Get the Perfect Shave with Shave Oil

milkman shave oil with double edge safety razor

The use of shave oil can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where it was used as a way to soften and prepare the skin and hair for shaving. In ancient Egypt, for example, people used oils made from plants and vegetables to soften the skin and beard before shaving. In ancient Rome, people used a mixture of oil and ash to prepare their skin for shaving.

Shave oil continued to be used throughout the centuries, although it fell out of favor in some parts of the world as other types of shaving products, such as creams and soaps, became more popular. In the 20th century, shave oil saw a resurgence in popularity as more people began to recognize the benefits of using natural, plant-based products for grooming and personal care.

After using shave soaps through my younger years, I first discovered shave oil when I was about 30. A barber introduced it to me as a shave lubricant that doesn't dry out & leaves the skin feeling soft. It was also a lot less messy. From then on I was hooked & when I started formulating shaving products for men, this was the first one on my list. 

Why is Shave Oil Better than Shave Soap?

why shave oil is better than shave soap infographic

1. Shave soap is more irritating to the skin

Our research found that shave creams can actually irritate the skin to the point where it really doesn’t give the best result for some people. Why? There are a few reasons. Firstly, many shave creams have a high pH (>8) which has the potential to help weaken the hairs to facilitate shaving.

Although a high pH might weaken the hair for cutting, it can also disrupt the skin’s acid barrier that protects us from harmful bacteria and foreign particles. The barrier’s destruction can be very irritating for some, resulting in break-outs, dryness and a feeling of tightness in the skin.

2. Shave soaps (especially the high foaming types) don't create a good barrier for the razor blade

A second reason is that some cheaper shave creams lack the ingredients that provide an optimal layer of lubrication and hydration on the skin. In combination with an old or blunt razor, this may cause inflammation on account of a rough shave, which your skin will hate you for.

3. Shave soaps don't allow you to see what you're shaving

On application, shave soaps create a thick white layer over the shaving surface. The downside of this is that it completely obscures the view of the skin underneath. At this point it's easy to accidentally cut into skin tags, pimples, moles, previous shaving nicks etc. A shave oil is superior in this regard because it's crystal clear, so you can navigate around any areas that you don't want to hit with the razor.

4. Shave soaps can dry out mid-way through a shave

The shaving process takes time to do well. Especially when it comes to getting a clean shave around the jawline & chin, where the curvature can be tricky. Some folks find that by the time they're half way through the shave, the shave soap is starting to lose it's lather & dry out.

By the time this area is hit with the blade, the lubrication is sub-standard, increasing the likelihood of shaving rash. Shave oils do not dry out so the length of time it takes you to complete the shave is not a problem. The thin layer of lubrication will be there waiting for you when you're ready to pass the blade over.

What to Look for in a Shave Oil

Shave oils provide a great, and often, cheaper alternative for men with sensitive skin. They can also be used as a ‘pre-shave’ lubricating layer before the application of a shave soap to double down on the lubrication for the ultimate in razor glide. When choosing a shave oil, look for products that contain oils such as rice bran or castor oil. These oils consist of omega-9 fatty acids, which are not readily absorbed by the hair and skin, and thus provide a thick and abundant lubricating layer. Omega-9 fatty acids contained in these oils also have good anti-inflammatory properties!  

Side note: we don't recommend using a beard oil for shaving or vice versa. Beard oils are designed to soak into the hair  skin whereas shave oils are not.

If your skin is comfortable enough to take on a shave soap, the finest results will come when you first apply a shave oil before lathering up on the shave soap. However, a well formulated shave oil is perfectly fine to use on its own.

Some people out there are still sceptical when it comes to shave oil, often saying that it doesn’t accommodate for a great shave like a cream does. They usually say this because they are razor rookies and don’t use a decent shaving technique. Shaving requires a proper technique for optimal results, no burns, no nicks, and no ingrown hairs.

How to Use Shave Oil

The way you use shave oil will differ depending on whether you're using a blade or an electric shaver (yes shave oil is awesome for both). Here, we'll cover each method in detail so you can get the best shave.

1. Using Shave Oil With a Razor Blade (Wet Shave)

Read below to understand instructions and learn a good technique when shaving with shave oils:

Step 1: Before you shave you need to make sure your face is clean and moist. Shaving is ideal directly after a showering, as your face will be clean, the hot water will soften your skin and facial hair & open up your pores. Remember the golden rule with shaving, pre-soaking your hair with warm water for 2 minutes will drastically reduce the cutting force necessary to slice the hair.  Alternatively soak your facial hair with warm water in the sink or apply a clean damp towel to your face.

Step 2: Whilst keeping your face moistened with water, apply a couple of drops of shave oil onto clean palms & rub onto the regions of your face you wish to shave, creating a very thin slick over the surface. Wait momentarily to let the oil absorb a little into your skin & hair.

Step 3 (Optional): Apply shave cream or soap, in an even spread on top of the oil. This is only really necessary for blokes with really sensitive skin or if you need to use a slightly dull razor because you don't have a sharp one to hand (we don't recommend this but sometimes the need may arise).

Step 4: Using a clean, sharp razor blade of your choosing shave your face and remember to use the weight of the razor to guide you rather than applying more force. This will reduce razor rash, nicks and cuts. Remember to shave with the grain (not against) to reduce irritation.  If you have some of those stubborn hairs that just won't cut properly with the grain you can go diagonally (not directly) against the grain to get those suckers off your face.

Step 5: Wash and rinse face with cold water to remove excess oil/soap and hair clippings. The cold water will close your pores reducing the capabilities of dirt from entering your skin, therefore minimizing ingrown hairs pimples.

Step 6: Moisturise! Moisturising will assist in cooling down your face, softening the skin, reduce irritation and inject moisture and vitality into your newly shaven face.  We recommend a good quality post-shave hydrating gel that contains things like aloe vera and glycerin.


  • Make sure your towel, razor and face are clean
  • Hot showers or using  hot towel will soften your hair
  • Cold water will close your pores back up after the shave

2. Using Shave Oil with an Electric Shaver

Using shave oil with an electric shaver is a great way to get a close, comfortable shave without irritation and dryness. Here are some tips for using shave oil with an electric shaver:

  1. Begin by washing your face with warm water and a gentle cleanser to remove any dirt and oil from your skin. This will help to ensure that your shave oil is able to penetrate the skin and beard properly.

  2. Apply a small amount of shave oil to your fingers and massage it into your skin and beard. Make sure to coat the entire area that you will be shaving, including the neck and jawline. I find that less is more here. Make sure you don't an observable slick over the skin, just a very light coating is all you need.

  3. I find I get better results when I allow the shave oil to sit on the skin for a little bit. Allow about 30 seconds to a minute to allow it to penetrate and soften the skin and beard. 

  4. Once the shave oil has had a chance to work its magic, you are ready to begin shaving. Turn on your electric shaver and start at the sideburns, moving down the sides of your face and then across your chin and neck. Sometimes I find my electric shaver simply refuses to cut hairs in the crevices of my jawline so I have to get in there with a razor just on those parts from time to time.

  5. Rinse your face with warm water to remove any excess shave oil and to reveal your freshly shaved skin.

  6. Follow up with a moisturizer or aftershave balm to soothe and hydrate your skin. This will help to lock in moisture and prevent dryness and irritation.

Using shave oil with an electric shaver can help to give you a close, comfortable shave without irritation and dryness. It is a great way to protect your skin and keep it looking and feeling its best. Just make sure to use a small amount of shave oil and to rinse your face thoroughly after shaving to remove any excess oil. With a little practice, you'll be able to achieve a perfect shave every time.

Is Shave Oil Good for Sensitive Skin?

Shave oil is generally considered to be a good choice for people with sensitive skin, as it can help to reduce irritation and dryness during the shaving process. Here are a few reasons why shave oil is good for sensitive skin:

  1. Shave oil is made from natural, plant-based oils, such as jojoba, argan, and coconut oil, which are gentle on the skin and do not contain any harsh chemicals or artificial fragrances. This makes it a good choice for people with sensitive skin, as it is less likely to cause irritation or reactions.

  2. Shave oil creates a thin, even layer on the skin that is ideal for shaving. It helps to lubricate the skin and beard, making it easier for the razor to glide over the skin without pulling or tugging. This can help to minimize irritation and prevent razor burn.

  3. Shave oil helps to moisturize and nourish the skin, which can be especially beneficial for people with sensitive skin. It helps to lock in moisture and keep the skin hydrated, which can help to reduce dryness and flakiness.

  4. Shave oil is easy to apply and can be used in place of traditional shaving creams or soaps. It is a very concentrated product, so a little goes a long way, making it a cost-effective choice for those who shave regularly.

Overall, shave oil is a good choice for people with sensitive skin who want a close, comfortable shave without irritation and dryness. It is made from natural, plant-based oils that are gentle on the skin, and it helps to lubricate and moisturize the skin, making it easier to shave and preventing irritation and dryness. Just be sure to follow the instructions for use, and to start with a small amount of shave oil to see how your skin reacts.

Milkman Shave Oil

australian made shave oil

With all of the advantages of shave oil in mind, for us it was a no-brainer for us to spend a year formulating a high performance oil for our Australian & international customers. When we developed this product in 2015, shave oil was trending upwards in popularity so we were careful to examine what was available & make sure our version would stand out from the pack. 

The result is Milkman's Razor Rail Shave Oil which has now made it's way to tens of thousands of bathrooms world wide. Here are the key features that make it an excellent choice for daily shavers, especially those with sensitive skin:

1. It's Vegan

The entire formulation has been created with 100% botanicals to ensure a high quality product without harming animals. Our field testing was done only on humans (no animal testing either), firstly in the lab and then in numerous barber shops. The feedback was incredible so we knew we were onto something.

2. It uses an low-irritancy, all natural fragrance

The fragrance is a combination of natural ingredients like peppermint, spruce hemlock, rosemary & menthol. It's a refreshing, yet masculine aroma, that leaves you feeling fresh & clean.

3. It's easy to apply

The drip applicator & squeezy bottle make it simple to use & measure out the required amount without going overboard. 

4. It's suitable for blades & electric shavers

The dual action formula is thick enough to provide a barrier for blade shaving, whilst being just absorptive enough to facilitate electric shaving without clogging up your shaver head. 

5. It's excellent value

For less than 20 bucks you get a 50 ml bottle, which is huge by shave oil standards. As only a few drops are needed per shave, each bottle will last you a very long time. 

6. It's easy to buy

Just scroll below and add the Milkman Shave Oil to your cart. We ship same day & will get you your bottle pretty much anywhere in the world in a matter of days using DHL Express & Australia Post.




science writer dr benjamin de campo 

 Dr Benjamin De Campo

Ben studied Pharmacology & Toxicology at the University of Western Australia where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science (with 1st Class Honours) & a PhD. He went on to complete a law degree & spent almost 10 years advising in the fields of medicine, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics & nutrition before starting his own cosmetics company Milkman Grooming Co & white labelling for other personal care brands.  


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