What’s inside the shaving gel can?


My husband was quite happy on finding this forgotten can of shaving gel, received some years ago during a company off-site meeting. The joy was short lived though, because the gel refused to come out. This should not have been surprising, considering that the product was manufactured in 06/2006, best before 06/2009. The propellant (gas) had all escaped!

I’ve always been curious to see what lies inside these “black boxes”, so after taking off the actuator, I cut off the top of the can using a good can opener. It didn’t take much effort.

Here is what lies inside.

IMG_1323-001It’s a hardy bag that contains the gel mixture, sealed at the top with the dispensing valve. Quite different from the aerosol perfume cans that carry the ingredients directly in the can. (Yes, I’ve dismantled those as well, in the recent past!)

Eager to know more, I searched the internet and found this picture on an educational website – http://resources.schoolscience.co.uk/.

inside shaving gel can-001I learnt that this is a “bag-in-can”, bicompartmental aerosol can and is used when the propellant is to be kept separate from the rest of the ingredients. This is unlike aerosol perfume sprays, where the propellant is used to carry the perfume. To know more about how aerosols work see here and for information on bicompartmental aerosols see here.

I’m sure the gel is still usable, at least for cleaning, so it will soon be out of the nylon bag. As for the can, as it is made of tin, it doesn’t command the rate of aluminium cans (currently Rs 10), but it will go into recycling none the less.

For the gentlemen, I’m told that conditioner works just as well as any shaving cream/ foam/ gel, so if you are in a situation where your aerosol is giving up on you (happens even before the “best before date”), you know what to look for!

Then there is always the tried, tested and value for money shaving cake.


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