We have been working with the Gentleman of Oxford blog for the last few months. So when we wanted someone to review our 6 Shave Challenge we knew James Couzens would be the gentleman for us! He thoroughly reviewed our Revolution Shave Serum vs a more traditional 20th Century Shaving Soap. You can check out the blog HERE. Anyway, enough of our rambling and over to James.
- Guest Author, James Couzens
As we plough on into the 21st century there has been growing conscientious focus on men’s skincare, as men become more enlightened on what they put their skin through on a daily basis. For the vast majority of men this foray into skincare will be sparked at pubity, as they start having brake outs of acne and their upper lip gets adorned with the first hints of mousy facial hair. With acne we’ll try anything once, slowly going down the skincare aisle at Boots trying to find that “one product” that work for us consistently. When it comes to shaving, however, like many of my peers I was given a shaving kit from my Father; Which normally consists of exactly the same items he has been using all his life, and due to the nature of these things, what his father used as well. That is why I wet shave and don’t use electric shavers, it is also the reason behind my choice of shaving soap and equipment (Razor, shaving brush, etc.).
So when I was approached by Urban Jack to take the 6 shave challenge I was rather hesitant. I was used to my products and my routine with them. But, I was curious. I was using very traditional products from a very established brand, while Urban Jack was offering something completely different. So I accepted and decided to run a comparison experiment over the course of the trial.
Who are the contenders in the war for the toiletries shelf?
Geo. F. Trumper hard shaving soap
Founded in the late 19th century, Trumper has been one of the faces of British mens luxury toiletries brands in London. Going as far as being immortalised in Evelyn Waugh’s, Brideshead Revisited. Their hard shaving soaps have been a constant sight in britsh bathrooms throughout the 20th century and mine since my mid-teens.
Urban Jack Shave Serum
As relatively new guys on the block, Urban Jack has only been operating since last year. I first heard about them through the grape vine – as they are an Oxfordshire based company. After they agreed to sponsor a giveaway on my Instagram earlier this year, my interest was well and truly peaked. Their Shave serum is a non-soap, and natural oil based product, which comes in a compact packaging (especially when compared to traditional hard shaving soap dishes).
The 6 Shave Challenge
With this challenge I wanted it to be an active comparison between the two products. I decided on the products I would use to prepare and wash my skin before each shave and moisturise afterwards. But during the course of the 6 day/shave challenge I would use both my usual product as well as the challenger at the same time by using the two products on separate half’s of my face.
The Shave Experience
I used my usual safety razor for the course of this challenge, changing the razor at the half – way mark. After a few shaves I could already tell the difference between the two products. Jack’s Serum allowed the razor to glide effortlessly over my skin, while simultaneously, allowing the razor to give me a closer shave. The traditional hard soap I found was drying out quickly causing the razor to drag leaving me to constantly reapply the soap. Along with this I found that I had to take more passes with the razor to achieve the same close shave as with the serum.
I have sensitive skin to a degree, this was highlighted by this challange as I noticed that during my mornings the side of my face I had been using the traditional soap based product was pink with irritation, whereas, the other side where I had used the serum was unblemished. I also found that the side I had used the shaving soap on was dried-out, even after moisturising, and was prone to drying out later in the day. A problem I did not get with the Urban Jack serum.
During the course of the trial I visited family for a few days which highlighted the size of the two products. Trumpers soap bowl, through lovely to behold and made out of turned wood, is large and cumbersome in a Gentleman’s wash bag. Travelling in the 21st century can be spontaneous, and one has to travel light & compact. Something which Urban Jack I believe took into consideration with the design of their packing. The Shave serum is held in a small cylinder, easily squirrelled away into a wash bag or pocketed in an overnight bag.
I think that, like many Gentlemen, I fell into the trap of sticking to what I’ve always used when it came to shaving products. Our usual items do the job, but with no active comparisons we brush off any shortcomings of the products mostly as we don’t consider changing our habitual routines. After comparing Urban Jack’s Serum to traditional hard shaving soap, I’m literally kicking myself that I haven’t before taken an active interest in the developments of shaving products and chose to sit on my laurels. Though Trumpers shaving soap is an excellent traditional product, Urban Jack has definitely got a place in my toiletries cabinet from now on. I would also highly recommend that every reader give Urban Jack’s ‘6 shave challenge’ a try.