The 7 Best Shaving Creams Reviewed


There didn’t use to be so much confusion when buying a shaving cream. You just grabbed a can off the shelf at the drugstore and that was it, the best shaving cream, may be.

Now, I want you to consider going for the best shaving cream instead of the aerosol ones. Put the can down and get yourself a shaving cream or lotion that actually does a good job. Shaving foams in a can are not the best and in fact, are really inferior to creams and lotions.

In this review of the best shaving creams I hope to inspire you to step up your shave game and start using some of the best shaving products for men instead of the first thing you grab.

Before I get into the full review, I will give a shout out to an aerosol canned shaving foam that is actually good and I do use myself when I am feeling lazy. Proraso makes some great shave products in general, so it is no surprise that this is the best men’s shaving cream in a can on that you can buy.

If you don’t have time to read the full reviews of these best shaving creams, then here is a handy table to guide you to the best shaving cream for men.

What to look for in a shaving cream

Before going through the ingredients that a shave cream should have, instead, I will help make your choice easier by going through the ingredients it shouldn’t have. Then after this section I will go over some things to consider before you buy.


Alcohol dries out your skin and which then leads to irritation. Shaving products without alcohol will keep your skin hydrated by allowing the moisturizer they, or other skin care products, contain. Many shaving products will feature alcohol and then tout it as a toner, but there are better ingredients for the same effect. Tea tree oil, for example, is a great toner that leaves the skin healthy and antiseptic.


This one is not so cut and dry. There is some concern about parabens causing health problems, but there is no clear consensus if that is true. The FDA says they aren’t a problem. Used as a preservative to keep grooming products from going bad or to reduce the chances of there being bacteria in it, they are very common.

The thing is, there are other more natural preservatives that many manufacturers have found that do the same thing without any fear. It is very easy to find shaving products that don’t contain any parabens.


What is the difference between a fragrance and a scent? A fragrance is a chemical, or mixture of chemicals to perfume the product. A scent can come from essential oils or extracts from a natural product.

Fragrance-free, then doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a scent, it just means that the aroma is from natural ingredients. If you don’t want it to smell, look for unscented. All the best shaving creams are fragrance-free.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Added to soaps and creams, it is a cleanser that gets your skin clean. Unfortunately it also strips away the skin’s natural oils along with the grime. It does do a good job cleaning, which is why it is used, but there are just as effective cleaning ingredients that leave the skin’s oils.

What to consider before buying

Different shaving creams have different features and different faces have different needs. Before you can really know which one will be best for you is to know what you are looking for.


This is not the main purpose of a shaving cream, believe it or not. Though it is important you will see that hydration is actually far more important for a good shave. We’ll go over that in the next section as for now I want to make sure you understand the difference.

When you lubricate the skin, the blade can glide. This is why so many shaving creams out of a can focus on this because it will give you a smooth shave.

What it won’t give you is a close shave.

This is the biggest reason I made this list so you could find a cream that both hydrates and lubricates as this is what will give you an incredibly close and smooth shave at the same time.

You’ll find ingredients like glycerin that will help hydrate your face and provide some nice slick surface for your razor to glide and reduce drag.

Some will have different essential oils like coconut and jojoba. She butter and aloe vera are usually present as well since they can do both.


If you are going to be doing a wet shave with your shaving cream then it goes without saying that water and hydration are very important.

As I mentioned, it is even more important that lubrication.

What happens when your skin and stubble are properly hydrated is that the blade is able to cut the hairs easily and evenly. Your skin is plumped up when it is soaked with water and moisturizers so the blade can cut the hair very close to the root.

The best shaving creams are the soaps that need to be used with water rahe rthan just out of the can or bottle. Of course, some on the list here are those that don’t need to be used with water so this is not a hard and fast rule.

If you plan to use a safety razor or straight edge then it really pays to use one that needs a shaving brush and lots of hot water by doing a wet shave.

A single straight blade will love the slickness of a well hydrated face and won’t drag against the skin.


Since there are different kinds of cream on the list, take a moment to think about how you prefer to shave.

For instance, will you be doing a wet shave? Then you’ll need a soap that is either a disc that gets dropped in your favorite shaving mug or bowl and needs to be activated with water and a shaving brush.

If you won’t be doing that and still really don’t want to be using a shaving cream or gel out of a can then you should go with the lotion style that you simply rub onto your face.

My personal recommendation is to go for the wet shave and a shaving soap as there are tons of advantages. But, I understand that guys are busy these days and adding 15 minutes to their shave doesn’t sound very appealing.

I suggest getting both kinds. Have one for doing the occassional wet shave, maybe once a week and then use a lotion that doesn’t need to be lathered for the rest of the week. You get the best of both worlds there and can avoid the cans.


This is probably the least important factor when it comes to choosing the right cream, but it is somethign to consider. Even though it doesn’t affect the shave at all, it does play a part in the routine.

There are so many different scents to choose from so go with one that you really don’t mind smelling every day. Or even better is to get one with a scent you love so you look forward to using it. I get that way with sandalwood shaving creams. I love the smell of an old school barbershop so these fragrances really help me enjoy the process.

Your Skin and Facial Hair Type

Beyond the qualities of the shaving cream, your skin and hair play a part in how the shave will go. That’s why it’s important to get the right shaving cream and use the right technique to get the best shave.

If you have sensitive skin, for example, then the wet shave is your best option. The ingredients in the soap are generally gentle and the extra hydration will keep your skin from getting irritated from razor burn. I would probably staty away from some of the lotions like Cremo that are rather harsh from the menthol on sensitive skin.

Guys with thick facial hair will also benefit from using one of the soaps and doing the wet shave as the stubble will be much easier to cut when they are really hydrated.

For guys with normal skin, you can go with any of the shaving creams on the list. And if your facial hair is on th elighter side then you’re probably better off not going through the whole wet shave routine. Unless you really like it, which is totally understandable.

If you often suffer from ingrown hair or razor bumps, then again I suggest going with a soap for the wet shave but specifically with a straight edge blade of a safety razor or cutthroat.

You’re far less likely to ever get ingrown hairs thanks to the hydration of the soap and the ability to cut right through the hair so it won’t grow back on itself as it comes out of the skin. Usually when you use a cheap shaving cream that doesn’t hydrate the stubble, the cut is not blunt, leaving sharp edges on the follicle. These sharp edges can cause the hair to struggle to grow out of the skin and causes the razor bump.

Shaving Cream vs Shaving Foam

The term shaving cream gets used interchangeably, but in this review, when I mention creams I mean non aerosol shaving creams that come out of a tube or jar. Shaving foam, then comes out of an aerosol can like a Barbasol. Except for the Proraso can I already mentioned, it is best to avoid shaving foams from a can. They generally don’t have enough water to properly hydrate the skin and beard for an effective shave. Gels, should really not be used at all as they are really only lubricants and don’t coat your beard with any water. They might seem effective since you won’t feel any irritation, or at least very little, when you use a gel, but they don’t really help your shave.

How to Apply Shaving Cream

How you prep your face with the best shaving cream will depend on the cream or lotion in question, so read the instructions for clarity. There are two ways to apply the best shaving cream, with a shaving brush, or simply with your hand.

Shaving Brush

If the cream in question is from a jar, then a wet shaving brush can be dipped right into the jar to apply the cream. Work the cream around and into the brush with your fingers to lather it up, or swirl the brush around the inside of a shaving bowl. If it is from a tube, then apply the recommended amount directly onto the wet brush and, again work it in with your fingers until it is sufficiently lathered up. The best shaving cream can also be put into a shaving bowl and then the wet brush can be vigorously worked into a lather by using a circular motion. Check out our list of these best shaving brushes here!

By Hand

When using your hand to apply the best shaving cream, it is essential that your face and beard are well hydrated. Either do the shave right after the shower, or apply a really hot and wet towel compress before applying. There are oils to lubricate, and many contain glycerin, but the softer your beard is before you apply, the smoother the shave will be. And closer, too. Make sure the best shaving cream is evenly applied.

Rub your hands and fingers up and down and then in a circular motion to really get the best shaving cream in the skin and beard, and the beard hairs get lifted up as they get coated. Having the hairs lifted away from the skin will make for a much closer shave.

Shaving Cream for Sensitive Skin

Taylor of Old Bond Street Jermyn Street Luxury Shaving Cream

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The subtle scent of citrus, vanilla and some floral notes, makes this easy on the nose, but more importantly easy on the skin. With the main player in the aroma game being bergamot, it is unique and intriguing, while still not overpowering. People with skin that is sensitive to too many essential oils will find some relief from irritation with this exceptional shaving cream from Taylor of Old Bond Street. Yes, there is a mix of a few essential oils for the scent, but they use oils that are less irritating to sensitive skin. For use with a shaving brush or by hand, this cream helps keep the skin hydrated to allow for some smooth gliding of the razor. Reducing the friction helps cut way down razor drag, which can cause razor burn. A little goes a long way as this lathers up very well. It should last through quite a few shaves even if you are using it everyday. I am a huge fan of this brand and this gentle shaving cream is no exception.

You’ll love it for theseBut you won’t like these
Great for sensitive skinHigh price
Subtle scent
Apply with brush or hand
Thick lather

Shaving Cream for Safety Razors

VIKINGS BLADE Luxury Foaming Shaving Cream

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To know what shaving was like 100 years ago, then this is the shaving cream to try to shave like your grandpa. This doesn’t create a thick lather, but becomes more of a foam when you whip it up with your favorite shaving brush. It is light, airy and foamy when it is applied, but then quickly evaporates leaving a slick layer on your face that is perfect for shaving with a safety razor. Keep in mind this is how it is supposed to be.

A thick lather may seem like it is working just based on how thick it is, but if it doesn’t have enough glycerin or fat in it then, it isn’t doing its job. Viking Blade may seem like it got dried out, but it is supposed to do this.

It may take a couple of tries to get the water just right, though as it does need to be quite wet going on so there is enough lube left in the remaining layer to let the razor glide. As unique as it seems now, this is the way the best shaving creams were back in the day. It goes on wet, so the beard gets sufficiently soaked and soft.

The best part is how quickly it foams up. In less than a minute of whipping with the brush, you will have a lush foam ready to be applied to the face. Your face ends up perfectly lubricated and ready for the straight edge or safety razor.

Thanks to the essential oils, it will leave your face feeling silky smooth with the skin nicely hydrated. The scent is a mix of sandalwood and cedar for a strong, manly smell that reminds me of an old time barbershop. This does work well with any type of razor, but really excels with a single blade of a safety razor.

You’ll love it for theseBut you won’t like these
Super lubricatedBit of a learning curve to get the foam just right
Very smooth shave
Leaves skin supple and smooth
Great woodsy scent

Shaving Cream for Razor Bumps

Ursa Major Stellar Shave Cream

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A great natural remedy for razor bumps is to sooth them with aloe vera in addition to the best shaving cream. It is a great anti inflammatory agent that gets down deep into the skin and helps heal the infection, which is what a razor bump is. So, naturally a shaving cream loaded with aloe vera is the best way to shave and get rid of razor bumps at the same time.

Ursa Major makes this shave cream with all natural ingredients that nourish the skin in addition to making for a smooth and nich free shave. Featuring ingredients that lubricate, hydrate and heal the skin, it is also great for people with sensitive skin.

It is non lathering so it doesn’t need a brush. Apply with your hands and really rub it in to let it do its thing. Make sure your face is thoroughly wet before applying and also make sure to rub well to lift the beard away from the skin. Works great with straight edge blades or cartridges. It is fairly thick, so take the time to really rub it in. It should lubricate enough for you to go over the face twice with the razor without needing to reapply.

You’ll love it for theseBut you won’t like these
Aloe vera helps reduce razor bumpsPrice is a bit high
All natural formula
Great for sensitive skin
No brush needed

Best Smelling Shaving Cream

Castle Forbes Cedar/Sandalwood Shaving Cream

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Take yourself back in time to when you would sit with your grandfather while he got his shave at that classic old time barbershop. That smell is what mens smelled like back in the day. This classic shaving cream smells like what a shaving cream should. Light notes of sandalwood and cedar for a woodsy, earthy, manly smell.

Crafted in small batches in Scotland, it is made with care, not for the mass market. All the fragrances are natural, and the ingredients top notch. It is highly concentrated so a little goes a long way.

Anybody looking at the price tag and having second thoughts should consider that when deciding on whether it fits the budget or not. With daily shaving this can easily last up to a year. It is rather thick, so it is best used with a brush to get the most out of it. Using your hand may result in using too much cream which needlessly wastes it.

If you don’t want to use a brush, just make sure your face is well soaked and hands are also wet when applying it. I love recommending a product that is made with care from a small Mom and Pop operation. It helps that the product is also superior in many ways, not just the great smell.

You’ll love it for theseBut you won’t like these
Manly, woodsy sandalwood and cedar scentedHigh price
Small production
Lathers up nicely
Leaves skin smooth

Best Luxury Shaving Cream

Penhaligon’s London Endymion for Men

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Penhaligon’s is a luxury men’s brand that is rightly famous for their colognes. If you already have the cologne and like to keep a consistent fragrance across all of your grooming products then this shaving cream will fit the bill.

They are not a household name like Taylor of Old Bond Street, but they should be. You get what you pay for in this expensive high end shaving cream. It smells like a classic cologne with floral notes and just enough earthiness to keep it masculine.

If anybody gets close enough to your face after shaving, expect some very high praise for your scent and sense of style. It is not just for the luxurious scent that should make you order this up right away, it is also the superior performance that knocks it out of the park. It is well crafted so a little dab will lather up quite well.

It is not an over the top lather that looks like a banana cream pie, but it is very highly lubricated so it will leave a slick layer on your skin to help the razor glide with ease. You can use it with either a shaving brush or hand. If you use it on your brush, squeeze out a little bit, maybe the size of an almond into a bowl.

Don’t try to squeeze it onto the brush directly as it will come out rather fast. When using your hand, rub it vigorously to get the lather working and let it lift the beard. You will notice the skin feeling nicely plump and soft as can be after shaving, Then the scent takes it over the top.

You’ll love it for theseBut you won’t like these
Luxurious latherComes out a bit runny
Leaves skin smooth and plump
Incredible scent
A little goes a long way

Shaving Cream That Doesn’t Need a Brush

Billy Jealousy Hydroplane Super Slick Shave Cream

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They are not joking when they call this super slick. It is a 3 in 1 shaving cream that acts like a moisturizer, a conditioner and most of all, a lubricant. This is about as slick as you can get from a foamless shaving cream without using a brush. Don’t let the lack of lather trick you into thinking it isn’t working.

You will see when you make your first stroke with the razor that it cuts through even tough beards like there is nothing there. It feels very invigorating, as well. A combination of peppermint, and ginger bring the heat, then the citrus of bergamot refreshes. The skin feels awake and refreshed after the shave is over.

Rub in this best shaving cream vigorously and make sure your face is thoroughly wet before hand. For a second pass use a tiny amount to go over the face one more time to get as close as can be. I would not use a straight edge or safety razor since it may dry out a bit in the time it takes to do a proper shave with a single blade.

But, that is just me. Your mileage may vary. This will last a seriously long time as the bottle is 8 fl ounces and you only need a quarter size dollop to cover your entire face.

You’ll love it for theseBut you won’t like these
Great scentDries out quickly
Super slick and smooth
Feels tingly
Refreshing feeling post shave

Best Cheap Shaving Cream

Cremo Cooling Shave Cream

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At less than $6 a pop, Cremo Original Shaving Cream won’t break the bank. Cremo was invented by two friends who simply wanted a shaving cream that worked. When they shared Cremo with their friends, the cream became a success and the company was born. Your razor will effortlessly glide over the contours of your face because Cremo minimizes friction with its slick, smooth formula.

A pea-sized amount of cream mixed with water is enough to cover your entire face with a thin lubricating layer, foam-free layer. Also aiding the wallet is the fact that you get about 90 days worth of shaves from such a small bottle.

Though some report that the fragrance is a bit overpowering, it’s heavy on the menthol, which opens the nasal passages as well as the pores. You can still get a nice barbershop-like shave with Cremo for the half the price you might spend on a luxury cream. It isn’t just good as a budget-friendly shaving cream.

Even if it were more expensive it would still be a great value for the results you can get. It works with any type of blade. Use whatever razor you are already currently using that you are happy with. There’s no need to go out and buy a specific razor to match up with this best shaving cream. If you really want to gild the lily, try using this as a pre-shave cream. In fact, I often do.

Since the price is so low it can still be a very cost-effective way to up your wet shave game. Make sure your face is really wet as the cream reacts with water to make it very slick. Then apply your wet towel to open up the pores, lastly apply your favorite shaving cream.

What is Your Best Kind of Shaving Cream?

Without the right and best shaving cream, you’re bound to leave the bathroom with a dry, itchy chin and red razor bumps all over your neck. The right kind of shaving cream though can totally transform your morning routine. Leave a comment below to tell us which is your favorite shaving cream.


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