The Secret To The Best Shave
June 24, 2020
June 23, 2020
What We Considered
Tell us something worse than shaving and not even two hours later rubbing your leg to feel the prickly hairs making their way back on your skin. If you’ve resorted to trying your boyfriend’s razor, well, things are not headed in the right direction. Before your bathroom starts to look like a crime scene, consider the ultimate upgrade.
We don’t have to look too far—OUI The People has answered our shaving needs with a line that focuses on skincare, looking at shaving much more holistically. Their single-edge razor is made to perfectly glide across your skin leaving your silky smooth without any possibilities of ingrown hairs. The philosophy is simple: save sensitive skin, remove ingrown hairs, and as for razor burn, never again. If that sounds like a faraway dream, you should definitely read on. Karen Young sat down with us to share insider intel on everything OUI The People.
Q: The truth is out - all shaves are not created equal. Tell us everything there is to know about OUI The People and how your products nourish our skin while keeping it baby smooth.
Karen: OUI the People is a Brooklyn based skincare & grooming company. We officially launched the razor we’ve become known for in 2017 and last year began expanding into body care. I launched with a razor, an admittedly difficult product, because there was no experience that married shaving with actual skincare, especially for those of us with sensitive skin, who suffer from ingrown hairs and razor burn.
To be honest, it’s not everyday we see a single edge razor on the market. Can you tell us what benefits we can expect to see when using your Single Edge?
Karen: The science behind why we experience ingrowns and razor burn often comes back to the razor, and it took me decades to figure that out, instead blaming my skin for it’s inflammatory reaction. Every razor is technically a safety razor, multi-blade razors house a combination of dull and sharp blades as their safety mechanism. The problem is that the first blade and maybe second blades are the only ones to really do the job, the rest pull and tug the hair, cutting it below the surface of the skin and drag across the skin even after the hair is well cut. A single-blade razor removes the hair with one blade, the safety mechanism in this case being the bar that keeps the blade away from your skin until you’re ready to use it. It’s a single, sharp blade as opposed to dull blades which are immensely damaging to skin. You can expect a smooth shave without the irritation.
Trying a single edge can be a little nerve wracking. Any insider tips on the best ways for first-timers to get used to the shave - and what’s the benefit of pairing the razor with your signature Shave Gel-to-Milk, Sugarcoat?
Karen: It sure can be! We get it. It’s all in the mind though because it’s unfamiliar to this generation, but this is likely the razor your grandmother shaved with, and we’re big believers that women are hella capable. The biggest tip is to not apply pressure, the razor is engineered to be weighted and balanced to apply all the pressure you need- which is a featherlight touch. Because we’re used to using plastic razors with dull blades, we’ve also been primed to press them into our skin to get a close shave. SUGARCOAT is a beautiful gel to milk that borrows from skincare. It conditions the skin and shows every hair while you’re shaving so you’re less likely to miss spots. It also moisturizes during and after shaving to leave you silky but not irritated like most gels.
Karen: Our customers always inspire our product roadmap, as well as a desire to challenge everything- we really believe in going against the grain as more than just a brand statement. We examine everything, especially in bodycare, which is a difficult category, and really turn everything over to see how we can make it more efficacious, more sustainable, and just plain delightful. We aim for at least 2 and if we can add sustainable we’ve hit it out of the park. Of course, with a razor we have all this insight from customers who suffer from ingrown hairs and razor burn so the bikini mask was a no brainer, but it was also weird and fun to push the envelope. FEATHERWEIGHT Body Gloss was our answer to the dewy, hydrated look from the neck down, without leaving oil stains on your couch.
Can you give us an idea of what it’s like in your (virtual) headquarters these days— any big plans coming our way?
Karen: These days in particular, we’re just trying to keep up! The discovery of the brand and general acceptance of what it stands for has been incredible. I’m grateful that the hard work that we put into every aspect, from the engineering of the razors to the formulation, is being recognized. We have a beautiful pipeline of products to come, and especially given the current environment and staying well, we’re excited to contribute to our customers' sense of joy and peace while we’re at it.
Your brand stands for The Reconstitution of beauty. Can our readers have some basic background as to what that means to you, and what inspired you to speak on behalf of reclaiming the power of women’s beauty standards?
Karen: I think of it as more making room, respectfully, for our customers to see themselves in the brand than speaking on behalf of them. My psychology background really showed up and out as I thought about what we believed in and what we would stand for. Language is incredibly powerful and as I researched ads from the 50’s onward to today, the messaging was the same, albeit wrapped in social packaging. That message was that women were not enough- flawless enough, perfect enough, young enough. The lifecycle in women’s beauty is unlike anything I’ve seen elsewhere- with product preferences often passed down from generation to generation. If we’re going to be in your homes, and you’ll share us with your daughters (and sons) you’d best believe that we’re going to take the opportunity to speak to you with grace and respect rather than playing into psychological BS.
What are some ways being a Black Female Founder has allowed you to speak out against racial injustice through your brand? What is something you hope to spread to readers everywhere?
Karen: I don’t think many days on being a black female founder, this is just the skin I live in, though I wouldn’t trade it for the world. What I’ve always wanted to be was an exceptional founder, designer, and CEO first and foremost. In light of our most recent, and ongoing, civil rights movement I’ve made myself and my experiences as a black woman more present, through the brand. My very existence, success, health, and joy are a resistance to racial injustice.
Last question. We talk about the internet’s best brands (and we trust that you’ve tried a few). We’d love to know about any more brands that you support - and why?
Karen: Love getting my plants from The Sill because they do in fact make me happy and they’re also incredibly healthy plants. Everlane jeans surprisingly rocked my world with the fit, I really wasn’t expecting the quality to be so good. I’m partial to the high-rise skinny in Japanese denim. Now let’s see if I can fit into them after months of social distancing. Briogeo Avocado & Quinoa co-wash has been my go-to, gentle shampoo for the last year.Act and Acre Scalp Detox is a miracle in a bottle for my generally dry scalp.
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