Between a shaving soap, cream and other shaving options, a gel is definitely the new kid on the block. They’re all aimed at softening facial hair and preventing irritation, but they each work in their own, unique way.
Created in the 1970s with convenience and simplicity in mind, shaving gel quickly became the popular option for men who find themselves perpetually on the go.
- TOP 5 Best Shaving Gels (summary)
- Benefits of Using Best Shaving Gel
- Types of Shaving Creams
- Shaving Gel vs Other Shaving Alternatives
- How to Choose the Best Shaving Gel
- Good and Bad Ingredients in a Shaving Gel
- 11 Best Shaving Gels Tested by Experts
- How to Apply Shaving Gel and Create an Excellent Hot Lather
TOP 5 Best Shaving Gels (summary)Aveeno (Check out on Amazon) (Our Pick) (Closest and Smoothest Shave)
NIVEA MEN Sensitive (Check out on Amazon) (Prevents Irritation)
King of Shaves (Check out on Amazon) (Best Razor Glide)
Elegance Plus (Check out on Amazon) (Budget-Friendly)
Neutrogena Razor Defense (Check out on Amazon) (Doesn’t Clog Pores)
Benefits of Using Best Shaving Gel
While gel doesn’t necessarily has the same luxury or class as some of its competitors, it does quickly and easily deliver a smooth, close shave.
It’s no wonder it’s become the popular go-to choice in recent years.
While products like soap technically could be used for other parts of the body, they’re not exactly designed for that.
On the other hand, the simplistic nature of shaving gel and easy application process make it ideal for more than just the face.
It’s multi-purpose makes it ideal for use on anything from your head to your chest and even pubic area. With the help of a handy back shaver, it can even be used on body hair for hard to reach places.
Most men choose gel because it’s the most convenient option. It won’t steal time from your jam-packed morning routine like a shaving soap and it’s quicker and easier to rinse than a traditional cream.
Products like shaving soaps sometimes require an entire load of additional equipment and tools to prepare and apply. However, gel requires no bowl, mug or brush.
Of course, if you prefer using a brush, you still can, but it’s simply not required.
Even the best soaps and creams can dry out skin. Especially if you’re living in a particularly harsh climate, your facial skin is probably already fighting for every drop of moisture it has.
For those with dry skin, shaving gel tends to be the most moisture-rich option.
Types of Shaving Creams
When you think of shaving, you probably think of your father with a face full of white fluff, delicately removing his whiskers in your bathroom.
For years, foam and lather have been two defining characteristics of any shaving product. Gels are no different.
Foaming gels are by far the most popular option. They work in one of two ways – either the gel is produced in a pressurized can that foams upon application or must be rubbed into a lather once applied to the face.
The non-foaming gel is the avant-garde weirdo of the shaving products world. It’s not exactly Orthodox and you either love it or hate it.
Usually coming in an oil base, these products can at times be a gentler option for those with sensitive skin.
Additionally, non-foaming gels are great for precision. If you’re after the crazy-straight lines you’d normally get by only hopping in a professional’s durable barber chair, a non-foaming gel is what you’re after.
Because there’s no fluff or foam, you can apply it with more accuracy.
Non-foaming gel’s only major downside is that it does tend to dry fairly quickly. Unlike its foaming competitors, a non-foaming gel will evaporate quickly and dry into the skin.
It takes a quick hand, but for the right person, a non-foaming gel is a perfect product.
Shaving Gel vs Other Shaving Alternatives
If a gel isn’t exactly up your alley, you’re not entirely out of luck. While cream and soap aren’t as convenient as a gel, they do still have their own benefits.
Here’s how they measure up when pitted against gel products:
Shaving Cream vs Gel
Because creams generally have smoother, velvety texture, they go on more evenly and generally won’t clog the blades.
On the other hand, because of gel’s thicker texture, globs of it can sometimes get lodged in between the razor blades and slow the shaving process.
The upside of gels thick consistency? It does a sharper job at shaving extra thick hair.
If your beard is particularly bushy, you’ll probably struggle to shave with a cream. On the other hand, gel’s heavier density tackles thick hair effortlessly.
Additionally, a gel is a bit easier to remove after use than its cream competitors. A cream is messy, it gets everywhere and clings to skin and hair, meanwhile, most gels rinse off without much objection or argument.
Shaving Soap vs Gel
The battle between a shaving soap and shaving gel is a conflict between the classic and the modern.
When it comes to a classic shave, shaving soap is the go-to. It lathers into a thick, manly foam and delivers a hot, luxurious shave.
Some even claim it delivers a much closer shave. These pros, of course, don’t come without a cost.
Shaving soap also takes much longer to prepare, is harder to use and can easily dry out the skin. Alternatively, the gel is quick and efficient.
It may not come steeped in the same feelings of nostalgia or class, but it gets the job done. It also tends to be the most skin-friendly of the shaving options, distributing heaps of hydration to thirsty pores.
If you prioritize efficiency over tradition, the gel’s the way to go.
How to Choose the Best Shaving Gel
If you’re wondering which gel product suits you, it’s best to ask your skin. Of course, your pores can’t literally answer, but you’ll want to consider their overall needs.
Skin that’s sensitive and easily irritated will require gentler products, while skin prone to dryness begs for added moisturization.
Best Shaving Gel for Sensitive Skin
For sensitive or acne-prone skin, you’ll need to seek out an extra-gentle product.
Even the most delicate patches of skin can usually be shaved successfully with the help of an extra-smooth, quality shaving gel and a quality razor.
Standard gels will frequently include alcohol, but when it comes to finding a product that’s going to be gentle yet effective, seek products containing none.
Although alcohol is great at preventing nicks and cuts from becoming infected, it also has the tendency to dry and irritate, which is unneeded drama for naturally sensitive skin.
If you’ve chosen a gel suitable for sensitive skin but you still have flare-ups, you might suspect the other aspects of your shaving routine as possible culprits.
Best Shaving Gel for Dry Skin
If you’re shopping for the gel to suit your dry skin, the good news is that you’re in luck. Between gel, soap and cream, a gel will almost always have more hydrating properties.
For especially dry skin, seek out products containing aloe vera, shea butter, and natural oils. The goal is to find a product that adds moisture without stripping your skin of its natural oils.
For especially dry skin, you’ll want to think carefully about more than just your gel. Try, for example, purchasing an aftershave lotion which will help seal pores and lock in moisture after each shave.
While shaving gels do come in scented variations, some men prefer to go with unscented options. If you’re after a bit of fragrance, however, the good news is that you do have options.
Shaving gels come in delicately delicious forms such as lemongrass, lime and lavender. Alternatively, some gels have manlier, muskier scents.
Regardless of which you select, you’ll want to remember that you shouldn’t be relying on shaving gels for your overall fragrance. To stay smelling great, you’ll want to turn to a quality aftershave, cologne or eau de toilette.
Good and Bad Ingredients in a Shaving Gel
With ingredients very similar to shaving creams, most gels usually contain water, potassium hydroxide, glycerin and perfume.
Remember to always consult the individual listings of ingredients located on the back of the label. Packaging claims of organic or hydrating often fall flat.
Only the ingredients list located on the back of the product can provide the information needed to determine whether the shaving gel you’re considering is a quality, wholesome and natural choice or not.
Here’s a couple of ingredients to look for and a few to avoid at all costs:
- Eucalyptus: Besides smelling great, eucalyptus is a great natural cleanser. It also helps prevent everything from razor burn to those pesky ingrown hairs.
- Carrageenan extract: This natural ingredient helps soothe and repair skin that’s damaged during shaving.
- Aloe vera: You’ve probably heard about rubbing aloe vera on sunburns, but it also works miracles in shaving gels. As a moisture-rich ingredient, it works to deliver hydration directly to your pores.
- Colloidal oatmeal: Oatmeal is great for breakfast, but you may not have guessed that it’s also a top-quality shaving gel ingredient. Loaded with natural properties, it’s known to defeat eczema and soothe even the worst rashes.
- Essential oils: Natural, essential oils do everything from hydrating the skin to balancing hormones and smoothing wrinkles. Common choices include lavender, peppermint, tea tree and jasmine.
- Botanical and herbal extracts: From cucumber peel to chamomile and olive leaf, extracts perform a multitude of functions from protecting the skin’s exterior layer to calming irritation.
- Isopentane: This is one of the many potentially harmful solvents which lower-quality companies sometimes sneak into gel products. It can lead to dry skin and irritation and in some cases, it’s linked to dizziness and nausea.
- Polytetrafluoroethylene: As one of the main ingredients in Teflon, it’s a wonder anyone thinks throwing this into a skin care product is a good idea. It’s even been linked to breast cancer and heart disease.
- Triethanolamine: If you’re shopping for a gel that foams after application, you’ll want to watch out for triethanolamine. As an unnecessary additive, it’s been shown to provoke hormone disruption. Unfortunately, it’s also one of shaving gel’s most common ingredients.
- BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene): This organic compound is derived from phenol and per FDA regulations is only permitted in small doses because it’s been shown to disrupt hormones and irritate eyes, lungs and skin. The best products, however, won’t have it at all.
11 Best Shaving Gels Tested by Experts
Formulated with oat and vitamin E, Aveeno Therapeutic Shave Gel will provide you with a pleasant shaving experience that includes hydrating and preventing razor bumps as you shave.
Proven to prevent nicks and cuts due to its lubricating properties, this item gives a safe, close and smooth shave.
You don’t need to worry about skin dryness after shaving because the moisturizing lubricant infused in this gel is ideal for soothing dry and sensitive skin that gets irritated easily after shaving.
It’s important to note that this product doesn’t clog pores and has no fragrance that can cause irritation to the skin.
- Hydrates skin and prevents razor bumps
- Provides a close and smooth shave
- Moisturizes and soothes dry and sensitive skin
- Doesn’t clog your pores
- Doesn’t work on all skin types
Carefully formulated with aloe and an extra thicker lather, NIVEA FOR MEN Sensitive Shaving Gel will help you get a close and smooth shave without irritating your dry or sensitive skin.
Most men who have experienced skin complications after using other shaving gels agree that this product is a game changer since it reduces annoying shaving marks and bumps on the skin.
The infused aloe helps promote the health of your skin and gives it a soothing feeling. Unlike other brands, it also protects you against razor burn and aftershave irritations.
It has incredible skin moisturizing properties given by a thick lather that helps leave your skin feeling silky, smooth and soft.
- Prevents skin irritation and reduces razor bumps
- Gives a close and smooth shave
- Soothe skin and makes it silkier, smoother and softer
- Can be too thick for some razor types
Edge Shave Gel is thoughtfully designed to provide sensitive skin with the ultimate protection while shaving.
If you have sensitive and easily irritated skin that keeps getting rashes or redness, you will find this product useful since it’s carefully made with aloe to help soothe your skin.
It’s also infused with moisturizers and lubricants that help by providing an excellent razor glide. It further has cooling conditioners that enable your face to feel incredibly fresh.
You can use this product if you are acne prone since it’s proven to be very effective. It also helps prevent shaving bumps and other related skin complications.
- Prevents rashes and shaving bumps
- Cools and conditions skin
- Moisturizes and lubricates the skin
- Can be drying on some skin types
Manufactured with clear, non-foaming gel, EZ BLADE enables you to see where you’re shaving without making any mistakes. Most men love the fact that it gives a very smooth, waterless shave.
Even though it appears green and slimy while in the container, it becomes completely clear and clean with an amazing scent the moment you apply it on your skin.
It’s designed to allow the shaving blade to glide effortlessly across your skin. Also, it doesn’t clog pores and instead opens them, relaxes face skin and makes beard softer.
Men agree that this product has good visibility that enables them to shape their beard line nicely or get a straight edge. It also gives a minty feeling that’s very refreshing.
- Opens pores and softens the beard
- Allows easier razor gliding across the skin
- Clear, so it provides good visibility during shaving
- Feels slightly sticky
Tomb 45 Shave Gel is mostly designed for barbers and it comes in a nice looking, squeezable bottle which allows direct application to minimize wastage.
It’s infused with aloe vera to help soothe the skin and give a very smooth shave with an uplifting, fresh scent.
Made to moisturize the skin and soften facial hair, this product also offers a fantastic glide and helps replenish the skin with vitamin E, which is essential.
You don’t have to worry about redness and rashes that result after shaving, because this item will let the blade glide smoothly like butter across your face without clogging the pores.
- Provides a smooth blade glide and doesn’t clog pores
- Prevents redness and rashes
- Moisturizes skin and enables an effortless, close shave
- Doesn’t work well with some blade types
If you’re looking for a shaving product that gives a perfect razor glide and a comfortable, smooth and close shave, King of Shaves will work perfectly fine for you.
It’s safe to use on any skin type because it’s not animal tested and is enriched with aloe, essential oils and tea tree, which are very healthy for your skin and hair.
It has no fragrance and is dermatologically tested to be great in preventing rashes and irritation that may occur after shaving.
In addition, it has a non-foam formula that helps you clearly see the area you are shaving, hence you can get the perfect shape of facial hair that you desire.
- Provides a comfortable, smooth and close shave
- Prevents rashes and irritation
- Give good razor glide
- Smell may be too strong for some men
Crafted with a clear and non-irritating formula, Elegance Plus Shaving Gel will form a layer between the skin and the blade to provide you with protection from nicks, cuts and razor burns.
Most men use this gel to achieve a smooth and clean shave without annoying irritation, marks or bumps development.
It’s very economical to use as compared to other brands in the market. You only need a small amount to achieve a quick and a clean, smooth shave.
For usage simply wash your face and apply the gel directly on the area of your skin that needs shaving. Gently massage before shaving with a razor and rinse.
- Prevents shaving irritation
- Forms a layer that protects skin from nicks, cuts and burns
- Economical price
- No foam lather
A non-irritating formula of Neutrogena Shave Gel will defend you from irritations, cuts and razor bumps while providing a comfortable shave and softening the skin.
This gel contains glycerin and a great blend of proteins that are ideal for conditioning. It’s also formulated with ingredients that help sooth the skin and promote resistance to irritation caused by a razor.
It doesn’t clog pores like other brands since it’s dye and oil-free and has a comedogenic formula, which allows you to use it on dry skin.
For usage simply apply and massage it on a wet face for ultimate shaving comfort. After shaving, rinse the area for clean, silky and smooth skin.
- Prevents shaving irritation
- Does not clog pores
- Gives a comfortable shave
- May not work on thicker beards
Well formulated for sensitive and irritated skin, Aveeno Active Naturals Shave Gel is all you need to say goodbye to razor burns and bumps.
It’s fragrance-free and has no strong chemical smell. If you suffer from razor burns or keep getting annoying bumps after shaving, this product is a great option for you because it gives a superior, clean and smooth shave.
You can shave as many times as you want with it without experiencing any irritation. It’s infused with active natural ingredients and is a lot cheaper compared to other foamy brands.
You can wear your favorite cologne after using this product because it only has a faint fresh smell that fades quickly.
- Provides a smooth and comfortable shave to sensitive and easily irritated skin
- Prevents irritation and is very cheap
- Made from entirely natural ingredients
- Smell wears off quickly
Regardless of your skin type or tone, Bump Patrol Shave Gel will perform great in providing you with a clean and smooth shave without any irritation or bumps development.
This product will help you say goodbye to burns, redness, irritation and annoying ingrown hairs. It also makes shaving pain free and improves razor glide to leave your skin with a smooth feeling.
It’s infused with menthol which helps in rejuvenating, soothing and cooling the skin.
Apart from giving a clean and close shave, this gel also promotes the health of your skin. For amazing results, use it with your favorite aftershave.
- Provides a clean and smooth shave for all skin types
- Promotes healthy skin, rejuvenates and soothes it
- Prevents irritation, ingrown hairs and redness
- Strong smell
Made with non-foaming technology, Zirh Shave Gel will allow you to see where you’re shaving and prevent you from making any detailing mistakes.
You’ll never experience razor burns, cuts, nicks or other irritations associated with shaving. This is because unlike other similar products on the market, this item cushions the blades to enable a smooth glide over your skin.
Dryness will be a thing of the past once you start shaving with this product because it conditions the skin and leaves it feeling refreshed and soothed with a subtle masculine scent.
This gel is economical since you only need to apply a smaller amount evenly over your damp skin, then shave with your favorite blade and rinse.
- Non-foaming for clear shaving experience
- Cushions the blade to prevent razor burns and irritations
- Leaves the skin refreshed and soothed
- Some users may not like the smell
How to Apply Shaving Gel and Create an Excellent Hot Lather
The process for shaving with gel will vary slightly depending on if you’ve selected a foaming or non-foaming product, but overall it follows the same, standard steps of any shaving routine.
If you’ve selected shaving gel because you don’t have the time to prepare a soap, you can still get an excellent, hot leather by investing in a shaving cream dispenser.
These heat your gel/cream to mimic the hot, fresh feel of shaving with a soap lather.
If you’ve purchased a foaming gel, you can also use the best shaving brush, although most gel products are standardly applied directly to facial hair using your hands.
If you’ve selected a non-foaming gel, generally just a dollop will do the trick. Remember, you can always add more if necessary.
In recent years, gels have started to dominate the shaving market slowly and it’s no wonder. From their gentle hydration to increased precision, the pros just keep adding up.
They’re ideal for productive, efficiency-minded men who still crave a quality shave. They’re also perfect evidence that when it comes to convenience and quality, you should never have to settle.
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