Shaving gel and cream have dominated the market for decades, perpetually in competition with each other for the title of Best Shaving Product. However, there’s a new kid on the block, and he’s giving the old guys a run for their money.
Originally popularized by The Dollar Shave Club, shave butter borrows benefits from other shaving products to create one innovative new go-to. The main difference is that shave butter is low-lather, meaning you take it out of a tube or jar and rub it directly on your face. It doesn’t foam as you rub or come pre-foamed right out of the can. This yields a few key benefits. First, this foam-less design allows shave butter to be translucent (in most cases), so you can see where and what you’re shaving. Second, the low-lather form of shave butter means it can be made with natural ingredients instead of chemicals. Third, the thick consistency does a better job of delivering nutrients and moisture to your skin, resulting in a smooth, pain-free shave. And finally, the smooth consistency is easier on your razor, allowing the blade to glide without getting clogged.
We think every guy should give shave butter a shot, as it’s poised to take over the shaving world. There aren’t many shave butters out there yet, but we dug around and found a handful of options to choose from. Check them out below.
1. Dr. Carver’s Easy Shave Butter
Dr. Carver’s shave butter is responsible for kick-starting the whole trend. Once rubbed onto the skin, it’s almost completely clear so you can give yourself the most precise shave possible. It’s a Dollar Shave Club exclusive, making it easy to add to your current DSC subscription. To use the butter, squeeze a half dollar coin-sized amount onto your palm before spreading it around your face with a patting motion. Then let it sit for around 15 seconds before shaving (this is key for absorbing the nutrients).
2. Van der Hagen Shave Butter
Although shave butter is currently less popular than cream or gel, you can still find it for a reasonable price. This bottle from Van der Hagen is about the best deal you can get at just $6, but coincidentally it’s also one of the best shave butters on the market. It comes highly rated from multiple outlets (4.3 stars on both Target and Amazon), with users applauding the butter’s effectiveness on sensitive skin and its great smell. Its effectiveness is largely thanks to shea, mango and cocoa butters, as well as macadamia nut oil for added hydration.
3. Shea Moisture African Black Shave Butter
Some grooming products have a dark side, especially if you’re vegan or vegetarian. Animal products and testing are fairly commonplace, but it can be hard to tell when shopping around. This highly-rated shave butter, on the other hand, comes from Shea Moisture, a brand that has been open about their cruelty-free formulas and process for over 100 years. The butter is made using African black soap and a hefty amount of the brand’s signature shea butter, providing serious hydration while preventing ingrown hairs and razor bumps.
4. Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Shave Butter
If your girlfriend or wife often “borrows” some of your shaving products, pick up some of this shave butter (also from Shea Moisture). It’s branded for women, but the unique formula of coconut and hibiscus creates a scent that smells good on anyone. Meanwhile, natural oils and reconditioning avocado work to give a close, healthy shave – no matter where on the body it’s used. It does a great job of lifting hairs to provide that super-close shave we all want, translating to a significantly smoother face.
5. The Henna Guys Shaving Butter
BEST FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
One of the benefits of shave butter is its gentleness on sensitive skin. Any shave butter is going to be an upgrade from gel or cream if you have sensitive skin, but the combination of shea butter, aloe juice and papaya in this Henna Guys butter makes it the best of the bunch. It allows for a smooth, easy shave, but also leaves behind a thin layer of hydrating protection after you use it. Before using the butter, be sure to stir it so the ingredients are evenly mixed. Also, use it only after wetting your stubble or beard, as the product doesn’t work as well for dry shaving.
6. Clubman Pinaud Shave Butter
Another great shave butter is this one from Clubman Pinaud. It utilizes everyday ingredients you’ve actually heard of, including aloe vera, chamomile and vitamin E to deliver a smooth, hydrating shave. The simple formula makes it a good go-to for any skin type from oily to normal to dry. As with the other butters, rub it generously around your face (wet skin is typically a better bet, although Clubman doesn’t specify), and let it sit for a few seconds before shaving.
7. RockFace Shave Butter
This RockFace shave butter is imported from Britain (hence the higher price tag) but it contains a very effective ingredient that the others on this list don’t have: illipe butter. This is another fatty nut-extract (similar to shea butter) that’s used for skin hydration, nourishment and promoting youthful skin elasticity. This means you get a smooth shave and an anti-aging moisturizer all in one step of your grooming routine. Also, RockFace boasts a strict all-natural, cruelty-free policy, offering some peace of mind when you buy.