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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best shaving cream for men

Last Updated July 2020

If shaving is part of your daily routine, you already know how great it feels to get a good, clean shave. To keep irritation at bay and achieve the cleanest shave possible, you should invest in the right shaving cream for your skin. We’re here to help.

Shaving cream creates a smooth, rich lather that makes it easy for razor blades to glide over regrowth. Many formulas include skin-soothing ingredients like jojoba oil or aloe to calm skin and minimize post-shave razor burn. In fact, men with sensitive or acne-prone skin often benefit from switching from shaving foam or gel to shaving cream.

Given this, you may be wondering if your current shaving cream is right for you. In this buying guide, we share insight on the different formulas on today’s market, touching on the differences between foam, gel, and cream and exploring the features that make your investment worthwhile. We also provide helpful tips on how to improve your shaving experience.

Some brands offer the same shaving cream in several fragrances. Try more than one to see which fragrance suits your style. Some men purchase more than one scent so they can alternate scents for different occasions.

Key considerations

Cream, foam, and gel

When comparing shaving cream, foam, and gel, bear in mind that the main difference between these formulas is how they respond to water.

  • Shaving cream must be mixed with the right amount of water to achieve an optimal lather.
  • Shaving gel also requires water to transform it into a foamy, spreadable formula.
  • Shaving foam is dispensed and applied directly to wet skin. While it doesn’t have to be mixed with water the same way cream and gel do, the skin must be damp or moist to avoid irritation. 
     

Most shaving cream is somewhat runny with a consistency similar to that of lotion. As a result, shaving cream is usually packaged in squeeze bottles or tubes rather than aerosol cans. This packaging makes them more suitable for travel.

Another key difference that makes shaving cream stand out: alcohol is not usually part of the ingredient list. (Shaving gels and foams often do contain alcohol.) Without alcohol, shaving cream is less drying to the skin than gel and foam. Therefore, when you use shaving cream, you may not need a pore-clogging post-shave moisturizer to help rehydrate your skin.

Balancing shaving cream and water

Because shaving cream creates a lather, you’ll need to mix it with the right amount of water to achieve the ideal consistency. Too little or too much shaving cream can make your razor come into direct contact with your skin, causing irritation and possibly cutting your face.

EXPERT TIP

Always make sure your shaving cream container snaps closed. Otherwise, you could lose some product and end up with a big mess in the sink or shower.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Popular ingredients

Shaving cream is often chosen over foam and gel because it lacks alcohol. Most shaving creams are water-based, making them easy to spread and rinse away. Other ingredients may include jojoba, calendula, rosemary, and coconut oil, all of which aid in calming the skin during and after your shave. These ingredients may also contribute to the fragrance of the formula. Some shaving creams include other types of fragrance as well.

Containers

The vast majority of men’s shaving creams come in tapered squeeze bottles, though there are some that come in tubs. Both delivery methods make it easy to dispense the cream, especially given its runny consistency.

Another perk of bottles and tubs is that they’re often easier to recycle. What’s more, some eco-friendly manufacturers use recycled plastics and biodegradable packing materials.

Sensitive skin formulas

If you have sensitive skin, rest assured there are plenty of shaving cream formulas to accommodate you. These formulas typically focus on preventing ingrown hairs, razor burn, and breakouts by using ingredients that soothe skin, such as aloe and cucumber extract.

Other skin-sensitive formulas minimize the use of oils, dyes, fragrances, parabens, and SLS (sodium lauryl sulfates). These formulas have simple ingredient lists replete with naturally derived ingredients.

EXPERT TIP

Most shaving creams with mint or peppermint have a tingling effect. Some people find it refreshing and invigorating; others find that it irritates their skin.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Razor: Gillette Fusion5 Men’s Razor
To get the most out of your shaving cream, invest in a top-notch razor. We like this one from Gillette, which features five anti-friction blades with lubrication strips. The ergonomic handle helps you navigate hard-to-reach areas.

Aftershave care:  The Art of Shaving Sandalwood After-Shave Balm and Daily Moisturizer
To keep your skin smooth after every shave, apply aftershave balm. We like this one from The Art of Shaving; the light, musky sandalwood scent is neutral enough for casual, professional, and formal wear. Free from synthetic dyes and alcohol, it’s also safe for sensitive skin.
 

Badger brush: Perfecto 100% Pure Badger Shaving Brush
If you’d like to give yourself the full barbershop experience at home, lather up and apply shaving cream with a badger brush. We like this one from Perfecto, whose handcrafted wood base stands upright on counters and fits most shave stands. Its all-natural bristles gently exfoliate your skin to provide the closest shave possible.

Shaving cream for men: prices

You can expect to pay between $5 and $40 for a man’s shaving cream. While container size factors into the price, formula quality and brand name affect the cost even more.

Inexpensive: If you’re on a budget, stick to drugstore shaving creams priced between $5 and $12. There aren’t too many sensitive skin formulas in this category, but you can find a few organic ones.

Mid-range: Specialty shaving creams cost anywhere from $12 to $18. These formulas use better-quality ingredients that may help calm and soothe the skin. A wide variety of organic and cruelty-free shaving cream products exist in this range.

Expensive: Premium shaving creams run as much as $40 per container. They’re mostly sold by high-end retailers. They’re quite pricey given their formulas, but the cost is sometimes offset by the inclusion of free gifts or travel-size containers.

EXPERT TIP

Love your cologne? The manufacturer may have a matching shaving cream. If that’s the case, you can use them together to promote a longer weartime.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Take your time shaving. Even if you invest in a top-notch shaving cream, you won’t get a good shave if you rush. In fact, you could end up with nicks and redness if your work is hasty.
  • Read the ingredients list. If you have sensitive skin, make sure the shaving cream you choose doesn’t include ingredients that irritate your skin. Some manufacturers write ingredients out in plain English, whereas others stick to chemical or compound names— in which case you may need to do research to figure out exactly what they are.
  • Stick with a fragrance you like. Fragrance has a tendency to linger after your shave. If the scent is a bit overwhelming, or if it doesn’t match your cologne or aftershave, consider an unscented shaving cream instead.

Another product we considered

Another cream we like is Bee Bald Premium Shave Cream. Its formula is safe for all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone skin. The unique blend of ingredients is gentle enough for body and head shaving, too. In fact, it’s also a popular choice among women.

If you find yourself considering a premium shaving cream, pick up a travel or trial size first. In the event it’s not a product you’d like to use, you won’t be out big bucks.

FAQ

Q. How do I know if I used too much water to lather up my shaving cream?
A.
If you oversaturate your shaving cream with water, you will end up with a very liquidy consistency. This ends up dripping all over the place and may be too thin for your razor to glide across your face.
 

Q. Is shaving cream available in travel-size squeeze bottles?
A.
Yes, though your preferred shaving cream may not be manufactured in a travel-size bottle. You could try a different brand when you travel, or you could invest in TSA-approved travel bottles. Unlike foam and gel, shaving cream’s consistency makes it easy to pour — or squirt — into travel-size bottles.
 

Q. Is there a big difference between premium shaving cream and drugstore shaving cream?
A.
It depends on who you ask. Some people feel you get a better formula with premium ingredients, leading to a closer shave and minimizing razor burn. Other people say drugstore shaving creams can be equally effective, as the main attribute of the product is consistency.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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