Shaving with Olive Oil

Hello everyone.  This is Jennifer’s husband.  She’s feeling a bit under the weather, so I thought I’d take over today and “guest” post for her.  I thought I’d write about something that I’ve done to reduce waste and be a little greener in my everyday life.

So when we first started our journey down the path of zero waste (before we even knew it had a name!), we bought the book Living Green: The Missing Manual.  A wealth of knowledge on how to use homemade or natural substances for everyday uses, the author suggested turning in that metal aerosol can of Barbasol and using olive oil instead.  And we had seen on Dr. Oz where olive oil can be a skin moisturizer as well.

Tired of using shaving creams or gels that promised to be moisturizing and gentle on sensitive skin but failed to deliver, I decided to change up my shaving habits.  So the next time we went to the commissary, I picked up a spray bottle of Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil Salad & Vegetable Spray.

Once I started using the olive oil spray, I never looked back at “conventional” shaving creams.  The olive oil delivers on multiple fronts.  I feel like I get a closer shave, I don’t get razor burn hardly at all anymore, and my face never gets dry and flaky during the dry winter months.  And no, my face doesn’t look extremely oily or greasy and the oil doesn’t cause acne.

So now that I’ve touted the benefits of olive oil over shaving creams and gels, what’s so green about it?  Well, it’s made from olives.  Not Water, Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, Isobutane, Propane (or may contain Butane), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Laureth-23, and Fragrance.  That’s right, there’s flammable gas in your shaving cream (obviously not a lot to be a hazard, but seriously propane and butane?)  And what the heck is Laureth-23 and why wasn’t 1 through 22 good enough?

And I’ve been using the same bottle since we’ve bought it.  I keep refilling it from the 68 ounce bottle we also use to refill the olive oil bottles in the kitchen.  So that’s how we’re reducing waste.

Of course, the best way to reduce waste and avoid razor burn is to not shave at all.  If only the military would allow its members to grow facial hair…


32 responses to “Shaving with Olive Oil

  1. Also in the UK shaving foam tends to come in aerosol cans, not widely recycled. Well done for cutting out another unnecessary product.

    • Thanks Joddle, we’re doing what we can to cut out unnecessary waste and we’re always open to new ideas to do just that. I just wish that the spray bottle I used for the olive oil was metal and not plastic. It seems like we’re having the hardest time getting rid of plastic.

    • You’re welcome, it’s nice to see I’m not the only one that uses olive oil for things other than cooking! I also enjoyed reading your post as well.

  2. I was waiting to see if you threw away the spray bottle. Since you don’t have to, I’m going to do this tip. Thanks for posting. (When Jennifer feels better she can read my link to her green wrapping tip on my own blog. You guys are great.)

    • Thanks Anne, I’ll let Jennifer know about your link to green wrapping tip, I’m sure she’ll enjoy it!

      The cap to the Fillipo Berio spray bottle was a little difficult to take off the first time I tried, but I eventually figured it out. We also refill a little Delallo bottle with olive oil in the kitchen, I think we’ve had it for two years now!

  3. Great guest post,how nice to have you filling in. I’ve got to run the olive oil by my husband…he still needs “greening”.

    • I wasn’t so sure I’d like it at first, but I’m glad I tried it! Tell him to at least try it once. And keep working at “greening” him up! 🙂

  4. Hi Matt, nice to meet you! Dr Oz was right. Olive oil is really great skin moisturizer. I use it all the time as a base to my homemade body lotions and scrubs. It addition I wash my face with a mixture of olive oil and hazelnut oil (1:3). It works amazing. I haven’t used store bought cosmetics in months and I do not miss it at all.
    Good for you that you’ve changed your habbits… . Luckily my husband has so little facial hair that he even doesn’t use any shaving creams. He’s got mustache and beard but it’s nothing compare to all those hairy people (lol)… and he is not in a military anymore so he has the freedom of having it.

    • I know, we used to watch Dr. Oz all the time in Connecticut and Virginia. We’ve decided against cable television down here in Georgia and it helped keep us out of the house when it was warmer, Jenn would blog on the back porch while I worked in the yard or the garden. And Jenn can’t wait to try your homemade body lotions and scrubs. She’s almost out of shampoo and she’s going to try your “No Poo.” Thanks for reading!

  5. As weird as it sounds, I guess it makes sense. I may have to give this a shot to see what I think.

    On 12/12—Blogging advice from a blogging expert (no it’s not me)
    Tossing It Out

    • Let me know when you’ve tried this…I’m curious to see if I’m just a weirdo or if other people like shaving with olive oil too.

      • Okay I tried it today. It just didn’t quite seem right to me, although my skin feels pretty soft now. I guess it’s something I would have to get used to maybe. I’m not ready to throw out my shaving cream for it yet and I still have a couple cans left.

        I hope some others try it and weigh in on the topic.

        Wrote By Rote

  6. Pingback: Homemade Hand Lotion | Suburbhomestead's Blog

  7. Hi all
    I do hope that I am not stating simply stating the obvious?
     When I used to shave many moons ago, I used to have this bristle brush, just like grandpa use to have. and just simply, with the aid of a little water, laved up a simple bar of soap; in this case I think it’s called “sheeps wool soap” which has a high proportion of lanolin in it, which is especially soft for sensitive skins, and obviously also doubles up as a pretty good overall body cleaner as well I might add, which also is a totally natural product, and also doesn’t impact on our environment in any meaningful way.

     I sometimes think that simple is best…. In our ever increasing consumer society.

    • I agree…simplify, simplify, simplify! I’ll have to see if I can find this “sheeps wool soap” somewhere and give it a shot. Do you remember where you found this soap? Thanks for the insight and idea!

  8. I had NO idea! Thanks for this awesome tip, I wonder if I could use it on my legs/armpits as well! I’ll definitely be trying this sometime in the near future.

    • Thanks for reading Aveena! Jennifer’s going to try shaving her legs with olive oil too, I’m sure she’ll post the results. I’m ecstatic at the postive response this post received, let us know how shaving with olive oil works for you!

  9. To Jennifer’s husband– that was interesting…nice for you to fill in for your wife…hopes she feels better

  10. Hey everyone,
    Sorry it took so long to respond, but we spent the past two days in lovely Savannah, GA! Jennifer’s going to write about that in a future blog post to show what we did that was green and what we could have done better.

    I also thought I’d share another reason I switched to olive oil and got rid of the aerosol cans of shaving cream. Now I know this doesn’t happen to many other people, unless you’re crossing a mountain range and have a change in atmospheric pressure, but after the first couple of uses on the boat, I had trouble getting the shaving cream to come out. It was like there was no more oompf in the can to dispense it. I think that is because the atmospheric pressure is constantly changing from a slight vacuum to a slight pressure when we’re submerged and that ruins the aerosol can’s ability to pressurize the contents and spray them out in my hand. I’ve had that happen with several cans of shaving cream, but with my pump spray bottle for the olive oil, I don’t have that problem any more!

    Do any other submariners out there have the same problem or have I just had the bad luck of buying several defective cans of shaving cream?

  11. Thank you my man for writing the post for me and for taking the time to answer everyone. If I don’t say it enough, your truly are the MOST wonderful man. I appreciate all you do for me!

  12. Hi mat
    sorry it’s been so long to reply to your question but I also have been extremely busy a trip to Italy on business anyway is the website where I purchased this soap if anyone else is interested;

    • Thanks for the great info Stephen, I’ll have to give this a try and maybe I’ll get to write another “guest” post about your shaving soap.

  13. Interesting idea. I’ll have to give it a try next time I run out of cream.

  14. Smile… Spock dog and Bones dog look fine and are allowed to retain all facial hair, but for me not so much.
    I will give my face a salad oil treatment in the morning… Extra virgin olive oil. Who knew?
    I hope to see more post from a mans perspective…

  15. Pingback: Uses for olive oil other than the kitchen | Attempting zero waste lifestyle in a military household

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