Gel vs Cream Shaving Test

   As somewhat of a no nonsense traditionalist in many of the aspects of my approaches to both fashion and grooming I would, prior to doing something of a scientific test, offer the knee jerk reaction that my preferred choice of application, when it comes to shaving, would be cream over gel any day of the week. Yet, having given a moment’s thought to this – I’m not exactly sure how true this may be – as mentioned on this very site, I’ve grown very fond of Jack Black’s three in one shaving solution and have experienced a certain clogging of blades when using foam in the past.

   As a man with a brain rooted in cold science and harsh facts I decided to do the ultimate experiment on myself to find a conclusive answer as to which product worked best. My method was simple – my own face would, simultaneously, constitute both the control and the focus groups of the experiment with one half covered in cream, the other in gel as I shaved. This way, extraneous variables would be kept to a minimum (after all how much variation can my own face have with itself?), and conditions would remain stable throughout the shave. I would also use the same brand for each of the two products (kindly provided to me by the Real Shaving Co) and the winner would be the one which provided the best overall experience – closeness, comfort and a whole factotum of other criteria.

   I must admit that when I first conducted this experiment I gave the overall experience of using gel the advantage and points victory due to complications that I later found out where to be caused by the razor I used (as noted here, the on trend Hydro 5 blade by Wilkinson was not a friend of mine) – I wrongly assumed that it was the cream which had clogged up my blades when it turned out this was in fact the result of a poor design feature in  the Wilkinson blade I was using which decided (for reasons I can't quite figure) to repeatedly spew extra lubricant which thus contaminates whatever product is already on the face. As such, a retrial was scheduled.

   After performing the experiment an additional number of times the conclusion was almost too close to call with each method having a series of indisputable pros. The Super Slide Shave Gel was indisputably the more pleasant to apply to the face after a pre-shaving ritual; it's cool feel was a delight and the fact that its ingredients include Almond Oil, Aloe Vera and Vitamin E mean that the product also leaves the skin feeling refreshed and re-hydrated post-shave too. The gel allows the user to see which areas they have already pushed their razor across allowing for a thorough and consistent shave all across the face.

   The winner, however, in my eyes was, indeed, the rather excellent Traditional Moisturising Shave Cream. Whilst applying and shaving with this product may take a small time longer than when utilising the gel, for those who enjoy the whole experience, the whole performance of grooming, there's no escaping shave cream is the more majestic and evocative of the two. The cream provides a thick layer of foam preventing any razor burns when used correctly (thus negating the over-reliance on post-shave balms) and, for the most part, leaves a more musky, traditionally masculine aroma which is how I assume Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart, along with all the leading men of old Hollywood, smelt too. A lot of times with fashion and grooming, tradition wins - this, in my eyes, is the case again.

* These products were kindly sent to me by The Real Shaving Company
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3 comments

  1. Awesome review Kieron! I've always been a 'gel' bloke until I tried the Geo F Trumper almond shaving cream. I've been converted...for now. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you!
      I've not heard of Geo F Trumper before but I do love a good traditional cream.
      I've got a few different products open now and really need to use these up before I acn justify buying more but may add this to my "to try" list

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  2. Fantastic post. I've always been interested in the shaving tradition and the difference between the cream, soaps and gels. My skin didn't come out too well with the Geo F Trumper coconut cream or soap, but I do have very sensitive skin. I now use Liz Earle men's shaving cream which doesn't irritate at all, however it doesn't have any fragrance to it, which sounds like one of the great things about your winner!

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