by Garrick Dee
Updated April 10th, 2019
Shaving gels have gotten such a bad rap because of inferior brands loaded with chemicals that irritate skin.
But don’t discount these products because there are brands that actually use ingredients that will not dry out the skin.
Combine that with the rising number of men looking for great quality gels, companies have stepped up and coming up with better products.
And that’s what we’ll be focusing right now – the best shaving gels.
Before revealing the list, I feel that it’s vital that you know what exactly a shaving gel is. Lots of men mistake cheap foam aerosol “shave gels” as a true shaving gel, but that just isn’t the case.
When you use cheap aerosol products what comes out is a gel substance that quickly turns into a white lather similar to shaving cream.
Hence folks mistake this product as a shaving cream.
True shaving gels don’t have that property. In fact, these products hardly produce any lather at all. Instead of a thick white shaving cream like appearance, shaving gels come has a thin soap-like lather. It hardly looks like shaving cream or shaving soap.
All you need to use these are your fingers and a decent razor. If you have not read about our article about safety razors, please take the time and read it here.
I’ve also written an in-depth guide comparing a safety razor and cartridge razor from the pros and cons to cost differences. These should help you make the right choice between these two types of razors.
Men who are looking for something that does not require a shaving brush or bowl would benefit most from a shave gel.
Like what I’ve said earlier, these products don’t require anything else but water to lubricate the skin.
In fact, some might argue that shave gels are great for sensitive skin because of the lubrication and moisture it provides.
The lubrication part is a huge plus according to a lot of reviews because it has a thicker consistency than a shave soap or cream.
In fact, excellent products will provide a lubricating barrier that’ll protect the skin from the sharp blade.
This helps protect the skin from razor burn or ingrown hair. If you suffer from any of these issues, then give this a try.
Also, the transparent property of it helps straight razor users get better visibility.
Electric razor users will also benefit from this property.
Another benefactor would be men who have facial hair left on their faces like a goatee.
The lather-less property helps them trim without any lather hindering visibility.
Don’t forget to check out our beard style guide to give you more inspiration for beards.
The first rule of thumb would be avoiding anything from an aerosol can. These products contain a lot of propellants that will dry your skin.
Next on the checklist would be to look at the ingredients.
The more natural ingredients it contains, the better.
If you have sensitive skin, look for something that does not contain any fragrance as this can irritate skin.
Ingredients such as rosemary and eucalyptus extracts will help as a natural antiseptic.
Aloe Vera helps moisturize and nourish.
There are hundreds of products flooding the market right now, the sheer number of it can be overwhelming.
So here’s a rundown of the shaving gels we think are the best. If you’re going to your local pharmacy to check on these products, make sure to have a close look at the ingredients list. The more natural ingredients that it has, the better for your skin.
One of the very few shave gels that are genuinely fragrance-free, Every Man Jack is a winner here because of its low cost and non-toxic ingredient list.
It does not contain any Parabens, Phthalates, Dyes, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, none of that nasty stuff. If you’re looking for a product that’ll not irritate sensitive skin, then give this a try.
Chamomile extract helps soothe and hydrate while aloe and vitamin E soothes irritation and protects skin.
Here’s another fragrance and paraben free option that’s slightly more expensive.
Like Every Man Jack, Bulldog shave gel does not contain anything toxic.
It contains 8 essential oils, jojoba oil, Aloe Vera and Konjac Mannan that protects, lubricates and nourishes for a smooth and irritation free shave.
This is brush-less shave gel (you don’t need a shaving brush) and will help you get a close shave even if you have a tough beard.
Men with sensitive skin will have another option because this product does not contain any fragrance.
Ask your wife, and she may be familiar with the Clinique brand since they are universally known brand in women’s cosmetics. But they also make men’s grooming products and their Aloe shave fragrance-free gel.
This product has slowly gained traction in men’s grooming because of its performance.
Thanks to the high aloe content, this shave gel will provide great cushion, and the oil-free formulation does not leave behind an oily residue.
Aloe also helps soothe razor burn and some it provides such good moisture that some men say that you will not need to apply aftershave.
If you have oily skin, give this a shot as Aloe will absorb excess oil.
This will cost around $25 for a 4.2-ounce bottle, this shaving gel is pricey. But a little goes a long way.
Tomb45 is another newbie in the wet shaving community with the tagline “designed by Barbers for Barbers.”
Their product contains Aloe Vera and vitamin E that moisturize, soothe and replenish skin. It’s also one of the cheapest options in this list at just a little under $10 for an 8-ounce squeezable bottle.
If it’s something that barber’s use then it has got to be good. And you’ll see in the reviews that Barbers give this product a thumbs-up!
And the feedback has been positive. Men say that this shave gel provides excellent protection – blade slides smoothly. Being transparent helps a lot if you use a straight razor see what you’re doing.
However, some men complained that it has a thin consistency and you need a lot of product for it to be slick which makes it less cost-effective.
When it comes to using organic ingredients, a few brands are as popular as Dr. Bonner. Their shave soap/gel contains a USDA certified all-organic ingredient list that fits anyone looking for such.
These include pure Castile liquid soap base and organic shikakai extract, organic coconut oil, cannabis, jojoba, peppermint, etc.
However, despite the all-natural content, some men found that this product lacks lubrication. Using a shaving brush helps create a more luxurious lather but if you don’t have a shaving brush then opt for the other options in this list.
This shave gel from Anthony logistics contains all-natural ingredients that will work well for sensitive skin. It includes a myriad of ingredients that heal, moisturize and protect the skin from the rigors of shaving.
The Aloe content helps moisturize skin and relieve irritation thanks to its antiseptic properties.
It also contains carrageenan that the manufacturer says soothes and heals but EWG says that this is a fragrance and hair conditioning agent. Two other ingredients – Eucalyptus and Rosemary extract also provides some relief to irritation.
One thing to note is that even if this goes on clear, rubbing this creates some sort of lather that may be a pro or con depending on your preference.
Despite being labeled as “fragrance-free”, this product isn’t. Men say that it leaves a cool, menthol sensation post-shave that can irritate.
There you have it, 6 shave gels that’ll help you get a close and irritation free shave.
We really like the Old Man Jack shave gel because it’s cheap and it works well.
Bulldog is another good option but slightly more expensive, so the choice is yours.
Of course, your mileage may vary, but the safe choice would be something that does not contain any fragrance.
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