Tested on animals:No
Sigh. Dr. Carver's Easy Shave Butter really could have earned a better rating—it has its share of positive qualities. Unfortunately, Dollar Shave Club fell short by including a potentially problematic mix of fragrance oils and extracts. In a rinse-off formula, fragrances are typically less of an issue—but when that rinse-off product plays such a sensitive role in your shaving routine, the risk of irritation is increased due to the very act of shaving, which can be rough on skin. See More Info for additional details on fragrance irritants in skincare.
Fragrance issue aside, Dr. Carver's Easy Shave Butter is a unique formula in some respects—it's not quite a gel, but rather a gel-oil hybrid that rinses easily from skin, yet moisturizes and provides an easy shave as a result. It includes a few of non-fragrance plant oils, macadamia nut and grape seed oil, as well as other emollients and anti-irritants. What a pity this trend wasn't extended to the entire formula.
The problems arise with the mix of lavender and eucalyptus essential oils. Eucalyptus has a potent ability to provoke irritation in the skin (Dermatitis, 2010 & Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, 2006); check out the More Info section for information on lavender oil.
Individually, these essential oils and extract may not have been as concerning, but their collective impact in a shave product held Dr. Carver's Easy Shave Butter back from earning a higher rating. We would recommend skipping it in favor of "low to no" fragrance alternatives, such as those listed in our Best Shaving Products section.
- Moisturizing non-fragrant plant oils help provide a smooth shave.
- Anti-irritants help soothe skin.
- Rinses easily from your razor.
- Contains multiple fragrance extracts and oils.
- The effects of potential irritants are increased in freshly shaven skin.
Inclusion of Known Irritants: Irritation, whether you see it on the surface of your skin or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes the vital substances your skin needs to stay young. For this reason, it is best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to known skin irritants, especially when there are brilliant formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients. Fragrance-free is the best way for all skin types to go for all skin types (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008 & American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003)
The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
Lavender Oil: In-vitro research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool and linalyl acetate, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application of as little a concentration as 0.25% causes cell death (Cell Proliferation, June 2004). This study was conducted on endothelial cells, which are cells that line blood pathways in the body and play a critical role in the inflammatory process of skin.
As linalool and linalyl acetate are both rapidly absorbed by skin and can be detected within blood cells in less than 20 minutes, endothelial cells are an ideal choice for such a test (Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, 1992). The results of this research also demonstrated that lavender has a damaging effect on fibroblasts, which are cells that produce collagen.
The fragrance constituents in lavender oil, linalool and linalyl acetate, oxidize when exposed to air, and in this process their potential for causing an allergic reaction is increased (Contact Dermatitis, 2008).
If you're wondering why lavender oil doesn't appear to be problematic for you, it's because research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it happening for your skin to suffer damage (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).