The 8 Best Natural Shaving Creams of 2022

Slather on these natural creams for a smooth, clean, and gentle shave.

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Summer is here and with it, smooth shins and chins, if that’s your thing. We’ve all been guilty of going DIY, slathering on conditioner or lathering up soap with water to shave. But for bump and nick-free, super dewy skin, there’s a whole wide world of natural creams, gels, oils and foams to explore.

To help you choose the right one for your skin, we turned to Debra Jaliman MD, board-certified dermatologist and author of the book “Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist, who helped us navigate the tricky road of razor burns and inflamed bumps. (See ‘What to Look for While Shopping for a Natural Shaving Cream.’)

“It is important to use shaving cream or gel, as it makes the razor glide, helping prevent friction, which can cause razor bumps and ingrown hair,” says Dr. Jaliman. “Natural shaving creams are very good for those with skin sensitivities.”

Our list steers clear of no-no’s such as artificial fragrances, phthalates, and parabens. We’ve also scoured non-profit EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, for high-ranked products listed, which meet strict safety and health, keeping you safe from unnecessary chemicals. We’ve also shortlisted creams certified by independent third parties based on various guidelines.

Ahead, our list of perfect companions for your reusable razor this season.

Best Overall: Counterman Smoothing Shave Cream

Counterman Smoothing Shave Cream

Courtesy of Beautycounter

Key Ingredients: organic shea butter, organic aloe, and sequoia stem cell complex | EWG score and Certifications: EWG Verified, Leaping Bunny, Certified B Corporation

In face of the rampant and unregulated use of chemicals in the beauty industry, in 2011, Gregg Renfrew set out to build a clean beauty brand, Beautycounter, while striving to transform the industry through advocacy. The shaving cream, plucked from the men’s grooming collection, oozes with the goodness of moisturising shea butter and soothing aloe, with no added fragrance. It features another hero ingredient, plant stem cells from the Sequoia plant, which puts the brake on aging and helps renew skin. Just apply to damp skin, glide the blade ,and rinse off. The cruelty-free, gentle-to-use cream is EWG Verified. Combined with Beautycounter’s commitment to balancing profits with purpose, it is our pick of shave creams.

Best Splurge: Qēt Botanicals Fresh Body Oil

Qēt Botanicals Fresh Body Oil

Courtesy of Qēt Botanicals

Key Ingredients: grape seed oil, olive fruit oil, sunflower seed oil, peppermint leaf oil and lavender flower oil (all organic) | EWG score and Certifications: EWG Verified, Green America Certified Business

Qēt Botanicals is a luxurious handcrafted beauty brand that’s formulated from natural ingredients, steering clear of chemicals. The multipurpose ,scrumptious plant-based body oil blend is made in small batches from wonderfully scented essential oils such as raspberry, jasmine, and rosemary, along with grape, olive, and sunflower oils. This opulent oil calms and soothes post-shave irritation. Regular use will help slough off dead cells and soften skin. For a decadent shave, pump it in your hands, add a splash of water, and spread it evenly. Besides a refreshing shave, the additional triad of pleasures include oil brushing, oil massaging, and even nixing crotchety knots in your muscles.

Best Budget: Badger Shaving Soap Bar

Badger Shaving Soap Bar

Courtesy of EarthHero

Key Ingredients: coconut oil, glycerin, shea butter, bergamot oil, aloe, sandalwood oil (all organic) | EWG score and certifications: USDA Organic, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, Certified B Corporation, Leaping Bunny Cruelty Free, Certified Gluten Free, Forest Stewardship Council sustainable packaging

Bill Whyte founded Badger as a holistic body care company, bringing affordable, healing, and earth-friendly products to your boudoir. Badger is armed with the right credentials, right from ethically sourcing raw materials to its environmental advocacy. The family-owned company sells over 100 carefully created products across the world.

The stout omnivore dominates the sustainable package of this sudsy shave soap. Featuring aloe vera and coconut oil among others, using it zaps away redness and leaves skin slick. The brand recommends you prep your skin with a warm shower (or slap on a hot towel), slather on a pre-shave oil, then create a rich lather with a brush (it’s a tad lighter than that of commercial shave soaps though), and smoothly prune off the stubble.

Best for Face: Lather Almond Shave Crème

Lather Almond Shave Crème

Courtesy of Amazon

Key Ingredients: glycerin, sweet almond oil, coconut oil | EWG score & Certifications: PETA, Leaping Bunny Cruelty Free

Founder of clean beauty label Lather, Emilie Hoyt’s philosophy is to use natural ingredients that are free of nasties such as synthetic fragrances, sulfates, and parabens. We love the luscious vegan and cruelty-free shave cream that’s perfect for sensitive skins. A barely-there dollop of this intensely nourishing, creamy, and non-foaming almond shave cream, lush with omega fatty acids, vitamin E, and protein, whisks off your whiskers in a jiffy, leaving your chin silky to touch.

Best for Legs: Dr. Bronner's Organic Shaving Soaps

Dr. Bronner's Organic Shaving Soaps

Courtesy of Amazon

Key Ingredients: white grape juice, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, olive oil, shikakai powder, hemp oil, jojoba oil (all organic) | EWG score & certifications: EWG 1; Fair For Life Fair Trade, Leaping Bunny, NON GMO Project Verified,   Certified Vegan, USDA Organic, OTCO  

Renowned for its gargantuan bottles of castile soap, Dr. Bronner’s soap making family business has built on its founder’s legacy, creating a global brand based on the principles of Fairtrade and certified organic ingredients. Armed with the right certifications and suffused with organic ingredients such as the nourishing shikakai powder and a boat load of oils including coconut, olive, palm kernel, and hemp, the liquid shaving soaps are great for legs. Our pick (the unscented version – though you can select among Lavender, Lemon Grass Lime, or Peppermint) is best to use after a shower. Just work up a good lather and deftly wield your blade. Squirt with care and affix the cap firmly, as users say it can get runny.

Best for Sensitive Skin: Be Green Shaving Foam

Be Green Shaving Foam

Courtesy of Be Green

Key Ingredient: coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, aloe leaf juice, orange peel oil (all organic) | EWG Score and Certifications: EWG Verified

If your face has been pickled by razor burn, and shave oils aren’t really your thing, turn to Be Green Bath and Body’s EWG Verified plant-based citrusy shaving foam. A potent mix of anti-inflammatory sweet orange castile soap, moisturising coconut oil, and soothing aloe vera, it makes your daily shave smooth as butter. Building up a respectable lather (not the same heft as that of synthetic foams though), it’s gentle to use on sensitive skins and mild enough to use as a face and body soap. Also available in a 16.5 oz refill bottle (without a foamer pump), you can ditch the other cleansing paraphernalia for this multi-tasking marvel.  

Best Vegan: Doers of London Shave Cream

Doers of London Shave Cream

Courtesy of Sephora

Key Ingredients: organic birch extract, organic grape seed oil, shea butter, vetiver and myrrh oil | EWG Score and Certifications: The Vegan Trademark, Leaping Bunny

Plump up your skin by cutting out the fluff, literally, with Doers of London vegan shave cream that’s formulated minus parabens, SLS, SLES, silicones, TEA and DEA, synthetic fragrances, and colors. Just squeeze a pinch of this non-foaming cream from the tube and build up a good lather to mow your mug. While the birch extract relieves redness, the grapeseed oil is full of antioxidants. The shea butter softens your skin, while the astringent vetiver and myrrh oil heals burns and settles bumps.

Best Bar: Soap for Goodness Sake Babassu Shaving Soap

Soap for Goodness Sake Babassu Shaving Soap

Courtesy of Soap for Goodness Sake

Key Ingredients: babassu oil, castor seed oil, white clay | EWG Rating and Certifications: EWG Verified, Gold Certified Green Business

From the Babassu palm tree that grows in South America comes the nutrient rich oil from the nut. The EWG Verified Soap for Goodness Sake’s shave bar is perfect to prune a light to medium beard. Just place the soap in a classic shave bowl (or any bowl) and use a brush to slather it on. With a shelf life of six months, a delicate coconut-style scent, and strong eco-creds, this bar (it comes in an unlabelled, less expensive version too) is a winner.

Final Verdict

Our pick of shaving creams is Counterman Smoothing Shave Cream (view at Beautycounter) that oozes with the goodness of moisturising shea butter and soothing aloe, with no added fragrance. A pocket-friendly option is Badger Shaving Soap Bar (view at Earth Hero) that’s great for your skin and prunes off the stubble smoothly.

What to Look for in a Natural Shaving Cream

The perfect shave depends on various factors. Such as your razor wielding skills, a sharp blade, and of course, the right lather that helps you get the oh, so close shave. To answer all your niggling grooming questions and more, we spoke to Debra Jaliman MD, board-certified dermatologist and author of the book “Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist.”

Dr. Jaliman says that the fewer the ingredients a product has, the lesser is the risk of allergic reactions. She says that some of the good ingredients to look out for in a shaving product are aloe vera, shea butter, glycerin, and jojoba oil. You can also use these ingredients to make your own shaving cream.

1. Aloe vera: Bonus points for creams containing this anti-inflammatory ingredient that reduces post-shave redness. “Aloe is great for skin irritation and inflammation," says Dr. Jaliman. "It’s cooling and soothes the skin.”

2. Shea butter: Thanks to its natural vitamins and fatty acids, shea butter is extremely moisturizing. It also contains the anti-inflammatory cinnamic acid.

3. Glycerin: “Glycerin works to moisturize the skin by drawing water from the air into the skin's outer layer," says Dr. Jaliman. "It generates a protective layer that helps prevent moisture loss.”

4. Jojoba oil: Acting like a natural skin conditioner, jojoba oil seals in moisture, forming an effective barrier to external elements such as cold weather which can parch your skin. “It also has anti-inflammatory properties which can help soothe irritated skin that can arise from shaving,” says Dr. Jaliman.

FAQs

Okay, so I know what to look for. What should I avoid?

Nix any shave lubricants that contain harsh ingredients. If your bar of soap and your shaving cream have similar ingredients, rather than moisturising your skin, you will strip it dry of moisture.

For sensitive skin, Dr. Jaliman advises to look for non-alcohol-based shaving creams. “Aloe vera and colloidal oatmeal are great ingredients to look for in a shaving cream if you have sensitive skin," says Dr. Jaliman. Colloidal oatmeal is said to be anti-inflammatory and soothes irritated skin.  

When it comes to acne prone skin, she recommends you avoid creams that contain heavy oils such as coconut oil or shea butter. “These are typically great for the body, but be careful to use on your face if you are acne prone," says Dr. Jaliman.

The best thing about most shaving creams and gels is that they’re versatile enough to be used on all areas. However, Dr. Jaliman cautions, “If you are using shaving cream on your bikini area, make sure it’s not full of added fragrances which can irritate that delicate region.”

Why Trust Treehugger?

Treehugger helps you get a nick-free smooth shave using the gentlest creams, gels, oils, and foams. Kind to you and clean for the earth, we’ve referred to a dermatologist to make sure that you mow off your mop only, leaving your skin dewy smooth.

Author Neeti Mehra is a luxury-industry veteran who’s also committed to sustainable, slow, and mindful living. She loves exploring the world of ethical and DIY skincare and haircare.