5 Best Shaving Creams

5 Best Shaving Creams

A beard is a truly glorious thing! It makes men look manlier and more attractive to women (yes, science did prove it), and for the men who are just too busy to shave (guilty as charged!), it's the perfect option to keep your face looking neat.

Now:

Don't get us wrong, there are times when even a beard has overstayed its welcome. Our faces occasionally need a clean shave, a new look, or a trim. That's when you need shaving cream!

Shaving cream is something you should always have on hand, even if you don't use it often. You need shaving cream for a close, smooth shave free of nicks and cuts. The best shaveing cream will actually moisturize and hydrate your face as you shave, softening the skin and hair and leaving your skin healthier and better-looking than before the shave.

What's not to love?

In our effort to bring you only the best shaving cream on the market, we've combed over hundreds of products, read thousands of reviews, meticulously compared ingredients, and even tried some of the shaving creams out personally (the beauty of having a beard!).

Check out our list of the best shaving creams for your use.

Why trust us: Faveable has spent thousands of hours researching, interviewing experts, and testing products to come up with carefully selected lists trusted by millions of consumers since 2013.

5 Best Shaving Creams

  • 5. Nivea Men Sensitive Shaving Gel
  • 4. Lather and Wood Shaving Oil
  • 3. Proraso Shaving Soap with Eucalyptus & Menthol (5.2 oz)
  • 2. Jack Black - Beard Lube Conditioning Shave
  • 1. Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Cream (5.3 oz)

Best Shaving Gel

#5

Nivea Men Sensitive Shaving Gel

Best Shaving Gel: Nivea Men Sensitive Shaving Gel
Performance
9.0
Value
9.0
Overall
90%
90 % Editor Score
80 % User Score
136 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Offers excellent lubrication to help your razor glide smoothly
  • Great for men with all skin types, but especially good for sensitive skin
  • Not as strong-smelling as other shave gels

Designed for men with sensitive skin, gives you a closer shave without irritation or razor burn, protects your skin from cuts and rashes, not an overly strong odor, formulated to improve skin health, and creates a nice and thick lather.

Hard to measure gel output, meaning more waste.

Expert Ratings

Performance

9.0 / 10

For those who prefer to shave with a gel instead of foam or cream, you'll love the soft, soothing feel of this gel. Your skin will feel fresher and healthier after you shave, thanks to the soothing chamomile extract and protective Vitamin E. The list of ingredients includes witch hazel, which can help to reduce your risk of acne, rashes, psoriasis, and other skin conditions.

The gel is surprisingly thick, though not as heavy as a shaving foam. It provides a nice lubrication that ensures a close shave without irritation, cuts, or nicks. In fact, it's designed with ingredients that will protect against nicks, cuts, bumps, and redness.

One of the best things about this gel is the fact that it's suitable for men with sensitive skin. If regular shaving creams, foams, and soaps cause you to break out in a rash, this Nivea cream is your best choice. It's formulated specifically for sensitive skin, with ingredients that will not irritate your skin.

Value

9.0 / 10

At under $7, this is a well-priced shaving gel. Though you may end up using more than you should every time you shave (thanks to the hard-to-press squeeze top), you'll find that it's solid value for the cost--especially if you have sensitive skin!

Overall Editor Score

9.0 / 10

Best Shaving Oil

#4

Lather and Wood Shaving Oil

Best Shaving Oil: Lather and Wood Shaving Oil
Performance
9.0
Value
9.0
Overall
90%
90 % Editor Score
82 % User Score
113 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Helps you to use less shaving cream with every shave
  • Great for those with sensitive skin, as it helps to prevent razor burns and rashes
  • Can be used alone (sans shaving cream)

Softens and smooths your skin for a better shave, made with all natural ingredients, great for thick and coarse hair, and the spray top makes it easy to apply.

Oil can clog safety razors; smells of olive oil.

Expert Ratings

Performance

9.0 / 10

 If you prefer a dryer, mess-free shave, you'll love this shaving oil! While it's designed to be used as a pre-shave conditioner for your skin and hair, it can be used in place of shaving cream for a dry shave. Just a few drops of this oil will soften your hair, making it easier for your razor to slice through them. It will also coat your face with a protective layer to reduce friction and prevent rashes.

It's an all-natural product, made with seven different essential oils (grapeseed, cranberry, wheat germ, neem, and Vitamin E among them) that help to soften and moisturize your skin. It claims to be made with sandalwood, but it has a mild scent of olive oil--to be expected given that organic olive oil is one of the primary ingredients. 

The oil may clog your safety razor, so you'll need to wash it out carefully. However, you'll find that it leaves a thin film of oil, protecting you from dryness and nourishing your skin throughout the day.

Value

9.0 / 10

$13 may seem like a high price to pay for a small bottle of oil, but you'll find that the combination of ingredients makes it a good pre-shave/dry shave product. It will help to moisturize and nourish your skin and give you a much better shave.

Overall Editor Score

9.0 / 10

Best Shaving Soap

#3

Proraso Shaving Soap with Eucalyptus & Menthol (5.2 oz)

Best Shaving Soap: Proraso Shaving Soap with Eucalyptus & Menthol (5.2 oz)
Performance
9.5
Value
9.5
Overall
95%
95 % Editor Score
87 % User Score
249 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Well-priced and well-valued product
  • Pleasant smell of mint (thanks to eucalyptus and menthol)
  • Contains natural ingredients to soothe, purify, and moisturize your skin

Comes with bowl for easy mixing, natural ingredients for purifying and toning, light and refreshing feeling as you shave, minty scent, and all comes at a great value. What more could you ask for?

Doesn't lather as easily as other soaps and shave creams and dries quickly.

Expert Ratings

Performance

9.5 / 10

If you're looking for a quality shaving soap that gives you a drier shave than classic creams and foams, this is a good product to consider. It's wet enough for a single pass, and it won't make as big of a mess as wetter and thicker foams.

The ingredients contain natural antiseptics like eucalyptus and menthol, both of which help to tone your skin and give the cream a pleasant smell. The cream also contains coconut oil, stearic acid, eugenol (from cloves), and geraniol (from rose oil) that will help to moisturize, hydrate, and tone your skin. It's not the most natural shaving cream around, but the natural ingredients it does contain will do a great job of nourishing your skin.

Working up a lather can be a bit of a challenge until you figure out the "secret". However, the lubrication is good, and it will protect your face from razor burns, bumps, and rashes. The foam isn't as thick as others, but you'll still get a good close shave every time.

Value

9.5 / 10

$10 isn't too high a price to pay for this shaving soap. It's as good as many of the other shaving creams on the market, and at a much lower cost. If you're looking for something a bit simpler than fancy shaving foam, it's a good option to consider.

Overall Editor Score

9.5 / 10

Best Shaving Cream For Sensitive Skin

#2

Jack Black - Beard Lube Conditioning Shave

Best Shaving Cream For Sensitive Skin: Jack Black - Beard Lube Conditioning Shave
Performance
9.5
Value
8.9
Overall
92%
92 % Editor Score
91 % User Score
29 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Softens facial hair
  • Gentle on skin
  • All-in-one product

The Jack Black Beard Lube Conditioning Shave cream is an all-in-one product in that it acts as a pre-shave oil, a shaving cream, and an aftershave conditioner! It does not dry out the skin and helps retain moisture in the skin. 

None that we could come up with!

Expert Ratings

Performance

9.5 / 10

The Jack Black Beard Lube Conditioning Shave is a translucent formula that moisturizes and softens hair to create a smooth and painless shave. You only need a small amount to receive the maximum benefits of this product. 

The formula is super light and creamy. It does not apply as a lather but rather a smooth and easy to rinse lotion that razors can gently glide over without clogging the blades. The translucent formula enables you to see where you are applying the product to make for a more precise shave. 

This product is excellent for sensitive skin as it provides a super close shave without irritating the skin. It's a lubricant, so it moisturizes and hydrates the face while you shave, leaving your skin feeling refreshed.  

Value

8.9 / 10

This lubricant is definitely on the pricier side, but we think it's worth it if you have sensitive skin and are looking for a formula that will help give you a perfect shave. 

Overall Editor Score

9.2 / 10

Best Shaving Cream Overall

#1

Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Cream (5.3 oz)

Best Shaving Cream Overall: Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Cream (5.3 oz)
Performance
9.5
Value
9.5
Overall
95%
95 % Editor Score
96 % User Score
407 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Lather is smooth and thick; feels good as you move the razor across your skin
  • Features that familiar manly sandalwood scent
  • Ideal for both safety and straight razors

Strong, manly scent; works up a rich, thick lather; ideal for use with boar bristle brush; softens and smooths out your skin for a closer shave; and strong enough you won't need to put on cologne after.

Many men find the smell to be a little TOO strong.

Expert Ratings

Performance

9.5 / 10

If you're looking for a rich, thick lather that will give you a great shave every time, this is the shaving cream for you!

The cream comes with a mixing bowl, making it easy for you to mix it up to a thick foam using a boar bristle brush (brush sold separately). If you're a man who loves the old-fashioned shave, the sandalwood scent will bring back memories of your very first shaving experience.

In addition to sandalwood, the cream has lavender, rosemary, rose, and jasmine, all subtle flavors that make it smell great while also soothing, moisturizing, and hydrating your skin. You won't need to wear cologne after shaving with this cream--the sandalwood and floral scents will last all day. But do be aware Some people found the smell TOO strong or sharp.

You get a beautifully thick lather from this cream, one that makes the razor glide smoothly over your skin. The ingredients will help to soften your skin and hair, making your shave much easier. It's not as moist as other shave creams, but you'll find that this can be easier for shaving, keeping the foamy mess to a minimum.

Value

9.5 / 10

At $17, this is one of the priciest shaving creams on the list. However, if you're looking for a better shave and prefer the old-fashioned way (bristle brush and straight razor), you won't find a shaving cream to match this one.

Overall Editor Score

9.5 / 10

Faveable Ratings: 5 Best Shaving Creams

5 Best Shaving CreamsPerformanceValueOverall
Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Cream (5.3 oz) Thumbnail
Best Shaving Cream Overall
#1Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Cream (5.3 oz)
9.5
9.5
95
Jack Black - Beard Lube Conditioning Shave Thumbnail
Best Shaving Cream For Sensitive Skin
#2Jack Black - Beard Lube Conditioning Shave
9.5
8.9
92
Proraso Shaving Soap with Eucalyptus & Menthol (5.2 oz) Thumbnail
Best Shaving Soap
#3Proraso Shaving Soap with Eucalyptus & Menthol (5.2 oz)
9.5
9.5
95
Lather and Wood Shaving Oil Thumbnail
Best Shaving Oil
#4Lather and Wood Shaving Oil
9.0
9.0
90
Nivea Men Sensitive Shaving Gel Thumbnail
Best Shaving Gel
#5Nivea Men Sensitive Shaving Gel
9.0
9.0
90

Faveable Expert Tips

What's In My Shaving Cream?

Have you ever wondered what marvelous ingredients are contained in your shaving cream that causes it to foam up so beautifully? Or what gives it that delightful smell? Perhaps you've looked at that bottle of shave soap or gel and wondered, "What's in this?"

The basic ingredients of a shaving cream are:

  • Water, obviously. Water is the solvent that dissolves the various ingredients and mixes them together. It's also the matrix that contains the trapped air when the cream foams up, and is used to spread the ingredients evenly across your skin.
  • Stearic acid, a saturated fatty acid that lowers the surface tension of the cream and makes it glide over your skin. It's also an emulsifier and stabilizes the lather, thickening the cream and helping the ingredients to absorb into your skin.
  • Glycerin or glycerol, which are water retaining ingredients that help to stabilize the foam and increase its density. It helps to give the lather more glide and can protect the outer layers of your skin.
  • Sodium/Potassium hydroxides, potent inorganic bases that are used in the soap-making process.
  • Triethanolamine or TEA, an organic base that is both a surfactant and emulsifier. It's used to neutralize fatty acid pH and to help the fatty acids in the cream be soluble with the water.

These are some of the typical ingredients you'll find in your shaving creams, though they're also used in other shaving products (such as soap or gel).

However, the truth is that there are other ingredients in your shaving products, some more dangerous than others!

For example:

  • Triethanolamine, also known as TEA, has been linked to contact dermatitis, and may be both a carcinogen and irritant.
  • Propylene glycol, often used in place of glycerin, is a humectant commonly used in anti-freeze and brake fluid and may lead to negative skin reactions and irritation.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), along with its counterpart sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), have both been deemed problematic. SLS mimicks the activity of estrogen and can cause cancerous cell mutations, while SLES contains dioxane, a known carcinogen.
  • Mineral oil is a byproduct of petroleum, and thus potentially hazardous to your health.
  • Phthalates, common in many beauty products, can interrupt organ and brain function and decrease immunity. They can also lead to obesity and insulin resistance.
  • Parfum, also known as synthetic fragrances, is made from up to 3,000 chemicals, many of which have been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, skin irritation, and a plethora of other problems.

And these ingredients are just in your shaving cream! Shave gels and soaps may also contain potentially dangerous ingredients, such as isopentane (a skin and respiratory system irritant), PTFE (a potentially toxic ingredient), and butylated hydroxytoluene (a preservative that is both an irritant and a hormone disruptor).

When using ANY type of beauty product—including shaving products—it's important that you know what's in them. You may be unwittingly exposing yourself to health risks if you're not careful!

Battle of the Shaving Products

Shaving cream is the "go-to" product for men, but is it really the BEST option for shaving? Below, we compare and contrast the various shaving products to determine which will suit your needs best:

Shaving Foam – The aerosol-canned stuff you call shaving cream is really actually "shaving foam", due to the fact that it foams up when you spray it into your hand. Shaving foam is the cheapest of the lot, and the most widely available. It's also the easiest to use and creates a thick, rich lather that is wonderfully easy to apply to your face. You'll find shaving foams are reliable and a no-fuss solution.

However, shaving foams are also most likely to contain hazardous or irritating ingredients, and it can be very "hit or miss" in terms of lather thickness and texture. Though cheaper, they're also more likely to be lower in quality and health benefits for your skin.

Shaving Cream – In this context, the term "cream" refers to a thick, creamy substance that is squirted from a non-aerosol container and must be lathered by hand or using a boar bristle brush before applying to your face. Shaving creams tend to be thicker than shaving foams, with ingredients that can nourish and moisturize the skin. The higher fatty acid content helps to lubricate the skin and increase the glide of the razor over your face. In terms of shave performance, shaving cream has a slight edge over foam.

On the downside, shaving creams can be comedogenic (causing pimples), and they tend to be pricier than shaving foam. You may find many natural and organic shaving creams, but the containers are smaller AND more expensive than shaving foam. You also need the right tools (brush and container) to lather the cream up properly. The natural and organic creams are less likely to form a thick lather than shaving foams.

Shaving Gel – For those who want a shave without all the lather, shaving gels are a good option. The gels tend to be lightweight and easy to apply, and their transparent color makes it easy for you to see what you're doing. The alcohol content of the gels will reduce irritation and prevent infection, leaving your face cleaner after every shave.

On the downside, that alcohol can also be too strong for sensitive skin, leading to irritation and rashes. Shave gels are also the most artificial of the products, and they don't produce the thick lather required for long, coarse, and thick hair. They're ideal for shorter hair and stubble, or for men who shave daily.

Shaving Soap – Shaving soap is true "old school", and it has been around for well over 100 years. Basically, it's a hard soap that you whip up into a lather using a bristle brush, then apply to your face. The benefits of shaving soap include better lather, optimal softening of the facial hair, and better shave performance.

On the downside, they're not as convenient as the other options, as they have to be whipped into a lather with much more effort than even shaving cream. They're also pricier and require the use of a shaving mug and brush. Ultimately, though, they are cheaper in the long run, and deliver a high quality shave.

Five Steps to a Perfect Shave

Shaving is both an art and a science. You have to go through the same routine every time to get it right, but it takes finesse to master the perfect shave. Here is what you need to do:

Step 1: Prepare your face. Start off with a hot shower, or use a moist towel wrapped around your face. Moisture and heat will open your pores and soften the hairs. If you have a thick or coarse beard, use a pre-shave oil to soften the hairs even further. The oil will moisturize your skin, both protecting it from razor burn and encouraging a closer shave.

Step 2: Apply the cream. Or soap, or gel, or foam—whatever you like and works best for you. The idea of these shaving products is to both lubricate your face (preventing razor burn) and softening the hairs even further. Applying the cream with a bristle brush will lift the hairs and make them easier to cut. However, applying it with your hands will suffice.

Step 3: Shave. This is the hardest part, and the one that requires the most precision and time. Make sure your razor is sharp and in good condition, free of rust or stains. Start with your face, then move down to your chin, then neck. Shave with the grain of the hair, never against. Use short, light strokes to shave, moving the razor an inch or two at a time. Rinse the soap or foam off the blade every stroke or two. Pay special attention to the hair on your chin and beneath your jawline.

Step 4: Rinse off. Now that you're done shaving, it's time to rinse your face with cold water. Cold water helps to close your pores and prevents ingrown hairs. As you rinse, check to make sure there are no unshaven patches. Touch up your face, chin, and neck as needed.

Step 5: Put the finishing touches. Dry your face by patting it with a clean towel—NEVER rub, as rubbing will increase friction. Treat any nicks or cuts with salve to help the blood coagulate and reduce infection risk. Use an aftershave lotion to soothe and hydrate your skin.

Five simple steps! Follow them for a perfect shave every time.

Shaving Tips

Here are a few tips to help you improve your shaving skills:

  • Don't rush – Take your time while shaving. Shaving in a hurry leads to nicks, cuts, razor burn, and missed hairs. Prep your skin for the razor, shave slowly, and rinse/treat well.
  • Consider a facial cleanser – Facial cleansers can soften the keratin that makes up the strands of hair, making them easier to cut. Avoid any harsh soaps, as they can eliminate the oils that soften your hair.
  • Let the shaving product sit – Don't start shaving immediately after applying the cream, soap, or gel. Instead, let it sit on your face for a while, softening the hairs and conditioning your skin. Give it 2-3 minutes to sit before shaving. You'll notice a much smoother, closer shave!
  • Use a brush – Whether you use soap, foam, or cream, dermatologists recommend you use a brush to apply the lather. Not only does it help to lift the hair, but it pushes the cream into the hair and makes them easier to cut.
  • Pull the skin – If you're working on a tricky part (such as your chin, around your mouth, or behind your jaw), pull the skin tight. It will help the razor glide smoothly, delivering a closer shave.
  • Stick with three blades – Razors that offer four or five blades aren't necessarily better. You'll find that a single-bladed razor can do the job just fine. No more than three blades are needed for a good shave.
  • Keep them sharp – Dull blades force you to press harder to cut, increasing your risk of skin irritation, razor burn, and nicks. Always use a sharp razor, even if that means switching out cartridges more often.
  • Lather before re-shaving – Missed a spot and need to go over it again? Don't shave the same spot twice without re-lathering. Wait until you've finished the rest of your face, rinse, then apply lather to that spot again before shaving. It may be more time-consuming, but it will help to prevent irritation and razor burn.
  • Test your creams – Don't be content with the first shaving cream, soap, or gel you buy. Test a few to see which gives you the best lather, hydration, and texture for your shave. It's worth investing more money in good shaving cream!
  • Pamper your face – Apply a pre-shave oil before applying the lather to create a DOUBLE layer of protection against razor burn. Finish off the shave with a light moisturizing cream and aftershave lotion that won't sting. Make sure to moisturize your face throughout the day to freshen up your skin. Don't forget the SPF to protect your skin from UV radiation in the sunlight if you're going to go outside immediately after shaving.
  • Be cautious of sensitive skin – If you have sensitive skin, make sure to only buy creams, soaps, foams, and gels labeled "For Sensitive Skin". The last thing you want is to deal with red bumps or a rash because your shaving product was too harsh for your skin.

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Article Staff

Missy Nolan is a single mom who is too sleep-deprived to come up with a clever bio at the moment. She has been a professional writer for more than 10 years and loves staying home with her 3 kids. Well, most of the time. Missy rocks at parenting, baking, cooking, saving cute outfits she'll never wear on Pinterest, and sipping her beloved secret-menu Starbucks Pink Drink while strolling through Target.

She's your go-to girl for advice or feedback on any of the things listed above, as well as tips on healthy living, bargain hunting, marketing, and finances. Connect with Missy here or at MakeItWithMissy.com, a food blog that features healthy recipes and grocery deals.

You can also find Missy on Legit Lender, Health.com, The Nest, Catalogs.com, and OneSpace.

Editor Jenna Holtz
Researcher Ronnie Langston
Art Director Cherry Barbacena

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5 Best Shaving Creams

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