How to Make Homemade Shaving Cream

A man putting shaving cream on his face.

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Shaving cream might look innocuous — after all, what could be bad about creamy, airy foam? Shaving cream may help us remove unwanted body hair, but studies show some of the ingredients may make your hair stand on end instead.

We know many cosmetic products and toiletries include chemical ingredients — most of them with hard-to-pronounce names. Two common ingredients in shaving cream are sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES), which help to make a good lather. But SLS has been linked to endocrine disruption, and SLES can host a carcinogen called dioxane.

The Environmental Working Group lists the "health concern" for both SLS and SLES as low, though the jury is still out on precisely how harmful such ingredients can be. In the meantime, just don't eat it, and if you're concerned about shaving cream's effect on your health, consider making one of these DIY homemade versions from nontoxic ingredients you recognize.

2 shaving cream recipes to try

Jar of homemade shaving cream
Store your homemade shaving cream in an airtight container in your shower or under your bathroom sink for up to a month. Anna Ewa Bieniek/Shutterstock

Making your own shaving cream is actually quite simple, and it works on both guys and gals. To get started, try this fail-safe recipe for homemade shaving cream:

Essential oils lined up in front of fresh flowers.

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  • 2/3 cup shea butter
  • 2/3 coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oil

Melt the shea butter and coconut oil together over low heat on the stove until all of it is liquefied. Don’t turn up the heat too much because you don’t want it to boil, as that will change the texture.

Then add the oil and the essential oil and stir until dissolved.

Stick the whole mixture in the fridge for a little while to let it harden. Once it does, take it out of the fridge, let it soften up for a couple minutes and whip it with an electric or stand mixer for 3 to 4 minutes. Voila! The mixture will be light and fluffy. Store in an airtight container in your shower or under your bathroom sink for up to a month.

This concoction will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. The only problem is that shea butter may be hard on your drain pipes since it is thick and greasy.

This second no-fuss recipe from may not feel as luxurious as the first, but it also doesn’t contain the drain-clogging shea butter.


A woman with red nails dips into a glass jar full of honey.

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  • 1/2 cup oil (olive, grape seed or almond)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup liquid Castile soap
  • 10 drops of essential oils (optional)

Simply mix and store (no need to melt together like the first recipe).

Of course, the most nontoxic way to shave at all is to use only a little soap and water. And then if you must, apply a little moisturizer when you come out of the shower. I promise, it works!