The finer things in life come in many forms. For the modern man, that could be a smooth, clean-cut shave. While many guys feel they have this grooming ritual mastered, the truth is most are still at the amateur level, slicing up their face or enduring excessive inflammation that’s often mistaken for sunburn. You’re thinking a new blade will solve these skincare problems, but it takes two to tango, which is why having the right men’s shaving cream is just as important for ensuring the best (and safest) shave possible.
Before you jump online and buy just any shaving cream listed on Amazon’s Best Sellers page, you need to know which ones do more harm than good. This will help you maintain a blemish-free mug and protect your skin, which is also vital for you manscaping gents out there.
When ranking the best shaving cream, we start with the ingredients list. Know that the majority of skincare products have preservatives that aid with performance and extend their shelf life but also increase the risk of serious health issues when used in high concentrations. Try your best to avoid the ingredients on the no-no list below when shopping for a top-of-the-line men’s shaving cream:
- Parabens: Chemicals and preservatives that can increase skin aging and trigger reproductive health issues.
- Emulsifiers: May cause eye or skin irritation and is also linked to hormone disruption.
- Phthalates: Endocrine disruptors linked to asthma, male fertility issues, type II diabetes and several other ailments.
- Mineral oil: A petroleum byproduct that blocks pores and increases risk of skin irritation.
- Sulfates: Can lead to numerous health problems such as cognitive impairment, cell mutation, dermatitis, and nerve damage.
- Benzene: A solvent that affects the immune system and may result in anemia, or worse, leukemia.
Oh, one other thing: toss out that aerosol shaving foam can (e.g. Barbasol) that’s been sitting underneath your sink for years because that stuff is loaded with harmful chemicals. Not to mention those cans sit in landfills, which ruin the environment. Maybe you’ve grown attached to your bargain shave cream, but some of the premium options on this list cost as little as $4 or $8 and last for three months or more. A little of these quality shave creams goes a long way.
Now that we’re past the beginner’s course, let’s enroll you into Shaving 102: Picking the Best Shaving Cream for Men. Get your razor ready as we browse through the market’s top options based on budget, occasion, and of course, skin type.
1. The Art of Shaving Bourbon Shaving Cream
You have to give credit where it’s due, and it’s been due to The Art of Shaving for a very long time. The luxury shaving retailer has stepped up its grooming game to become a category leader, creating exceptional shaving creams, none more impressive than its bourbon-infused offering. Very little is needed to develop a rich, foamy lather, which provides great cushioning for blades to slide comfortably across the face without nicking it. The high concentration of glycerin blesses the shaving surface with a nice amount of moisturization that stimulates a sense of comfort when applied. Hints of cask-aged bourbon also stick to the skin, awarding shavers with a manly rugged scent (don’t worry, you won’t smell like you just came from the bar).
2. Pacific Shaving Co. Caffeinated Shaving Cream
BEST ALL-NATURAL SHAVING CREAM
Caffeine is more than just a stimulant to increase wakefulness and concentration — it can also keep skin looking healthy and youthful. Hence why Pacific Shaving Co. deemed it suitable for its organic formula, which is made from safe, natural ingredients. No, your face won’t smell like a Starbucks latte, but you’ll feel the effects of this antioxidant-rich supplement on your skin such as mild tightness. Your nostrils will also take in a minty scent that’s calming for shavers with unsteady hands. PSC has a caffeine-free version that is just as rewarding and offers the two options in TSA-sized packaging, so you can get the same quality shave while traveling. I highly recommend the caffeinated shaving set with bundled aftershave, which is excellent and delivers the perfect balance of coolness and hydration; it can be used as a face lotion too.
3. Jack Black Supreme Cream Triple Cushion Shave Lather
BEST SHAVING CREAM FOR SKIN PROTECTION
Even the most seasoned shaver draws blood on occasion. Since shaving cuts are unpredictable, the best security measure you can take to minimize them is investing in a personal grooming product that’s formulated to play nicely with your shaving tools. Enter Jack Black’s Supreme Cream. It uses the company’s patented Triple Cushion technology to create a thick, moisturizing layer for razors to effortlessly glide across the face without gunking up the blades or nicking the skin. The mix of glycerin, macadamia nut oil and soybean oil is also effective for preventing xeroderma (aka dry skin) and the formation of wrinkles.
4. Cremo Cooling Shave Cream
It’s fair to question any shaving cream marked $5 or lower — unless it’s made by Cremo. The beloved shaving brand takes its original formula, which has been specifically engineered to reduce cuts, nicks, scrapes and irritation, and adds cooling elements into the mix (e.g. peppermint, menthol, tea tree oil) for one hell of a refreshing shave. Its texture is so slick that most men can comfortably shave against the grain without any trouble, plus the clear white strip it produces is thin for multiple-blade razors to move seamlessly across the skin. You can grab a double pack right now and get more for your money.
5. Taconic Shave Eucalyptus & Mint Shaving Cream
BEST BRUSHLESS SHAVING CREAM
Shaving cream has been modernized, meaning the average Joe doesn’t have to waste time whipping it to develop a slick lubricating base. Taconic Shave packages its solution in an 8 oz. pump bottle that “makes delivery a breeze.” It immediately transforms into a dense lather that penetrates the skin like a lotion and releases notes of eucalyptus and mint into the air, soothing skin and relaxing the shaver with every whiff. The cream also works well with a shaving brush, should you ever feel compelled to use one.
6. Truefitt & Hill 1805 Shave Cream
BEST LUXURY SHAVING CREAM
For a 007-esque shave, splurge on Truefitt & Hill 1805. This $30 shaving cream has a velvety slickness to it when lathered with a fine shaving brush, spreading effortlessly across the face and spoiling your skin (and nostrils) with a tantalizing oceanic scent that is truly one of a kind. Very little is required to take care of bushy faces, plus its creamy texture protects sensitive areas for close cuts, which is something straight razor conformists will appreciate. After one shave, your partner won’t be able to keep their hands off your soft and smooth moneymaker.
7. Fabric Shave Cream
BEST FOR BEARD MAINTENANCE
For the fella who refuses to chop off his Movember fuzz, while still trying to keep it looking fresh on the edges, this is the product you want sitting next to your beard trimmer kit. The all-new subscription box service, Fabric, sells an assortment of personal grooming products for men with high-quality ingredients at a low cost, though we’re partial to the brand’s shaving cream. Squeezing out a dollop reveals a silver strip that turns translucent when wet and becomes sudsy, similar to a facial cleanser. It rubs gently onto skin and dampens both stubble and thick strands, granting shavers smooth strokes when shaping the corners of their beards. FYI: committing to a Fabric subscription earns you an extra 10% off purchases.
8. Proraso Sensitive Shaving Cream
BEST SHAVING CREAM FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
The market has plenty of shaving creams for sensitive skin, but Proraso’s shaving lubricant is arguably the best of the batch, offering stellar performance at a reasonable price. A dollop is enough to comfort skin with coolness and hydration, combating redness and razor burn in the process. Lathering is simple and produces a thick, rich layer that relieves sensitive spots when gently applied. Lastly, the product features unique ingredients like oatmeal extract and green tea that act as emollients to soften and soothe skin.
9. Harry’s Shave Cream
BEST SUBSCRIPTION SHAVE
Living an active lifestyle can lead you to forget about restocking the simplest things, such as shaving cream. That’s where a Harry’s subscription becomes clutch. The monthly shave club not only replenishes you with new blades for your trusty Truman razor, but comes with other shaving essentials as well, including its popular shave gel or cream. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either; however, Harry’s Shave Cream does fare better than most Pharmacy-favorited options. Harry’s formula is paraben- and sulfate-free and delivers solid lubrication that works favorably with the brand’s five-blade system.
10. Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Cream
BEST TRADITIONAL SHAVE CREAM
Old-timers who enjoy a clean barbershop-like shave can have just that with this classic shaving option. The legacy UK grooming brand sells a variety of different shaving creams in different scents, but we’re most fond of this particular version. It whips up into a dense lather that feels far more luxurious than other competitors in its price class. When applied, your face is met with a unique, masculine scent that’s dominated by sandalwood, along with subtle hints of patchouli, powdery musk and rock rose.
11. Every Man Jack Fragrance-Free Shaving Cream
BEST FOR TRAVEL
A great travel-sized, fragrance-free shaving cream made from natural ingredients sounds like a hard find. It’s not, thanks to Every Man Jack. Spreading a tiny amount across your wet face results in some low-foam action that makes skin more visible, which is a huge benefit when navigating a razor across delicate body parts. The formula is ideal for sensitive skin, using olive oil, chamomile and aloe to keep it hydrated and soothed. Also, the 1.05 oz size is convenient for on-the-go shaving and takes up very little space in any dopp kit.
12. Marlowe Shave Cream
BEST FOR SKIN REPAIR
Cuts and nicks are all part of the shaving experience, but if you’re someone whose blemishes don’t heal so quickly, it’s time to reconsider the shaving cream you’re using. Marlowe employs its own proprietary M Blend, which has revitalizing extracts (e.g. green tea, deep sea algae, willowbark) to improve your skin’s appearance and health. Shea butter and coconut oil help to form a barrier on the shaving surface and prep the blades for a close, smooth shave, while feeding skin with anti-inflammatory and healing nutrients. These same ingredients also make it a worthy unisex shaving cream, though its suave scent may appeal more to men.
13. The Art of Shaving Unscented Shaving Cream
This no-frills, premium shave cream from The Art of Shaving takes inspiration from old school products, only it provides a more reliable shave without leaving behind an unflattering scent on your skin. It does a superb job of moistening thick hairs, creating a rich and foamy lather when whipped up to improve razor glide. Many of the company’s shaving products are made with sensitive skin in mind, including this one. Plus, TAOS takes the initiative to update its ingredients list as frequently as possible, placing emphasis on the shaver’s health over all other factors. A jar of this goes a long way.