Pacific Shaving Co. Caffeinated Shaving Cream review

Discussion in 'Shave Creams' started by Shaver X, May 3, 2015.

  1. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    Pacific Shaving Co. Caffeinated Shaving Cream review

    Pacific Shaving Co. has been around since the early 2000s. Their original product was a shaving oil, the first product of this type I ever saw. It was something quite different, although I never got around to trying it. More recently, mention was made online of their caffeinated shaving cream. A "caffeinated" shaving cream? Some folks sang its praises, while others were less enthusiastic. Having read that it was sold at Target, I toddled on down and bought a tube. Count me as one of those folks who now sing its praises.


    Pacific Shaving Co. website:

    Overall: (8.8/10)

    Wow, is this stuff good! The most obvious comparison would be with the excellent Kiss My Face cream, with which the Caffeinated Shaving Cream holds its own very well. In fact, it holds its own very well with any of the creams or soaps I have tried. A full week's worth of exceedingly comfortable, baby bottom-smooth shaves is testament to that.

    You might notice that I do not mention the caffeine effect much in the review below. The reason is that there is nothing about this shaving cream which I can attribute to this ingredient. That is not to say that it has no effect, it is just that I could not link the it to any of the cream's characteristics. In the end, it does not really matter why the cream performs as it does. It is the bottom line that counts. Pacific Shaving Co. website states that the caffeine "can penetrate skin and absorb into your blood". I noticed zero caffeine boost when shaving with this cream, and so consider this claim to be more marketing than fact. What I did notice is that I got super comfortable, baby bottom-smooth shaves each and every time. As an added bonus, my face felt smooth and just fantastic many hours after shaving.

    The overall rating for this cream would be a little higher if it was priced a little lower. Hopefully, the folks that make this cream will introduce a larger size at a lower cost per unit volume.

    Ease of lathering: (10/10)

    Caffeinated Shaving Cream seems made for use without a brush. Although there are no instructions on the tube, it works quite well applied directly by hand. It also works very well when used with a shaving brush. I soaked the brush under the faucet, shook nearly all the water out, and then squeezed out an almond-sized bit of cream on the brush. After that, I face lathered, adding a wee bit of water to the tip of the brush once or twice during the process. The cream goes on as a slick paste when applied in this manner, with little or no foaming. This can be seen in the photos of the brushes immediately below. The brush on the left is a Dovo pure badger, and the brush on the right is an Omega boar travel brush. These photos were taken immediately after face lathering for the first pass.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I also tried lathering in the palm of my hand instead of directly on my face. This yielded a more foamy lather, although still not as much so as most other creams or soaps. The later was equally effective regardless of the lathering method used. Those who like a little foam in their lather might try using a shaving bowl. I do not have a shaving bowl, and so did not try this myself. Here are photos of the same two brushes after using the palm lathering method:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Either one of the two brush lathering methods yielded enough lather to last for three shaving passes, with plenty of lather left over. On one occasion, I shaved for five passes just to see how much lather the brush actually held. There was enough for five passes, and more.

    Regardless of how it is applied, it is very easy to obtain results that are nothing short of top-notch. That is enough to earn the Caffeinated Shaving Cream a perfect score.

    Life span of lather: (8/10)

    The Caffeinated Shaving Cream paste-lather lasts a reasonably long time. I tried waiting at one minute intervals to see how long the lather lasted.
    • After one minute, the lather had started to disappear a little, or at least turned transparent in some areas. This was a gradual process, and there was still a slick lubricating film in the transparent areas. The shaves were every bit as good as when the lather was first applied.
    • After two minutes, the lather had disappeared a little more, but was still quite slick and not dry. The shave at this point was virtually as good as when the lather was initially applied.
    • After three minutes, the lather had pretty much disappeared and was quite dry. It was not really usable at this point.
    The above is if the cream is face lathered. Lathering in the palm of my hand resulted in a lather that lasted a bit longer.

    Any lather that is still works really well after a two minute wait is really good in my book. If the shaving pass is started within any reasonable time period, lather longevity is not an issue at all.

    General skincare: (10/10)

    The Caffeinated Shaving Cream leaves my face feeling very good indeed after the morning's shave. It leaves my face feeling fantastic, and not at all greasy or oily. Nice! The cream contains menthol, although not a lot. It makes for a little face chill while shaving and for a few minutes afterwards, but without being a deep freeze. It feels great! It is much like Kiss My Face mint shaving cream in this aspect, albeit with slightly more cooling effect. Six hours after shaving, my face was still smooth and felt great every single day. Well done, Pacific Shaving Co.!

    Lubrication: (10/10)

    Holy cow Batman, is this cream ever slick! As in greased Teflon on wet ice slick. The Caffeinated Shaving Cream is the slickest shaving cream or soap I have ever used. The razor glides over my face so easily it is amazing. There is no dragging, tugging or pulling in the slightest, even when shaving against the grain. I did not even have to think about giving the cream a 10 out of 10 in this category. Each and every shave was effortless, baby bottom-smooth and super comfortable.

    How protective: (9/10)

    I got two or three weepers total during the week I shaved with this cream, and that was probably my fault for going to fast and being careless. There were no weepers otherwise. I got absolutely zero irritation, and no nicks or cuts during any of the shaves. Truth be told, it felt like I could do at least six or seven passes and still not get any irritation. That is pretty darned protective.

    Scent: (8/10)

    This shaving cream has a nice, light mint scent. The scent is noticeable, but not too strong. I like it quite a lot, and find the scent pleasing and the strength just right. Those who like heavy or super strong scents might see things differently.

    Price: (7/10)

    I bought my tube of Caffeinated Shaving Cream for $5.49 at Target. Each tube contains 3 oz / 89 ml of cream. That is pretty expensive, but almost worth it given the quality of the cream. Almost. It is $7.99 on Amazon, which is a ripoff as far as I am concerned. The Target price compares favorably with the $6 or so for a 3.4 oz / 100 ml tube of the equally good Kiss My Face shaving cream. For $7.99, however, I can get an 11 oz / 325 ml pump bottle of Kiss My Face (and that is at Whole Paycheck!). I realize that larger sizes generally cost less per unit volume, but the Caffeinated Shaving Cream is only sold in one size at present. Pacific Shaving Co. would do well to add an 11 oz pump bottle size to make their cream more affordable. The rating here is for the quantity of the product at the price I paid.

    Would you buy again: (8/10)

    Were it priced a little lower, this would be an easy choice to make, a 10/10, because the Caffeinated Shaving Cream works so well. When the price is factored in, the value for everyday use is reduced considerably. I will probably buy this cream again, but primarily for travel. Travel sizes are always pretty expensive, and the Caffeinated Shaving Cream would work very well in this capacity.

    Shaving cream ingredients:

    From the print on the plastic tube:

    Water (Aqua), Potassium myristate, Potassium stearate, Sodium myristate, Sodium stearate, Glycerin, Caffeine, Organic aloe barbadensis leaf juice, Organic Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), Organic helianthus annus (sunflower) seed oil, Mentha viridis (spearmint) leaf oil, Zea mays (corn) oil, Sorbic acid, Menthol, Tocopheryl acetate (Vitamin E), Hydroxyethelcellulose.

    Brushes used:

    Dovo 918052 pure badger
    Omega 50014 boar travel brush

    Note that although the Dovo brush is sold as a pure badger, the brush characteristics and cost indicate that it is actually a better grade then pure.

    My water hardness:

    53 ppm as CaCO3 (soft)

    The water hardness was taken from my utility's latest water quality annual report. The scale below was used to correlate water ppm to the soft/hard rating, and is from the US Geological Survey website.

    Water hardness scale (as CaCO3):

    0-60 mg/l: Soft
    61-120 mg/l: Moderately hard
    121-180 mg/l: Hard
    Over 180 mg/l: Very hard

    mg/l is milligrams per liter
    Some utilities give water hardness in parts per million (ppm)
    1 mg/l = 1 ppm (not exactly, but very, very close)
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
    BigMark83, Demidog, brit and 6 others like this.
  2. IDuck

    IDuck Well-Known Member

    thanks for the great review

    i keep meaning to try this stuff again, but its just hard....the 1st time i tried to use it didnt go very well, it was all looking great until i applied it to my face and it went bye bye....which i was very dissapointed with since im a HUGE fan of the AS and use it after every shave (even have a brand new spare). i know someone else had a similar take on it as me, but maybe water was a issue? (to much/to litte).
    Shaver X likes this.
  3. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    Excellent review.

    One question, did the caffeine do anything like make you more alert?
    Shaver X likes this.
  4. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    That's one fantastic write-up
    Shaver X likes this.

    SHAVEWIZARD420 Well-Known Member

    good review! I saw this stuff in the stores but I am always leery about most store bought creams. especially with the cafine hype. some ppl say it makes no difference and others say its better. another ymmv situation
    Shaver X likes this.
  6. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    No, not at all, but the menthol did a bit.

    That is also the conclusion to which I came after using the cream. The caffeine certainly did not wake me up any.
    SHAVEWIZARD420 likes this.
  7. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    If the white lather/paste disappears, it will still work if the transparent part is a lubricating film. I shook all the water out of the brush before squeezing the cream onto it. At that point, the brush was merely damp, and contained very little water. I then applied the cream, adding a little bit of water to the very tip of the brush as needed.

    You might try starting with very little water, and adding more to see which amount works best. Lathering in the palm of your hand or in a bowl and then applying the lather to your face might work, too.
  8. johnus

    johnus Well-Known Member

    This caffeine thing must be the new rage in personal care items. I just tried a hair shampoo that advertised having Caffeine as an additive. Asked my Barber about it and he stated as far as he knew it didn't do anything for hair!
  9. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    In a paper titled Cosmetics with caffeine: real benefits versus marketing claims it is stated:

    "Which caffeine’s topical application activities are proven in cosmetic products? Caffeine hasgarnered much attention in recent years as a consequence of the evidence that it shows strongantioxidant activity. It is thought that the topical application of caffeine may reduce blood flow by mildconstriction of blood vessels in the same manner in which oral administration is known to affect vessels.Caffeine has demonstrated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities."

    It stands to reason that shaving cream or soap ingredients act in unison rather than isolation, as they are being applied at the same time. Does the sum total work well for you or not? If yes, then how well? In my opinion, that is the bottom line for any shaving cream or soap. Of course, everyone is free to do their own research on the subject, and also to try the Caffeinated Shaving Cream. I would find it very interesting to read of anyone else's findings regarding caffeine or their results with this cream.
  10. PLAla

    PLAla Bit Shy of a Full Puck

    I used this cream this morning. It worked really well for me. I used a bowl lather and added a few drops of waters on two occasions while creating the lather. Didn't take long to get a thick lather in the bowl. Ended up being fairly slick and cushioning in the end. The caffeine element doesn't seem to add any type of zip.

    I found it at was a little pricey (maybe around $5.50) but it was worth a shot and I'm glad I tried it.
  11. Robyflexx

    Robyflexx Broke the Like button

    Nice write up, thanks for taking the time. :happy088:
  12. Slipperyjoe

    Slipperyjoe Rusty Metal Tetanus

    Nice review. Been using the all natural orange scented version and totally agree with your assessments..overall a pretty good product once you get the water mixture dial in..not a thirsty cream. I agree also about the price vs quantity. This company should really put out a larger size with a better price point, maybe in a glass jar the way they used to sell it...
  13. MR41

    MR41 Well-Known Member

  14. brit

    brit in a box

    very cool review sir, i am in the "sings its praises "group as well, readily available at drugstores here, nicely scented, slick as grease,lathers really quickly when i am in a rush and predictable performance..i have a back up tube as well..

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