Picture this: You’re in the shower getting ready to shave but realize you’ve run out of shaving cream. We’ve all been there before. When this situation arises, many of us will put shaving on pause until we can purchase some more—or worse, opt to shave on bare skin. Instead, your best bet is to find a shaving cream alternative. “The best products to use in place of shaving cream are those that are incredibly moisturizing, conditioning, and have no irritants like perfumes or added fragrances,” dermatologist Dr. Rachel Nazarian says.
Chances are, you may already have a few suitable shaving cream stand-ins in kitchen cabinets or lining your bathroom counter. Ahead, dermatologists Dr. Rachel Nazarian and Dr. Morgan Rabach provide us with a few recommendations on the best shaving cream alternatives. Keep scrolling for their suggestions.
It’s no secret coconut oil provides ample skincare benefits, but it also works well as a shaving cream alternative. “This fatty-acid rich oil offers a great substitute for shaving cream because it’s added hydration protects the surface of the skin from the tugging forces razors tend to cause,” Dr. Nazarian says. However, if you have acne-prone skin you may want to steer clear of coconut oil as it is heavy and considered one of the more comedogenic oils.
You may associate olive oil with cooking, but the kitchen staple can also be used to help you achieve a smooth shave. “Similar to coconut oil, olive oil makes for a great shaving option in a pinch,” Dr. Nazarian says. Olive oil is a fatty lubricating oil that boasts an array of skin benefits including preventing water loss, protecting against environmental damage, and preventing premature aging. “Like coconut oil, it can be slippery—so be careful. It can also be comedogenic and acne-causing, so keep it off your face and back, and use it for legs or armpits only,” Nazarian adds.
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel has been used for every skincare need under the sun—ranging from soothing sunburns to treating breakouts. It even works wonders as a shaving gel. “It is a soothing gel that will help the razor glide gently over the skin,” Dr. Rabach says. Amara Beauty's Aloe Vera Gel ($18) and Make Beauty's Succulent Skin Gel ($25) have earned our stamp of approval.
When your shaving cream has been used to the last drop, just reach for your body wash while you’re in the shower. Dr. Nazarian and Dr. Rabach both agree that body washes can double as a shaving cream alternative because they create a luxurious lather on your skin and moisturize it while you shave. The dermatologists recommend using Dove's Sensitive Skin Body Wash ($9) because of its gentle blend of plant-based ingredients and its ability to adequately lubricate the skin for shaving.
If you’re as skincare obsessed as we are, you’ll likely have a body oil or two (or three) stashed in your bathroom. Dr. Rabach says that coating your legs in a layer of body oil will help to soften the hairs as you shave. It will also ensure that your skin feels silky smooth post-shave. If you’re on the hunt for a hydrating, glow-inducing body oil to use while you shave, we’ve dubbed the One Love Organics' Vitamin C Body Oil ($58) as the best of the best.
Body lotions make for great shaving cream replacements due to their creamy texture and hydrating properties. “A body lotion will soften hair and moisturize as you shave,” Dr. Rabach says. Smooth the lotion onto your skin before shaving and it will allow the blade of your razor to glide effortlessly across your body. Need a body lotion recommendation? We rounded up the 16 best body lotions of 2020 here.