Men's Shaving Cream Buying Guide

Shaving creams are an essential part of a close shave. They work by helping to soften the hairs on the face making them easier to cut. They also help the razor blade glide smoothly across the skin.

Types of Men's Shaving Cream

Canned Shaving Cream

Canned shaving cream is the form of shaving cream most often seen. The cream lathers as it is dispensed from the can. Many of these types of shaving creams are flammable because they use petrochemicals to help to dispense the cream. They also create the lather once the cream is out of the can. They can be harsh on the face but are the least expensive option.

Shaving Gel

Shaving gels come in either an aerosol can or tubes since gels do not need to be pressurized. Gels foam once they are agitated in the hands. It typically takes less shaving gel to get the same results as shaving cream. Fewer chemicals are involved in the making of shaving gels. Many men also find that gels give them a better, closer shave. However, gels are more expensive and have been known to clog razors.

Shaving Oil

Shaving oil is a mixture of vegetable oil and essential oils. They work well for those with sensitive skin because they use fewer chemicals than creams or gels. These oils help to moisturize the skin and do not clog pores as some creams and gels can. Because you can see through a gel, many men find that shaving the chin and jaw line is easier. However, it can be harder to tell where you have shaved with oils.

Shaving Soap

Shaving soap is most commonly used by a barber using a straight razor. It comes in a bar or wide mouth container. It has to be lathered using a special brush called a badger brush before being applied to the face. Soap will get you the closest shave of any shaving cream products but is not as convenient to use. You must have a bowl or cup to lather the soap and use either a brush or hands to apply.

Pay Attention to

Proper Use

Any shaving cream you use will work better when properly applied. All shaving creams work best on warm, moist skin. Shaving while in the shower or immediately after can ensure you that your skin is properly prepped for a close shave. One of the ways creams aid in shaving is by softening the facial hair. For maximum impact, the cream needs to be left on the face for two to three minutes. A badger brush will give you the best application as the hairs of the brush lift facial hair and apply cream to all areas.

Ingredients and Your Skin

The sensitivity of your skin will greatly determine which products you can safely use. The act of shaving naturally dries out the skin. While this helps exfoliate, it can also cause skin irritation. In general, the more chemicals used in the shaving cream the more likely it will be to irritate the skin. There are many shaving products that are made of natural ingredients that can help. If you are prone to dry skin or often have skin irritation after shaving, you may need a cream that is specially formulated for sensitive skin.

A moisturizing shaving cream or shaving oil would also be a good choice because they tend to cause less irritation. In general, the fewer chemicals in your shaving cream the better for your skin the cream will be. Avoid creams that come in aerosol cans because they have more added chemicals.

Another cause of skin irritation may be added scents and perfumes. Many can creams and gels have added perfumes that may irritate sensitive skin. Scents like lavender or rose tend to use natural ingredients and may work better.

Ease of Shave

A good shaving cream should help the razor glide across the skin. Shaving gels, oils, and soaps work well for helping the razor along. Finding a shaving cream that helps your razor glide will come down to personal preference as what works for one person may not work for another.

Closeness of Shave

If you want to achieve a professional shave at home, you need to try a shaving soap. They provide the closest shave possible but may require a bit of practice if you haven't used them before. Lathering the soap beforehand does add some extra time but if a close shave is important to you, the extra two minutes will be worth it.

Top Brands and Product Lines

The Art of Shaving Soap

This unscented shaving soap provides a close shave and is a favorite among shaving experts. It is unscented and works well for sensitive skin.


Suavecito has a high-quality line of shaving creams and products that give a close smooth shave. Their "Premium Blend" products are an especially popular line.

Geo F. Trumpers

This British line is consistently a user favorite.

Many British shaving products have a long tradition of providing a quality shave. Other popular brands are Truefitt and Hill, Duke Cannon, and Taylor of Old Bond Street.