Why I shaved my face with peanut butter
I don't even know how I grew a beard so fast.
But I like to turn lemons into lemonade and, for the sake of an internet myth, peanut butter into shaving cream. There isn't a complicated recipe here, this is just plain old peanut butter out of the jar, smooth, that you rub on and shave off. I was inspired thanks to my last article, I was looking up some less toxic ways to shave (some of our general shaving products found in drug stores aren't the best for our bodies) when I stumbled upon many people saying that peanut butter was a good lubricant for shaving. There's been a few videos on YouTube and people on the internet who advocate for it but I haven't been able to find reasons why people do it or how it originated. In theory, the oil from the peanut butter should help the blade glide and since peanut butter has vitamin E, it should help your skin out after a shave. Aside from that, it looks like people just found the closest thing to shaving cream around their house and started using it.
I decided to try my experiment at night, and only on my neck. I figured if I had some kind of allergic outbreak, it would be kept to my neck and well, hopefully by morning it would be gone. The experiment went as such:
1. Put a hot moist towel on my neck to soften the hairs, a hot shower would have also worked.
2. On my left side, smear plain old shaving cream (using canned stuff to mimic what many have at home)
3. On my right side, smear peanut butter.
4. Shave with a safety razor.
It sounds simple enough, until I began to execute. Putting peanut butter on your body isn't the greatest feeling. For one, it's sticky and oily, it feels gross. This is made worse if it's not even warm because you're trying to spread cold, clumpy, grainy peanut butter on yourself. Essentially it is like rubbing oily sand on your body. And it's going to get stuck in the hairs you're trying to shave off and it will feel wrong, very wrong. Very much unlike shaving cream which flows effortlessly around hairs and leaves you feeling less like a tarred bird.
After the struggle of application, I got my razor ready. I took a swipe through the cream and it was a normal nice cut. I was left with a clean close shave. The peanut butter was another story, a terrible story.
You aren't really shaving, you have to hack away to really get it to work. The peanut butter forms a glue with the hair and all you can do it take these deep (borderline scary), short, cuts into that peanut buttery brown mess and hope that you're shaving and not cutting yourself. And if the hair does come out, it gets stuck in your blade. Now, I have a safety razor which opens like a butterfly which makes it extremely easy to clean. This meant that every two strokes, I had to reopen my razor and clean out the peanut butter. If, however, you have a standard razor like a Gillette Mach Something or a Lady Schick, you would probably be screwed. That icky mess of peanut butter and hair will get stuck in your razor and within a few strokes, ruin a perfectly good razor.
I powered through in the name finding the truth behind this myth and after diluting the peanut butter way down with water, I made progress. What I was left with was an identical shave on both sides. The peanut butter side though was felt feeling silky smooth thanks to the oil in peanut butter. I was sure that the tugging and pulling of the peanut butter on hair would have caused a mess of irritation but there were no razor bumps and no redness.
My only major complaint was the feeling. Some people do rub oil on their skin after a shave, I'm not one of them so having that sticky feeling made me most uncomfortable. I also do NOT want to walk around smelling like peanut butter, so I washed it off.
With about 30 minutes past my initial shave and rinse, the peanut butter side is still smoother. I must have left on some of the oil when rinsing but the smell is gone.
UPDATE: In the morning, I awoke to one side of my neck red and with bumps, as you can guess, it was the peanut butter side. All of that tugging and chopping with my razor did catch up to me and aggravate my skin. It looks I rested half of my neck in a pile of thorns. Fantastic.
VERDICT: I would highly not recommend putting peanut butter anywhere on your body that has hair and then shaving it. It is wrong on many levels. I don't even think the smooth (oily) feeling afterward is worth it because you can just put an aftershave lotion to help with that. There are many things that could go wrong with peanut butter such as: encountering someone who is allergic to peanut butter and giving them an allergic reaction, giving yourself an allergic reaction, clogging your razors, dulling your razor, causing skin irritations from the pulling, clogging your pores with the oil, and you could even be clogging your drains with all that oily build up which would be very bad. So while it seemed like an interesting concept, I will never shave with peanut butter again.