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Here’s what happened when I shaved with coconut oil

Coconut oil has been causing quite a stir in the beauty world. Word on the street is it’s one of the most versatile natural beauty products out there: You can use it as under eye cream, makeup remover, frizz tamer, even shaving cream — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But is it as effective as those fancy-schmancy shaving creams with the hefty price tags?

Long story short: Oh my yes.

Short story long: I’m a big fan of testing out food products for beauty — especially since I don’t really use them in my kitchen anyway. And aside from the unfortunate homemade hair conditioner incident that left me smelling like a side salad, I’m incredibly impressed by how much better natural beauty products perform compared to their chemically challenged competition. (Not to mention how much easier they are on my wallet.)

After saving up some serious leg hair for the task (don’t mention it), I decided I would shave one leg with coconut oil, and the other with my usual shaving cream to compare. Shaving in subzero temperatures has always been a challenge for me, but even more so since I turned 30. My skin now soaks up moisturizer like those sponge pocket men on the paper towel commercials, and no matter how much I use after shaving I always feel a tad… prickly.

The application

Don’t be alarmed by the texture of the coconut oil: It starts out solid, but on contact it turns to liquid. A little goes a long way too. Unlike slathering endless dollops of shaving cream onto your legs, you only need about a teaspoon of coconut oil per leg.

Once you’ve applied it to your legs, I highly recommend rinsing your hands thoroughly before picking up your razor. My hands ended up so slippery I spent more time fishing my razor from behind the toilet than I did mowing my legs.

The process

Coconut oil leg: It was one of the closest, smoothest shaves I’ve had in a long time! The coconut oil didn’t gunk up my blade like (cough cough) most shaving creams do. I never thought it was possible for something to moisturize your skin during the shaving process — it seriously threw my dry skin a bone.

Shaving cream leg: One, I had to use three times as much shaving cream as I did coconut oil. Two, it totally gunked up my blade, so there were several spots I had to go over twice. Three, my leg may have been moisturized to start, but by the time I was done with all the swiping and scraping, I could tell I’d be paying for it later.

The verdict

Coconut oil isn’t just better than shaving cream, it’s way better. An hour after shaving, the leg I shaved with coconut oil is still feeling silky, soft and irritation free. The leg I shaved with shaving cream? It’s drier than the desert. Patches of my skin have gone from irritated to flat out furious. It won’t be long until I’ll have to slather on another half-bottle of moisturizer to avoid the really uncomfortable, really unsexy red, swollen splotches that come from Canadian winters.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to unclog my drain.

More shaving tips

DIY 2-ingredient moisturizing shaving gel
Pre-shave: How to prep your legs for a great shave
The best way to shave your legs

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