Taking their name from the Scottish Island where they are based, Arran Sense of Scotland produces natural grooming products. These are designed to make the mundane routine of shaving much more luxurious.
Male grooming is a booming business as men take as much time caring for their appearance as women. They are also more conscious of how products affect their skin, but we can all learn something new about shaving, as I found out.
Arran Sense of Scotland creates shaving products using natural, locally sourced ingredients that provide a superb shave and experience. To get the best from their range, they have a guide on which product is best for various skin types.
Shaving, which we probably take for granted, can be made simpler if you master the art of it, understanding the products you need. Razor burn to redness, the struggle for the right products to address skin concerns can feel daunting. Take extra time in your daily grooming regime to achieve the closest shave possible without irritation.
Dry shaving vs Wet shaving
Wet shaving uses a blade with gel, soap and water, or cream to create lather. Advantages of wet shaving are a closer shave and the exfoliation of the blade, removing dead skin cells.
Dry shaving s better for sensitive skin; it uses an electric razor (without water!) but is more likely to cause redness and irritation.
It may seem old fashioned but, whilst dry shaving is undeniably quicker and more accessible, the ritual of a wet shave sets people up for the day. The smoothness and closeness that results from cultivating your face with a well-honed blade are hard to beat.
Preparation is vital to ensure you get the best from a Wet Shave. A smooth shave starts with soft skin.
Take a hot shower, ensuring you cleanse and hydrate your face with warm water. Your pores open from the steam, which softens your facial hair, enabling the razor to glide more easily over your skin, drastically lessening the chance of nicks and cuts.
You can apply a hot towel to your face for a minute or two. This will have a similar effect and adds a little luxury to your daily routine.
To soften your stubble further, use a pre-shave oil or cream to smooth, land lubricate. It acts as a barrier between the razor blade and your skin. A product with natural ingredients should be chosen or natural products like coconut oil for best results. Use a small amount, then rub between your palms next pat it onto the area to be shaved.
Let’s take a more detailed look at the Products.
To indulge in the more traditional shaving methods:
- Use the Shave Brush and Shave Stone.
- Build up a rich lather by working the brush into the soap; this is paramount for a close shave.
- Using small circular motions, apply to your face; the boar-hair bristles of the brush are gentle enough for all skin types. But thick to provide a brisk exfoliation before shaving.
Modelled on a stone from Whiting Bay, the shave stone is a little piece of Arran in your home. Men’s Shave Stone & Soap is priced at £25.00, and the Shave Brush, £22.00
Shave Gel should be applied with the fingers to work up a rich lather on your face for those with more sensitive skin. The gel needs to sit and soak into the skin for a minute or two to provide further protection and enhanced razor glide. Then, make sure to go with the grain of your hair and lightly glide your razor across your facial hair for a streamlined shave. You can choose the clean scent of Machrie or the spiced, wooded fragrance of Lochranza. The Shave Gels contain glycerin, aloe vera and Pro-Vitamin B5, known to enhance skin condition and soothe delicate skin.
Opt for the light lather found in Arran Sense of Scotland’s Lochranza Shave Cream or Machrie Shave Cream or for everyday use. Both keep facial hairs hydrated, meaning they are easier to cut. A thin layer of protection is also created between the blade and the skin to avoid redness and irritation. Once applied to the skin using the fingertips, ensure light strokes in a steady, constant motion with a razor to prevent snagging and irritation.
No matter which fragrance you prefer, each shave cream is enhanced with peppermint and tea tree essential oils to provide a cooling and refreshing sensation and the added benefits of moisturisation. Machrie Shave Gel & Shave Cream – both £16.00
Remember never to shave directly onto dry skin. When you choose a soap, gel or cream, make sure to apply it generously to the face and throat, fully covering the hair.
Think traditional barbers and James Bond: A straight, cut-throat razor is the most stylish shaving tool. This is the razor for those who want the smoothest possible shave; it is also the most likely to cut you. A leather strop is needed to run the blade up and down before each shave.
Safety razors come with a built-in protective shield and disposable blades that can be replaced when required. They are the perfect pick for a classic shave with minimal risk of razor burn and cuts. Slightly weighted towards the top, you can let gravity do the work for you.
Cartridge razors are the most common kind of razor as they’re quick, convenient and relatively safe. There’s always a lot of advertising hype around more blades equalling a better shave but be wary of such claims; one good blade is all you need. Shaving cream, hair and skin clog those extra blades, and you’ll have to buy new ones every few shaves, which can work out more expensive.
Whichever razor you favour, make sure it’s sharp; there’s nothing worse than a dull blade for potentially cutting your skin to ribbons. Let the razor do the work – use light pressure and short strokes – and rinse the razor regularly in warm water. You’ll need to change your razor blade around every six or seven shaves as a general rule.
Splash your face with cold water to rinse it. Pat, rather than rub, your face dry with a soft towel to avoid any snagging. Soothe any irritation with Arran’s Post Shave Balm in either Lochranza or Machrie, containing Aloe Vera and Vitamin E renowned for nourishing and revitalising. This will rejuvenate and refresh your skin, but the cooling temperature will also help close your pores, which helps to prevent any discomfort.
Top tip: don’t leave your razor next to a wet sink. Store it in a cool, dry area to prevent rusting and bacteria.
Your favourite aftershave dabbed on your face is the final step in the routine. Lochranza is a deep, distinctly masculine fragrance with a spicy combination of patchouli and anise, or Machrie, a refreshing scent that boasts layers of sea salt and rockrose. Not only does it smell amazing, but it’s superb for protecting the skin from bacteria, closing pores and reducing itching from irritation and ingrown hairs.
I have learnt a lot from Arran’s guide and using their products for the last month; I have seen the benefits on my skin. The brush is superb and much better than rubbing any product in with your hands. My hairs are never as thick as I shave every day, but I have felt better by using the soap that softened my skin and the brush.
I must admit I have not applied a hot towel each morning, but I will start now. Arran Sense of Scotland’s post-shave cream is gorgeous, with a lovely aroma, silky, making my skin soft. The redness I sometimes experience after shaving disappeared, and I am so impressed with the quality from packaging to results.
It’s possibly a little early to talk about Christmas, but brands are already marketing their products, and Arran has some super selections for stocking fillers and main presents.
Body Care Gift Sets – £30.00
This set features full-sized body lotion with bath & shower gel in the three most popular fragrances Arran makes. After the Rain, Glen Rosa and Glenashdale, the collection is beautifully presented in a signature gift box.
After the Rain Eau De Parfum, 50ml – £55.00
The iconic best-selling fragrance is a sensual blend of floral citrus, rose petals, and musk. These are mixed with the soft notes of precious woods ideal for everyday wear.
Men’s Wash Bag – £45.00
Full-sized bath & shower gel, aftershave balm, soap, and shave gel come inside the expertly crafted wash bag. Machrie is a refreshing scent that boasts layers of rockrose and sea salt. Lochranza is a deep, distinctly masculine fragrance with a spicy combination of anise and sweet patchouli.
Seasonal Candle Gift Set – £40.00
Mulled Wine Winter Forest, Mandarin & Petitgrain and Soft Cinnamon are the scents of the seasonal cancel sets. They complement each other so can be used in conjunction to take you on a journey.
In the hallway is a good place for mandarin and petitgrain to welcome with fruity freshness. For the living room, use soft cinnamon as a warm and cosy-making fragrance. The kitchen is ideal for mulled wine to make you feel most at home and then winter forest for a crisp fresh scent in the bathroom.
Build your own Gift Box
Create your own unique scent experience from Arran by selecting your choices and sending a personalised gift note. Arran will take care of the rest with the team placing your items in a bespoke gift box, all wrapped up and delivered directly to your door.
These all sound great, and I wouldn’t mind any in my stocking.
Arran Sense of Scotland- Where and How?
Arran Sense of Scotland’s products are inspired by nature and proudly made on the Isle of Arran. A sprig of gorse, a pinch of seasoned wood, a breath of sea air – untouched, natural elements surround the land and water from Arran’s freshwater spring finds its way into each one of the products.
For more information on the Arran Sense of Scotland range of shaving products and gift ideas, visit https://arran.com.
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