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How to Choose the Best Shaving Cream for You

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shaving with an ax
Whatever tool you choose, a great shaving cream can give you a better shave. See more personal hygiene pictures.

We have many choices available to us when it comes to removing face or body hair. There's a wide array of razors, ranging from electric to six-bladed wonders. There are creams, gels and lotions to soften the hairs and enable the razor to glide over the face without hacking it to pieces. There are even chemical depilatories that dissolve hair and waxes that allow you to pull it off with ease. For a more permanent option, there's electrolysis or laser hair removal.

It's quite an improvement over the choices of old, which for quite some time consisted largely of clamshells or shark teeth. Moving up through time, different cultures experimented with new ways to shave:

  • The Egyptians used razors made of copper or solid gold.
  • In the 4th century B.C., Romans used a sharpened block of iron or a pumice stone to scrape and scratch the hair off their faces.
  • Other cultures used whatever was handy, like volcanic glass, to shave.
  • Around 1762, the earliest designs for the safety razor appeared, and they were being produced and sold in England by 1828.
  • In 1901, a man named King Gillette introduced the world's first disposable safety razor. Only the blade was disposable.
  • Jacob Schick began selling his patented electric shaving device in 1931, and it was a success right out of the gate.
  • In the 1960s, Bic produced the first completely disposable razor -- consumers could chuck the entire thing and easily replace it.

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  • The twin-blade razor was rolled out in 1971.
  • Gillette unleashed the three-blade razor in 1998.
  • In 2008, Dorco offered the world's first six-blade razor.

Yet, despite all these advances in razors, there still isn't a single shaving cream that works for everybody. So how do you choose the best shaving cream? Does it make a difference if you're shaving with a clamshell? Keep reading to find out.