In my mind, the shaving cream was meant to be the core of the Osmotics Male regimen of four products. Indeed, one is expected to start the regimen by cleaning the skin in order to being able to shave (see previous post, LINK). After shaving (the step they call “correct”), one will then have the opportunity to “defend” with the after-shave and “protect” with the moisturizer. In truth, without the shaving step there is little point to the whole caboodle and, as such, this was the one I was asked to review in the first place.

Strangely enough, Osmotics’ shaving cream may be the product with the weakest personality of the series. There is nothing fundamentally wrong or right with this product; it mostly does the job, but not very well. After three weeks of studious testing, I am still challenged to come up with anything striking.

The cream is white and creamy, but it was already separating out of my new tube (into oil and slightly dryer white stuff) despite the PEG-8 binding agent. This is similar to when you open last year’s sun screen lotion. I assume this may be a unique manufacturing issue for this batch, nevertheless it does not quite inspire confidence at the outset.

The lathering on the face is easy but there is no real foam and it is so "buttery" that it is difficult to know if one has put enough at the right places. This may due to the lubricant, myristic acid, an element that is later most welcome when the shaving starts! Anyway, a balance should be found as, most of the time, I ended up adding more product just to be sure of coverage.

As promised, the shave is close to the skin, and this is a critical and positive element (so close actually that it resulted in few minor cuts once on a while), but the cream does not appear to raise the hair to allow for cutting closer to the root. As a result, where my facial hair is growing perpendicular to the skin (e.g. the chin), the shave is excellent but where the hair grows nearly parallel to the skin, e.g. lower mustaches or lower neck, one needs multiple passages and even shaving against the grain of the hair to achieve any visible result. Not only, this is a pain and is neither efficientt nor efficacious, it can create skin irritation if the razor is not brand new. This is one of these moments when one misses granddad’s shaving products full of camphor and menthol, despite their other harmful ingredients (or like Kiehl's, covered more recently). The only ingredient in the Osmotics shaving cream that seems to be shaving cream-specific is methyl gluceth-20 as it is specifically used for its moisture retentive qualities and ability to open pores and follicles. Perhaps isn’t there enough of it to make a real impact? More likely, the product needs more work to customize the Osmotics approach to the actual usage intended here.

Looking at the other ingredients, they seem fairly innocuous with a majority of classic surfactants and an emulsifier. An interesting addition is emu oil which is meant to be a mild pain killer and, you guessed it, comes from the eponymous bird!

The list finishes with no fewer than four parabens. As you know, they are not our favourite ingredients here at Truth In Aging as they are reported to mimic estrogens and thus may be carcinogenic, but, being last on the list, one hopes quantities are minimal.

All in all, Osmotics Ultra Shave Butter has little “Ultra” about it and I am starting to form an early point of view on the Osmototics line of products for men: the original inspiration comes from sophisticated women’s skincare products but little thought or effort has been given to adapt them to men’s shaving regimen. We will test this idea in the next post when reviewing the star product of Osmotics line: Ble Copper 5, adapted here as an aftershave.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Myristic Acid, PEG-8, Octyldodecyl Benzoate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Cetyl Alcohol, Methyl Gluceth-20, Emu Oil, Benzocaine, Bisabolol, Fragrance Oil, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben.