You Should Use Olive Oil To Shave Your Face

The creation of a materialistic consumer society has led to the commercialization of any and all activities. One activity in particular is grooming. There is an enormous and extremely varied amount of solutions offered for sale for your grooming “problems”. Every once in awhile, I come across some not-so-commercial solutions such as Roosh’s baking soda use and Samseau’s no shampoo challenge. These types of solutions interest me because they can be more effective and have less drawbacks than commercial products used in their intended role.

After reading numerous other articles on alternative hygiene methods I became curious if there was a better way to shave. After reviewing the concept of how a blade works to cut hair and how many commercial products are used to facilitate this I began to think of what else can accomplish this in a better fashion.

olive oilpour

One of my favorite soaps is derived from olive oil. I put a little drop of olive oil between my fingers and I realized this could be an effective lubricant better than  alcohol based shaving cream and lotions. I decide to try it. It worked far better than I thought it would. I had a smooth face with no razor burn or drying. Here is my method:

Step 1.

Dampen a washcloth with water and put it in a bowl. Microwave this bowl for one minute.

Step 2.

Trim your beard as close as possible with electric clippers.

Step 3.

Remove  the bowl from microwave. This washcloth will be extremely hot. Put your face as close to the towel in the bowl as comfortable and allow the steam to work on your face.

Step 4.

Start rubbing olive oil into your stubble. Be generous because it is relatively thick. Make sure to rub it in thoroughly.

Step 5.

Use your regular razor and begin shaving. The strokes will be far shorter and slower than what you used to due to the thickness of the olive oil. You only get to go about half an inch before the blade gets clogged. Rinse the blade thoroughly after every stroke.

Step 6.

After shaving all the hair off you wanted to, take the washcloth out of the bowl. By now it has cooled off to a safe temperature. Use the washcloth to wipe down your face. You will notice that there is some olive oil left behind. This functions as a sort of aftershave.


Utilizing this method I’ve noticed a few things. The razor blade doesn’t actually feel like its on your skin but above a layer of olive oil. This could be why there is no razor burn.  The lack of alcohol and other detergents prevent your skin from drying out or having skin oils washed away. Finally, just like the baking soda idea referenced earlier, olive oil is a whole lot cheaper than shaving cream.

Read Next: How To Wear A Beard Without Looking Like An Ax Murderer

66 thoughts on “You Should Use Olive Oil To Shave Your Face”

  1. I’ve owned one can of shaving cream in my life. My mom bought it for me about 40 years ago. I’ve always enjoyed making things so I knew how cutting tools work.
    A few notes:
    The lubricant isn’t for your face, it’s for the blade. It will cut cleaner and hold its edge longer if it is lubricated.
    Hair is hydrophilic and loses strength when saturated. Wet your face and let it stand for awhile before you do anything else.
    Water itself is an excellent lubricant. Your bicycle chain will not squeak while you are riding in the rain. It starts to squeak after it dries out. The reason for using oil as a lubricant is because it stays put and doesn’t evaporate. You don’t really need more than a wet face to shave.
    Any common oil will work fine. Eau de bacon drippings gets some women a hell of a lot more worked up than Old Spice ever will.
    Commercial shaving lubricants are not alcohol based, they are alcohol suspended. As noted in the article olive oil is really a bit too thick. Oil and water don’t mix. Oil and alcohol do. If you mix your own you control the alcohol content. The downside is that you shouldn’t use rubbing alcohol. It is “denatured,” that is it has had toxins intentionally mixed in to prevent people from using it as a tax free way to get toasted. One of the commonly used toxins is kerosene.
    Use vodka.

    1. Rubbing alcohol is isopropyl alcohol, it is a solute that is poisonous and is in no way shape or form a booze alternative. You get incapacitated drinking rubbing alcohol, not buzzed.
      It is NOT the same thing as ethyl alcohol (ethanol). Denatured ethyl alcohol (what I think you meant to say) is found in fuel for chafing dishes, like Sterno, or in WWII torpedo fuel. It will get you drunk and, as some poor sailors who drank torpedo fuel found out, it can also make you blind or cause other problems.

      1. Some people purchase denatured ethanol as rubbing alcohol. It’s usually available as a substitute to IPA.

        1. Kfg’s right. To be honest, I’ve never seen or owned a bottle of 70% ethanol. I checked Walgreens to see if they even sell it in the US and there it was.

        2. kfg is acceptable. KFG is correct. Kfg is right out.
          Back in the day I actually had to make a special selection when I wanted isopropyl for some reason (like cleaning a Newtonian primary, the petroleum products in denatured ethanol leaves a wax film when it evaporates).
          For the reasons Markus states it has gone the other way ’round now.

        3. You want almost 100% pure ethanol then buy Everclear. I never heard of drugstores selling drinkable alcohol to customers.

      2. Yes, I was going to mention that. It’s methanol and poisonous. Only ethanol is for human consumption.

        1. No. They have leather like skin (by definition) and their hair is actually stronger than steel, although it cuts easier.

        2. No, but they tend to get ingrown hairs because the hair grows at a curve and not straight out like Whites of Asians.

        3. Hey be happy! “Black don’t crack”. I’ve yet to see a 50 year old African American who looks a day over 36.

    1. Your problem, like mine, is the tightness of the follicle (causes curl) and the orientation of hair. No magic lube is going to prevent ingrown hairs. Cutting isn’t the problem, the way the hair grows is the problem (although a dull blade or dry face make irritation worse) . Short strokes, with the grain (orientation of the hair, not against it) and a SHARP, frequently rinsed razor are our best shot. The hot, wet towel was great advice. Shaving after showering (don’t dry off your face) helps, too.
      I find that while shaving everyday causes irritation, limiting yourself to only a only day or two off helps. Beyond that the hairs get longer and start growing in – actually making the irritation worse.
      I hope this helps.

      1. Thanks. I’ve been doing that and shaving my face every other day. I tend to get razor bumps right at the top of my neck where the neck meets the chin.
        Body grooming is no issue.

  2. Olive oil actually works really good with electric razors. You never need to worry about rusting out your electric razor again.
    I haven’t tried it with a straight razor. Haven’t had the guts to pull the trigger on one of those sets.

  3. There is a lot of “shave like your grandpa” advice out there. It been a common theme now on the internet for a few years.
    I have never tried olive oil before, but would probably caution against it. First, last time I checked olive oil is not cheap. About 10 ounces of store brand quality EVO cost me around $10. Second, it might be slick enough for a good shave, but its also going to clog your pores if you don’t wash your face after shaving with some emollient.
    I recommend people use a badger hair brush and shaving soap puck. A $1 shaving soap puck I pick up at my local drug store last me maybe 6-8 months. For my razor I use an old fashion safety razor and just change the blade once a week. Each blade costs around 5 cents when you purchase them in bulk. When I travel I use the drug store 3 bladed disposable which does an OK job, not nearly as good as safety razor though. I have tried the straight razor on occasion, but never got the hang of it.
    (I would make some suggestions for cheap shaving solution items more specifically, but the last few times I mentioned sites or product names my posts have been removed. I think some moderator thought my posts were just spam trying to sell commercial products.)

    1. ” . . .olive oil is not cheap. About 10 ounces of store brand quality EVO cost me around $10.”
      And will last years for shaving. It’s a damned sight cheaper the shaving cream.
      In any case, you don’t buy it to shave with; you buy it to eat. Once you’ve bought it, there it is.

    2. This. Mostly it will just cause comedones and be a very expensive (and shitty) “moisturizer.” The oil doesn’t actually moisturize your skin as efficiently as a cheaper shaving lotion, and it’s easy for it to harbor bacteria. Some people have gotten nasty infections from trying to use olive oil to remove eye makeup.
      Also, if you’re ‘Murrican I wouldn’t be so sure that the stuff you put on your face is actually “olive oil.”

      1. Good point about olive oil being riddled with bacteria. It is far from sterile. The process of shaving produces micro cuts on the surface of the skin which allows the introduction to all kinds of bacteria. This is why most shaving creams/lotions contain anti-microbial properties.
        I’m not saying everyone has to purchase expensive commercial products which is clearly not the solution to every problem. Just use your head and wits when deciding to reject modern commercialism. Shaving with olive oil it probably not the best way to do so.

      2. I find that difficult to believe I’ll go as far as saying bull shit). Olive oil contains ANTIbacterial, ANTIseptic, ANTIfungal properties. Getting an infection from olive oil is unheard of (unless you’ve been swindled into some fake shit). Your chances of breaking out from OO are none and negative. That’s like a virgin complaining about contracting herpes. Tell any beautician, doctor, scientist, dermatologist that you broke out from what we’ve been using for more than 5000 years and hell/shell probably start looking around for cameras thinking he’s/she’s being punked

      3. OO is arguably the second best moisturizer available (grapeseed oil can penetrate the skin faster and deeper). While lotion does help, it (just like deodorants, hair sprays, certain soaps) contain chemicals which may be harmful especially for those with sensitive skin. Mother nature always knows best. We get into trouble when we go chemical (man made). All the beauty products pug there may seen plausible (the pleasant fragrance can be tempting), but nothing will ever benefit us the way nature intended. You think those celebs use those products for improvement? Some do cause they believe the hype, but the majority of them don’t use that stuff. They’re either endorsed to be in those commercials or they know a good beautician (or surgeon). It’s like bodybuilders, they don’t get like that from supplements. They get huge from steroids. Many may have them as they do provide nutrition benefits (many taste good too), but half of them don’t even use them (they rely on real food). The ones that do are endorsed therefore receive free supplements. Bottom line, nature always knows best when it comes to health, fitness and beauty.

    3. Maybe this is one of the few good things of living in Spain, I can buy premium quality olive oil at a very good price. (Directly from producers)

    4. I don’t care about the price.Shaving is cheap enough even with the best products. Try the poor boy’s blog lol

    5. Words to live by: “If you can eat it, you can wear it.” NEVER apply to your skin or hair that you wouldn’t swallow. The only exception are essential oils and drops for the eyes. Search for organic deodorant (too expensive to have the sweat glands removed!).

  4. Olive oil is a relatively good and cheap lubricant to use for shaving. There are two drawbacks in my opinion.
    The first is your blade (especially safety razors) will get clogged quick, requiring more strokes, thus lengthening the time you spend shaving.
    The other is that it lacks antimicrobial properties. Olive oil may get trapped in your pores and then bacteria will feast on the oil, causing breakouts. I recommend mixing in sandalwood or tea tree oil to prevent breakouts. There is a line of pre-shave oils by The Art of Shaving that used sandal wood mixed with olive oil to prevent razor burn. However, at $25 for a two-ounce bottle, it’s expensive. You can buy a 17 ounce bottle of extra virgin and a 2 ounce bottle of tea tree oil for as little $20. That will give you as much as a year’s worth of shaving.

    1. “Olive oil may get trapped in your pores and then bacteria will feast on the oil . . . ”
      Guess what your skin is naturally full of and covered with?
      Guess what happens if you stop unnaturally scouring it with alcohol and lye?

  5. I prefer coconut oil to olive oil, but have never tried it shaving. It’s a saturated fat, and must be fairly warm to liquefy, which should happen when applied to warm skin.
    Has anyone here tried coconut oil?

    1. I did last night, actually, just after reading this post. Couldn’t seem to get enough on my face to make it feel slippery and what I did get there clogged up the razor something fierce with two days’ growth.
      That being said, did okay for cheeks and mouth area but had to go to shave cream for neck.

    1. Oil based soaps are excellent for reducing wrinkles and skin appearance. In that configuration, no, clogged pores is not a big concern normally.

    1. While it is a bit contrary to the tenor of this article, I will note that generic baby shampoo only costs a buck a bottle, lasts longer and actually does a better job.
      Don’t even need a brush and bowl. Just put a dab in your palm and lather it up a bit.
      It also does the same job as Woolite for a fraction of the cost. It’s what most pros actually use for hand washables.

    2. In a similar vein I suggest using cheap-ass disposable bic razors and shaving only one pass with the grain. It won’t be a close shave and you’ll always be stubbly. So what? Stubble looks good. Forget all this hipster safety razor and straight razor noise.

  6. I’m female but I’ve been using a mix of argan and castor oil to wash my face for a while. I also shave with the same mixture, which is really great for the areas that are more sensitive. WAY better than shaving cream. Olive oil tends to be a little heavy for me, but it may not be the same for a man, who knows. I have used it to remove makeup, though.

  7. The big masculinity issue that you guys are overlooking is that most grooming products (including shaving cream) contain parabens which are absorbed and act as estrogens.

  8. I’ve tried olive oil.
    It didn’t work well for me.
    The shave was just not smooth but I’m all for using products that are healthy.
    I’m using Burt’s Bees shave cream right now. Awesome shave, Awesome ingredients. Most Burt’s Bees products have great ingredients.
    Another good shave cream is King of Shaves. The #1 ingredient is Aloe Vera from the Aloe Barbadensis plant instead of what most shaving creams have as a main ingredient: sodium lauryl sulphate or some other kind of industrial engine cleaner.
    The best tip I have is to relax about
    spending an extra $3 every 6 months
    for something that’s not gonna give
    you dick cancer.
    Don’t value shop yourself to death all you Mr. Overly Frugals.

  9. Fuck shaving your face. You know what they call men without beards? Women.
    If your dad shaves, you have two moms.

    1. I see you’re stuck in the stone ages. In case you missed out, we have the wheel now. Besides, some men look fine with a beard while others like myself look pretty damn ridiculous with one. I hate facial hair and will not have it… Which is why I opted for laser hair removal.

    2. If two smooth parents mean having two mothers, does that mean a flat chested woman is equivalent to having two fathers? You need to upgrade.

  10. Olive oil has myriad uses. The Romans used it as (among many other things):
    — A cleansing agent after a bath. Oil was applied to the hot skin and rubbed over the body, and then was scraped off with a strigil (in Latin, “strigilis”).
    — An unguent applied to the scalp and hair, to protect the hair from the intense Mediterranean sun.
    –Religious rituals
    –Sexual lubricant

  11. Recently on a trip I noticed I didn’t bring shaving cream with me. I took a little dove body wash and rubbed it on my face and it was the best shave I have ever gotten. Smooth, no burn no anything.

  12. To anyone here who is not white and has olive to naturally tanned skin, DO NOT SHAVE WITH ANY OIL. Olive oil actives melanocytes in the skin and thus can increase hyperpigmentation . If your a white skinned person, you can freely shave with olive oil.

  13. The most important thing in shaving is softening your beard with a lot of hot water. After that you could probably shave with nothing like Einstein did. I’ve probably used every type of razor and product around and things the average person has never heard of.I’ve come to the conclusion especially in the last couple of years that the Schick Quatro is the best razor (I’ve used them all and don’t like the 3 or 5 blade ones) and Neutrogena shave gel (use a tiny amount after softening your face).La Toya is also good.
    Use Nivea shave balm afterwards, it’s quick drying and has no alcohol.
    Never use a straight razor. These are from the days before the safety razor and where men had an experienced barber shave them. Besides, they don’t shave any closer than a modern razor like the Quatro.

  14. I make my own shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and body wash from a few simple and cheap ingredients in my kitchen. I think I’ll save multi-thousands of dollars over the next several decades of my life doing just that.

  15. I wash my face with an exfoliating scrub, press a hot, wet towel over my whiskers for two minutes, then use a double-edge safety razor and lots of aloe vera gel. Works great. No razor burn, no clogged pores.

  16. I always take a shower on the coldest setting my house has and immediately after I step out out of my ice temple I get the razor and try to do a shave as quick as possible before my face dries. I don’t use any product I just make sure my face is very wet and I’ve noticed I have less breakouts and razor burn except for my adam’s apple area which I never had razor burn and now get because I can’t get the grain right there. Anyone else do the cold shave with just water?

    1. I do. I just wet my face with cold water, shave, and then rinse with cold water. Quick and simple.

  17. Easily one of the most effeminate articles I’ve read on ROK.
    Olive oil, lol you’re a nancy boy for stepping foot in the kitchen aisle. Scratch that shit off your face and go to work, most men don’t have the time to spend 30 minutes shaving- we work for a living.

    1. Except, or course, for us serving members in the Armed Forces. I would love for you to see what would happen to the troop with the balls to show up where I work with stubble on their face.

  18. Keep it simple. Keep your pores closed. I have never used any kind of soap or lubricant on my face since high school (I’m 40). I shave after a hot shower (face still wet) with a high end, quality disposable razor, blade directly to the skin. Then immediately rinse with freezing cold water to close the pores (keeping out bacteria, dirt, grease,etc.). No shower, use piping hot wet towel on face. Done. Also, I’ve maintained a short beard since waaaay before the hipsters made in cool (so when I shave, its usually my neck and outlying cheek) but I’ve traveled extensively in the Middle East, so culturally, its been a must to maintain facial hair. “Clean shaving” your face for years is just damaging for your skin. Man was NOT to be clean shaven.

  19. You guys know how gay you all are, right? I mean, I’m not judging. There’s room in our world’s broad spectrum for everyone, even prissy little fairies who shave with olive oil. But you should probably know that you really are an embarrassment of giggly hot-pant wearing screaming anal sex lovers, and God bless you for it.

  20. Excellent read. I currently use a simply olive oil soap bar for my hair and body, and cold showers of course. The shaving cream I use is made by The Real Shaving Co., but I will definitely give olive oil a go. Naturally I use a proper bristle brush and either a straight or safety razor, like a real man should.

  21. We just launched a website for guys that shave their head and our product is oil based. We started out trying many different oils and ended up finding that grapeseed worked great. It took months to find the right combination of fragrances and formulas, but now we are selling and receiving very positive feedback. Check us out if you are ready to switch to oils for shaving.

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