7 Best Shaving Cream for Safety Razor

shaving accessories

Are you sick of cheap cartridge razors giving you cuts and razor bumps? For years, I hated shaving. No matter my technique, I always irritated my skin. And my look suffered for it; I disliked shaving so much that I just wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible, and never got a crisp, clean shave. That’s when I decided to make a change.

I was tired of cartridge razors, so I decided to try something new. I took it back to the way our grandfathers used to shave—with a safety razor. And more and more men are making that same change. Better technology does not always mean higher performance, and safety razors can be less expensive, more comfortable, more efficient, and even more environmentally friendly.

I’ll give you a quick breakdown of what you need to know about safety razors and shaving cream. And then I’ll run through the seven best shaving creams for safety razor available. Stick to this guide, and you’ll be sure to get your best, most comfortable shave in years.  

In this article, we are going to review the following Shaving Creams

Safety Razor 101: Buyer’s Guide

If you’ve never tried a safety razor before, let’s take a quick moment to get you up to speed.  

What is a Safety Razor?

It may sound like a razor for kids learning how to shave—like a razor with training wheels—but it’s actually just the opposite. Safety razors were popularized around the turn of the 20th century as the very first widespread alternatives to straight razor shaving.  

Essentially, they were the first product that allowed people to shave at home instead of going to the barber without risk of serious injury. The traditional design was a double-sided razor with a single blade and a guard designed to prevent cuts. They remained the standard for decades until modern cartridge razors and electric razors gradually took their place.

Safety razors largely faded away because people tend to think that new developments are inherently better than what they’re replacing. But when it comes to safety razors, that isn’t the case. If you want a fast shave, go with a cartridge razor. But if you want a good, comfortable shave, a safety razor can’t be beat.

Why are Safety Razors Better?

Let’s start with the defining characteristic of any razor: the blade itself. Safety razors just have one blade each, while cartridge razors typically have four or five. Advertising would suggest that the more blades you have, the smoother your shave will be. But that’s actually not the case.

Extra blades create additional friction, which is the cause of razor bumps and skin irritation. Safety razors just have one blade; you have to focus a bit more as you shave, but if you do, you’ll get single, clean strokes.  

But as we said, none of it matters if you don’t find the right shaving cream. Let’s dive into that now:

What to Look for in a Shaving Cream

Too many men view all shaving cream as interchangeable. In reality, the shaving cream you choose can have a significant effect on the quality of the shave you get, and the way your skin feels throughout the day thereafter. Let’s dive into what you need to look for.

Best Shaving Cream For Safety Razor

Styles

There are three main styles of shaving cream, and we’ll start there.

1. Foam

Foam shaving creams are the standard that people tend to think of these days. They come in a pressurized canister and sprays out already made into a lather. Foam shaving creams are very convenient as they come ready to use, with no effort necessary on your part.

Most foam shaving creams, however, are made to be used with multi-blade disposable cartridges. They are typically very thick and very dense, a combination that does not interact well with safety razors.

Foam shaving cream is very widespread, and it’s very convenient. But for a safety razor, we’re going to be focusing on the latter two styles of shaving cream.

2. Cream

Creams are something of a middle ground between foam and the more traditional shaving soaps, which we’ll cover momentarily. They typically come in a tub or a tube, and they strike a great balance between convenience and quality.

Cream style shaving creams will start out with the consistency of lotion or hand cream, and you’ll need to create a lather yourself. Typically you can do so with water and your hands, but if you’re going all out, you can use a shaving brush and a bowl as well.

Creams are typically very smooth and often have ingredients designed to moisturize your face. But like foams, they can sometimes be a bit on the thick side for a safety razor.

3. Soap

Now we’re taking it all the way back to the old school. If you’re going to use a safety razor, why not use the shaving cream that was prominent in that same era? Shaving soaps can be particularly luxurious, and bring a barbershop feel straight to your own home.

Like creams, you’ll have to create the lather yourself. But it’s not as simple as just doing it by hand. You’ll need a bowl or a mug, and a shaving brush to create the lather and then apply the shaving cream to your face.  

Shaving soaps require a bit more time and effort, but they offer unmatched results. And if you get the right one, it can feel like you’re treating yourself every time you shave.

Ingredients

Even within specific styles, the ingredients used in different shaving creams will vary dramatically. Depending on your needs, there are things you’ll want to look for and things to avoid.  

Let’s start with a blanket statement that applies to everyone. No matter what, you’re going to want to avoid parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). Those are common compounds in a lot of skincare products that can have very harmful side effects. Steer clear of them.

Everything after that will come down to preference. Some people love shaving creams with a strong smell, and there are plenty available. But fragrance is often added with chemicals and can cause irritation on people with sensitive skin. The same is true of alcohol. If you have sensitive skin, avoid alcohol-based shaving creams.

On the other hand, many shaving creams will have ingredients designed to moisturize and condition your face. If you have dry skin, I would definitely recommend targeting one of these varieties. In the end, there are very few hard and fast rules here. It’s all a matter of preference and priority. But no matter what is most important to you, you’ll find a shaving cream that covers it on this list.

Accessories

We touched on this briefly, but if you’re going to use a shaving soap, you’ll need a brush and a bowl. The most common shaving brushes are known as badger brushes because they are made with badger hair. These are very solid models, and they’re usually fairly cost-effective.  

Meanwhile, they do sell bowls and mugs explicitly designed for shaving. But if you’d rather save your money, just use a bowl you already have at home. Ceramic bowls often deliver the best results.

Best Shaving Creams for Safety Razor

Now that you know what to look for let’s dive into the specifics. These are the best of the best shaving creams for safety razors available today.  

Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Cream

An iconic shaving cream that’s been around for over 150 years, Taylor of Old Bond Street is perfect for safety razors. While it’s old, it’s certainly not out of style; this is a product that has stood the test of time. It’s a glycerine-based shaving cream, which helps moisturize your skin as you shave, and makes your shave as smooth as possible.  

Taylor of Old Bond Street is also especially convenient to use. It has a consistency that’s almost like a lotion, and it whips up into a smooth, voluminous lather. If you have a shaving brush and a bowl, that’s great, but it’s plenty easy to lather it with your hands and some water as well.  

The lather isn’t very thick or dense, which makes it especially good for safety razors as it won’t clog them as easily. Taylor of Old Bond Street’s signature shaving cream has a sandalwood scent, which is a subtle aroma with notes of cedar and vanilla. But if that’s not your style, it’s available in a wide variety of additional scents, including peppermint, almond, forest, and many more. There’s also a fragrance-free version designed for sensitive skin.

Taylor of Old Bond Street is definitely a premium shaving cream. But it’s priced like one. It’s one of the pricier products on the list and the most expensive cream-based one. There aren’t many other downsides though; you get what you pay for, and this cream is designed specifically for safety razors.  

Pros:

  • Lather is an ideal consistency for safety razors
  • Moisturizes your skin
  • Creates a very smooth shave
  • Easy to lather with or without a shaving brush
  • Wide variety of fragrances

Cons:

  • More expensive than some other varieties

Read other reviews here on Amazon

Cremo “Astonishingly Superior” Original Shave Cream

Cremo does not lack confidence in the quality of their product, as their slogan can attest. While “astonishingly superior” may be a bit hyperbolic, Cremo Original is definitely a high-quality, unique shaving cream. It’s more affordable than many competitors, but that certainly doesn’t mean it doesn’t perform; Cremo gives you a great bang for your buck. 

The most unique aspect of Cremo Original Shaving Cream is its approach to lather. Where most shaving creams emphasize thick, high-volume lather, Cremo utilizes a slick, dense lather that adheres directly to the surface of your skin. They assert that traditional shaving creams create air pockets which lead to cuts; Cremo creates a full, consistent barrier between your skin and the razor.

That is important with safety razors as the single blade decreases surface area and can leave you vulnerable to nicks if you don’t get your face fully coated. It’s made with all-natural ingredients, and you only need to use a small dollop each time you shave, making it all the more cost-effective.

If you’re looking for a classic, heavy lather, though, this is not the shaving cream for you. It also works best with premium razors; if you’re using a cheap safety razor, you can very easily gunk up the blade.

Pros:

  • Great value—budget-friendly
  • Designed to prevent nicks and cuts
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Only requires a small amount at a time

Cons:

  • Does not produce classic heavy lather
  • Can easily gunk up blades

Read other reviews here on Amazon

Billy Jealousy Hydroplane Super Slick Foamless Shaving Cream

Billy Jealousy Hydroplane Super Slick Foamless Shaving Cream is a high-end product that prioritizes feel and versatility. It is actually a three-in-one product, with pre-shave oil and aftershave skin conditioner built-in. It is a foamless shaving cream that almost works more like a gel, which is great for making sure you get a smooth, pain-free shave with your safety razor.

An all-natural shaving cream with no alcohol, fragrances, or other additives, Billy Jealousy Shaving Cream is the perfect pick for people with sensitive skin. The ingredients include citrus and mint, which is designed to produce a natural fragrance despite the lack of additives.

Unfortunately, this product is a bit more expensive than some competitors, like Cremo, for example. And just like Cremo, it doesn’t have that classic, barbershop feel that the other products on the list provide. 

Pros:

  • Extra smooth shave; great for safety razors
  • Perfect for sensitive skin
  • Clear view of your entire face as you shave
  • Stays slick for full shave; no need to re-apply

Cons:

  • On the expensive side
  • No classic lather

Read other reviews here on Amazon

Pacific Shaving Company Caffeinated Shaving Cream

Here is a very unique product. While it may not give you that morning jolt of energy you’ll get from a cup of coffee, the naturally-derived caffeine in Pacific Shaving Company’s Caffeinated Shaving Cream does carry some excellent benefits.

Caffeine isn’t just about boosting energy. It’s also great for your skin. If you tend to wake up with puffy bags under your eyes, this is the perfect shaving cream for you. Caffeine is high in antioxidants and naturally reduces swelling and puffiness in your skin, leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to start your day.

It is also loaded with all-natural ingredients and has no added fragrances. But it does still have a particularly strong scent nonetheless, one that some can find a bit overwhelming. And if you don’t have a high quality safety razor, it can be easy to get gunked up.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Caffeine reduces puffiness and swelling
  • All-natural ingredients; great for sensitive skin

Cons:

  • Scent can be overwhelming
  • Requires quality razor

Read other reviews here on Amazon

Henry Cavendish Himalaya Shaving Soap

Our first soap on the list, Henry Cavendish Himalaya Shaving Soap is a premium luxury product with a price tag to match. But it’s definitely an example of getting what you pay for. It is made with all-natural ingredients with no added fragrances or preservatives, so it’s great for your skin. And the shaving experience is second to none.

Shaving soaps give you a classic, barbershop feel right in your own home. You will need a shaving brush and a bowl for this product, but it creates a rich, luxurious lather, and is a time-tested recipe that is designed to create the smoothest shave possible.  

Henry Cavendish Shaving Soap also comes in an extra-large soap puck, so while you’re paying a bit more than you would for other products, it’s also going to last you quite a while. The all-natural, plant-based ingredients include a heavy dose of shea butter, so it moisturizes and invigorates your skin.  

Overall, this is the most high-end product on our list today. If you’re looking to treat yourself every time you shave, and want a soap made with all-natural ingredients, this is the product for you. But it does cost a pretty penny, and you’ll have to invest in a bowl and shaving brush as well.

Pros:

  • Luxurious lather; extra smooth shave
  • All-natural ingredients with no added fragrances or preservatives
  • Shea butter to moisturize skin
  • Extra-large, long-lasting puck

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Requires additional accessories

Read other reviews here on Amazon

Col. Conk World Famous Bay Rum Shaving Soap

Col. Conk World Famous Shaving Soap is for guys who are shopping on a budget but still want that old fashioned soap shaving experience. And just because it costs less doesn’t mean it lacks in quality. Remember, inexpensive is not the same as cheap.

Col. Conk is a glycerine-based shaving soap, so it’s all about promoting a thick, easy lather and a smooth, moisturizing shave. It also requires a shave brush and a bowl to use, but since Col. Conk is a relatively inexpensive shave soap, you’ll have some room left in your budget relative to competitors.  

The formula contains antioxidant avocado oil and vitamin E to promote healthy skin. Col. Conk is also available in several fragrances, including its signature bay rum scent. That might not appeal to everyone, but I think it adds to the classic, old-fashioned feel of shaving with a safety razor and shave soap.

On the downside, it can take a bit more time and effort to really whip this shaving soap into a lather, relative to some other options. And it does have a few synthetic ingredients, so if you have sensitive skin, this probably isn’t the right option for you.

Pros:

  • Affordable relative to other shaving soaps
  • Glycerine-based for thick lather and smooth shave
  • Contains antioxidants for skin health
  • Bay Rum scent

Cons:

  • Can take time to create lather
  • Not great for sensitive skin
  • Requires additional accessories

Read other reviews here on Amazon

Proraso Shaving Soap in a Bowl

Made by a trusted brand in the shaving cream industry, Proraso Shaving Soap in a Bowl is extra convenient because it comes with a bowl already included. You don’t need to worry about transferring the soap into a different vessel to use; just add water and lather it up!

The soap is made with Proraso’s refreshing and toning formula, with eucalyptus oil designed to tone your skin, and menthol to give you a refreshing burst of energy as you shave.  

Proraso has been manufacturing shaving products for well over 100 years, and they utilize a particularly rigorous process in creating their soap. It’s made in small batches and left to mature for ten days, creating a particularly concentrated shaving soap.

If you have sensitive skin, though, the menthol can cause some irritation. And while a bowl is included, you will still need to buy your own brush.

Pros:

  • Shaving bowl included
  • Refreshing eucalyptus and menthol formula
  • Intensive manufacturing process creates richer soap

Cons:

  • Can be irritating to skin
  • Brush not included

Read other reviews here on Amazon

The Bottom Line

Each of these shaving creams have their own strengths and weaknesses. Depending on your needs, you can’t go wrong with any of them. Take some time to determine your priorities, make your purchase, and enjoy the best shave of your life.

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