It was just a few months before Linda and I got married. We were living in Redwood City, California, and renting a split-level house. I went upstairs to shave and decided I’d do something different and shave off my beard and mustache. I came back downstairs, clean shaven, and looking pretty different. So different, in fact, that our dogs started barking at me: they didn’t recognize that strange man coming downstairs. Linda? She took one look and said “okay. You have three months to grow it back before the wedding.”
Since then, I have had facial hair. My 16yo daughter has never seen me without it. When I divorced I toyed with the idea of going clean shaven again, but truth be told, I’d become used to not having to worry about shaving every day and instead changed it up by going from a full beard to a goatee. Still mostly looks the same, but a bit neater.
In the last few years, I’ve received a rather remarkable amount of mens grooming products and tried them all out dutifully, since having a goatee means I need a beard trimmer to keep it neat and a razor to keep the rest of my face smooth and clean. With a drawerful of electric razors and trimmers, it’s been quite a while since I actually used a proper razor too, but when Aveeno offered to send me out samples of their products, I assented, deciding I’d give that ol’ triple-edge razor a try too.
Enter the Aveeno for Men line. I received shave gel, after shave lotion and face wash to try out. And I dug up my razor for the experiment. Now I should admit that even with the goatee, even with a top-of-the-line Panasonic electric razor, I still don’t shave every day. Probably every 2-3 days unless there’s a reason I want to look particularly clean and neat.
I started with the shave gel and rather made a mess of things: it’s a different kind of gel dispenser than the old-school shaving creams I used pre-electric, but a tiny bit squirted onto my hand was plenty for my entire face. Then I shaved and it clearly helped lubricate my face because I barely felt the razor at all. No nicks, no cuts. Please.
After, I washed the remaining gel off and tried the after shave lotion, an almond scented lotion that I actually didn’t like very much. I did the smell test, going around and asking both my girls (9 and 16) to smell my face. Yes, that’s what I said. And they did. Man, having kids can be awesome. :-)
But neither liked the smell. Now what’s confusing is that on the information page for the Aveeno after shave lotion it says it’s fragrance free, but that almond smell is coming from somewhere. So the score so far: gel = +1, after shave lotion = -1. In fact, I felt greasy for the rest of the day as the lotion, rather surprisingly, didn’t actually absorb into my skin.
Finally, this morning I tried out the facial wash, being a big fan of the Dove Men+Care face wash product, and was surprised to find that the Aveeno wash has an exfoliating ingredient (basically a “gritty” substance) that’s apparently natural colloidal oatmeal. Whatever it is, I really like it, and since I’m trying to get into a routine of washing my face every morning and evening, I’m definitely a fan of a product that both cleans my face well and moisturizes. Makes those circles under my eyes look a bit less noticeable, which is good!
So all in all, I’m still not a fan of shaving, even with these new products. Using the gel, then a razor, then washing it off, then using after shave lotion, it’s all a big hassle when I’d rather just have a few swipes of my electric razor and be done for the day. Is it as close a shave? No. But is it 90% as good? Yup, and that’s good enough for this busy dad. The real winner in this mix? The Aveeno Men’s Face Wash. They can send me a few more of those. :-)