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I always use a face scrub before shaving if I am in the shower as it has been drilled into me from magazines and TV shows that you should always prepare the skin before shaving so that it minimises the chance of ingrown hairs etc. Well I still get ingrown hairs and occasionally razor burn after shaving so it doesn't stop it from happening but it does soften the hairs and helps them stand out making my shave that little bit closer and besides it leaves my skin looking nice and less spotty so I still stick to it. I bought the pre shave thermal scrub because it sounded like it was going to be better than just a bog standard face scrub as not only was it a normal scrub it was supposed to have a thermal warming effect which I thought would help open up my pores when using it and make sure that my stubble was completely ready for shaving. The scrub has a little bit of a weird consistency and wasn't as gel like as I had imagined it was going to be. There are little micro particles in it which is what give it its exfoliating action but it is a lot milder than most other scrubs that I have used which are target towards men. The scrub heats up on contact with water so you need to apply this to a wet face and neck and then use small circular movements all over to ensure that the scrub gets to work both cleaning and opening pores. It also claims to soften hairs making them easier to shave. I have to say that I really wasn't all that keen on this scrub. I bought it last year and I did finish the whole tube but I have never been tempted to try it again as I just didn't think it was all that great especially as this isn't even that cheap. Boot's sell this for £8.09 and although I didn't pay this as it was on special offer at the time I got it I would have expected better for this amount and to me this performed no better than the 99p scrub that I have used a few times which is also form Boot's. The warming effect was so mild that I seriously doubt it would have had enough heat to actually do much about opening up pores and it lasted for hardly any time before it went cold that I may as well have used one that didn't even have a thermal action. Also the scrub itself was very mild which is good in a way as you want something that isn't going to damage your skin but I just didn't feel as if this was actually either exfoliating my skin or preparing it for shaving properly. When I have time I use a scruffing lotion form Clinque before shaving and this is fantastic but if I am in the shower and decide to shave in there I use a scrub and this scrub was nowhere near as good as the scruffing lotion and I didn't notice any difference to the level of comfort of my shave and it wasn't even that great at getting my face feeling deep down clean either. It isn't something that I would buy again and I wouldn't recommend it especially considering how much they are charging for it.
I decided to try this Gilette heat scrub after my OXY scrub ran out - It was a bit harsh on my skin as well, so thought I'd try something new. I've never used a heat scrub before, so this should be interesting. How it works is, it uses "heating technology [which] is activated on contact with water to provide warming comfort. A mild soap-free system cleans skin by removing oils (sebum) and dirt while helping to soften hair, making it easier to cut. Small particles then help exfoliate dead, dry skin cells..." So that's what it says on the packet, but does it work in reality? I put it to the test. So I follow the simple instructions of wetting my face before applying the scrub. I was quite generous on my first use, using a couple pea sized blobs to cover the whole face. The scrub is a nice light blue colour with small microbeads and has the consistency of a foam crossed with toothpaste Water somehow activates the "heat technology" which does warm gently, but fades after a few seconds so I don't really know how effective it is. The microbeads feel somewhat harsh on the skin so I gently massage it in circles on my face. It doesn't feel comfortable once the warm sensation has gone, and feels just like any other scrub. After using the product, your skin does feel deep-cleansed but pores are open and this will definitely need to be used with toner. Of course, it helps soften hairs for shaving, so I suppose it will work well before shaving, and then using toner and moisturiser. This scrub costs £6.99 and can be purchased in most supermarkets and pharmaceutical stores such as Boots or Superdrug. Gillette's Thermal Heat Scrub has definitely been a new experience for me, but I'm unsure of purchasing this again when it is finished. I don't like the fact that it opens up all the pores and I suppose it is too harsh for my skin. However, this is a good men's grooming product and I would highly recommend it.