The Old-School Barber Shop Shaving Cream You Should Be Using On Your Legs

A confusing Christmas gift from my barber grandfather turned into one of the best beauty finds EVER.
Publish date:
September 23, 2013

For Christmas last year, my grandfather gave all of us “kids” a container of Stephan Stay Smooth Conditioning Shave Cream.

He’s a barber, and he uses this product religiously in his shop to give the older gentlemen in Tillsonburg, Ontario, super-smooth shaves. I don’t know if he accidentally ordered too much or genuinely thought we would all love this product, but regardless, I was thankful, albeit slightly confused, by the gesture.

It had been sitting on my cluttered beauty shelf for a few months, collecting dust. A couple of months ago, I ran out of my regular strawberry-scented shave cream and reached for this as a substitute.

I smeared the cream-like consistency on my legs, loving the coconuty smell. It was not the heavy, musky, “manly” scent I was expecting. And then it was love at first shave!

I don’t remember ever having such a close shave on my legs! And that is saying a lot, since when I first started using this cream I was nursing a Venus razor that was two months old. (I was holding out for pay day, and the pharmacy seemed really far away, OK?) But it didn’t really matter that my razor was old and gross and slightly rusty, because Stephan kept my legs smooth and soft.

It works well when cleaning up bikini lines, as well, and I have found since using this I am suffering fewer ingrown hairs in that area. Bonus!

But here’s the best part. The Stay Smooth Shave Cream can also be used in a moisturizer. It's great for traveling--no need to pack both shaving cream and lotion. You have a two-in-one that will leave you feeling and smelling fresh.

When you’re done shaving and toweling off, just slather on some of Stephan’s magic concoction (which is what it should be rebranded as), and you are silky-smooth and ready to go!

While “researching” (I use the term loosely because I just found myself in forums from 1998 and then got bored and looked at Murder She Wrote gifs), some men noted that the only issue with the product was that it doesn’t lather. Apparently, dudes can’t remember where they shaved last.

Maybe it’s because I am used to being as blind as a bat in the shower without my glasses or contacts, but I didn’t find that to be an issue. But if you use your shaving foam as a guide, you may find the translucent cream not too helpful in that department.

The packaging makes it clear that this is a product that is used in barber shops. Back in the day, this is where men went to talk shop and freshen up. I imagine Don Draper-esque men sitting in a chair waiting for a close shave while smoking cigarettes… which I think adds to the allure of the product.

So Papa Foster, if you are reading this, thank you for the magical Christmas present of super smooth legs! (Is that weird?) And it’s the gift that keeps on giving, because now I am bequeathing my knowledge to all of you, xoVain readers.

Really, it's a miracle cream. I don’t know who this Stephan is, but every guy and gal should know his name.