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Borrowed From the Boys

Barbasol Shaving Cream
Barbasol Shaving Cream

It recently dawned on me—while in the shower, as most things do—that one of the products I’ve been using the longest, I hadn’t read about in a magazine. I found it in my father’s medicine cabinet when I was fifteen: Barbasol shaving cream, the original “Beard Buster.” I gave the stuff a whirl after running out of my mango-shortcake-whip-cream-whatever girlie shaving cream (they’ve gone a little nuts with those, no?) and never looked back. Actually, Aveeno’s Positively Smooth Shave Gel is pretty great…but it’s— gasp—$5. And guess how much that no-frills can of Barbasol on the shelf below it will set you back? $2.79. That’s weeks of smooth legs (or cheeks) for less than a cappuccino. In fact, the bottle doesn’t even hav e a cap. But, boy, does it have pedigree: a former MIT professor created the cream in 1919 as a non-lathering alternative to the standard soap-and-brush routine. Today’s Barbasol is an ultra-thick, surprisingly luxurious foam. I imagine that the fragrance has stayed the same, which is to say…classic barbershop; predictably old-school but not overpowering. There are a few spinoffs with slight variations—“Sensitive Skin” with aloe; “Pacific Rush” scent if you feel so inclined—but I’m sticking with the original. Sometimes, dad knows best.

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