Stubble is a simple fact of life for any man who shaves, but it's also a source of scraping, redness, and unwanted soreness for any person who happens to be getting intimate with said gentleman. Those short facial hairs that crop up a day (or more) after a shave are sharp and coarse. "Facial hair is much more harsh than head hair because of a combination of greater blood supply to the facial skin than to the scalp, and the fact that beard hair follicles are much larger," says hair loss surgeon Dr. Robert Leonard. Many oils, conditioners, and even face washes can help ease the scruffy problems that accompany a fully grown out beard, but nothing to relax the sandpaper-like stage of the five-o-clock shadow. Until now.
Designed to specifically soften stubble, The Soft Goat is the first of its kind – a small, lightly textured pad that you gently rub in a circular motion over your day growth for about a minute or two (depending on the coarseness of the hair). The concept is fairly simple; it's the equivalent of the smoothing that happens when you rub two pieces of sandpaper together. Taking the pad, which has no added oils or creams or anything, to your face rounds off the tips of your stubble, in turn minimizing the sharp edges of your facial follicles.
You'll notice a slight burning smell after you start rubbing. It's a little disconcerting, but it doesn't stick around. The pad is hypoallergenic and if you rub lightly, as the instructions suggest, you'll feel minimal irritation (we had none). If you have extremely sensitive skin, however, it may cause redness.
Does it work? Surprisingly, yes. We've felt a noticeable reduction in the prickliness of our stubble immediately after using it. Our face fuzz didn't turn into, say, the fur of a mink, but the texture became more satin-like. Each pad lasts about two months, and they come three to a box. [$11.99/box of three; thesoftgoat.com]