My mission? To find the holy grail natural replacement for commercial shaving gel, and get silky smooth legs in the process. The journey would span several years and a few failed experiments. Through perils of dry skin and battles with clogged razors, my search would eventually come to a sweet ending (quite literally) when I discovered I could shave with honey. Yes, really.
Shaving with Soap: Fail
My first step toward shaving with more natural products was switching to soap. Well, I’ll be honest: expensive, chemical-filled shaving creams just seemed like a waste of money and there was already a bar of soap in my shower, so it seemed like a no-brainer.
But lately I’ve been moving away from using harsh soaps on my skin when possible. Plus I noticed that shaving with soap tended to dry my legs out. And dry, scaly skin wasn’t exactly giving my legs the smooth-as-silk look I was going for! Soap was out, so what was next?
Shaving with Oil: Fail
It only seemed natural to turn to my favorite moisturizer next: coconut oil. I’d heard many people recommend shaving with coconut oil for smooth legs, and it made sense to me. After all, if dry skin was my problem, then why not shave with something that naturally moisturizes? I already used coconut oil as a base for my homemade whipped body butter, so I was totally up for applying a thin layer before shaving.
The only problem? Coconut oil clogged my razor! Between the hair and the oil, my razor was completely blockaded with gunk (ew, right?). No amount of rinsing with hot water or tapping on the side of the tub would get it completely clean (though I did manage to break my razor once from “tapping” a little too enthusiastically!).
Results were mediocre because a clogged razor doesn’t shave very well. I then tried olive oil and had the same issue, so it was back to square one in my search for naturally smooth legs.
Shaving with Just Water: Ouch!
At that point I tried something that seemed drastic: shaving with nothing but water. But with absolutely no lubrication, shaving with plain water wasn’t such a “smooth” journey and razor burn returned to haunt me. Clearly, something between the razor and my skin was necessary for a smooth shave. But if soap dried my skin and oil clogged my razor, where was a girl to turn?
Shaving with Honey: Success!
My next experiment was a happy accident. I was in the bathtub (of all places) unwinding from a long day, when I spotted the jar of honey on my bathroom counter. That’s it! I use the honey to wash my face in the mornings (I got the idea here), and frankly my face loves it. And if my face loves it, maybe my legs would, too…
And it turned out they did! Honey provides just enough lubrication to help the razor glide smooth over the skin, but also rinses away completely with water so it doesn’t clog the razor one bit. Best of all, honey is very gentle and didn’t dry out my skin like soap. Huzzah! My search for naturally smooth legs was finally complete.
Directions for Shaving with Honey:
- Wet your legs with warm water. Tip: Shave at the end of a shower or bath. The warm water opens the pores and softens hair so you’ll get a smoother shave with less razor burn.
- Smooth 1-2 tablespoons of honey over one leg and shave as usual. Repeat on the other side.
- Rinse legs with warm water. Don’t worry, it doesn’t leave a sticky residue! The honey washes away easily with plain water.
- Pat legs try and follow up with an all-natural moisturizer like coconut oil.
Do I Need to Shave With Raw Honey?
Raw honey from a quality source is my favorite pick for sweeteners and skincare (especially for my raw honey face mask recipes). However, good quality raw honey isn’t exactly cheap. Considering that shaving with honey could easily use a 1/2 cup of honey or more every week, I think this is an understandable area to compromise and use less expensive honey if needed. However, I still recommend going with a trusted source if possible, since grocery store honey can often be contaminated.
Elizabeth Walling is a health and wellness blogger at www.livingthenourishedlife.com and author of The Nourished Metabolism. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about nutrition and metabolism. She embraces an approach to getting healthy that includes listening to your body and throwing dietary dogma out the window where it belongs. You can also find Elizabeth on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/