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It may not necessarily be the most exciting beauty product you buy, but there’s no denying that shaving cream is one of the bare (get it?) necessities. It’s also come a long way; no longer are your options limited to the white foamy stuff that comes in a can (though you can still get that too if you’d like). There are now all kinds of innovative new formulas available—for both men and women—that do more than just help ensure a smooth shave. Whether they’re loaded with extra skin-loving ingredients, feature an innovative texture, or come in unique packaging, the latest crop of creams go above and beyond their intended purpose.
Ahead, the top shaving creams to buy to meet all of your needs.
Best Overall: EOS Shave Cream
There are so many positive qualities to this shave cream, it’s hard to know where to start. First and foremost, it’s insanely hydrating, thanks to the addition of shea butter and vitamin E. So much so that the non-foaming formula can be used on wet or even dry skin. It also contains vitamin C, which is not only a great antioxidant for skin protection purposes but also helps to brighten and even skin tone.
There’s also soothing aloe and oat extract to help minimize nicks and razor bumps. Paraben- and phthalate-free, it comes in four equally delicious scents, too. Take your pick from vanilla bliss, pomegranate raspberry, lavender jasmine, or tropical fruit—good luck choosing your favorite. But perhaps the best part is that it’s housed in a plastic, not metal, bottle, which won’t leave a rust ring in your shower.
Best Budget: Aveeno Positively Smooth Shave Gel
The beauty of this gel-to-cream formula is that it actually helps you shave less. The natural soy extract minimizes the appearance of hair so that the more often you use it, the less you'll need to break out your razor. Sign us up!
Speaking of razors, we rounded up the best razors available online.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Kiehl’s Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream - Blue Eagle
Extra thick and creamy, this is choice for the sensitive set both because of what is in it, and what isn’t. What it does contain: Aloe, a top-notch skin soother, along with sodium PCA for hydration and fast-absorbing sesame oil to soften skin without leaving a greasy residue. What it doesn’t contain: Fragrance. One of the most common skin irritants out there, added fragrance, is found in a lot of shaving cream formulas; it’s why they smell so good, after all. The fact that this one doesn’t have a fragrance is not only what makes it such a good option for sensitive skin, but also means it’s totally gender neutral. Leave it in your bathroom and everyone can have at it.
Best for Bikini Line: Bikini Zone Anti-Bumps Shave Gel
True to its name, this earns the top spot for shaving your bikini area, where ingrown hairs are a common—and pesky—problem. The key to avoiding them? Getting the closest shave possible, plus regular exfoliation to help keep hair follicles clear. This formula checks both of those boxes. Vitamins A and E lubricate the skin so you can get a super close shave, while microbeads buff off dead cells. It’s extra gentle and has soothing botanicals, too, important when you’re shaving this sensitive area, and because the gel is clear, you can always see exactly where and what you’re shaving, helpful when it comes to avoiding nix and cuts.
Best for Dry Skin: Skintimate Coconut Silk Shave Cream and Skin Conditioner
It’s a well-known fact that it’s important to moisturize your legs immediately post-shaving if you want to keep skin soft and smooth. (After all, shaving is a type of exfoliation, so it’s important to add hydration back in there right away.) But when that extra step feels like just way too much of a hassle, reach for this multi-tasker. Not only does it go on like a lotion, but it also acts as a lotion, too. Apply a thin layer of the non-foaming formula, shave, then simply rub in any excess—there’s not even any need to rinse. Shea butter and soy protein go to town, delivering moisture that lasts for an impressive 24 hours. It’s also paraben-free and has a tropical coconut scent that will instantly make you feel like you’re lounging on a Caribbean beach, which is never a bad thing.
Best Natural: Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree Organic Shaving Soap
Prefer to keep your beauty routine as chemical-free as possible? The ingredient list on this pick is about as minimal as it can get, touting organic oils (coconut, olive, hemp, jojoba, to be specific) for hydration and organic shikakai powder, used in India for centuries to cleanse hair and skin. This also contains organic sugar, which not only gently exfoliates, but actually delivers moisture, too. All of these goods are blended with the brand’s original and beloved castile soap, making it a perfect choice for anyone looking for natural shaving cream, or just minimalists or purists. And yes, it works equally well for men and women, on any and every part of the body and face.
Best Unique Texture: Cremo Classic Original Shave Cream
This formula contains a layer of unique molecules that become super slick when mixed with water. This calls for a slightly different shaving technique than you may be used to. Start by rubbing the skin with hot water for 30 seconds, then coating the skin with an almond-size dollop of the cream; you don’t need much more, because it’s highly concentrated. Mix that with plenty of water until it becomes nice and slippery so that your razor can glide right across your skin, without the risk of any bumps, nicks, or cuts. The subtle citrus scent is just a nice added bonus.
Best Shaving Soap: Proraso Shaving Soap in a Bowl-Refreshing and Toning Formula
Shaving cream doesn’t have to just come in a bottle. This shave soap is housed in a jar, meant to be applied with a shave brush. (Yes, it’s technically for men, but women can use it, too. Glycerin keeps it creamy, while menthol and eucalyptus make for a cooling and refreshing feeling and scent. Prosaro is the leading Italian barber brand and focuses on quality ingredients; case in point, 95 percent of the ingredients in this are from natural origin, with no silicones, mineral oils, or SLS.
Up next, peep our guide to the fra on the market.