Choosing A Shaving Cream

“If you don’t mind smelling like peanut butter for two or three days, peanut butter is darn good shaving cream” (Barry Goldwater, American Politician 1909-1998).

While I personally do not recommend peanut butter for solving all your shaving problems, I do think it is essential to soften hair before shaving. Whether you are a woman shaving your legs or a man shaving your face, your hair needs to be soft in order to allow your razor to cut the hair without damaging your skin. Shaving cream is the best way to soften your hair because it does not clog razors (like soap does) and It’s especially formulated to be gentle on skin.

Take a glance at shaving creams in a drug store and you may feel dazed. There are just so many of them – each claiming to offer the ultimate shaving experience. To choose a shaving cream, you should first understand the different types of shaving cream:

What different types of shaving cream can I choose from?

  • Shaving Foam in a Can: This is the standard form of shaving cream. There are about a million different types and brands, but basically all are a foam that can be easily applied to the skin.
  • Women’s Shaving Cream: Over the past ten years, many companies have started marketing shaving creams for women. In many cases, these contain extra moisturizers and are made especially for women’s sensitive skin. A can of women’s shaving cream certainly provides a truly luxurious shaving experience, leaving you feeling soft and pampered.
  • Shaving Gel: Gel formulas exit the can as a gel, allowing for easier application. Once they are massaged into the skin, they turn into a foam.
  • Sensitive Skin Formulas: Many shaving creams claim to be made for sensitive skin. Some even contain moisturizers. If you have sensitive skin, you should read the label of your shaving foam to make sure the product contains no alcohol or scent.
  • Old-Fashioned Mug and Brush Shaving Cream: I love this stuff. It comes in the shape of a bar. You wet a shaving brush and rub it over the bar, creating a foam. Then you transfer the foam to your skin. It is a little bit messier than shaving cream in a can, but you can buy beautiful shaving brushes and shaving kits to go with your shaving cream – and these accessories can make you feel really pampered. This type of shaving cream is also great for travelers, since there is no need to worry about aerosol cans of shaving foam bursting or leaking all over packed clothes. This shaving cream also tends to be economical, since each bar lasts for some time.
  • Shaving Oil: While not strictly a cream, shaving oil works much like any other shaving cream. It usually comes in a tube or bottle and is applied over skin before shaving. It does tend to be a bit messier than foams because of its liquid consistency. It is great for those with very dry skin, though. It is also easier to control your shave since you can see your skin through the oil.
  • Natural Shaving Cream: Some companies (such as Kiss my Face) produce shaving creams that contain natural ingredients. These are generally targeted at those who are concerned about the environment. Many of these products are not tested on animals and contain no animal products.

Quick Question…How Do I Use My New Shaving Cream?

Once you have chosen you shaving cream, be sure to read any directions on the product. If you find your skin is easily irritated, you can rub a little of the shaving foam on your skin and wait a few hours to see if an allergic reaction develops. Once you are ready to start shaving, wet your skin thoroughly for a few minutes to soften hair. Apply shaving cream to wet skin. Use enough shaving cream to cover the area to be shaved completely, but do not pile the shaving cream high. As you shave, be sure to keep rinsing your razor to prevent shaving cream and hair from building up under and between the blades.

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