Can You Shave Without Shaving Cream?
Now, before we go head-first into the topic of shaving without shaving cream and how to shave without shaving cream, we have to first add a small disclaimer!
*Jungle Culture does not recommend shaving without shaving cream/foam/soap*
First question. Do you need shaving cream to shave?
First answer. No, but it helps. Obviously.
The purpose of shaving soap is to provide lubrication for your razor and moisturise your skin, thereby reducing the risk of razor burn, razor bumps, ingrown hairs or cuts. It also just generally improves the shaving experience!
That being said, we’re all human and sometimes we’re in a rush, we need to get off to work, head out to a party or something in between, and typically, just when we need to leave the house is the moment when we shake the shaving gel can, only to realise, damn… It’s empty, and there’s no time to replenish!
Before we tell you how to shave without shaving foam, let’s make sure that the problem doesn’t happen in the future. 4 words… Switch to shaving soap!
Shaving gel and foams in cans are designed to run out on a regular basis so that you buy more, whereas at Jungle Culture, we believe in shopping smarter for products that last longer, and our eco shaving soap lasts from 10-12 months for an averagely hairy individual! It can last even longer if you keep it dry by resting it atop a sustainable soap dish or hang it in a zero waste soap bag!
So, moving on. You’ve failed to stock up on shaving supplies, time is running out and you need a solution now! Well, luckily we have two options for you:
1. You can make a homemade shaving cream using typical household products
2. You can use a makeshift alternative and buy the best shaving soap in the UK tomorrow!
How to make shaving gel at home
If you’re the sort of person who likes to do DIY, make your own herbal toothpaste or mix together homemade cleaning products, this might just be the solution for you! Here is how to make shaving cream at home AND if you're not that sort of person we'll also teach you what you can use instead of shaving cream!
Here is what you’ll need to get started:
- Aloe vera gel
- Vegetable glycerin
- Fractionated coconut oil (stays permanently in liquid form)
- Shea butter
- Peppermint essential oil (optional)
- A bowl and spoon
A good shaving cream should have something to provide lubrication, in this case the glycerin and aloe vera gel, something to moisturise (shea butter and coconut oil) and a sharp, natural ingredient to provoke your hairs into standing straight (peppermint oil + aloe vera).
Here are instructions for making shaving gel at home:
Mix the following in a bowl for 30 seconds:
4 tbsps of aloe vera gel
2 tbsps of shea butter
1 tsp of fractionated coconut oil
Add 1 tsp of vegetable glycerin and 3-6 drops of peppermint essential oil depending on how strong you would like the fragrance to be.
Mix in a little dash of water until the consistency of the cream is smooth
Time to shave, and all in under 15mins!
We know what you're thinking...
Blog reader: But Jungle Culture, what if we don’t have peppermint oil and aloe vera gel at home? We don’t have shaving cream, why on Earth would we have all of this other stuff?
Jungle Culture:Please please, be patient…. And scroll down a bit.
What can I use as an alternative for shaving cream?
Well firstly, what is shaving soap, cream and foam? How does shaving cream work and what makes it different from hand soap and body soap?
Essentially, shaving soap is formulated for two main reasons:
- To moisturise your skin whilst shaving, thereby reducing the chances of developing any unseemly skin conditions, post-shave.
- To lubricate your skin, making your razor’s job a lot easier!
Body soap is formulated in order to:
- Produce froth and bubbles that pick up dirt and grease from your skin
- Cleanse your skin and clean it!
The froth and bubbles that are designed to ooze out of natural body soaps in abundance actually make shaving harder. The froth and bubbles make razor blades blunt and can cause your razor to clog up, making shaving more difficult.
Because of this, we don’t recommend using standard body soaps or shower gel as a replacement for shaving foam. Instead, here are some other household products that we’ve tried and tested that work much better!
Before we go on, if you don't have anything in the list below in stock in your house... You may be asking, can I use shaving gel to shave? And the answer is yes, you can use anything to shave, but the results won't be as good and you may end up with a small rash / blunt razor!
(Listed in order of what we feel works best)
Best alternatives to shaving cream
- Shea butter
If you’re intent on shaving without shaving gel then shea butter is the best alternative shaving foam that we could reasonably expect someone to have lying around their home!
Shea butter has a ton of regenerative qualities, it moisturises your skin, helping to reduce razor burn and bumps after shaving. And shea butter is also typically found in scar-healing products as it’s known to help heal cuts and wounds. Perfect for shaving without the proper equipment!
- Hair conditioner
Hair conditioner is a much better shaving foam alternative than shampoo, shower gel or body soap. Shampoo is formulated to remove dirt and grease by producing a huge amount of foam and bubbles, the exact opposite of what we’re looking for when shaving.
Bubbles and foam make razor blades blunt and create clogs, which makes it more difficult to shave, and easier to cut or nick your skin!
Conditioner on the other hand is designed to nourish, moisturise and soften your hair, which is exactly how you’d like your skin to feel after shaving! Additionally, conditioner is a great lubricant and your razor will glide across your face or legs much easier with a coating of conditioner, than with a dousing of shampoo! All in all hair conditioner is a great substitute for shaving cream!
- Coconut oil
We’re not going to lie… If you haven’t got shea butter or hair conditioner, then things are going to start taking a turn for the worse! You’re now going to need to leave your bathroom, and make your way to the kitchen for this one!
That being said, coconut oil is actually a surprisingly good alternative to shaving cream. It’s rich in oils, extremely moisturising and is a common ingredient in many cosmetic products.
Aside from moisturising your skin, coconut oil is often used in anti-inflammatory creams and it’s said to promote wound healing!
All of which is ideal when you’re facing potential cuts and shaving rashes!
- Aloe vera gel
If you’ve come this far, then I don’t even know why we are bothering to mention this! If you don’t have access to shaving gel, hair conditioner or shea butter, what are the chances that you’ll be stocked up with aloe vera gel?
Nonetheless, in our tests aloe vera gel was actually a pretty passable replacement for shaving soap, so we must give it fair consideration!
Most people associate aloe vera with reducing sunburn and inflammation, but it also hydrates your skin and is thought to reduce scarring, burns and speed up wound recovery time. It’s also extremely cold and refreshing, which gives it an extra point from us!
- Shower gel / Soap
I know that earlier in this very article we told you not to use shower gel or soap as a replacement for shaving cream, and we stand by that comment. But if there is absolutely no other alternative, then we still prefer shaving with gel and soap than with just water.
It’s not ideal, but tough times call for tough measures. Layer it thinly on the area that you plan to shave and go slow, but you should probably read our shaving tips below to reduce the chance of a nasty injury!
Can you shave with just water?
You’re marooned on a desert island, you have no toiletries, no shea butter, certainly no aloe vera gel, but you do have a razor and you want to keep up your shaving routine, will water alone help you shave without shaving foam?
Wet shaving with just water is possible and in fact some barbers will only use hot water when shaving their client’s faces. However, without any lubricant or moisturiser, the chances of cutting yourself are significantly increased. Read these tips and tricks to improve your shaving technique and you might escape this grooming session with just a handful of cuts! (Just kidding)
How to shave with just water
- Use lots of hot water
Hot water makes your hairs stand on edge, so dousing your face, legs, armpit or elsewhere… with hot water before shaving is a must, whether you have shaving soap or not!
Using hot water will, in general, significantly improve your shaving experience. Fill your wash basin with hot water and let your razor sit submerged for a minute or two. Splash the hot water on the area you plan to shave or soak a flannel in the water and press it to your skin.
- Use a fresh razor blade or cartridge
If you’re using one of our eco razors or one of our eco-friendly women’s razors, then be sure to replace your shark safety razor blades before you start shaving.
If you’re using a cartridge razor, use a new cartridge. You can still keep the old one wrapped in tissue paper to reuse when you have access to shaving soap, but for this session, trust us, use a new blade!
- Use a flannel or washcloth
Soak your washcloth in hot water and press it firmly against the region that you plan to shave. Put some pressure on the cloth and repeat before you shave each new area, or to refresh the heat on your skin. Doing this ensures that your skin is warm, your hairs are erect and it’s easier to shave!
Can I shave my pubic hair without shaving cream?
Shaving pubic hair without shaving foam, cream, gel or soap is essentially the same process as shaving your face, armpits or legs without products. Yes, the area is more sensitive, but it’s still possible. Just be careful, go slow and it goes without saying but, only shave your pubic area without shaving products if you feel that it is absolutely necessary!
We’re not going to delve into how to shave your pubic hair without shaving cream. Follow the instructions above, but add an extra degree of caution and you’ll be fine! The main thing to remember is to lubricate the area that you’re going to shave, go slow and remember to moisturise afterwards!
Before we move on, we've had quite a few customers ask us if you can use our shaving bars or if you can use face shaving cream for pubic hair. The answer is yes! All shaving creams and foams that are on the market are "safe" for use anywhere on your body unless the product explicitly says that it isn't!
That being said, if you use a shaving foam filled with chemicals to shave your pubic hair, you might not end up with the best results. We recommend shaving your pubic hair with a natural and gentle shaving solution.
For a video tutorial on how to shave pubic hair without shaving cream visit our Youtube channel… Just kidding, keep it PG kids!
How to cleanse skin after shaving without shaving foam
Your skin is extremely sensitive, some people’s more than others and this means that shaving in general can cause irritation and inflammation, which is why ingrown hairs, rashes and razor burn are so common.
Using an after shave product such as a balm or moisturiser can significantly lower the chances that your skin will break out into a rash. We recommend this after shave balm to reduce the effects of razor burn.
If you do not have any after shave balms lying around the house, any of the following products will help to soothe your skin after a rough shaving experience:
Homemade remedies - Recipe here
Or any of the 13 household moisturisers mentioned on this list.
Now, hopefully this article has helped you shave without shaving cream! If you need help learning how to shave with a safety razor then check take a look at our product care guides!
We can't guarantee that shaving without shaving cream will not result in a razor rash, but if you do experience tenderness after shaving, we've written an article explaining how to get rid of shaving rashes that might help!
If anybody has any other household shaving products that they feel are worth mentioning, comment below!