Skarp ... Citrus Pre-Shave Oil

Following on from Sprygg, I turned my mind to a pre-shave oil ...

I could buy in a raft of carrier oils and essential oils to make up something that intellectually looked right and whose formula read well on paper ... or, do as I did with Sprygg and make it up out of what I already have around the kitchen and bathroom.

You can find no end of homemade skin conditioners based on olive oil - it has been used for centuries for this purpose, and when combined with lemon juice, makes for a simple natural exfoliating lotion.

Like olive oil, avocado oil is well known as skin hydrating treatment. Let's use both. Furthermore, coconut oil is a wonderful emollient, although can be difficult to work with unless warmed through and might well lend an overly thick texture to the oil blend. Warmed through by immersing the bottle in hot water prior to application would be a sensible procedure if coconut oil was to form part of the blend.

So, we have our oil base and we have lemon juice, a known good exfoliant ... what else? Lime juice - known skin rejuvinator, clearing congested skin. Grapefruit juice - firmer and softener, not to mention potently anti-septic. Orange - collagen.

Don't be overly concerned about exactly which juices you have available. Many households will have lemon and lime, lemon at the very least. That alone will do, lime and grapefruit if you have them.

Give the bottle a damn good shake to blend the ingredients and to use, simply pour a little out into the palm of one hand then rub together and massage into your face. It is a pre-shave oil, so take that time to get a feel for the direction of your stubble and how you will approach the shave.

Finally, no need to be too scientific about it - this is a natural product, based on natural oils and citrus juices. It should be mostly oil with some juice and you can always just taste it to see if you think you got the ratios right.

So, there you go ...

Household pre-shave oil, which I call Skarp, Swedish: tang, sharp.


50ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil (top up)
20ml Avocado Oil (4 tsp)
5ml Coconut Oil (1 tsp)
10ml Glycerine (2 tsp)
15ml Citrus Juices (3tsp)


Argan Oil? Grapeseed Oil? Jojoba Oil?
Honey as a humecant ... 5ml?

Grapefruit essential oil as a lymphatic stimulant citrus top note ... 4-6 drops?
Tea Tree essential oil as an immune boosting cooling top/mid-note ... 1-2 drops?
Patchouili essential oil as a tissue regenerating deep base note ... 1-2 drops?
Ylang Ylang essential oil as a sebum conditioner floral base note ... 1-2 drops?

Try out some options and let me know how it goes for you ...