I haven't had that great an experience with oils. I'm immediately turned off by the feel... bathing myself in oil and wrestling with a cutie is a fantasy reserved for my youth and for a female partner. ;-} When I slap oil on my face, I immediately feel dirty and want to wash it off. However, I have found that grape seed oil (non-scented), while still slick, slimy, and ucky, seems to be the least unpleasant option. The high-priced pre-shave oils are a joke to me. I say that from experience - having tried several well-known types. You can get 12-16 ounces of grape seed oil for ten bucks at GNC - enough to slick up an elephant.
Also, I don't notice that much difference than when prepping with warm water and letting the lather rest a bit on my face (and maybe re-lathering). I certainly like to use hair conditioner when I have a thick growth. I can feel my whiskers softening just like you feel your hair softening when using it. However, for day-to-day shaving, warm water and a slow lathering works for me.
My typical shave prep is to hold a double handful of warm tap water on my face for a few seconds (or as long as it lasts before leaking out), doing a thorough face lather, warming up my brush scuttle and then touching up the lather and shaving.
edit: Forgot... I DO like to use oil if I've had a cut or raw spot from a previous shave. I slick up the raw spot so the razor will glide over it instead of digging in. That seems to work really well for me. Although, Vaseline or any first aid ointment with a suitable carrier does the job, too.
Last edited by ladykate; 06-22-2012 at 08:26 AM.
Inventor of the world's first safety vibrating Kamisori with night light. Go to http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/299465-A-milder-Kamisori: Inventor of the Weckisori - (thanks sychodelix)