What works and what doesn’t


Out of shaving cream? Before you rush to the drug store — or worse, dry shave — take a look at this list of substitutes. Chances are you already have some of the following on hand.

When it comes to your shaving routine, hydration is key. You should always soak your skin in the shower or sink before shaving. Applying a lubricant, including one of the soaps, oils, gels or creams listed below, will help the razor glide over your skin.

baby oil

Baby oil is a synthetic form of mineral oil. According to American Academy of Dermatology, it is a proven moisturizer. When applied to the skin, baby oil creates a protective layer that prevents water loss.

coconut oil

Like baby oil, coconut oil is an extremely effective moisturizer. It also has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it ideal for preventing irritation associated with shaving.

That said, it might not be the best option for shaving certain areas like your face, for example. If you have sensitive or oily skin, coconut oil can clog your pores.

Hair conditioner

If you run out of shaving cream mid-shave, conditioner is an easy option that’s already in your bathroom. Of course, it’s formulated to hydrate your Hair, but it will have comparable effects on your skin. Not to mention that it will soften body hair making shaving easier.


Like conditioners, creams and lotions for the face, hands or skin are designed to moisturize. They can be used to lubricate your skin while you shave.

Be careful not to rub it too much on your skin, as you’ll want to maintain a protective barrier between your skin and the razor.

aloe gel

Known for its medicinal properties, aloe vera treats sunburned skin by providing hydration and a mild cooling effect. Some people also incorporate aloe into their skincare routine, using it to soothe and moisturize. The same properties make aloe an ideal shaving gel.

Olive oil

Olive oil is rich in skin-friendly nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. It has antioxidant properties and also fights bacteria, making it ideal for use on the skin, including the face.

Although it can be a bit greasy to apply, you will walk away with a clean shave.


Hand soap, bath soap, and body wash are obvious choices when it comes to alternatives to shaving cream. They’re already in your bathroom, plus they’re easy to apply and rinse well. But while they may do the trick once in a while, they’re more likely than other ingredients to dry out your skin.

Most of the ingredients on this list are safe to use while shaving and pose no more risks than your regular shaving cream. If you want something natural, go for coconut oil, olive oil, or aloe vera.

That said, remember that whenever you try a new skincare product, irritation is possible, especially if you have sensitive skin. Certain areas of your body, including your face or pubic area, may be more susceptible to irritation.

To avoid a reaction, test the ingredient on a small area of ​​your skin before applying it to the area you wish to shave.

You will find many shaving cream alternatives online, but they are not as effective.

For example, while foods such as honey, peanut butter, or avocado may provide skin benefits, they can be messy to apply.

Also, household products intended to clean and disinfect tend to wick away moisture instead of trapping it, which could lead to irritation.

For the more delicate areas of your body, opt for alternatives to shaving cream that are proven to work on sensitive skin.

Baby oil is hypoallergenic and free of chemicals like parabens and phthalates. It is also gentle on your skin.

According to National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, aloe vera gel is generally safe to use on the skin. Side effects are rare.

To use one of the alternatives listed above, follow these simple steps:

  1. Take a shower or a bath. Soaking your skin for about 15 minutes before shaving removes dirt and softens your body hair, preventing irritation.
  2. Apply the shaving cream alternative. If you’re using an oil, less is more. Apply a small amount to your palm and rub it over the area you want to shave. It should spread easily. For lotions and aloe vera gel, you will need to apply enough to cover your skin. Do not rub it, as this will remove the protective barrier between the razor blade and your skin. To shave with soap, use a bath sponge or puff to get a good lather. With enough bubbles, your razor will glide smoothly over your skin.
  3. To shave. Shave the area by gently moving your razor blade across the skin in the direction of your hair growth. You should rinse your razor blade after each pass.
  4. Apply moisturizer. Be sure to apply an aftershave or other moisturizer, including one of the lotions, gels, or oils on this list.

Shaving cream acts as a barrier between your skin and your razor blade. It allows the razor to glide easily over your skin, preventing redness, razor burn and irritation.

That said, shaving cream isn’t the only product that can protect your skin from the negative effects of shaving. Almost any oil, gel or moisturizer will do.


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