Shave closer and save your skin from irritation with our selection of the best creams
Picking up the best shaving cream isn’t always easy. Sure, you could pop to a local shop and grab a random bottle off a shelf, but there’s every chance you’ll end up with a product that isn’t quite perfect. After all, unless you’re planning to commit a few cardinal sins of shopping, the only thing you can try before you buy is the smell.
That’s a problem. There’s no way of knowing which shaving cream will suit your skin type, for example, when you’re making a random choice based on the limited selection in your local shop. Thankfully, if you’re looking to make a more educated purchase, our buyer’s guide is here to help. We’ll help you narrow your options down from a maddening array to one obvious choice, significantly shaving down the amount of time that you need to spend on the buying process.
Best shaving cream: At a glance
- Best traditional option: Taylor Of Old Bond Street
- Best-value option: Nivea Men Sensitive Shaving Gel (6-Pack)
- Best for avoiding cuts: Cremo Astonishingly Superior Moisturising Shave Cream
- Best option for beards: Jack Black Beard Lube
- Best with essential oils: Kiehl’s Smooth Glider Shave Cream
- Best natural option: Executive Shaving Natural Shaving Cream
How to choose the best shaving cream for you
Before you buy a new shaving cream, you’ll want to ask yourself a few key questions. Considering your responses to the following queries will help you pick out the loveliest lather for your unique shaving needs.
What type of skin do you have?
Generally speaking, there are three main skin types in men: oily, dry and sensitive. You probably know which one you fall into, and with our expert advice, you should be able to grab the best shaving cream to suit that skin type.
- If you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to avoid astringent-based shaving creams.
- If you have oily skin, astringents are fine – they’ll prevent your pores from clogging and reduce the oily texture.
- If your skin tends to be dry, keep an eye out for glycerin-based creams that will help the blade glide more smoothly over the surface.
Which ingredients should you look out for?
There are some shaving cream ingredients you’ll want to embrace, and others that should be avoided. Sodium lauryl sulfate (which strips away natural acids), parabens and unspecified “fragrance” are all on the negative list as they could do more harm to your skin than good. On the positive side of the spectrum, natural oils – such as almond, jojoba, eucalyptus and sandalwood – could do your skin a world of good.
Should you go for a foam, gel or cream?
This one really comes down to your personal preference, although we do have a few top tips for you. If you’re a fan of gels, avoid alcohol-based ones that could cause irritation. Shaving foams are fine, but be aware that it’s not always easy to control the amount that comes out of the can. Latherless shaving creams are very in vogue at the moment, with many brands skewing winningly towards natural ingredients. And if you’re using a straight razor, you’ll find that traditional creams from a tub will give you maximum control.
How much should you spend on shaving cream?
If you want a budget option that still delivers high quality, you should be able to find a suitable shaving cream for around a fiver. If, however, you’re prepared and financially able to step things up to a higher level, garnering better ingredients and a more skin-friendly shave in the process will get you closer to £40. That may seem like a lot, but you’ll soon see (and feel) the benefits.
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The best shaving cream to buy
1. Taylor Of Old Bond Street: The best traditional shaving cream
Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon
There’s something very classy about twisting off the top of a tub and scooping out your shaving cream by hand, or dabbing a brush into the tub before applying the cream to your face. If these are the sorts of prestigious experiences that you’re after, this Shaving Cream Bowl from Taylor Of Old Bond Street will suit your tastes. This product also delivers the goods in terms of sprucing up your shave, offering a paraben-free shave and a smooth creamy lather. It’s rich in essential oils and suitable for sensitive skin, so it will deliver a high-end shave as well as that classy feeling. And, better yet, it won’t break the bank.
Key specs – Volume: 157ml; Type: Cream
2. Nivea Men Sensitive Shaving Gel (6-Pack): The best-value shaving cream
Price: £12 | Buy now from Amazon
Enriched with chamomile and witch hazel, this shaving gel is specially designed to prevent skin irritation during your shave. The gel is also completely alcohol-free, so even the most sensitive of skin should avoid any burning sensations while clearing the stubble.
While all of that promises a close and smooth shave, the best feature here is simply how much shaving gel you get for your money. With 200ml of gel in each can, this one purchase will net you a whopping 1.2l of shaving gel, which should keep even the woolliest of people covered for a good long time.
Key specs – Volume: 200ml (per can); Type: Gel
3. Cremo Astonishingly Superior Moisturising Shave Cream: The best shaving cream for avoiding cuts
Price: £6.73 | Buy now from Amazon
If you want your skin to feel “astonishingly” soft and smooth, this brand promises to deliver that. Cremo’s Moisturizing Shave Cream, which endeavours to offer the closest and most comfortable shave, is incredibly rich; there’s less air in this product than most rivals, reducing the chances of scrapes and cuts.
Instead of air, the geniuses behind this cream have crammed in water-activated molecules that reduce irritation dramatically. Cremo’s cream is also highly concentrated, meaning that one tube of this excellent cream will outlast most cans of shaving foam. Finally, it’s not that pricey either, making Cremo an even more tempting proposition.
Key specs – Volume: 177ml; Type: Cream
4. Jack Black Beard Lube: The best shaving cream for beards
Price: £31 | Buy now from Look Fantastic
If you’re planning to shave a big beard, you might want to enlist the help of Jack Black Beard Lube (not to be confused with Jack Black, Tenacious D singer). This clear gel binds moisture to the skin to create a smooth glide while preventing irritation, softening even the toughest beard to make it ripe for restyling or removal.
Nourishing fatty acids are included in Jack Black’s soothing, ultra-hydrating formula. The clear nature of this gel also means that you can see what you’re shaving, which reduces the chances of accidentally shaving bits of beard you wanted to keep. Not everyone will want to spend this much to supercharge their shave, but this product is totally worth it.
Key specs – Volume: 473ml; Type: Gel
5. Kiehl’s Smooth Glider Shave Cream: The best shaving cream with essential oils
Price: £25 | Buy now from Amazon
World-famous cosmetics and toiletries brand Kiehl’s offers a variety of shaving gels, but we particularly like the aromatic essential oils contained in its Smooth Glider product. While marketing as a cream, it’s very much a gel that softens and melts upon contact with your skin, helping you achieve as smooth and frictionless a shave as possible. The cream both softens your facial hairs, prepping them for the razor’s edge, and leaves your skin with a pleasant, woody aroma. No water at all is required in the shaving process and a little of the gel goes a long way.
Key specs – Volume: 150ml; Type: Gel
6. Executive Shaving Natural Shaving Cream: The best natural shaving cream
Price: £18 | Buy now from Executive Shaving
This highly concentrated shaving cream ensures that a little will go a long way, with just a small dollop of cream generating enough lather for a full shave. Due to this, Executive Shaving suggests that you should be able to get five to six months worth of daily shaves from a single 200ml tin.
As well as being decent value for money, this shaving cream also feels very luxurious. The inclusion of essential oils, coconut acid and glycerine make your razor glide smoothly across your skin, and infusions of several relaxing scents, including eucalyptus and juniper, leave you with a pleasantly aromatic finish.
Key specs – Volume: 200ml; Type: Cream