The MÖ Aesthetic Clinic


Shaving has come a long way since prehistoric man first scraped a seashell across his cheeks. We have since left behind what was once a glorious male tradition passed down from father to son; and today’s high-tech shaving world is full of gadgets, gizmos, dull disposable razors with cartridges containing a multitude of blades and even electric razors that one can use in the shower!

Most men have found a comfortable way to shave - and they are sticking with it, however there are still many that hate the thought of the morning shaving routine. It’s no surprise that the current trend is a return to the traditional ’brush & bowl’ wet shave which some thought went out with cassette tapes. This is actually the best quality shave one can get.

Badger Hair & Synthetic Shaving Brushes

The best shaving brushes are made from badger hair as its tough yet pliable and it has excellent water retaining properties. It’s also a wonderful and traditional way to shave, and looked after properly, a brush will last for many years. Badger hair shaving brushes are often finished with a porcelain or ivory handle and they are the ultimate luxury bathroom item.

There are several types available. ‘Best’ badger brushes are made with the finer, more pliable hairs of the badger’s body whilst ’pure’ badger brushes use the most common hair from the underbelly of a badger. ’Silvertip’ badger brushes are usually the most expensive as they use the hair from a rare type of badger and the tips of the hair are naturally white.

For those who are looking for a less expensive and cruelty-free version of the badger hair shaving brush, synthetic brushes are becoming more popular. They are easier to clean as the bristles do not fall out. Synthetic bristles are very soft and offer a certain amount of resistance to raise the beard up in preparation for shaving. Their non-absorbent property also means using less shaving cream or soap.

After use, a badger hair brush should always be placed in a purpose build stand so that the hairs are pointing downwards and the water does not soak in towards the handle.

Creams, Lotions and Potions

If and when reverting to the traditional way of shaving, it is best to experiment with several shaving creams which are purpose made for wet shaving. Many of these however tend to focus on fragrance such as Sandalwood, lime or freshly cut lavenders ... and not so much on the hypoallergenic ingredients which can help the shaving process, especially relevant if one has sensitive skin.

Due to the slightly coarse nature of badger hair, badger shaving brushes also act as a mild exfoliator. If you are one of the many who suffer from irritation, razor bumps nicks, cuts or razor burn, it may be time for a review of your daily shaving procedure.

If your face gets irritated from shaving, shaving products containing aloe can help. The problem can also be caused by shaving in a hurry and thereby not rinsing the face with enough with water. You should also leave the lather on for an absolute minimum of 30-seconds to soften the bristle as poor shave preparation is one of the most common reasons for shaving irritation.  

Get Yourself in Hot Water

Hot water is essential and the key to an effective and hygienic shave. It softens the beard making it easier to cut through and it also cleans the dirt and dead skin that can build up around the beard hairs. With plenty of hot water on your skin, the blade skims the surface instead of dragging on it, which can be a cause of redness, irritation and / or shave bumps. For best results, try shaving after a hot shower or – if you have plenty of time - use the old-fashioned method of applying a towel soaked in hot water. Using a daily exfoliator during this process will further help to clear away any dead skin and allow the hot water to penetrate the beard and skin. Rinsing with fresh water post-shave is just as important as this will take away any impurities that may be left.

Double-Edge Safety Razors

There are several high-quality non-disposable wet razors on the market and I would highly recommend buying the best you can afford. Whilst the old-fashioned straight (cut-throat) razors are still available in some places, the best (and safest) place to experience them is at a professional barber. Those connoisseurs seriously well-versed in the art of wet shaving will opt for the classic double-edge (DE) safety razor. They need a lot more care and attention during shave but you will not believe the difference in how close a shave you can get. There are a variety of high-quality, precision-made DE safety razors available, some with platinum-coated blades.

As a word of caution, if you are considering switching to a DE razor, you need to re-learn your shaving technique from scratch and lose the bad habits that you may have formed using a disposable blade. That means slower, more careful strokes; carefully guiding the razor’s head over your skin; and above all, it is vital that you do not press the blade down at all! Don’t worry – once you get used to it, you will never revert back.

If it all sounds a bit too dangerous, a cartridge razor and a badger’s hair brush is also a good combination.

Needless to say, a clean towel to dry off is essential so as not to put back any bacteria that you have just washed away. Pat your face with the towel and do not rub it and then apply a non-alcohol-based after-shave or moisturizer. Beware - anything containing alcohol at this stage may put you into orbit. Ideally, your everyday product range will contain a moisturizer suitable for this purpose.  

Skin Conditions

There are also several pre-shave oils that help to moisturize the skin and soften beard hairs, however as men’s hormones tend to produce more oil, these may be best avoided depending upon your skin type. If you have acne or oily skin as a result of overactive sebaceous glands, using a pure oil may increase the excessive production of sebum; and increase the number and size of already large pores which may have become clogged with oil and dirt. This may also cause inflammation. If you do have oily skin, you may wish to try the MÖ Clarifying Serum followed by MÖ Rx Peptide Crème as a moisturizer.

For razor bumps, which can be caused by ingrown hairs, look for soaps or liquid cleansers that contain salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or benzyl peroxide as these exfoliating agents remove the upper layers of dead skin and have antibacterial properties. They are also more effective for deeper cleaning of pores. To avoid further irritating your skin, look for hypoallergenic products which do not contain fragrance. You may wish to try the MÖ Calming Serum and MÖ Rx Peptide Crème as a moisturizer.

Shaving every day actually exfoliates that part of the face; however it can also lead to dryness. Some basic shaving creams have the same effect as using soap, which dries out the skin even more. Although most men prefer bars of soap to liquid cleansers, shaving with it is not a good idea unless you use moisturizing soaps with emollients such as glycerin, or those made with vitamin E oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil.  If not, you will know soon after your shave if using a soap bar is the method for you.

If your skin is normal and you do not experience problems with shaving, you may wish to try the MÖ Vitamin A Skin Renewal followed by MÖ Hydra+ DMAE Age Remover as a moisturizer. If however your skin is beginning to show signs of dullness, the MÖ Super Antioxidant Crème is an ultra-rich moisturizer that releases powerful nutrients to encourage healthy, vibrant skin. The product contains DMAE, Cranberry Seed Oil, and CoEnzyme Q10.

Buy the Best

The difference in price between the basic and excellent quality shaving products is minimal and it’s well worth the small extra investment to buy the best – and which may last you a long time. If you do decide to re-create the lost art of shaving, you may wish to ditch the shaving creams, foams and gels that come in a can and instead visit Taylor of Old Bond Street or Geo F Trumper, and immerse yourself in an era of old-school European tradition formerly experienced by your ancestors.



By Paul Olavesen-Stabb

Paul Olavesen-Stabb has spent most of his adult life learning about skincare and trying the treatments and products available to men.

In addition to being a film producer, Paul is also a strategic business advisor to his family business Scandinavian Skincare Systems. He has for the past 21 years been involved in all aspects of skincare.



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