I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the men’s grooming racket is an oversaturated market I’d never want to be in. Is anyone ever going to really reinvent the way we shave in our lifetime? No. The only recent breakthrough is a disruptive price-breaking, direct-to-consumer delivery system from the likes of Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club. As far as product goes, no one is reinventing any wheels. But every five minutes or so, it feels like every Tom, Dick and shaving company is trying. #GoodLuckWithThat

I love a fancy shave cream just as much as the next guy – one that does the job, makes me feel cool and looks good in my bathroom. But I also run out of said fancy shave cream and need to make an emergency run to CVS for a quick fix now and then. In situations like this, I can always count on old reliable Barbasol.

Yes, Barbasol. It never gave me a bad shave. In fact, it always gave me a consistently good shave, and it happens to be the cream I used for my very first shave at age fourteen. But over the years, I felt pressure to keep up with the Joneses and upgrade to premium creams that promised a better shave, offered more cachet and cost more money. To be totally honest, I cannot claim with any conviction that those creams gave me a substantially better shave. Different, yes. But better? Not really, at least for me.

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Barbasol is an old American company founded in 1919 by Frank Shields, a former M.I.T. professor who wanted to create a way of shaving his sensitive skin without requiring a brush. The shave creams come in a handful of scent and sensitivity formulas, including the original (which I use) and a non aerosol cream. They are made in the USA and cost about $2 for a 10 oz can at your local pharmacy.

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