Thinking of trying your hand at homemade shaving cream? Your skin just might thank you. After all, a DIY shaving cream means being more conscious and responsible about what ingredients come into contact with your skin — without sacrificing the support and protection it needs while you shave off excess or unwanted hair.
Read on for the lowdown on what makes shaving cream so effective, and how you can replicate that nick-free and smooth shaving experience with a homemade shaving cream recipe using gentle ingredients. Finally, you can do away with dragging that boring bar of soap up and down your legs for good.
What’s In Shaving Cream? Ingredients In Commercial Shave Cream
Shave cream has a unique texture. It can be light and foamy as you lather, but amply slick and moisturizing to ensure a close shave.
The formulation for shave cream contains ingredients that help maintain its texture and allow it to be dispensed either as an aerosol or a gel to provide the lubrication your skin requires for shaving. Lubricating ingredients in shaving cream include stearic acid, dimethicone, and glycerin. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) is also often listed among the ingredients, as this is a popular surfactant relied on by personal care products like soap, body wash, and shampoo.1
In addition, some commercial shave creams add color, trace amounts of botanical ingredients, and fragrance designed to enhance the overall shave experience. However, prolonged exposure to these synthetic ingredients could potentially cause skin irritation.2
While research on the potentially harmful effects these synthetic ingredients might have on the skin remains largely inconclusive, dermatologists often recommend people with sensitive skin stick to skincare products with simpler or more organic ingredients, as well as ones with less or no fragrance.3
If you’d like to try making a shaving cream recipe using natural ingredients, read on.
Have A Smooth Shave (And Keep Skin Moisturized) With This Shaving Cream Recipe
This recipe calls for honey, which isn’t as sticky or razor-clogging as you might think. It’s actually potentially a strong ingredient to center your homemade shaving cream recipe around. Its beneficial moisturizing and skin properties are well-known.4
The recipe that follows also nixes added synthetic fragrances or unnecessary additives. As long as you use good-quality base ingredients, you’ll end up with a pleasant-smelling homemade shaving cream naturally scented with your choice of carrier and essential oil and castile soap.
That being said, this DIY shaving cream recipe does not recommend using coconut oil. Coconut oil seems to clog up the razor and the drain more than other oft-recommended carrier oils. But not to worry — the other options (olive oil, almond oil, or even grapeseed oil) are all easily sourced in stores or online (you may even already have some on hand).
Store this homemade shaving cream in a pump bottle (like an empty soap dispenser) for easy access during showers, and feel this shave cream glide on like butter.
- ½ cup carrier oil of choice (olive oil, almond oil, or grapeseed oil)
- ¼ cup honey (raw honey preferred, but not required)
- ¼ cup liquid castile soap (use your choice of scented castile soap)
- 10 drops essential oil of choice (not required, but adding essential oil can provide a nice scent to enhance your shave)
- Briskly whisk together oil of choice, honey, castile soap, and essential oil (if using) in a mixing bowl or jar. Continue mixing until well-incorporated and emulsified. You can use a hand mixer on the lowest setting if you wish, but a hand whisk is fine.
- Transfer to a clean, sealable soap dispenser or pump bottle.
Note: This DIY shaving cream recipe is good for in-shower shaves, as the formulation lathers but doesn’t clog the drain.5
No-Rinse Homemade Shaving Cream Recipe With Coconut Oil And Shea Butter (or Cocoa Butter)
If you absolutely love the scent and moisturizing effects of coconut oil and wish you could include it in your homemade shaving cream recipe, you still can.
Since coconut oil isn’t something you want clogging up your drain, you can still create a homemade shaving cream recipe that functions more as a moisturizing, no-rinse shaving balm instead of the usual lathering formulation.
This particular recipe pairs coconut oil with shea butter, another skin-boosting organic ingredient. Shea butter is known for its potent moisturizing and skin-protecting benefits, making it an optimal ingredient in homemade shaving cream. It may even help protect against skin irritation brought about by shaving.6
For this recipe, try to use the best-quality shea butter you can find. If you can’t find quality shea butter, cocoa butter is a good alternative.
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- ⅓ cup shea butter (or cocoa butter, if preferred)
- ¼ cup olive oil or other carrier oil (almond, jojoba, etc)
- Essential oil of choice (optional)
- Combine coconut oil and shea butter in a small saucepan and melt over low heat, mixing constantly. You can also use a double boiler if you wish.
- Remove from heat and transfer oil and shea butter blend to a small container. Mix in olive oil. Let this oil and butter mix set and harden in the refrigerator.
- Once you have a solid block of oil and butter, transfer it to your mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to whip, as if creaming butter for baking.
- Whip for a few minutes until light and creamy. Transfer to a resealable jar, and store away from moisture.
Note: There is no need to lather up with soap before or after shaving. This soap-free shave cream can be applied to dry skin prior to shaving and can be wiped off afterward. The residue will leave a subtle moisturizing effect on your skin.7
Homemade Shaving Cream Recipe With Baking Soda — Perfect For Men
This bonus recipe adds baking soda to the basic ingredients of oil, butter, castile soap, and/or honey. While it seems like an odd ingredient to mix in, baking soda may help cut oils from the surface of the skin, resulting in a closer shave sans razor burn — something men who shave their beards frequently can appreciate.8
Try whipping up this homemade shaving cream recipe with baking soda to enhance your overall shaving experience and possibly get better results.
- 3 Tbsps. coconut oil, softened
- 2 Tbsps. castile soap
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable glycerin
- ¼ cup shea butter, slightly melted
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- In a medium bowl, mix together coconut oil, vegetable glycerin, and castile soap.
- Slowly pour in softened shea butter, whisking to emulsify mixture as you go. Keep whisking as you add honey and baking soda.
- Continue incorporating the ingredients until you achieve a well-blended mixture with a texture similar to mayonnaise.
- Transfer to a sealable jar, and store at room temperature.
Note: Don’t let the mixture get wet. Make sure you handle it with dry hands and a clean spoon, spatula, or scoop when using it in the shower.9
Homemade Shaving Cream: Check With Your Dermatologist First
These homemade shaving cream recipes all contain ingredients that have shown great promise in caring for skin. However, even with using organic or popular ingredients, it’s always best to consult your dermatologist before trying new personal care products.