I was never a huge fan of traditional, foamy shaving cream. I used it for years until I found razors that came with shave gel already built into the cartridge so that I could skip the shaving cream step all together. But, once I stopped buying these disposable cartridges and started using a metal safety razor, I had to find some sort of substitute (I’ve tried just using water and it’s not for me). Luckily, I have found alternatives that I like just as much as any gel.
If you’d like to find out more about what razor I use with my shaving cream alternatives you can check it out here.
Overall what I’ve found is that you just need a barrier between your skin and the blade. So most things that lather will work. But just in case you’re really curious about what I’ve tried in the past, here’s a list of the items I have successfully shaved with:
Option 1: Coconut oil
When I first started shaving with my safety razor I wasn’t sure what to use as shaving cream, but I was told by a roommate that coconut oil worked really well and helped to reduce razor burn. I used coconut oil off and on for a year before moving on to other alternatives.
Shaving with coconut oil results in silky smooth and well moisturized skin, but it tends to gum up the razor you are using, making you have to rinse it out repeatedly. Using too much of it can also clog your drain (personally I haven’t found it to be a big issue, but it is a possibility.)
Option 2: A shampoo bar
Once I decided that coconut oil just wasn’t working as well as I wanted, I moved on to using a shampoo bar that hadn’t worked for my hair. In the past I had used bottled shampoo or conditioner as shaving cream when in a pinch, and so I figured the bar version should work as well.
And it turns out that the bar version does work. It lathers up nicely, while leaving a sort of oily coating on my skin that allows the blade to glide easily. While I occasionally use my shampoo bar as shaving cream, especially if I have one laying around that won’t work with my hair, I now usually just use a bar of soap.
Option 3: A shave bar
A shave bar is made specifically to be used when shaving, so it probably comes as no surprise when I say that it works really well. I like to buy my shave bars at my local farmer’s market, but you can usually find them in any natural food store’s health and beauty section.
The shave bars I’ve used just seem to lather better than the other alternatives and leave the same sort of oily film on my skin that shampoo bars do that make shaving a breeze. But, just like shampoo bars, they can also be expensive so I generally just stick to using what I already have in my apartment, unless I find one that is awesome and locally made (I’m all about supporting local businesses).
Option 4: Soap
While I love using a shave bar or a shampoo bar, they tend to be more expensive than a simple bar of soap. Which is why using the bar of soap I use to wash the rest of my body has become my go to shaving cream alternative.
It doesn’t always lather as much as the other options so I find I have to reapply it more often as I’m shaving, but it still works well.