Stop using shaving creams packaged in aerosol cans.
Have you read the ingredients on the back?
Why put something on your face that is combustible?
Mineral oil, petrolatum and paraffin are common petrochemical by-products added to shaving creams in aerosol cans.
Sodium lauryl sulfate is added to these products to generate a thick lather. It strips the skin off natural oils and causes dry skin.
These synthetic ingredients are cheap substitutes for natural oils. Petrochemical by-products clog the skin’s pores and prevent the skin’s natural respiration process.
There are enough options for shaving products made with natural ingredients that are biodegradable and that work with the body’s natural functions.
If you have skin issues after a shave – it’s time to change your products.
These are five of the most common shaving creams oils and soaps available for men.
Sometimes the only way you will find what works for you is by trying the different options.
5 Shaving Lubricant Options – Creams, Soap, Oil, & Gels
1. Aerosol Shaving Cream & Gel (Not Recommended!)
Most of us started shaving in high school with a plastic razor and a gel, foam or cream straight out of an aerosol can.
The contents of an aerosol can are stored under pressure. If you look at the ingredients list – you start to notice things that you never would apply to your face – propellants like propane and sulfates.
Aerosol spray shaving creams are are widely available and inexpensive. However, long-term use of these products can dry your skin and cause premature aging.
In order to mask the smell of the propellant used – these products are heavily scented using artificial fragrances. Some men enjoy the strong fragrance, while those with sensitive skin may have difficulty with it.
The only saving grace for these products is that they are easy to apply and be used without a shaving brush.
In my opinion aerosol cans provide the lowest quality of shaving product for men.
If you are having any problems shaving you want to try something else.
Although not something you would want to shave with alone (make sure to combine a pre-shave oil with a lotion, cream, and/or soap lather) pre-shave oils are a great way to enhance the smooth glide of a razor across your face.
Shave oils protect your skin and softens your beard before in preparation for your shave by softening the hair and creating a thin layer of oil on top of your face’s skin. This improves how the blade glides across the skin and thus reduces irritation. After your shave – the oil comes off easily with water and face wash.
With oils – a little goes a long way. You need just 3-5 drops of oil for a shave. You’ll be surprised at how little oil is required for a smooth shave.
Shaving oils are also great when shaving your head to give you a little extra cushion between the blade and your scalp. Curious as to why you should shave your head – click here where we discuss the science of shaving your head and the image it helps a man create!
The only way you’re going to find out if shaving oil works you is to actually try it.
Recommended Shaving Oils
- Grooming Lounge Shaving Oil
The shaving oil 1oz airless pump container by the Grooming Lounge is perfect for your travel bag. The ingredients all the are simple – there’s no propane here everything is a natural oil derivative. The oil smells great without being overpowering.
- Shave Secret Shaving Oil
I like that I can find this at stores locally. Both Wal-Mart and Walgreens (Drugstore) carry it, and it’s relatively inexpensive there or buying directly on Amazon. I found it had a mild scent, is made in the USA, and a bottle lasts about 3 months with regular usage.
Shaving soaps offer a rich and stable lather against the skin. There is a learning curve with soaps and they take a little longer because you have to use a shaving brush to create a lather. Adding too much or not enough water can result in a weak lather – thus the learning curve.
However, an added benefit is that a shaving brush acts as an exfoliator and is more effective at drawing out the hair on your face than your hands.
Straight-razor users prefer soaps over creams because the lather from a soap offers a better cushion than a shaving cream (according to some!).
Shaving soaps have a subtle scent makes them suitable for people with sensitive skin. Many men like the lighter fragrance so that it doesn’t interfere with their aftershaves or colognes.
Recommended Shaving Soaps
- The Blades Grim’s Luxury Shaving Soap – This soap is packaged in a gold tin and I REALLY liked the smell. It’s handmade and creates a nice thick lather in less than a minute. Of all the soaps I tested – my favorite.
- Col. Conk Glycerin Shave Soap – The thick lather from this glycerin soap offers sufficient protection, however it doesn’t last as long as other shaving soaps I tested. Good quality for what it costs, I really liked that you could buy a variety pack and test the various scents.
- Crabtree and Evelyn’s Nomad Shaving Soap – Packaged in a beautiful wooden box, this soap is reinforced with skin conditioning vitamin E and has a woody tropical fragrance. It provided a good shave – very similar to Col Conk above.
The difference between regular soap and a shaping soap is that the latter is designed to have more lubricant. A lot of regular bar soaps are going to strip away moisture from your face – so be careful in your choice of soaps for shaving.
Both shaving creams and soaps are the preferred choice for traditional wet shavers. Soaps and creams are usually made without the use of synthetic propellants or chemicals that irritate your skin.
Want the best of both worlds? The next option is a sort of hybrid between a shaving soap and cream.
Think butter at the optimal consistency!
I like it when a shaving lubricant has a nice blend – softer than a soap but not as runny as cream. Something I can adjust with my fingers but won’t fall out of the container.
If a product becomes too runny (except shaving oils) – it’s going to oftentimes not do a great job.
These products give you the option of working up a lather with a shaving brush or your hands.
- Proraso Anti-Irritation Shave Cream – Suitable for sensitive skin that tends to irritate easily. Thanks to its special anti-irritation properties – this cream/soap leaves skin soft and smooth.A fresh and fruity fragrance with notes of lime and apple (natural ingredients). The natural-based formulation without mineral oils or artificial colors offers protection and soothes irritated skin.
5. Shaving Creams – Traveler’s Choice For Shaving
Of the five types though, which are my favorites? It’s the shaving creams!
Ease of use and quality of shave are superb here. I love the shaving creams because I can take this stuff out and just rub it on my face.
- Cremo Cream – I absolutely love this shaving cream. Why? Inexpensive, concentrated (so a little goes a long way), and it provides a great shave even with crappy razors (I am testing those as well!). The only issue with this shaving cream is it has a learning curve – hot water is required and you have to use enough water. All the complaints I have read are from people not following the directions :). I also love how you can buy it in small packs for travel as well.
- Grooming Lounge Beard Destroyer Shaving Cream – Once you use this cream, you will find it difficult to switch to another product. The lather is not foamy, but it works. You only need to use a lump the size of a quarter, add water, and lather up. I also like how the lavender scent leave your skin feeling fresh without being overpowering.
- Jack Black Beard Lube – This lightweight product provides three benefits – it’s a pre-shave oil, shave cream, and skin conditioner all in one. Although I don’t normally like all-in-one products, I felt Jack Black’s Beard lube did a great job, my only knock is it’s a bit more expensive than the others above. But hey – variety is the spice of life and their ingredients are top notch.
- Neutrogena Men’s Shave Cream – When I’m traveling or in another country, I find Neutrogena is a great brand to pick up as I feel overall they are a consistent value brand. A bit pricier than other well known companies – I like that they cater to men with sensitive skin as it sends the signal they try to minimize the number of possible irritants.
- Gillette Body Shaving Gel – I’m not talking about aerosol cans here (although the ingredients will be somewhat similar to the artificial ones found in them). This is a gel that actually provides a decent facial shave and is made to be used on other parts of the body (I use it for the back of my neck.) This product can be found at your local Walgreens or Wal-Mart.
There are options out there beyond what you find in an aerosol can.
You need to find what works for you and that involves a bit of trial and error.
A small change in the products you use can drastically improve your shave!
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