How to Make Homemade Shaving Cream in 5 Steps

This DIY shaving cream requires just five steps and four simple ingredients.

flat lay of ingredients for diy shaving cream including shea butter and oil

Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

Overview
  • Working Time: 15 - 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 - 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4-oz shaving cream
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $20-30

Making homemade shaving cream means you won't have to think twice about the ingredients you're putting on your body. Combining just a few natural, intentionally chosen materials can not only help keep your skin moisturized and soft after shaving; you also won't have to worry about the toxins present in traditional store-bought creams and gels. Using natural, non-toxic ingredients also prevents polluting chemicals from ending up in landfills and waterways.

This do-it-yourself recipe contains just five steps and only four ingredients. It also can be used as a body butter in addition to shaving cream. As long as you keep water out of the container, the mixture will last you a long time.

What You'll Need

Tools

  • 1 double boiler
  • 1 hand mixer
  • 1 stirring spoon
  • 1 air-tight container

Materials

  • 1/4 cups shea butter
  • 1/4 cups coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp carrier oil (olive, grapeseed, jojoba, etc.)
  • 15 to 20 drops essential oils

Instructions

  1. Melting the Butter

    shea butter is melted in double broiler on gas stove

    Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

    Melt the shea butter and coconut oil in the double boiler. Place them in the double boiler on medium heat. It will take approximately five minutes for them to melt. During the summer, the coconut oil will be softer and can be added a few minutes after the shea butter as it won't take as long to turn liquid. Once they have melted, remove the boiler bowl from the heat.

    DIY Double Boiler

    If you don't have a double boiler, you can easily create your own using a pot and a mixing or glass bowl. Fill the pot half full with water and set it on medium heat. Bring water to a boil, and place the bowl in the water.

  2. Mix the Oils

    hand uses dropper to add oils to melted shea butter in glass bowl

    Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

    Once the shea butter and coconut oil mixture has cooled for a few minutes, stir in the carrier oil and essential oils.

  3. Place Mix in Freezer

    hand places glass bowl filled with melted shea butter mixture in freezer drawer

    Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

    Allow the mixture to cool in the freezer for 10-12 minutes. You want it to be firm but not hard. As it cools, the mixture will become more opaque. Depending on the bowl used, the mixture may cool unevenly; this is okay. Remove it from the freezer once most of it has turned solid.

  4. Whip It

    white hand mixer whips melted shea butter and oils in glass bowl into creamy mixture

    Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

    Using a hand mixer, whip all the of ingredients together for about 2-3 minutes. You'll notice the mixture will be lighter in color and have a fluffy yet creamy texture. This is an important step to make sure the melted shea butter doesn't become gritty.

    No Hand Mixer?

    You can also use a stand-up mixer, whisk, or even a fork if you don't have your own hand mixer. A non-electronic tool will just add a few more minutes to the time it takes to whip the mixture.

  5. Pour Into an Airtight Container

    whipped diy shaving cream in wide-mouth glass container with metal razor

    Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

    When the mixture is fully whipped, pour it into an airtight container for storage. It's easier to access if the container has a wide opening.

Variations

various ingredients for diy shaving cream with oils and raw shea butter in wooden bowls

Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

There are many ways that you can make this shaving cream fit your specific needs. By using different carrier oils, essential oils, or even adding soap, you can change the benefits this homemade skin care product will provide.

Varying the Carrier Oils

Many oils are considered moisturizing, but each one has properties. Research shows that olive oil has properties that are great for drier skin. Grapeseed oil is known for easily absorbing into the skin and providing antioxidants. Argan oil helps the skin maintain a barrier to retain moisture, and studies show it is anti-inflammatory. To make your shaving cream do extra work, choose a carrier oil that has some extra advantages.

Essential Oils

Varying the type of essential oils used in your shaving cream can have benefits beyond making it smell good. Tea tree oil is antibacterial; however, it can sometimes irritate the skin, and thus should be used at a concentration of less than 5%, according to one study. This recipe meets that recommendation, calling for 20 drops, which is less than a millimeter. In addition, lavender is a popular essential oil that is considered to lift mood and relax the senses.

Adding Soap

Not everyone loves oil on their skin. If this sounds like you, you can instead add 2 tablespoons of castile soap during the whipping step; this will help you more easily wash away the mixture from your skin. The addition of the castile soap, however, will keep it from being used in other ways, like as a body butter.

Troubleshooting Tips

man in light brown waffle-knit shirt dips fingers into glass bowl of diy shaving cream

Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

You'll find with this shaving cream that a little bit goes a long way. However, if you want more of it, or if you are having issues with the texture of the cream, here are some tips:

  • The mixture is too thick: If the mixture is too hard and you are having trouble whipping it, you may have left it in the freezer too long. Let it sit out at room temperature for about 5 minutes and then try again.
  • The mixture is too runny: The mixture being runny could be a number of problems. First, try to put it back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. It may not have set enough. If that doesn't work the ratio of ingredients probably wasn't correct. There may be too much oil or not enough shea butter. To fix this melt a little more shea butter, let it cool a little bit before mixing with the original mixture and then place in the freezer.
  • There is not enough of the mixture: For every one part of carrier oil, you'll need two parts of shea butter and two parts of coconut oil. So, if you have 3 ounces of carrier oil, you'll need 6 ounces each of shea butter and coconut oil.
Frequently Asked Questions
  • How should you store your DIY shaving cream?

    You should store your shaving cream in a relatively cool place. It could harden if kept too cold and melt if too warm, so it might not be best to store it in the same room you shower in. That said, melting or hardening won't ruin the concoction—its whipped consistency is simply to mimic conventional shaving creams.

  • How long does it last?

    This DIY shaving cream should stay fresh for about three to five months.

View Article Sources
  1. Maupin, Meghan. "The Societal and Environmental Impacts of the Skincare Industry: A Case for Innovation." Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2018.

  2. Hangan, T., et al. "The Benefits of Olive Oil Compounds in Healing Burned Skin Lesions." Revista de Chimie (Bucharest), vol. 67, no. 9, 2016, pp. 1793-1796.

  3. Garavaglia, Juliano, et al. "Grape Seed Oil Compounds: Biological and Chemical Actions for Health." Nutrition and Metabolic Insights, vol. 9, 2016, pp. 59-64, doi:10.4137/NMI.S32910

  4. Boucetta, Kenza Qiraouani, et al. "Skin Hydrations in Postmenopausal Women: Argan Oil Benefit With Oral and/or Topical Use." Menopause Review, vol. 13, no. 5, 2014, pp. 280-288., doi:10.5114/pm.2014.46470

  5. Abbassi, Abdeliah El., et al. "Physicochemical Characteristics, Nutritional Properties, and Health Benefits of Argan Oil: A Review." Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, vol. 54, no. 11, 2014, pp. 1401-1414., doi:10.1080/10408398.2011.638424

  6. Lee, Chia-Jung, et al. "Correlations of the Components of Tea Tree Oil with Its Antibacterial Effects and Skin Irritation." Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, vol. 21, no. 2, 2013, pp. 169-176., doi:10.1016/j.jfda.2013.05.007

  7. Sharma, Luxita, et al. "Health Benefits of Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)." International Journal of Physiology, Nutrition and Physical Education, vol. 4, no. 1, 2019, pp. 1274-1277.