Writing this eco-friendly shave cream article has dredged some lovely memories up from the depths of my brain.
I used to love watching my dad shave. The bowl, the brush, the shaving cream lather…the ritual of it all was all so fascinating. I couldn’t wait to start growing my own facial hair…so I could shave it off!
Fast forward to the present day, and the ‘joy’ of shaving has well and truly left me. It’s now just a chore most of us get out of the way as quickly as possible before work, date night, hitting the beach, etc.
As with all things we do regularly, we should make our shaving routine as eco-friendly as possible.
So I set out to find the best natural alternatives to traditional shave cream, with certified organic ingredients, but that still gave an ultra-close shave and were kind to sensitive skin.
I’ve already covered eco-friendly razors in a previous article. So I thought it was about time I also shared my thoughts on eco-friendly shaving cream.
I'll start by running through the best on the market, and then show you how to make your own.
Ingredients: Saponified oils of Sunflower*, Coconut*, Castor*, and Safflower*, Lemon Essential Oil, Lavandin Essential Oil, Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Bergamot Essential Oil, Lime Essential Oil, Bentonite Clay, Coconut Milk Powder, Cocoa Butter*, Shea Butter*, Avocado Oil*, Rosemary Extract.
They Say: Say goodbye to itchy skin and bumps when you shave with our Organic Shaving Soap, a delicious mix of citrus and lemon notes enriched with shea and cocoa butter. A foamy treat that also helps reduce plastic waste.
We Say: Regular readers will know that EcoRoots is one of my favorite zero-waste stores. In the past, I’ve used/recommended them for toothbrushes, dish soap, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, and razors.
What I love about EcoRoots is they make loads of their own products.
This gives them complete control over ingredients, supply chain ethics, etc., and leads to some incredibly eco-friendly creations. None more so than their organic shave soap.
Packed with sustainable and USDA-certified organic ingredients, this is my soap of choice when shaving. It’s so good that I even persuaded my dad to switch to it from the Pears soap he’d used for decades.
It produces a rich, creamy lather that allows your razor to effortlessly glide over any part of your body covered with hair.
Use this soap with a good quality eco-friendly bowl and brush (more on this later), and you’ve got yourself a sustainable shaving cream that gets a firm seal of approval from me…and the old man!
Ingredients: Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Flower Oil, Boswellia Serrata (Frankincense) Gum Resin Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Geraniol
*From essential oil
They Say: Olio E Osso Liscia Shave Oil is a protective, nutrient-dense shower oil for a cushioned shave and soft skin. Olio E Osso Liscia Shave Oil is a silky smooth operator!
We Say: Mrs. M loves this shave oil. She uses it to shave her legs in the shower and gets excellent results.
A little goes a long way due to the waterless oil-based formula.
Personally, I find it too oily and not protective enough when shaving my face.
If you too don’t like shaving oil, Safe & Chic carries plenty of alternative options and brands.
The best shave oil alternatives I tested from Safe & Chic were:
U.S. orders over $75 are shipped free via USPS and typically take 2-5 business days to arrive.
Ingredients: Sodium Palmate (Organic Palm Oil & Sodium Hydroxide), Sodium Cocoate (Organic Coconut Oil & Sodium Hydroxide), Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Butryospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil, Sodium Citrate, Vetiveria Zizanoides (Vetivert) Root Oil, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil Elettaria Cardamomum (Cardamom) Seed Oil, Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Fruit Extract, Piper Nigrum (Black Pepper) Fruit Oil, Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh) Resin Extract.
They Say: Tired of ingrown hairs, knicks, uncomfortable shaves, and razor burn? We are too. That's why we've made the switch from basic soaps to Badger's Organic Shaving Soap. This glycerin-rich soap bar contains coconut oil and aloe vera that creates enough "slip" for your razor to give you a bump-free, ultra-smooth shave. Plus, it features low furocoumarin bergamot, a non-photosensitizing essential oil to reduce irritation and redness.
I go into every test session completely impartial and with a fully open mind.
However, I would’ve been incredibly surprised if I wasn’t incredibly impressed with this shave soap manufactured by an incredible B Corp certified company and sold by an incredible zero-waste store.
Try saying that five times fast!
So. What was the verdict? Well, incredible…obvs! 😁
This shave soap lathered up perfectly, helped the razor glide effortlessly, and washed off, leaving no skin-drying residue.
It was very close to being my overall winner, but the Ecoroots soap just edged it thanks to its zingy lemon and lime scent.
Ingredients: water, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, stearic acid, glycerin, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, silica, sodium borate, glucose, cetyl alcohol, natural fragrance, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, caldndula officinalis flower extract, lonicera japonica (honeysuckle) flower extract, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower extract, theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, anthemis nobilis flower extract, tocopherol, surose stearate, xanthan gum, sodium phytate, alcohol, phenoxyethanol, limonene, linalool.
They Say: Cushion, glide, and a pleasant post-shave feel with no razor burn. This natural shaving cream will soothe and hydrate skin while you shave, leaving your face feeling as smooth and moisturized as it looks.
We Say: Wrinkled skin is in my genes. As us Millers get older, we become more and more prune-like!
I’m looking to take steps now to try and fight off the inevitable, so I was keen to try this shaving cream with added Calendula (known for its skin smoothing properties).
I was skeptical…but I have to say I ended up being very pleasantly surprised.
After using this shaving cream every day for a week, I noticed a significant difference in the smoothness of my face.
However, it didn't offer quite the same level of razor glide that I get with my beloved Ecoroots shave soap.
Also, unlike the previous brands I recommended, the packaging isn't plastic free, recycled or biodegradable. This is an area in which I feel Burt's Bees can and should definitely improve.
It’s also a tad on the pricey side. Although, the 6oz tube should last you many months.
To get the very best lather and coverage from your eco-friendly soap/cream/gel of choice, you need the very best brush and bowl.
My two absolute favorites are both made by Redecker and available at Earth Hero:
The earliest documented use of shaving cream is in Mesopotamia, over 4,000 years ago. The Sumerians used animal fats and ashes to create a soapy substance that they applied to their beards before shaving.
1949 saw the appearance of shaving cream in a pressurized can. It was an instant hit.
Shaving gel was developed in the 1970s.
In 1993, Proctor and Gamble patented the first shave gel that turned into a shaving cream when lathered onto the face/body.
As consumers have become more aware of the chemical in products, there has been a growing shift away from traditional shaving cream. Some interesting shaving cream alternatives include:
Shaving cream aids the shaving process in three key ways:
Most traditional shaving cream contains harsh chemicals (parabens, phthalates, SLS, etc.) that can dry your skin or lead to irritation.
It potentially gets even worse. Some shave creams have been linked with issues such as reduced sperm count.
Replacing your regular shaving cream with an eco-friendly alternative, made with high-quality natural ingredients, can have many benefits, including:
Want the ultimate control over exactly what goes into your zero-waste shaving cream? Why not make your own shaving cream alternatives?
And that’s it…you now have a homemade shaving cream alternative!
I made mine with peppermint castile soap, and it packs a big refreshing punch. Ideal for an early morning kickstart to your senses.
An older cousin taught this recipe to my daughters a few years ago.
It’s great fun, but…be warned…it can get messy. SORRY!
My mother-in-law swears by shaving cream to soothe sunburn. I get the thinking behind it; some shave creams contain ingredients that soothe skin.
However, by far the best product I’ve ever used for sunburn is Badger Aloe Vera After Sun Gel.
In my opinion, safety razors and organic soap is the best environmentally shaving option.
I recommend a fantastic safety razor in my eco-friendly razors roundup.
PURE by Gillette is the most eco-friendly shaving cream offering. It’s more eco-friendly than their standard shaving creams/gels. However, there are still better options available for a sustainable shave.
Sugaring is a popular alternative to shaving, especially when trying to avoid razor burn and razor bumps in the more intimate/delicate areas.
When I started planning this article, I intended to distinguish between shave creams for men and shave cream for women.
However, as I got stuck into the testing, it became clear that both men and women can use most products.
Sure, some products are better for legs and the pubic area, and some are better for faces, but who am I to tell you what product you should use based on gender?
I’ve tried to cover why the products in this article made the cut and their intended use. I hope this helps you make an informed decision as to which option best suits your needs.
What I do know is…every product in this article has serious eco-credentials and gets the thumbs up from at least one member of the Miller household.
Where do you buy your eco-friendly shaving products? Have I missed your favorite brand? Do you have a killer DIY recipe for zero-waste shaving cream alternatives? Drop me a line and let me know.