Confession: I haven’t shaved with a razor since I was 16 years old. From the moment my facial hair started coming in with any regularity, the five-o’clock shadow has been my M.O. Back then, it was just because I wanted to look older (what 16-year-old doesn’t?), but now it’s just a part of who I am. I use a small beard trimmer for maintenance; sometimes it’s a hint of scruff, other times—like the past few weeks—it’s a full-fledged, “I-just-got-done-chopping-wood-just-kidding-I’ve-never-even-touched-an-axe” beard. The one drawback? It has the texture of steel wool mixed with sandpaper and rocks. My poor girlfriend is trapped in a perpetual catch-22 of loving the look, but hating that her face is left red and irritated the moment we play kissy-face. When our good friend Mr. Natty sent over some samples of his newest creation, the FFS (Face Forest Soap) Beard Shampoo for Men, I jumped at the chance to take it for a spin.
It’s no secret that we love Mr. Natty around here. Not only is he one of the most charismatic guys you’ll ever meet (check out our video collection for proof), but the gold-toothed gent makes some seriously great skincare products. But even given Natty’s genius, I was slightly dubious about needing a cleanser created specifically for facial hair. When I brought it home to test, the first thing I noticed was the smell: an attention-grabbing blend of mint, juniper, and rosemary. I worked up a hearty lather and began scrubbing it into my so-called “face forest” with the kind of vigor I imagined Paul Bunyan (we’re back to the wood-chopper fantasy) would apply. A quick rinse and towel dry followed, and finally the hand-through-the-beard test. I must say, I was impressed. Even after just a single use, my once perma-rough scruff seemed softer, cleaner, and more lustrous. The soap contains no alcohol, so there’s no drying out of the hair or the skin underneath. While I didn’t tell my girlfriend about the new addition to my skincare arsenal, it seemed like she wanted to spend more “quality time” an inch or less away from my face. And really, what more can I guy ask from a bar of soap?