Dermalogica Close Shave Oil, it really works !



I have to admit that I hate shaving. It seems such a waste of time to me.

Every morning I need to devote 10-15 minutes to scrape the dead wire-like hair off my face.

Not only is it messy, but it hurts. I have tried an electric razor but it just doesn’t cut it.

Only in recent years have I been able to shave with a blade razor. My facial skin has been too sensitive to cope with a razor blade. Any small cuts would turn into a pustule. Any small papule was in danger of being sliced open. The irritation from shaving certainly didn’t enhance the redness of my rosacea.

I have seen shaving oils talked about in the past. Surely they don’t work though right ? The best way to shave is to have a heap of creamy lather ? Well now I’m not sure. In fact I’m almost ready to discard shaving cream for good.

For the last 2 weeks I have been using Dermalogica Close Shave Oil. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I no longer cut myself during my early morning facial scraping. Not only do I emerge from the bathroom without several nicks (suggesting that I don’t know how to shave) I also have the closest and smoothest shave I can remember.

As the oil is clear and you apply so little, you can see exactly where you are shaving. Until you get used it actually working you won’t believe that something you can’t see actually does a good job.

The slight smell reminds me a bit of camphor oil, it is a little bit of an unusual smell, certainly not the perfume I used to.

The instructions say to shake a few drops into a wet palm and smooth over dampened area to be shaved. Rinse razor often. This last tip is important as the oil tends to cause the razor to become blocked with the accumulation of the stubble. If you don’t rinse often and vigorously, you will certainly clog the razor solid.

Afterwards I find that my usual cleanser – Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser doesn’t give a great feeling of washing off the oil. I moisturize anyway with Cetaphil Moisturizer and so far I haven’t noticed any bad reaction from the oil.

The price may seem a little steep for a small bottle, but 4 drops is enough for a strong beard. I expect my bottle to last several months at least. The oil is perfect for travelling, the bottle is so much smaller and lighter than a can of shaving foam.

Hey one last tip – it is great for shaving your legs too.

Official Product Description

“This slick oil is perfect for shaving goatees, moustaches and sideburns, or for those who prefer maximum visibility while shaving. Formulated with a rich blend of botanicals, Close Shave Oil comforts and soothes the skin while lifting the hairs for an irritation-free finish. Silicones allow the razor to glide evenly over the skin to minimize the risk of nicks, cuts and razor burn. Camphor diminishes irritation while thyme, clove, lavender and tea tree condition and soften the skin. Free of artificial colorants and fragrances, and suitable for shaving the head.”

Dermalogica Close Shave Oil Ingredients

The first ingredients give a clue to why to works so well – lubricants that help the razor smooth across the skin.

Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Amodimethicone, Dimethiconol, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citris Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Ocimum Basililicum (Basil) Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang-Ylang) Flower Oil, Pinus Palustris (Pine) Oil, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Oil, Eugenia Carypophyllus (Clove) Flower Oil, Pogostemon Cablin Oil, Cedrus Atlantica (Cedarwood) Bark Oil, Melaleuca Leucadendron Cajaput Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Camphor, Limonene, Linalool.

Final Remarks

OK, I don’t think I have raved about a product in this way for a long time. It is nice to find a product that you really like, one that works as it is advertised. I think this oil will remain in my box of toiletries.

If you find shaving is causing you irritation, please let us know if this product helps you.

Product Discontinued

Sadly Dermalogica has discontinued its Close Shave Oil product.

King of Shaves Advanced Shave Oil

I found the oil continued to work well but it was just a bit too expensive, so have swapped to King of Shaves Advanced Shave Oil. This oil is almost as slippery as the Dermalogica and much cheaper.

Advanced Shave Oil Ingredients

Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Trimethylsiloxyamodimethicone, Melaleuca Altemifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil (Tea Tree), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil (Orange), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil (Lavender), Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil (Clove), Pogostemon Cablin Oil, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil (Basil), Cedar (Cedrus Atlantica) Oil (Cedarwood), Pinus Palustris, Cinnamomum Camphora (Camphor) Bark Oil

(Camphor), Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil, Eugenol, Limonene, Linalool

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About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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16 Reader Comments

  1. Charles says:

    I shave in the shower, I found I can shave with Cetaphil cleanser alone, if my beard isn’t too long.

  2. I have often wondered about shaving in the shower. Does it get too misty ? Do you need a small convex mirror on the wall ? I like the sound of using the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser though – that ought to work well.

  3. GJ says:

    About to tackle one of Thorpe’s records, David? A little impromptu surgery, with a hunting knife, about the lower limb?

    The rosacean might find that most benign oils – jojoba, Vita, emu – do a reasonable job at this.

    Better yet, choose a career (or attain a postion) where shaving is not considered a requirement.

    A delightful yet manly stubble can be maintained – with very little trauma to the skin – with, say, the Babyliss I-Trim (I think it is).

    Oh yes.

  4. I can neither confirm nor deny that I am as smooth as Thorpe.

    I would love to be Italian, a groomed stubble would be so much easier !

  5. Naturaltreatments says:

    Hi David

    I’m glad you like it. Dermalogica products in general are not perfect, but this is a gem as you say, and worth the steep price you pay for it.

  6. Peter says:

    Hello David

    These links may be useful.

    The one you are using sounds very expensive compared to some of the other oils on the market. I got one recently for £1 called 4 Men Ultra Smooth Shaving Oil (18ml) and it claims to be 100% natural. I currently get a good shave using a Mach3 Turbo razor and Clinique M Shave Aloe Gel but apparently you can also use these shave oils under your usual shaving gel or cream for an even superior shave. As said in one of the links “No matter which product you use, your shave will, in large part, be only as good as the razor you have chosen. Choose the best blade that you can afford and replace as needed.”



  7. Thanks Peter,

    I agree the razor is also very important. Something with a lubricating strip is a necessity for me. Also it is good to not use them too long so that you are only using a sharp blade. Once they start to get blunt I start to get nicks and it starts to hurt more. I must just be a wuss ….


  8. Peter says:


    I tend to change my blade every 4 shaves otherwise they start to irritate when shaving daily. The Mach3 turbo blades are expensive – in the supermarket here they can cost £13 for 8 blades but I have found a local shop where they sell them for £11. There must be a huge mark up on razor blades as they probably cost pennies to mass produce and I expect we are getting ripped off.

    Shaving is a bit like decorating where preparation is the key 🙂 I find washing with soap first in the hottest water I can tolerate really helps prepare my skin for a close comfortable shave and I then finish up by rinsing in cold water. Using Aloe vera gel after this is very soothing and prevents any irritation.



  9. Wow just 4 shaves, I feel like a real stinge trying to get at least 2 weeks out of my razor. I use Gillette Blue 2 with a strip thingo – and think they are over priced. They are cheap compared to Mach3 Turbo !

    Gillette sure has us all paying too much for a simple product – don’t you hate that. I was talking to my barber this morning and he was bemoaning the cost of his single blade razors too.

    I like aloe vera gel after a big day outside, but the stuff I use is quite sticky so I haven’t been brave enough to try it on my face yet. So it seems I may be a stinge and a wuss at the same time 🙂

    Shaving after a shower is a good idea of course, so the preparation of getting the hair soft to start with can start there.

    Whoever thought us guys could keep a discussion like this going so long …

  10. Pipps says:

    Shaving in the shower, at the very end of the daily ritual, with a single-blade Bic razor, and a bar of creamy Dove soap, is the best possible way for us sensitive-skinned gents to get the grooming we need. Many years of painful experimentation have taught me this.

    I have tried everything – even including straight olive oil, in the past. So whether this Dermatologica oil can beat bar-soap is the big question. To be honest, I will be very surprised if it can.

    Though I am always glad to give something new a try. I will report back with my findings!

  11. Hi Pipps,

    I think you will find this sort of oil will feel completely different to creamy soap or indeed olive oil. It is very silicone like, very very slippery. Even though you can’t see it on your face it is doing a good job of help the razor slide over the skin while protecting it at the same time.

    Good luck, let us know if you like it.


  12. Peter says:

    Many thanks for the ‘close shave oil’ tip David!
    I use if for a couple of month now and it makes all the difference to me in smoothness and I actually stopped cutting my self or opening up these little papules.

    Dermalogica should reward you for these tips ;)!

    All the best,

  13. Ronnie says:

    David, I can’t thank you enough for posting about Dermatolgica close shave oil. I have been a Braun foil shaver for years (I’m 59). I recently purchased a Panasonic foil and it provides a much better shave although I was a little disappointed because of the stainless steel foil that Panasonic uses, it does not glide as smoothly over the face of dry skin as the Braun did. I hope that the Dermatolgica oil doesn’t irritate my rosacea skin because I am blown away as to how smooth my Panasonic moved over my face skin. Thank you so much for all the many ways you offer help to rosaceans.

  14. Ronnie says:

    I don’t think I expressed myself correctly in my previous posting. I wanted to share that I am amazed as to how smoothly my Panasonic shaver now moves over my face skin, since I started using the Dermatolgica oil.

  15. I came across this product and thought it might be worth trying Art of Shaving After Shave Lotion-Ocean Kelp. If it works as well as the name sounds – that would be nice.

  16. This product – Dermalogica Close Shave Oil has been discontinued.

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