So you want to know what the best barber shaving creams are? Well, you have come to the right place.
Traditional shaving has risen back to prominence in recent years and this trend continues up until today. Even during the current situation, the world is in, Traditional shaving has grown ever more popular. People have started preferring straight razors or safety razors over disposable brands that have proliferated the market.
You might think that since everyone is keeping indoors, it is no longer necessary to maintain a clean-shaven, smooth-as-glass face. However, it is still important to keep appearances for all those online face-to-face meetings. You could probably get away with a less-than-ideal shave. But, if you are going to shave, shouldn’t you go for the best shave you ever could using the best tools you could have at your disposal?
Truly, nothing beats a shave with a good ol’ razor and a lather of shaving soap or cream. For traditional shaving, either use a straight razors or a safety razor for a close shave that is less prone to irritation.
Barber Shaving Creams vs Barber Shaving Soaps
So you have finally decided to reconnect to your roots and tap into a rich history of men’s grooming. You have also acquired a straight or safety razor. The question remains; barber shaving cream or soap? It is generally recommended for beginners to use shaving creams because these are much easier to use than soaps. Shaving creams are softer than shaving soaps and can be applied and lathered directly on the face (depending on the brand.) The water ratio shaving creams need to build up a lather are also harder to get wrong.
Shaving soaps on the other hand need both a shaving bowl and shaving brush in order to build up a lather. Soaps also need a specific amount of water in order to form a proper lather. Although soaps are much harder to use than creams, these last longer and could form a richer lather.
For beginners just starting out with traditional shaving, we recommend using barber shaving creams.
10 Best Barber Shaving Creams
Gauging which barber shaving creams are the best for you quite hard. Given how many brands are out there, it could be difficult to sift through the choices and find what works best for your skin. So, we have chosen 10 of the most well-reviewed choices out there.
The Art of Shaving Unscented Shaving Cream
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The Art of Shaving Unscented Shaving Cream is a neutral and unscented barber shaving cream. This product is ideal for people who want their shave to have a neutral smell.
It uses coconut acid to hydrate your face during shaving and glycerin for a smooth glide to which is essential in preventing skin irritation and razor burns.
Pros: It uses an unscented formula for those who have sensitive skin or for those who prefer a neutral scent. The coconut acid and glycerin combination leaves your skin smooth and hydrated after shaving. Since alcohol could potentially dry up skin, we recommend this cream because it is alcohol-free.
Cons: Its formulation is quite thick and could leave disposable razors and possibly safety razors clogged up.
Bottomline: The Art of Shaving is one of the more well-known and ubiquitous brands out there and for good reason; they are a good brand.
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The Art of Shaving Sandalwood Shaving Cream
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We feature The Art of Shaving twice because we really dig the quality of their barber shaving creams. For those who prefer scented shaving creams, this might be what you need.
Pros: The pros are the same as the unscented version. Contains coconut acid and glycerin for a smooth shave. The sandalwood scent which is a staple in shaving cream scents is sustainably sourced. It is alcohol-free.
Cons: The smell of sandalwood is quite strong and slightly reminiscent of tobacco for some people. If you do not like woody scents, this might not be for you.
Bottomline: The Art of Shaving offers a good shaving cream with a sandalwood scent. Other scents are such as lavender but for their scented choices, we prefer this.
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Taylor of Old Bond Street Shaving Cream, Grapefruit
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If fruit scents are more your bag, then Taylor of Old Bond Street Shaving Cream, Grapefruit could be what you need. As soon as you open the tub, you will be treated to a nice citrusy scent. It forms a nice and thick lather.
Pros: First and foremost, this is an Amazon’s Choice in shaving creams. It gives your shave a natural and sweet grapefruit scent. Although it has a very distinct scent, it does not linger for long and won’t interfere with perfumes or colognes you might want to use. It also contains the coconut acid and glycerin combo that gives you a clean shave and hydrated skin.
Cons: This product does contain alcohol so it might not be the best for those who have sensitive skin.
Bottomline: UK-based Taylor of Old Bond Street has produced well-known and highly regarded shaving products since 1963. The barber shaving creams they make are a staple of barber shops and a favorite of shaving aficionados.
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D.R. Harris Arlington Shaving Cream
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D.R. Harris is a historic and respected name in the sphere of shaving and barbers in general and the barber shaving creams that they produce reflect that tradition. They have been creating products from St. James’s Streel, London since 1790. Another scented cream, D.R. Harris, Arlington leaves your nose with a subtle smell of citrus and fern.
Pros: D.R. Harris, Arlington lathers up really well. It forms a cushion with a nice volume. Even when using hard water (water above the neutral 7 ph acidity,) it will still form a great lather. We recommend using a shaving bowl and most especially, a shaving brush when using this cream. Go all out!
Cons: Since this is one of the best quality barber shaving creams out there, its price reflects its class. At $7.33 per fluid ounce, it undoubtedly is one of the costlier brands.
Bottomline: Tap into the rich heritage of traditional wet shaving with D.R Harris, Arlington. Although it carries quite a dearer price, its quality matches it.
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Castle Forbes Lavender Oil Shaving Cream
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If England has D.R. Harris, Scotland has Castle Forbes. Although relatively new as a business compared to the storied history of D.R. Harris, Castle Forbes nonetheless produces some of the highest quality barber shaving creams. Their products are made of herbal infusions and natural oils and Castle Forbes Lavender Oil Shaving Cream is no exception.
Pros: Castle Forbes Lavender Oil Shaving Cream is infused with Lavandula Angustifolia —more commonly known as Lavender— and Aloe Vera. Both lavender oil and aloe vera is a well-known herbal remedy for many skin ailments and has wound-healing properties. As a barber shaving cream, it gives off a nice lavender scent and lathers up really well.
Cons: This barber shaving cream leans toward the expensive side at $40 a bowl. However, only a small amount of cream is needed to form a good lather.
Bottomline: If you have sensitive skin or are suffering from skin problems when using other products, this might be the shaving cream for you.
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The Body Shop Maca Root & Aloe Softening Shaving Cream
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The Body Shop is one of the more known brands in cosmetics. They are committed to sourcing their ingredients as naturally as possible and they do not test on animals. You can be sure that The Body Shop Maca Root & Aloe Softening Shaving Cream is cruelty-free.
Pros: Along with the standard glycerin and coconut acid combo, The Body Shop Maca Root & Aloe Softening Shaving Cream is made with Peruvian Maca Root which could help the skin recover from UV damage.
Cons: Based on reviews, the scent of this barber shaving cream could not be for everyone. It has a smell reminiscent of the ocean. Some like it, others don’t.
Bottomline: If you want a good shaving cream that could help your skin recover from UV damage, use The Body Shop Maca Root & Aloe Softening Shaving Cream. It also is cruelty-free.
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Crown Shaving Co. Shave Cream
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Crown Shaving Co. Shave Cream is a minty-scented barber shaving cream that is infused with herbs that are known to benefit skin growth. For those out there who like using shaving creams with herbal infusions, this could be what you need.
Pros: Crown Shaving Co. Shave Cream is SLS-free. SLS or sodium laureth sulfate is a chemical found in most commercial cosmetic products due to its ability to lather really well. SLS however could potentially dry up the skin and lead to irritation. Crown Shaving Co. Shave Cream has none of that. Crown Shaving Co. Shave Cream is infused with, white tea leaf extract, licorice root, ginger, pomegranate, rosemary, cocoa, grapeseed oil, and shea butter. All these ingredients promote skin health by either having healing properties or having lots of antioxidants that slow skin aging.
Cons: Although Crown Shaving Co. Shave Cream is packed with ingredients that promote skin health, some people might be allergic to these and thus, cannot use this shaving cream.
Bottomline: This shaving cream is another choice for those who prefer herbally infused shaving creams.
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Geo F. Trumper Sandalwood Soft Shaving Cream
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Geo F. Trumper is another brand with a long history. Established in 1875 in UK, they make quality barber shaving creams. They are also a very well known brand among barbers and shaving aficionado circles. Geo F. Trumper Sandalwood Soft Shaving Cream has a slight sandalwood scent.
Pros: This shaving cream contains the glycerin and coconut acid combo so expect a smooth shave that leaves your face well hydrated. This cream also lathers up quick into a thick and slick foam.
Cons: If you do not like the smell of tobacco, then this barber shaving cream may not be for you. Many people in the traditional shaving crowd love the smell of sandalwood but some do not. Geo F. Trumper Sandalwood Soft Shaving Cream also contains parabens which are a preservative. If you would like to avoid preservatives, do not use this cream.
Bottomline: Overall, Geo F. Trumper Sandalwood Soft Shaving Cream is a good quality cream.
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Musgo Real Shaving Cream, Classic Scent
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Since this article features a lot of UK brands, we will feature others from across the English Channel. Claus Porto is a Portuguese company that has been manufacturing cosmetics since 1887. They manufacture a line of shaving products under the name Musgo Real. This is another barber shaving cream that is well-known in shaving circles. Since Musgo Real Shaving Creams are produced by a perfume manufacturer, they make creams with amazing scents.
Pros: We highly recommend Musgo Real Shaving Cream, Classic If you are into scented barber shaving creams. The Classic scent is a combination of bergamot and neroli, along with patchouli leaf, lavender and violet, and vetiver. Musgo Real Shaving Cream also contains lanolin, coconut oil, and jojoba oil excellent skin moisturizer.
Cons: At $7.06 per fluid ounce, this cream is around the expensive side.
Bottomline: If you absolutely love scents and can shoulder the added cost of Musgo Real Shaving Cream, Classic, then we highly recommend you to try it.
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Proraso Shaving Cream, Green
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Proraso Shaving Cream is made in Italy. This is one of the more known and highly regarded brands in shaving circles. Proraso Shaving Cream have four variants. White is mainly for men with sensitive skin. Red is for those with thick beards. Blue are for those with dry skin, and green is a general-purpose barber shaving cream.
Pros: Proraso Shaving Cream, Green lathers up quite a lot even with a small amount of cream loaded onto a shaving brush. Its formula contains eucalyptus and menthol for a revitalizing and refreshing feeling. It also is free from parabens, silicones, pthalates, and SLS.
Cons: Proraso Shaving Cream, Green contains alcohol so it might not be the best for those whose skin is sensitive to alcohol.
Bottomline: Proraso is an affordable barber shaving cream used by many. If you have regular skin, try using it too.
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FAQS About Shaving Cream
Why do I need shaving cream?
Shaving creams allow your facial hair to be softened up which makes it easier to shave and leads to a smooth shave. To avoid razor burns, and skin irritation, shaving cream is necessary.
We highly recommend learning all the necessary steps in traditional shaving to avoid mistakes and accidents.
Do I need a shaving brush and a shaving bowl?
Some brands of shaving cream do not need a shaving brush to produce a good lather. Just using your fingers is enough. However, using a shaving brush will definitely lead to a better lather and a better shave. Regarding the mixing bowl, you do not have to use a purpose-built shaving bowl. A mug or dinner bowl will work well enough to build a lather. Some creams could even be lathered up directly on the face.
When is the best time to shave?
It’s up to your preferences. Shaving in the morning is the traditional time for shaving. However, due to the morning rush, you might not have enough time to shave so shaving at night could be ideal. If your facial hair grows really quickly, by the afternoon a ghost of a beard and moustache form when you shave at night.
If you’re tired of shaving, try using a barbers face wax. It uproots unwanted hair and takes a while for hair to regrow.
Do you need a straight razor/safety razor?
We recommend that you use either a straight razor of a safety razor. Although the up-front cost may be pricey, they could be cheaper compared to disposable razors in the long run.
Tap Into a Rich Heritage of Shaving
Shaving is almost like a ritual for men. The act of preparing your face for a shave, lathering up cream in a bowl using your badger-hair shaving brush, whipping up a nice and fluffy foam. Applying the foam to your face and running your sharp razor along your face to achieve an amazing shave is a sensory treat!
Traditional shaving is a very relaxing activity. Shave in the mornings to start your day, and shave after a refreshing bath following a long day at work. Use a good shaver oil to keep your electric shavers lubricated.
Frank is a barber from San Francisco. He has 10 years of experience providing the best straight-razor shaves, haircuts, and barber facial services for men. With all of his training, he is the go-to for any advice on beard and men’s hairstyles. When Frank’s not working, he spends his free time fishing or spending quality time with his wife and son.