A bad shave doesn’t just mean you end up with a patchwork quilt on your face that draws eyes away from your Brooks Brother’s tie, it means pain. Ingrown hairs, rashes, and infections can all come from a bad shave. If you think a few stray hairs are unattractive, just think of how good you’ll look with clogged pores and some serious Elephant Man inflammations along your neck and jawline. The look is worse than ugly, it’s unsexy and unprofessional. Before you find yourself dipping your chin in almond milk, consider using an ounce of prevention and buy a decent shaving cream.
The right cream gives you a full, rich lather so even if you’re miles from nowhere using a folding pocket knife on your stubble, it will still make your hairs stand on end. A good cream is soothing and enhances every step of the shaving process so you can always put your best face forward. A chunk of soap rubbed between your hands is for third world prisoners. Prove you’re modern and free and choose one of the 6 best shaving creams. Your skin, your family, and the whole damn country will thank you.
Proraso Shaving Cream, Eucalyptus & Menthol
Pro: Inexpensive and effective
Con: Smell can be strong and medicinal
Barber’s Bloke: Proraso has long been used by true barbers. Men who only talk about sports and have the honest-to-goodness poles outside of their establishments, still offer wet shaves to their customers, and know how to sharpen their straight razors with a true leather strop love Proraso. The Italian made shaving cream works into a thick lather with ease and the rich menthol and eucalyptus mixture offers a cool, tingling sensation during and after that opens your pores and will certainly wake you up like a splash from a cold mountain stream. Each of Proraso’s products are made from almost entirely natural materials that are allowed to age before they are put on the shelves so you’ll always get a professional grade of product that has been created by chemists whose business is nothing but crafting the best shaving soaps, creams, and oils to give your skin a refreshing burst each morning. [Purchase: $9]
The Art of Shaving Cream and Sandalwood Essential Oil
Pro: Natural sandalwood scent
Con: Thin consistency
Face First: The Art of Shaving isn’t the first brand to try to give men’s face a pampering, but they are among the best. This can work for any kind of skin, though the inclusion of sandalwood oils helps it revitalize normal to dry skin better than those who already have enough oil. This can be used equally well with or without a brush, but for a closer shave that is also smoother and less irritating, coupling this with a good shaving brush, particularly one that has above-average moisture transference will give your skin a wonderful, fresh feeling. The aroma of sandalwood is entirely natural and decidedly masculine so you won’t smell like a barber shop after a good shave but rather have a hint of the woods on your skin without the addition of any caustic perfumes that can irritate or clog your pores. While this is still an incredible product, it has taken on a lighter consistency than in the past and a less stiff lather, which can cause the expense to rise rapidly if you shave often. [Purchase: $21]
Harry’s Shave Cream
Pro: Natural ingredients
Con: Very numbing
Nature Made: Replete with natural products including soothing cucumber and oils from coconuts and marula, Harry’s is new to the market, but their natural approach and smooth feel ensures that they’ll be trimming beards for years to come. Don’t let their eco-friendly granola company model give you pause, they’re all about leveraging the best that comes from pure plant extracts to give you a modern shave without abrading your skin at a cellular level with toxins and unnatural ingredients. Their surprising minimalist package and low price will appeal to your aesthetics and your wallet, while the jovial peppermint smell will give you Christmastime tingles anytime you need to cut close. The numbing sensation prevents you from feeling the blade drag, which can cause uneven shaving. [Purchase: $8]
Kiehl’s Close Shavers Squadron
Pro: No brush or water needed
Con: Does not lather
True Minimalist: Most of the creams on the market whip into a foamy lather like a meringue, but not this most basic product. There is no foam or froth, but like a perfect shot of espresso still has everything you need. Works without water if you need a quick, dry shave on the run or are doing your grooming in the car. Using a mexture of sesame and olive oils along with the natural humectant Sodium PCA, it will work smoothly and effortlessly. The tube stores easily in luggage and with the lack of need for anything but a good razor, is the perfect choice for travelers. There is almost no scent so if your special lady is complaining that your cream smells, or if any unnatural ingredients irritate your skin, this has the fewest adulterants to bother your body. With a good razor, there is virtually no tug. Stubble just slides away. [Purchase: $27]
Crown Shaving Co.
Pro: Thick lather
Cream of the Crop: Crown lauds itself as being for Vagabonds, Gentlemen, & Ruffians, but if you’re just an average scallywag or rapscallion who works in an office, odds are they’ll let you use it as well. If you use a shaving brush you can stretch a small jar an extremely long way with a fine, silky lather that will make your skin forget all of its worries and bask in pure bliss. The hypoallergenic mixture includes extract from white tea that helps to repair damage caused by sun, wind, and any of the other destructive forces that assail any man, from longshoreman to boardroom brawler. It will absorb free radicals to give you more than moisturization but a full spa treatment every time you shave. The stiff lather can take a little practice to use, especially with a safety razor since it can clog if you aren’t careful. When using it always keep in mind that less is more. [Purchase: $36]
Dr. Carver’s Shave Butter
Con: Works poorly with infrequent shaving
Honorable Mention: This is a great product and we don’t know why the elusive Dr. Carver – who refuses to return our calls – only offers it through a membership to Dollar Shave Club, but if you belong to that organization, pick up a tube of this. It is very easy to use and works well with any kind of skin as well as with whatever razor you happen to prefer. It smells lightly of cinnamon, pear, and juniper which makes it a summer’s day in a bottle. The cream washes away cleanly, leaving absolutely no residue to bother your face of cause itching or dryness later on. It would be an outstanding bargain, and deserves a place in your bathroom if only it were offered à la carte, without needing to subscribe to a club to get it. This is a good daily shaving cream, but if you’re an infrequent shaver, or grow hair like a mammoth, you may find it isn’t quite up to the challenge. [Purchase: $8]