Last updated on November 28th, 2018 by Garrick Dee
The act of shaving takes a toll on your skin over time, more so if you have sensitive skin.
Shaving cream provides a barrier between the blade and skin that cushions and minimize razor burn.
Having sensitive skin magnifies the problems men face using the wrong type of shaving cream ten-fold.
Use the wrong blade or lubrication then more often than not you’ll have a bloody mess every time you swipe that razor.
What to expect
We’ll be talking about the best shaving creams for sensitive skin. And how to choose the right one for your needs.
If you’re still using cartridge razors and shaving gels in aerosol cans please stop what you’re doing and throw those away.
Your skin will thank you later and invest in quality products – your skin will thank you later.
It will give you a jumpstart on what I’ll be talking about in this article.
Shaving creams do not contain alcohol, propellants and chemical fillers that can dry out sensitive skin. One of the biggest enemies of sensitive skin is dryness.
Drying out sensitive skin is the last thing you want to do because it’ll be prone to lesions and razor burn.
This is where a shaving cream comes in because of its makeup. Good brands use natural ingredients and are often times unscented so as to provide the best lubrication and nourishment.
And this is what this guide is for – to help you with drill down on which products are best.
Men who have acne
Lubrication and the moisture locking properties of shaving cream is very important especially with acne. You’d want the blade to glide over the skin and not pop zits.
Men who have dry skin
Alcohol can exacerbate the problem of dry skin. Shaving cream with natural ingredients will help moisturize and nourish dry skin desperately in need of both.
Men with eczema, rosacea or any skin condition
Using creams or gels that contain alcohol and chemicals could trigger an allergic reaction. If you have this condition please avoid stuff like Barbasol.
Men with severe razor burn, ingrown hair or razor bumps
Using a dull razor and poor quality shaving cream can lead to these conditions. What you need is a sharp blade and good quality shaving cream to make shaving with such more bearable.
For those who are not aware, having sensitive skin can be associated with any of the conditions I mention above.
If you find yourself constantly battling with irritation, redness, razor burn or often suffer from ingrown hair then it’s time to re-assess your shaving routine.
A good shaving cream is one of the most important elements for having a great shave. Even if you use a cartridge razor, a good cream can mean the difference between a bloody or great shave.
Avoid a 5-blade razor
By the way if you’re using a 5-blade cartridge like a Gillette, you may want to consider shifting to a Mach 3. It has fewer blades which equates to less metal tugging on your skin and less irritation.
A better option would be a safety razor but that’s another topic.
Major reason would be the ingredients found inside these products. Look at any good brand and you’ll see that they list their ingredients.
Fragrance isn’t good
There’s no blanket term like “fragrance” that may be any of the 3,000 artificial scents they use to mimic what nature should provide.
These products contain ingredients that moisturize and provide lubrication without drying or irritation like glycerin or aloe vera.
Here are some guidelines that will help you find the right product.
- Does not contain harsh chemicals – avoid products with “parabens” in it
- No “fragrance” – EWG says that “fragrance” or “parfum” on the product label represents undisclosed mixture of scent chemicals such as diethyl phthalate that can irritate the skin
- Aerosol shaving gels are a big no-no
- Look for ingredients like glycerin, Shea butter, Aloe Vera and natural oils
- Avoid products with parabens as these chemicals have been linked to asthma and allergies
- Please no “SLS” – short for Sodium Lauryl Solfate that stripes natural oil that protect skin
- “SLES” is a big no-no – this is a petroleum based product that can cause organ toxicity, enough said
Best Shaving Cream for Sensitive Skin
Instead of ranking in order, I’ve separated these products according to type to help you narrow down and select a shave cream that suites your lifestyle and skin type.
These products aren’t like traditional shaving creams that produce a lot of lather. In place of rich lather, you’ll get something nearly transparent. This aids in visibility and really slick to protect from irritation.
It’s a great option for those who are transitioning from a shaving gel like Barbasol because it does not require shaving brush to use.
Looking at this product, you wouldn’t think that this is a shave cream but it is. Appearances sometimes can be deceiving.
Kiss My Face Moisture shave fragrance free shaving cream does not contain any “parfum”, parabens, SLS and Phthalates. So this is one of the very few products available that’s all natural.
Great for skin
It contains Vitamin A, Vitamin E and essential oils that soften and nourish skin. It has peppermint that has a cooling sensation.
According to reviews, this product has a creamy light consistency that’s not as thick. It’s safe to use with all sorts of razors from disposable to wet/dry electric shavers.
Women also use this product on their legs and were happy with the results. So your wife can also use this.
Bottom line: This fragrance-free shaving cream does not contain any harmful chemicals that an irritate skin. A great option that does not require a shaving brush to use. The bonus is wifey can use it on her legs or armpits.
Cremo is one of the few brands here that does not require a shaving brush to use.
All you need are your fingers to apply this slick and moisturizing shave cream.
Is it really astonishingly superior to other brands?
One thing’s for sure, this product is far superior to any similarly priced item you’ll find in pharmacies.
A quick glance at the ingredient list tells you why.
Only natural ingredients
This product contains mostly natural ingredients such as Aloe, Calendula, lemon extract, papaya extract, olive leaf extract and such to create a really slick, lather-free layer of protection to help the blade glide smoothly on your skin.
No lather at all
Yes, you heard that right this shaving cream does not produce any lather at all.
Instead of relying on a thick lather for lubrication, Cremo uses slick molecules that provide lubrication and protection. They say that air packets within a lather increases chances of nicks and irritation.
Molecules without the air packets, they say will form a barrier between your skin and blade.
It is paraben-free but it does contain “fragrance” which may cause irritation.
Better than a traditional shave cream?
However that does not seem the case when you read the reviews. Most men who left a review said that this is one of the best shaving creams they’ve tried – even better than a traditional shaving cream.
And a little goes a long way. An almond sized drop is all you need even for a 3 pass shave. It is activated by water so it will not dry out. A tube of this will last for around 90 shaves or 3 months if you shave every day.
This product is safe to use with pre-shave oil.
Bottom line: If you don’t like the idea of spending 5 minutes lathering up or want something without having to learn the art of lathering then go with the Cremo Shaving Cream. It’s one of the cheapest options available here that will protect your skin from razor burn.
Here’s another lather-less shave cream – Jack Black Beard Lube.
In fact it’s not only a shave cream but also a pre-shave oil and skin conditioner that contains ingredients that’ll moisturize and nourish sensitive skin.
It contains macadamia nut and jojoba oils that moisturize skin. If you have acne, these two ingredients should not cause breakouts since your using this as shave cream.
The eucalyptus and peppermint contain helps revitalize skin.
Since this does not produce any lather, this is great to use with straight razors or electric razors. The lather-less property helps in terms of visibility.
You can also use this with a disposable, cartridge or safety razor. Men who’re used to lathering with a shaving cream may find this product disappointing because it does not produce lather.
But if you’re sick and tired of aerosol shave gels, this is a welcome alternative.
A small bottle is available if you want to “test drive” this product and see if fits your skin type.
The compact size is great for travel (under 3.4 ounces) as you can safely put this in your carryon luggage without worrying about the TSA.
Bottom line: Jack Black Beard Lube is another lather-less option for men don’t want to use a shaving brush. It’s compact enough to put in your carry-on without getting bothered by the TSA – a great travel shave cream.
Traditional shaving creams have been around for decades and require a shaving brush to use efficiently. These products product a rich lather that old-school wet shavers have grown accustomed to.
When we talk about shave creams, Castle Forbes has to be on the top of your list.
They have a wide range of scents from Lime to Sandalwood.
But men with sensitive skin should go with their lavender oil shave cream.
Lavender oil will help treat conditions like acne and eczema.
Castle Forbes will perform well and wet shavers say that it will give you a luxurious shave and protect skin from the harsh effects of shaving.
You will need a shaving brush to get the most out of this shave cream.
Bottom line: In terms of performance, there is no doubt that Castle Forbes will perform. The question is are you willing to spend $35 for a 6.8 ounce tub?
This brand is a fixture in the wet shaving community thanks to their high quality shaving creams and soaps.
Their natural shaving cream does not contain any “fragrance” or parabens which makes it ideal for sensitive skin.
Ingredients include coconut acid, glycerin, Jojoba oil, Aleo Barbadensis Leaf Juice and vitamin E that helps nourish and moisturize skin.
The Glycerin content helps absorb water to prevent skin from drying. In fact, it’s an ingredient found in a lot of anti-acne products.
Bottom line: Another great product from Taylor of Bond Street that’s the best option for men with sensitive skin. It does not contain any of the harmful chemicals that could irritate skin but some shaving enthusiasts that it can be a little runny. Despite that it’s still one of favorite Taylor of Bond Street with over 8,000 reviews in Amazon.
The wet shaving community loathes Procter and Gamble because of their high-priced cartridge razors and aerosol spray shaving gels – cough Gillete, cough.
But this brand represents a change up in P&G’s strategy when it comes to grooming. The Art of Shaving is a subsidiary of P&G that caters to the wet shaving community.
This unscented shave cream from The Art of Shaving contains glycerin, coconut oil and essential oils that will moisturize and protect skin from razor burn and prevent ingrown hair.
Since it is scent-free it does not contain any “frangrance” so there is little risk of irritation.
Compared to artisan brands, this shaving cream is quite expensive at $25 for a 5 ounce tub – that’s $5 per ounce!
Bottom line: This unscented variant is one of the bestselling The Art of Shaving shave creams. It contains a “clean” ingredient list that’s rich in glycerin, coconut oil and essential oils. All of these moisturize and nourish skin and keep it from drying.
There you have it 6 shaving creams that will protect and nourish your skin. Most of the brands here don’t contain “fragrance” so it will not irritate your skin.
Choosing between a traditional shaving cream and a lather-less cream will boil down to preference. If you don’t want to use a shaving brush then it will be best to go for the latter.
But if you don’t mind learning the art of lathering, then by all means go for a traditional cream. These will provide the best protection from irritation and razor burn.
Garrick spends his days researching and writing about grooming. When he’s not in front of his computer, you can find him hanging around with his wife and son.