Hire

    I haven't tried that, but there's one way to find out. Please let us know about your results.
    Demidog likes this.
  12. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus Staff Member

    Coconut oil is a solid below 76f. I think your new mix idea would end up thick and pasty, but not solid, and would melt to liquid almost instantly on the skin. Don't know much about Lanolin properties.
    Demidog likes this.
  13. drone115b

    drone115b Active Member

    I've been using a mixture, equal parts of coconut and castor oils, for about a week now. The coconut oil definitely adds a lot of glide, but my skin does not feel as hydrated in the post as when I use the mixture: equal parts castor, grapeseed and olive. There is some softness, but it's just not on the same level. (Of course, the castor+grapeseed+olive did not provide any glide for my particular face - in fact I felt increased friction against metal razors.) I suspect that the coconut oil is not absorbed as quickly by the skin as the others, so it creates a nice slick barrier that lasts three passes (at least for me). I have no training in this skin or cosmetics, so I'm guessing at that; but this coconut+castor mixture has shown lasting slickness with a variety of razors and soaps.

    As Bama Samurai mentioned, coconut oil melts around 76F, so in the cool weather we're having now, the castor+coconut is a solid consistency which melts quickly on the face. During warm weather, I expect it might stay liquid the whole time. Having a product that is either solid or liquid, depending on the season, makes it annoying to try to find a container for it. Do you use a bottle with a regulator on it, or a tub into which you can get your fingers?!

    If you want to thicken it, to make sure it stays a creamy solid, my preliminary research suggests that beeswax is a good choice to mix in as a thickener. I have not tried this but there are many local farmers who offer pure (yellow) beeswax directly from their farms.

    It would be helpful to folks, I believe, if I could stick with ingredients that are inexpensive and easily found in the supermarket or pharmacy. Beeswax is something I might postpone unless absolutely necessary. In terms of pricing, coconut, grapeseed and olive oils can all be found for around $1/100ml but castor is an outlier costing around $5/100ml. All these prices relative to my experience in the Toronto metropolitan area. Hopefully, the recipes at the beginning of the thread that proposed 1/4 castor by volume are sufficient for the castor to act as a preservative.

    For the next week, I will be testing equal parts of coconut, castor, olive and grapeseed. This is the most cost effective formulation of the three. My hope is that it remains liquid, provides good glide and also gives that really nice moisture in post that I liked from the original formula. If it does not remain liquid, then I might need to consider forcing it into a cream with a thickener like beeswax. Stay tuned. Thanks.

    [Edit: I also wanted to mention that the castor+coconut mixture was tested face-lathering with a boar hair brush, so the fact that it lasts for three pass shaves is promising.]
    Demidog likes this.
  14. drone115b

    drone115b Active Member

    I'm running out of time to work on this, but this is what I've found:

    Equal parts coconut, castor, olive and grapeseed oil are a good compromise for my face. The glide still isn't fantastic like a Proraso pre-shave; but there is a little bit more than before, and the post feel is very good.

    My understanding of the ingredients, accepting for the fact that I have no qualifications in this field:
    coconut: thin, adds glide to the shave
    olive + grapeseed : skin health, post-shave moisture from quick absorption, but impedes glide during the shave
    castor : skin health + preservative + antiseptic to protect during the shave

    I tried a quick cocktail of:
    4 parts castor
    3 parts coconut
    1 part olive
    1 part grapeseed

    and with current weather conditions (~70F) it was a very slushy consistency. Did not seem to perform much better than equal parts, which makes me think that coconut needs to be a large proportion in order to affect glide.

    It's my conjecture that folks looking for the best glide might like:
    6 parts coconut
    4 parts castor
    3 parts olive
    3 parts grapeseed
    This still protects Sara's magic ratio of 1:4 for castor - hopefully this means castor is still effective as a preservative while the coconut provides a good glide. I can't imagine what the consistency might be year-round. I think it is likely that it will fluctuate with the weather so you might want to put it in a tub and not in a bottle.

    I have not tried this, and equal-parts does my face fine, so I am not likely to try it. But for folks most interested in glide, then I propose that as a recipe to try based on my limited testing.

    Okay, moving on to other things....
    Sara-s likes this.
  15. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member

    You might try a good portion of Meadowfoam oil for glide
    Douglas Carey likes this.
  16. drone115b

    drone115b Active Member

    I did, in fact, end up trying the proposed "best glide" recipe:
    6 parts coconut
    4 parts castor
    3 parts olive
    3 parts grapeseed

    In truth, I did not have any extra grapeseed oil at the house, so I used a total of 6 parts of olive instead.

    Does give good glide. Does stay liquid. Does give good post-shave moisture, but definitely a notch less than some of the other recipes.

    I should not call it "best glide" recipe, because I do not know about Meadowfoam oil or some of the other suggestions that have been made. I tried to go with stuff I could find easily in most shopping centers. This is a recipe that works for me.
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  17. Fly2High

    Fly2High Breaking Frugal

    I was using

    1 part EVOO (Bartoli I think)
    1 part castor
    1 part grapeseed
    1 part jojoba

    I do not seem to have the same slickness as say the AOS PSO. It is almost sticky in comparison. Any ideas what I might change to kick up the slickness?

    This does absorb fast tough. I think hydration is fine except I think it inhibits razor travel instead of add slickness protection.

    Douglas Carey likes this.
  18. Sara-s

    Sara-s This Pun for Hire

    If you want it slicker, increase the percentage of castor oil.
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  19. drone115b

    drone115b Active Member

    Sara said to use castor, but I was recommending coconut oil for better glide. Try both!

    If you check my posts in this thread, you will see that I started with the same observation as you: that some formulas do well for moisture but not slickness.
    Terry Williams likes this.
  20. Terry Williams

    Terry Williams Well-Known Member

    I like the adhesion that I get from castor oil, but I use half as much as Sara's recipe. My mix is, like:

    2oz olive oil
    1oz grape seed oil
    .5 jojoba oil
    .5 castor oil
    ~10 drops of essential oil to mask the veg (lavender or whatever is around)

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