Lately, I've been worrying about venturing too far away from my original mission statement when I created this page. As somebody who, for the most part, loves small-batch, indie producers, I tend to gravitate towards them much more than say, those of the large manufacturers, or the value segment...but this isn't a page just for small-batch reviews, my goal was to explore all segments of the beard-care game, the good, the bad, and the ugly. As luck would have it, I go to the grocery store, like, almost every day, so I decided to take a stroll down the beard care aisle and check out what new things they might have to offer. They didn't have anything new to offer...so, I decided to check out some of the options I've previously passed up on. I never really paid much attention to any of Gillette's beard care offerings, it has nothing to do with people being mad over a certain ad campaign (if I didn't allow myself to buy products form every company that I didn't aggree with, I probably wouldn't be able to buy too many things...but that's enough talk about that), I always just found their prices incongruous with other supermarket brands. I mean, there are a lot of other good quality beard washes out there sporting a similar price tag to this stuff, but the point is to try stuff accessible to all beardsmen here, and I know most of you out there visit the grocery store pretty regularly...so, let's give it a try and see if this is worth picking up on your next beer and toilet-paper run.
I honestly don't know what I'm smelling here...this isn't a blend of good-smelling essential oils like I'm used to, it's very chemical and artificial...my best guess is that it is some labratory manufactured approximation of lavander and cedar (I'd imagine some focus group decided that this was a "manly" smell, and Gillette ran with it). There's a very harsh chemical component to this scent as well. There really is no polite way to say this, but this stuff smells very "manufactured", and not even in a slightly good way, like honestly, the best way I can describe it is if you mixed dollar-store fabric softener with prescription dandruff shampoo, this just isnt a very good smell at all. Strength is medium plus, but thankfully when it rinses out, it doesn't leave much of a trace.
How does it work?
This stuff works about as great as you'd expect a sulfate laden shampoo relabeled as a beard and face wash would...Cleansing properties are so-so (to be fair, they are actually better than I was expecting), but the amound of irritation that I experienced after just one washing was more than enough to negate that. I'm still finding split ends, days after using this (extremely drying) stuff. The residue left behind from this product, while not quite as bad as the residue that the Original Gangster Wash by Billy Jealousy (a product that has gained mythical status as a punchline on this site) left behind, was still nearly impossible to rinse out. After combing out the shitload of tangles my beard was left with after using this product, I found myself dousing my beard and face with an almost comical amount of oil to try and calm my skin down. I usally try to use a product at least three times before writing a review about it, but I only managed to get one use out of this stuff before my beard and face had me saying no mas (especially fitting because this product did as much damage to my beard as Sugar Ray did to ol' Roberto back in 1980). I've never washed my beard with GoJo or Boraxo or one of those harsh shop/art class soaps from back in the day, but I'd imagine that the resulting feeling of doing such a thing couldn't be any worse than what I experienced after trying this product.
The bottom line
This may, very well be the first product I've ever tried with literally no redeeming qualities, I don't like being this negative, so I'll just go ahead and say that I like the way it foams...but even that is the result of harmful sulfates. Honestly, I can picture a bunch of stuffy busienss men in a board room at Gillette dreaming up a way to shift some hard earned dough form the pockets of beardsmen everywhere into their own coffers, because this stuff was clearly developed without the input of real live bearded men. With the scoring format I've devised for this site, it's nearly impossible for a product to receive less an 80 points, I mean, all it has to do is meet some very minimum requirements, and this garbage couldnt even do that. I would be doing a disservice to beardsmen everywhere if I didn't make it a point to stress how much I do not recommend purching this stuff.
Ingredients: Ingredients Water, Sodiumlaureth Sulfate, Sodium Citrate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodiumchloride, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Glycerin, Dimethiconol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimoniumchloride, Dimethicone, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Tea-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Tetrasodium Edta, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Trideceth-10, Polyquaternium-6, Polyquaternium-10, Trihydroxystearin, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Butyrospermumparkii (Shea) Butter, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone
$10.99 at my local Fry's Supermarket (should be about the same price at your local grocery store)