Shaving Cream Alternatives

What Is a Shaving Cream

Shaving cream is a product that you apply to your skin before you start shaving. Aside from using beard balm or beard butter regularly to maintain your beard, this shaving cream is also essential as it shapes your facial hair properly. It contains various ingredients that help soften your facial hairs, thus making them easier to shave.

Good shaving cream also provides the much-needed lubrication, allowing the razor blade to glide over the skin to not cause any nicks and razor burns. A wide range of shaving gels and shaving creams also contain moisturizers to help keep your skin smooth and supple. They kind of work like a lotion. Some also provide a cooling sensation on the skin, thereby minimizing your pores and preventing acne breakouts.

Benefits of Using a Shaving Cream

Promotes Ease in Shaving

Using shaving cream is a sure way of making the shaving process a lot easier. This product provides lubrication and makes facial hair strands softer, especially when applied using the world’s best shaving brush.

Prevents Razor Burns and Other Injuries

When the skin is lubricated using shaving cream, the blade can glide over it easily. With that, you have an assurance that it will not scratch the surface nor get caught on the bumps causing nicks.

Contains Ingredients That Help the Skin

Most shaving creams contain ingredients that you would usually see on skin lotions. These ingredients moisturize and keep your skin soft. However, it is important to know what shaving cream fits your skin type, to do more harm than good.

Helps Prevent Your Razor From Clogging

Another possible advantage of the shaving cream is that it prevents clogs in your razor. The reason is that the hair you have shaved will cling into the foam that the product can produce. With that, you can easily rinse off your razor and prevent it from clogging.

How Does a Shaving Cream Work

How Does a Shaving Cream Work

When applied to the skin, the shaving cream will penetrate the skin and make its surface slick. This makes it ideal for shaving because the razor will not catch onto the dry skin and cause razor burns. It also allows you to get as close to a shave as possible, giving you a smooth shave without any trace of stubble.

Aside from lubricating the skin, shaving creams also condition and soften the hairs, making them easier to cut. Also, if you use a beard growth kit to grow a thicker beard, then you will have everything you need, including a shaving cream that contains all ingredients that promote better hair growth.

Pros and Cons of Using a Shaving Cream


  • Makes the skin slick, preventing common shaving-related injuries.
  • Conditions the facial hairs, thereby preventing itchiness when they grow back.
  • Makes it easier to rinse off hair from your razor.
  • Moisturizes the skin.
  • Prevents razor clogs.


Shaving Cream Alternatives

If you are starting to work on your stylish ducktail beard, but you discovered that you ran out of shaving cream all of a sudden, you don’t need to panic and run to the drug store to get a new tube. You do not also need to attempt to shave dry as it will be an excruciating experience.

Here are some of the viable alternatives to shaving cream that you might already have at home:

Baby Oil

Baby oil is great because it lubricates the skin properly, preventing the razor blade from dragging over your skin. Your skin can also quickly absorb it without leaving any greasy residue. Also, if you are using a washable beard trimmer, then this will not clog it.

Hair Conditioner

This hair product also works well because it provides proper lubrication. Also, it makes your facial hair softer and easier to shave. This is also useful for fixing your scraggly beard.

Body Lotion

Just like baby oil and conditioner, body lotion provides a good layer of lubrication on the skin. It will also leave your skin soft and moisturized afterward. However, be careful not to rub it too much into your skin or you will not have a thick enough layer for the razor to glide over.


Shaving Cream Substitues

Of course, if you are talking about providing a slick surface, few products can do a better job than good old soap. Work the soap into your facial hair until you make a bit of a lather and your razor will slide over your skin effortlessly. However, soap might dry your face quite a bit, so be careful.

Sweet Almond Oil

If you happen to have a bottle of sweet almond oil, you can also use it as a shaving cream alternative. However, keep in mind that this oil is comedogenic, which means that it might clog up your pores and cause acne breakouts.

Shea Butter

The nice thing about using shea butter for shaving is that it provides a good protective layer on your skin. You can also expect it to leave your skin feeling light and extremely moisturized after shaving. Aside from that, the shea butter helps keep the beard hairs in line, thereby making shaving and trimming your beard effectively easier.

Peanut Butter

Yes, you can also use peanut butter instead of shaving cream. Peanut butter contains a lot of oil, giving your skin a slick and smooth surface perfect for shaving. However, peanut butter tends to stick onto your razor and is hard to get off. Peanut oil is moderately low comedogenic so that it might clog your pores.


Honey might feel sticky on your face, but it also lubricates the surface of your skin enough to protect you from razor burns. It also completely rinses off using just water. Moreover, it nourishes your skin. However, it is quite expensive, so you may not want to use it too often if you are on a tight budget.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can soften your skin and beard before shaving, plus it provides a slick surface that is ideal for shaving. However, it is also highly comedogenic, so you need to thoroughly wash it off your face to prevent acne breakouts.

Aloe Vera

If you have access to real aloe vera, like if you have a thriving aloe vera plant in your garden, you can use the gel in the succulent leaves as an alternative to shaving cream. The great thing about using aloe vera is that if you do get nicked or razor burned, it will make the injuries heal faster. The reason is that it has natural antiseptic properties.

Olive Oil

Shaving Cream Alternatives - Olive Oil

Like aloe vera, olive oil has natural antibacterial properties, so even if you do get injured while shaving, they will not get red and inflamed. However, olive oil is a bit rich and moderately comedogenic, so you also need to be extra careful when using it.

How to Use Shaving Cream Alternatives

Step 1 – Clean your face

Wash your face with warm water. It is best to shave while you are in the middle of a hot shower. It will make your skin softer and the heat will help soften the hairs a bit.

Step 2 – Dab! Dab! Dab!

Dab some of the water off your face using a soft towel. Do not dry your face completely. Leave it a bit damp.

Step 3 – Add shaving cream

Apply your choice of shaving cream alternative on your face. If you are using soap, you need to wet your face more to create enough of a lather. With everything else, you need to apply enough on your face to cover all the facial hairs you want to shave.

Step 4 – Start shaving

Proceed to shave. Use a sharp razor and remember to shave along the grain to prevent ingrown hairs. Also, rinse your razor frequently to prevent nicks.

Step 5 – Wash your face

Rinse off the shaving cream alternative thoroughly. Some of the shaving cream alternatives are harder to rinse off than the others. With that said, you may need to wash them off using a bit of soap.

Does More Spending Mean More Quality

Besides deciding between shaving cream or gel, you can also choose to go for a shaving cream alternative. What is great about these alternatives is that they are relatively cheaper compared to most commercial shaving creams. For instance, you can buy baby oil for just a couple of bucks a bottle. Even though honey is a bit expensive, a bottle can last you a long time, which means you do not have to spend excessively to get the function and quality you are after.

Do’s and Don’ts When Using Shaving Cream Alternative

Do’s and Don’ts When Using Shaving Cream Alternative


  • Do wash your face beforehand. This will soften your skin and facial hair, making it easier to shave.
  • Do use a sharp razor. It does not matter how effective your shaving cream alternative is. If your razor is already a couple of months old and could barely cut through thin hairs, you should avoid using it to shave your face. You will be covered in nicks and razor burns if you do. Also, use a premium shaving bowl so you can make a good lather with your choice of shaving cream.


  • Don’t shave dry. Never attempt to shave your face dry. Note that aside from being extremely difficult to shave dry facial hair, it can also be very painful. It will put you at risk of getting nicks and razor burns, plus the razor may pull out the hairs, which usually leads to irritation.
  • Don’t continue using your shaving cream alternative if you see negative skin reactions. For instance, if you start feeling itchy, stop using the product and rinse it off as much as you can. If possible, try a tiny bit of the product first on your forearm to see if you are allergic to it.

FAQ About Shaving Cream Substitutes 

Is it okay to shave without shaving cream?

If you do not have any shaving cream handy, you can still shave, but it is recommended to use an alternative like the ones mentioned earlier. Any one of them will work just as well as commercial ones and it would be better to use any of the alternatives instead of not using anything at all.

What can I use instead of shaving cream on my pubic area?

If you plan on shaving your pubic area, then use a shaving cream alternative that is mild enough not to cause any skin irritation while also conditioning and softening the hairs. This helps promote the ease of shaving. In this case, if you have access to some natural aloe vera gel is your best bet. This product does all of the things that shaving cream does, with the additional benefit of being antibacterial. It is cooling to the skin, too.

Can you shave with just water?

Yes. However, you should remember that the result will not be as good as using the other shaving cream alternatives. It will not do a good job in softening your hair and making it easy to shave.

Is dry shaving bad?

Yes, not only is it hard to shave dry hair, but it will also cause painful razor burns. Aside from that, it will pull off the hairs instead of shaving them off. This can further lead to serious skin irritations.

Can you shave with Vaseline?

Yes. If you do not have any shaving cream on hand, you can use Vaseline or any other body lotions you may have. Lotions can help soften the hairs. It also provides a lubricating layer that helps the razor glide over the skin easier.

What is the best natural shaving cream?

It is a toss-up between honey and aloe vera. Both provide proper lubrication on the skin. Moreover, these two alternatives contain antimicrobial properties, so even if you do get a bit of a razor burn, it will heal faster.


Even though you do not have commercially available shaving cream, that does not mean you will not have a proper shave on a particular day. If you have any of the shaving cream alternatives previously mentioned, you will surely have a good shave.

Anthony Giannotti

About the author: Anthony Giannotti

Anthony Giannotti is a senior writer and editor for Beardoholic and a licensed barber for more than 13 years. He owns 3 barbershops and has his own hair care product line that is sold in barbershops worldwide. Known for his impeccable technique and skills, Anthony is an expert in hair and beard care and he knows the best products and tools to get rid of all beard problems and have an amazing beard.

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