14 June 2010

Review of Mens Shaving Range at Steenbergs

Review of Mens Shaving Range at Steenbergs

I have been looking at our range of shaving and other mens products at Steenbergs over the last few weeks to see whether we can improve it further.  As modern hippies, I like being clean shaven so growing a beard was never on the cards, but I have tried to pick some different products that are not available on the high street.  For example, I like the Somerset's range and have been recommended it by various punters as being great for sensitive skin, but you can get their products in Boots, Ocado, Sainsburys, Waitrose and on their own web site already, so I didn't get the point of those as we could never get near their prices.

I  - Axel Steenberg - like the Lavera range of men's products as these have been devised by Thomas Haas at Laverana, who has been making natural cosmetics since 1987.  As a sufferer of neurodermatitis, he is very aware of making skincare products that are delicate on the skin and moisturising.  Laverana uses natural raw plant materials as the base of its skincare ranges, which are grown organically as much as possible, and their products are completely free from classic nasties like industrial chemicals such as perfumes, colourants and preservatives.  And everything is tested on volunteers, as well as by skin and allergy specialists.

These Lavera Men's Products are some of the most ethical products you will find on the market, and they work.  I have been shaving with the Shaving Cream for some weeks now and it gives a great close shave that's comparable to my normal traditional soap and brush shave, and is not as aggressive on your skin.  I tend to finish the shave by using a natural coconut oil moisturiser that replaces the lost oils during the harshness of the traditional single blade razor that I use, but we also have the Lavera After Shave Balm for anyone who would prefer a more refreshing and disinfecting after shave experience.

These new Lavera shaving, after shave balm and deodorants complement very well Steenbergs Weleda range of Shaving Creams that are based on biodynamic herbal products.  Both ranges are excellent and far superior for the skin and the environment compared to high street brands and own label supermarket brands.

I have also been trying the Thermal Mud Range of Male Grooming Kit that are based on thermal mud from boiling mud pools around Rotorua on New Zealand's North Island.  The thermal mud is sterilized, then refined to remove any traces of volcanic ash.  The Thermal Mud is packed full of natural minerals and has a high affinity for moisture, so is highly restorative for the skin. 

Parrs Shaving Gel gives a nice clean shave - it looks a yucky, grey sludgy colour that comes out clear on the skin and allows the razor to run smoothly over your face.  It's a bit strange actually seeing your skin whilst shaving, having spent the last 25 years scraping away at white foam or soap from a classic shaving cream or soap.  I found that it was easier to shave with than the soap that I normally use and did not irritate the skin; overall, it gives a slightly less close shave than the Lavera Shaving Cream but the upside is that you will get fewer nicks while shaving.  I then treated my face afterwards with the Thermal Mud Moisturiser which usefully comes with a sun protection in it - something I like all men are bad at putting on.

In addition, Steenbergs has included other Thermal Mud products including After Shave Balm, Soap, Shower Gel and a Facial Scrub.

None of these products need a shaving brush and can be used like a normal shaving cream from the high street, so you can replace your Boots  or Gillette shaving foams with these.  They are much less aggressive on your skin and pretty quickly will make your skin much happier, less dry and more glowing.

The new men's skincare products complement earlier additions to Steenbergs range of male grooming items, including safety razors from Parker and Merkur, traditional shaving soaps and creams from Cyril Salter and Taylors of Bond Street.

My top shave currently is: Parker 90R safety razor, Wilkinson Sword blades (simply, still the best), fake badger brush with traditional shaving soap, followed by after shave treatment with coconut oil to moisturise the skin.  But I am about to trial a Mühle R89 that seems like another great bit of German engineering!