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Borrowed From the Boys

Barbasol Shaving Cream
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Barbasol Shaving Cream
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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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