* Prices may differ from that shown
I've always been happy with Wilkinson Sword wet shave razors so I was more than willing to give their shaving gel a try. It comes in a 200 ml can which is quite tall and thin and has a lovely picture of a wave on it with the word HYDRO dominating the can, even moreso than the Wilkinson Sword logo. They obviously want to tell me that this is a moisturising gel.
It has a white pop off cap that's nicely moulded so you can get a good grip on it. Underneath there's a push top that squirts out a fine stream of blue gel. You only need a small amount which is a good thing as the can costs £3-49 (June 2013) although I managed to get mine for just £1 in my local Poundland store.
When you squirt it into your hand it smells slightly spicy and musky. It's quite a pleasant smell but it doesn't quite fit with the whole sea, cooling, smooth vibe that they seem to be portraying with this product. I'd have expected it to have more of a sea salt, ozone aroma. But it's nice enough and it expands into a creamy gel foam that spreads over the face well and evenly.
My razor cut through it and my stubble with no problem at all, there wasn't any of that clogginess that you sometimes get with foams. It does its job excellently and is really good around the sensitive area on my throat. With some wet shaves I get rashes and lots of little nicks there but not with this. It doesn't leave any soapy residue like some gels do either so top marks for that.
However when you wash your razor off it leaves a horrible foamy deposit in the water, like clumps of curdled cream or cottage cheese. I've never seen this with any shaving product before and find it really off-putting. It's a silly thing, I know, and doesn't affect the gel's effectiveness in any way but it looks pretty grim in the sink.
That aside it's a good shaving gel that's smooth and perfectly acceptable. It's expensive but I'd recommend it if you can get it on offer somewhere like I did.
But oh, those lumps of cottage cheese....
When my old razor finally gave up the ghost, I bought the Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 razor (mainly because it was on offer at Boots for more than half price and included a pack of four blades). I nearly always used to use Gillette shaving gel in the past, but as I now had a Wilkinson's razor, I thought I should try to get the best from it by using the recommended gel - Wilkinson Sword Hydro.
Firstly, I prefer gel to foam. Gel, I find, 'sticks' to my skin better and is much less messy than foam which I think is thinner and lighter - it certainly doesn't give me as close a shave as when I use gel. Secondly, for some reason if I'm not extremely careful, I only have to touch my face with the razor blade and there is blood everywhere - the bathroom resembles something from a horror movie. So I always buy a quality shaving gel for sensitive skin to try to prevent a blood bath.
Wilkinson Sword Hydro Sensitive Gel comes in a metal container that's about 19cm tall when the lid is removed, almost 5.5cm wide and contains 240ml of gel. It comes in very 'clean' looking green and blue colours with a splash of blue water to emphasize the 'Hydro' name. It also shows you an illustration of a blob of gel to show that this is what's in the container as opposed to foam.
It claims that it has 'healthy-skin' nutrients and that it 'protects and soothes'. On the back of the metal container it tells you that it is made using an anti-irritation formula with Aloe and beard softening ingredients that forms a hydrating layer to help protect and soothe sensitive skin, that it's dermatologist tested, and that for even greater skin comfort you should use it with the Hydro Razor. It then gives you the usual warnings that you find on pressurised containers. You get this information in a choice of languages - English, Spanish, Portuguese and Greek - so that at the same time as shaving you can brush up on your language skills ready for your next holiday.
Interestingly (well I find it interesting, anyway) this is made in USA for Wilkinson Sword in Germany, so a truly international product. There is a list of ingredients which, alarmingly, includes two types of acid - I can only trust that this isn't harmful to human skin. It does contain 'parfum' - it has a slightly sweet but masculine odour - but the fragrance doesn't linger much after rinsing your face.
There are also four small diagrams showing how to apply the gel. It does indicate that you apparently need a handful of the stuff but I've found that you only need a couple of small globs. You just press the button on the top of the can and deposit the gel, which is two-toned blue, into the palm of your hand then spread it on your wet face, massage it into your beard to produce a cream, then shave as normal. I do find that it seems to result in a fairly smooth shave and I don't have any irritation afterwards, so for me it works.
The downside to this product is that it is quite expensive- the Wilkinson Sword website sells this for £3.49 plus P&P. Sainsburys and Waitrose have it on offer at the moment reduced from £4.00 (!) to £2.00, Boots have an offer of buy 1 at £3.59 get another half price, and Superdrug are selling it reduced from £3.59 to £1.77. So you can see it is worth shopping around. One can does last quite a long time, though - mine lasts usually around a month - but I do stock up when they are on offer (Superdrug here I come).
All-in-all I would recommend this, especially if you are using a Wilkinson Sword Hydro razor, because it does make shaving easier, doesn't irritate the skin and, for me, there's a lot less cleaning up of blood afterwards.
As I have reasonably sensitive skin, I have found that I have to use a shaving foam that is designed for sensitive skin as I find some can leave my face looking and feeling quite rough. As I ran out recently, I decided to try a new brand, which was this Shaving Gel by Wilkinson Sword.
This gel is new to the Wilkinson Sword range and comes in a can that is 20cm tall and 5cm in diameter. The can has a wave of water as a background picture and then the name and logo in bold white and silver writing. The can contains 240ml of the shaving gel. On the rear it states that the gel is made from an "anti-irritation formula" that helps to "protect and sooth". This, as well as the price, is what made me buy this product over others. I paid just over £1 for this can as it was on special offer, however it is normally £3.49 per can.
The gel is dispensed from a standard push down button on the top of the can, which squirts the blue gel from the can onto your hand. I have never used a gel before to shave, but once you start to rub this into your face, it soon froths up a bit like a foam. It forms a nice even spread once applied, which is much easier to apply and creates a lot less mess. I have found that I only need an amount that is about the size of 2 peas to give an ample coverage. I have used this to shave twice so far and the can still feels very full, which must mean that it will hopefully last quite a while.
When shaving, the gel seems to allow for a smooth flow of the razor across the skin and helps to provide a clean and smooth cut. I have found that once done, it washes off your skin and the razor very easily to leave a very smooth and clean finish. This has to be one of the better shaving foams/gels that I have used due to the ease of application and the final result it gives. I have not noticed any irritation or dry skin as a resultant from using this and there has never been any need to moisturise afterwards.
I would highly recommend this to anyone with dry or sensitive skin as it does exactly what it says on the can. It may be quite expensive, but for the clean and soft shave it produces, it is well worth the money. I expect that each can will last quite a while due to the small amount needed per shave, This will make it more environmentally friendly than other brands as you won't need to replace it as often, therefore less waste to go to landfill/recycling.
Other products in the range include a Hydro 5 and Hydro 3 razor, Hydro Moist Shaving Gel and Hydro After Shave Balm. Due to the excellent results I have had from this gel, I have to give it 5/5.
Thanks for reading!
This review may also appear on my blog and on Ciao under the same username.