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The best shaving creams for men

The best shaving creams for men

Not everyone has the time or budget to go to a barber for a straight razor shave, but thanks to quality razors and electric shavers, personal grooming is easy to achieve at home. If you are using razors, then you know the importance of lathering the face with shaving cream: Dry-shaving is not only uncomfortable but it could also lead to damage to the skin, such as irritation and cuts, and wetting your face with water or harsh soap doesn't help.

Because facial hair is tough, shaving creams contain ingredients to help soften them while providing an easier glide for the razor to go over. Good shaving cream should also help you get a close shave with fewer passes over the same spot. It also helps keep the skin hydrated and feeling refreshed afterward. Keep in mind: For men, they may be shaving other body parts besides the face, but using shaving cream is just as important here.

However, no matter how good shaving cream is, you should practice proper shaving techniques, go slow, and moisturize afterward. And, note that each person's skin and hair are different, and what works for one person might not work for another.

In the world of shaving creams, there are also foams and gels. Foams are light and easy to apply and wash off, while gels offer more protection, lubrication, and nutrients. Based on research and testing of various shaving creams, foams, and gels, our guide includes what we found to be the best for men.

Here are the best shaving creams:

Updated on 6/24/2020: Pricing and links are current. We updated the introduction to better reflect the buying guide and added information on related buying guides. We are currently researching and testing new options for consideration in a future update.

The best shaving cream overall

The best shaving cream overall
Barbasol Thick & Rich Pacific Rush Shaving Cream creates a smooth, protective lather, has an invigorating scent, is affordable, and easy to find.

Barbasol has remained popular since it was invented more than 100 years ago. Since 1919, it has perfected the recipe for a rich, creamy product that goes on thick and helps you get a nice, close shave.

The density of this shaving cream's lather helps you spread it across your face quickly and evenly, minimizing the chance of missing any areas — and that includes the nooks behind the jawbone, around the Adam's apple, or under your nose.

The cream's thickness helps to surround and soften longer beard hairs, or you can use just a little dollop spread more thinly for daily shaves. There are different versions, but our pick is the Barbasol Pacific Rush Shaving Cream, which leaves a refreshing tingle even without the use of aftershave, thanks to menthol.

And if you need one last compelling reason, Barbasol is affordable and can be found at many stores.

Pros: Thick and creamy lather, excellent coverage, leaves a refreshing tingle, low price point,

Cons: Some people dislike the menthol scent


The best for sensitive skin

The best for sensitive skin
Edge Ultra Sensitive Shave Gel features two ingredients for use on sensitive skin and has no irritants found in many shaving cream products.

You don't have to have sensitive skin to use Edge Ultra Sensitive Shave Gel. In fact, men of all skin types will appreciate the product's moisturizing properties that leave skin feeling supple and healthy and the lubricating effects that help a razor slide smoothly over the face and neck without getting caught on hairs.

But for those with skin prone to reactions caused by chemicals, dyes, or even to various natural ingredients, this shaving gel could be a better option because it doesn't contain things that cause common facial irritation.

What the gel does have is colloidal oatmeal, a finely milled oat that is suspended in water and that readily absorbs into the skin, creating a protective barrier against the blade. It also features allantoin, a plant-derived compound that is can prevent nicks and cuts and that is also soothing and healing to any that should yet occur.

However, if your skin breaks out easily, you should consult a dermatologist on what is best for you and find out if a product like Edge Ultra Sensitive Shave Gel is right for you.

Pros: Ideal for sensitive skin, spreads out evenly, moisturizes face and neck

Cons: Does not penetrate fuller beards well


The best on a budget

The best on a budget
Like any good shaving cream, Gillette Foamy Shave Foam helps your razor glide smoothly and minimizes nicks and cuts — and gives you more for your money.

Another affordable option is Gillette Foamy Shave Foam. It comes out in a thick, creamy white foam that easily spreads over your face; helps lift and soften hair; and smoothly glides your razor and helps prevent cuts. And, it smells clean and fresh.

While this classic shaving foam might be basic, it performs well — perfect for people who don't want anything fussy or expensive. And you get more of it per bottle (11 ounces) versus other popular brands like Barbasol or Edge.

If your skin isn't susceptible to irritation and you shave regularly, this product is a fine choice. Note that it may cause dryness more so than our other recommendations

Pros: Great low price point, thick and rich lather

Cons: May not be great for those with dry or sensitive skin


The best for dry skin

The best for dry skin
The Anthony Shave Gel formula helps moisturize and soften even the driest skin, reducing irritation and redness.

Anthony Shave Gel contains carrageenan extracts and beads of aloe to help moisturize skin. These two ingredients are also natural — carrageenan comes from edible red algae — so if you don't like applying chemicals on your skin, this is one to look into (consult your dermatologist if you are concerned about skincare treatments).

From our experience, Anthony Shave Gel spreads on evenly and easily, creating a thin layer that allows you to see where there is hair in need of shaving yet still providing razor glide. This makes it great for trimming around sideburns, goatee, and other hair you wish to shape and preserve. It smells great thanks to eucalyptus and rosemary extracts, which also happen to have natural antiseptic properties, helping to sterilize any nicks or cuts.

And finally, Anthony Shave Gel leaves skin feeling great, both moisturized and clean. This is thanks both to aloe beads that actively pop during shaving, drenching your skin in soothing natural oils, as well as carrageenan extract, which is another natural moisturizer extracted from seaweed.

Anthony products are considered premium, so this is pricey. If it's more than what you would prefer to spend, definitely check out the Edge shaving gel for ultra-sensitive skin. We noticed that we have to reapply more gel during the shave, so you also have to use more of it.

Among the professional reviewers, the sentiments are much the same, with calling Anthony Shave Gel an "excellent product" that can "prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs."

Pros: Goes on clear, smells great, soothes and moisturizes skin, natural ingredients

Cons: Quite pricey, not effective on thick beards


The best shaving soap

The best shaving soap
Rich in moisturizing lanolin, Mitchell's Wool Fat lathers and lubricates while staying gentle on skin.

You may have heard that you should avoid using soap for shaving — that's true, but this is a different kind of soap. If you use a single-blade razor to get the closest shave possible or just want the best shaving soap to keep your skin moisturized, Mitchell's Wool Fat is the gold standard — it's our overall pick for the best shaving soap. You'll need a shaving brush to apply it on the face, but for the effort, you get a smooth, close shave.

"Wool fat" isn't actually fat but a substance secreted by the sebaceous glands in wool-bearing animals' skin to keep their wool moisturized. Here, it's harvested from the already-shorn wool of domestic sheep, meaning no animals were harmed in the making of the product, but it isn't vegan. Wool fat is rich in lanolin, which has hydrating properties to help soften skin. However, it's not recommended for people who are sensitive to wool.

Mitchell's Wool Fat comes in the form of a hard puck that's brought to a lather using a brush. It already comes in a ceramic bowl, eliminating the need for another accessory purchase. You can purchase standalone pucks if you already own a shaving bowl.

Pros: Creates thick lather, extremely hydrating

Cons: Not for people allergic to wool or who are vegan, pricey option, requires brush and bowl

Check out our guides on the best shaving soaps and the best shaving brushes.

Check out our other shaving-related buying guides

Check out our other shaving-related buying guides
The best shaving cream for women

Shaving creams for women help moisturize the skin while providing a close shave and preventing nicks and irritation.

The best safety razors

They may be traditional, but these safety razors can help you get the closest shave possible.

The best shaving soaps

If you plan to go the classic route of a wet shave by using safety razors, make sure you also use good shaving soap.

The best shaving brushes

To apply shaving soap on your face, you'll need a quality brush.

The best electric razors

Sometimes, you're in a hurry. A good electric razor can help you get a good shave when time is limited or you don't mind the stubble look.

The best electric beard trimmers

If you don't want a full shave but need to tame that face mane, a beard trimmer is a handy tool to have.