Pre Shave Oil - Is it necessary and How to use It

Pre shave oil
Oils have been in use for thousands of years. Shaving with oil pre dates shaving creams, shaving soaps, and shaving gels.
Back then oils weren't used before applying the other products, but shaving oils were the primary lubricant for shaving.

What is pre shave oil?

is a blend of oils that is applied directly to your skin prior to shaving.  It goes on before applying traditional shaving cream or shaving soap.  Common oils used are castor oil, shea oil, jojoba oil, apricot oil, avocado oil, vitamin e oil.

What does pre shave oil do?

The purpose is to moisturize your skin and hydrate your whiskers. An additional layer of protection is formed resulting in a smoother and more protective comfortable shave.

It is most commonly available in a small bottle since a few drops go a long way.  The combination of oils will vary based on manufacturer, so each recipe will have varying effects on your shave.  Some are also scented with either essential oils or fragrance oils.  If you have sensitive skin you might want to go with a fragrance free pre shave oil.

How to use pre shave oil

Prepare your skin as you normally would prior to shaving.  Washing your skin to remove oils, dirt, and exfoliating to remove dead skin cells.  A simple washcloth and soap will be sufficient to take care of this prep.  Rinse the soap from your skin and leave it moist for the next steps.

At this point your skin is prepped and it’s time to apply the oil. Your hands should still be damp after rinsing your face, so take 3-5 drops of oil in your hands and gently rub them together.  The oil will be covering your palms, so proceed by gently applying the oil to your face covering the area you plan to shave.  Let it remain on your face for a minute.

Now you are ready to apply (on top of the pre shave) your normal shaving soap, shaving cream, or whatever else you use for shaving.

Shaving oil tends to clog the razor a bit, but this is normal.  Just rinse it more often during the shave.

Once you are finished rinse your face with cold water to close your pores and you should be left with a great shave and a nice smooth face with no razor burn.

Best Pre Shave Oil for Sensitive Skin

The base oils in pre shave are usually very gentle and even the most sensitive skin is not bothered by them.  If you have extremely sensitive skin I recommend looking for fragrance free pre shave oil.  The fragrance doesn’t provide any benefit to the shave other than smelling nice.  If your skin gets irritated easily then just skin the fragrance and you should be good to go.

Is Pre Shave oil necessary?

It’s not, but neither is shaving cream, shaving soap, or even a razor.  It’s possible to shave with an axe, so when it comes to shaving nothing is a necessity.  
There are several benefits that come from using it.  The additional layer of protection while shaving and the moisturizing properties are a few examples.  
If you are happy with your current shave and the fell of your skin afterwards you might not need pre shave.  If you would like to get a better shave then it’s worth a try to see if you like it or not.  

Shaving oil vs Shaving cream

You can shave with either oil or cream, however they are meant to be used in conjunction with each other.  Oil then Cream and you are ready to shave.

Can you use pre shave with a safety razor

Yes, any razor can be used with pre shave oil including a safety razor.  They tend to get gummed up, so you'll want to change out your razor blades after each use or at least wipe them clean.  There is no such thing as a better pre shave oil for a safety razor.  Any safety razor and any shave oil will work will just fine. 

Where to buy Pre Shave Oil

Pre shave oil can be found with other mens grooming products on Sir Hare and at most major retailers including CVS, Walmart, Target, and Amazon.


Checkout our Shaving Oils and you’ll find customer reviews for each of the pre shave oils

Pre Shave Oil Recipe

If you are more of a DIY type then you might be interested in making your own recipe.  It’s not that difficult to make homemade pre shave oil and it’s also fun if you are into that type of thing.  Most people think they will save money and on paper you can.  In reality it is a different story.

The thing with shaving oil is you don’t need very much and in order to save you’ll need to buy larger quantities of product.  If you want to make it for you and your friends then it might start breaking even.  

A simple recipe is 2 parts castor and 1 part olive oil.  We don't use olive oil at Sir Hare due to the scent.  It works, but you might smell like a skillet :) 

Pre Shave Oil ingredients for Sir Hare shaving oil: 

The best natural ingredients are a select combination of oils infused with other ingredients. The combinations protect your skin and to provide an extra smooth shave.  

Some brands contain just a single type of oil and others contain a wide variety including oils below and also aloe vera.  Here we will break down all of the different oils and ingredients used in our pre shave oil and the benefits of using each.

Castor Oil - Castor is is an oil extracted from the Ricinus Communis plant.  Castor is a thicker oil and has been popular for centuries for it's anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  The high amount of fatty acids in castor oil make it an excellent skin moisturizer and why it is perfect for pre shave oil

Shea Oil - Shea comes from the seeds of the Karite tree, which is also known as the Shea tree.  Some refer to Shea Oil as a superfood for your skin.  Best known as a superfood that is very nutrient rich and is especially beneficial for health and well being.  This nickname comes due to the moisturization and protection properties that Shea oil provides to your skin.

Jojoba Oil - Jojoba pronounced "ho ho ba" is an oil that is extracted from the nut of the Shrub Simmondsia Chinensis.  Research shows that this oil closely resembles the human Sebum, which is a naturally produced oil from our skin.  This oil has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and moisturization properties and is also a very shelf stable oil which makes it a great addition to pre shave oils.

Apricot Oil - This oil is extracted from the seeds (Kernels) of the Apricot (Prunus Armeniaca).  It is full of natural antioxidants such as Vitamin E and Vitamin C.  Some oils remain on the surface of your skin, but Apricot oil is absorbed easily leaving skin soft and smooth.  It is especially beneficial to those with dry or itchy skin.

Avocado Oil - This oil is derived from the Avocado tree and it is also known as a moisturizing oil.  Actually this oil is considered as one of the best moisturizers and also why you can find it in some of the most expensive cosmetic products.  It has monounsaturated fatty acids and presence of Vitamin E.  This oil leaves your skin soft, smooth, helps prevent inflammation, and also soothes your skin if irritated. 

Vitamin E Oil - Pre shave oils wouldn't be complete without vitamin E oil.  Vitamin E is an anti oxidant and essential for healthy skin.  Vitamin E is usually in all of the best pre shave oils on the market.

Tea Tree - Tea Tree oil comes from the distilled leaves of the Melaluca tree.  This oil was used for thousands of years, but gained popularity after an australian doctor published a study about the benefits of this oil.  It was used primarily as an antiseptic and disinfectant and has many uses today from treating acne to different types of infections.  This is another excellent addition to any quality pre shave oil.  

Summary - As you can see a combination of different oils will benefit your skin in different ways.  The ultimate goal is a nice clean shave treatment leaving you with a silky smooth face and no irritation.  If you have been thinking improving your shaving routine then why not give it a try.  Sir Hare has some of the best pre shave oil on the market and we stand behind our products 100%.  If you don't love it just let us know.

1 Response

Alan M.
Alan M.

June 26, 2015

This was my first time using Sir Hare head shave oil and classic scent shaving soap. Great shave! Mindy said the shave oil works great as a preshave oil (if you don’t have a bald head), and that’s just what I did. I love the smell of this oil! Great performance from both products, on my short list for sure. The original soap has a timeless scent…not too heavy and not exotic, just manly and strong enough to last for a while. It lathered well and left my skin feeling slick, providing for no cuts during the shave. You’ll enjoy adding these products to your rotation!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Learn everything you need to know about Classic Shaving

Eye Cream for Men
Eye Wrinkle Cream For Men : The Definitive Guide

Continue Reading

Dopp Kit
What is a dopp kit and why every traveling man needs this shaving bag

Continue Reading

Honing Oil - How to use, Where to buy, and alternatives
Honing Oil - How to use, Where to buy, and alternatives

Continue Reading