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What I like
- Close, comfortable shave
- Easy to clean shaving cream from blade
What I don't like
- "Medicine-like" smell
- A good pre-shave, lubricant, and after-shave system. Worth a try if you're suffering from razor bumps.
Smart Shave consists of three products that are intended to be used together. The first step in the Smart Shave system consists of the exfoliating pads. These pre-moistened pads remove dead surface skin and soften the hair. The second step is the shaving cream, which looks like an aerated lotion-style cream. The 3rd and final step is the calming balm, an aftershave product.
Smart Shave is specially formulated to help reduce or eliminate razor bumps and other, similar shaving problems. Since I don't suffer from razor bumps or similar problems, I can't review this aspect of the Smart Shave system. Therefore, my review will deal with it as a straight shaving lubricant and aftershave system only. If anyone tries this product who does suffer from razor bumps, I'd love to hear from you and get your comments.
Let's start with the exfoliating pads. They smell quite strong, which is a bit of a turn-off for me, but it's understandable since it is intended to deal with serious shaving problems. Application is pretty simple: you just rub them over your already-wet face and scalp. It's primary purpose is to reduce ingrown hairs and razor bumps, but it's also supposed to prep the shaving surface. Personally, I didn't notice any real difference between using it and not using it, in terms of the comfort or closeness of my shave.
The second step is the shaving cream. Smart Shave shaving cream applies pretty easily. It also smells a bit, but not as strongly as the exfoliating pads. I did experience minor irritation when shaving, but overall it provided good protection from irritation and nicks. The shave was close and comfortable, and irritation after shaving wasn't bad at all. This shave cream's outstanding feature is how easily it cleans out from the blade. Most shaving lubricants tend to gunk up at least a little, but this stuff washed away very easily, which I really like.
The aftershave is a brownish liquid that I find difficult to describe. It has a more pleasant scent than the other products. It isn't at all greasy, and applies easily. It provides a pleasantly cooling sensation when applied, and seemed to do a good job of getting rid of any lingering irritation from shaving (though there wasn't much irritation to deal with, really). The aftershave seems like it would be good enough to consider using even apart from the rest of the system. It's $14 (USD) for the 60 ml bottle, which isn't cheap. Most of the good aftershaves don't come cheap, though, so this isn't really out of line.
Overall, the Smart Shave system provided me with close, comfortable shaves with no significant problems. The big downside for this product for most people would be the price. For most shavers who don't have any significant shaving problems, I probably wouldn't go with it, since it costs $34 (USD) for a 60-use supply, and you can get similar or better results with much cheaper products. The shaving cream on it's own is $12 (USD) for a 4-ounce tub (60 uses, roughly), which is still on the premium side of the pricing scale, but it may be worth a try if you are unhappy with your current shaving lubricant.
For people with shaving problems like razor bumps, though, this product could definitely be worth a shot. Unfortunately, I can't evaluate it's effectiveness in this regard for myself, but it seems worth a trial.
Smart Shave - The official website.
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