2018 has already been another chapter in history and if you have not made your resolutions for the new-year, then it’s time to make one. You can always start the list by including a thing or two that will make you look your best. Believe me, a well groomed image of yourself in the mirror can kick start your day with the first bit of confidence that’s so much needed. And if the bearded look was the one you were carrying all these years, it’s time to give others a shock by pulling off a stunner with a clean shaved one.
There are many factors that determine how clean your shave is, like your technique, the directions in which your hairs grow, the density and texture of your beard etc. but the most important ones are the quality of the razor you use and your shaving cream. A shaving cream is a lather forming cosmetic cream that is applied to facial hair to expedite the entire process of shaving. In other words, a shaving cream lubricates the skin, softens the beard and lifts it from the surface of the skin to make the job easier and smoother for the razor. It gently protects the skin and retains the moisture leaving you with a refreshing after effect. A shaving cream can make all the difference between your choice of an irritating skin full of rashes with nicks and cuts and a smooth glowing one after the shave and will also affect your shaving experience.
Next time you buy a shaving cream from the local grocery store, or the super market or online, you need to be extra sure about the product you are investing in. There are a lot of factors depending on which you should choose the cream that best suits your needs. In this article, we shall guide you through the entire process of knowing your shaving cream and will also give you a list of 10 products that we found out to be the best in business. Then it’s up to you to decide which shaving cream you feel can complement your skin and your personality. And we will provide you with the buying guide so that the entire process from choosing a shaving cream to owning it becomes easier for you and you are left with a smile on your face for a job well done.
We have already given you a deep understanding of your shaving cream, what it should have and what it shouldn’t and even told you about the art of using it. Now we would provide you with a list of 10 best shaving creams that would be our pick for the year 2018.
Best Shaving Creams 2018
Founded in 1908, Proraso is an Italian company that specializes in shaving products for three generations. You can never go wrong with a Proraso shaving cream which adds flair to vintage. They have a number of shaving creams to their credit but our pick for the year would be the Sapone Da Barba or the Green Proraso Shaving Cream in a tube. The content of this tube is made from an extremely meticulous and painstaking “hot soap-making process” and left to mature for three days. This process is responsible for the ultra rich soap inside the tube that can give you a rich creamy lather when worked up with a shaving brush. This original classic shaving formula from Proraso contains eucalyptus oil and menthol in a glycerin based shaving cream. While glycerin is known to retain the moisture, eucalyptus oil purifies and tones the skin and menthol refreshes and rejuvenates it. Menthol along with eucalyptus oil has active analgesic properties and relives you from the pain, if any, and prevents razor burn. You will feel a cooling effect of the product on your skin and the menthol will invigorate a tingling sensation. This product is free of parabens, silicons, mineral oils, artificial colors, and SLS. It is a vegetable stearin-based cream with 95% natural ingredients. The only negative part is the use of parfum or fragrance. The Proraso shaving cream requires you to use only a very small amount and hence one tube of 2.5lb can last for a very long time thus making it cost effective.
The Art of Shaving claims to bring art and passion into the daily routine. Devoted in helping you experience a Perfect Shave every time, this brand has a Crème A Raser, which uses sandalwood oil as an essential ingredient in the best shaving cream. Though this is our pick, The Art of Shaving has different varieties apart from the sandalwood one viz. Unscented, Lavender, Lemon and Ocean Kelp. This shaving cream makes use of glycerin, coconut oil along with essentials oils to revitalize your skin and leaves an ever-lasting sandalwood oil effect after the shave. Sandalwood oil has been known to have a deep and magical impact on the skin. It not only hydrates the skin, but is also known to have anti-septic, anti inflammatory, anti-ageing and anti spasmodic properties. The astringent properties of the shaving cream are well complemented with the effects of glycerin and coconut oil. When mixed with coconut oil the sandalwood oil has also been seen to relieve stress and anxiety apart from leaving a woody soothing fragrance. It is free from synthetic dyes, alcohol, SLS, parabens etc. The Crème A Raser will give you a rich lather and this thick cream can be used without a badger brush with equal effect. Though it may seem to be a little expensive in comparison to the other products in the market, but the amount of cream required for a smooth uniform lather is so less that it ultimately turns out to be cost effective. The only disadvantage is the use of Parfum. You can do away with it by choosing the unscented variety but that also deprives you of the sandalwood oil effect.
The tradition of Taylor of Old Bond Street goes back to 1854, when Jeremiah Taylor opened his first salon in Bond street in London and Taylor gained a reputation in the British society for his botanical extracts. Since then this brand epitomizes the classic British elegance and subtlety. Though the brand boasts of a wide array of shaving creams but we pick the organic version out of the lot. If you are sensitive to artificial fragrances and do not want traces of harmful chemicals including the word parfum in the ingredients section, then this is the cream that you should go for. It’s free from all the chemical ingredients that are in the “to avoid” list. This cream is loaded with natural ingredients and essential oils. The key ingredients being jojoba oil, aloe vera and Vitamin E. Both Jojoba oil and Aloe vera are anti-inflammatory in nature and have been found to have beneficiary effects on skin since time immemorial. They act as skin moisturizers, reduces oiliness, prevents acne formation, cures dried cuticles and has anti-ageing properties. Vitamin E on the other hand prevents premature ageing, treats sunburn and lightens dark spots on skin. Thus this cream apart from forming a rich lather provides an all round natural protection to your skin and is devoid of any artificial fragrance. So, if you have a sensitive skin then this is the best cream for you although it’s suitable for all skin types.
The manufacturers of Cremo Shaving Cream have come up with a unique formula to break the age old tradition of shaving creams and have given us a lather-less shaving solution. Cremo says that the incorporation of unnecessary air and traces of essential elements do not aid in a smooth shave. The air-pockets on the other hand increases the risk of rashes and nicks and cuts as they come in the way of smooth movement of the razor. The cream is incorporated with super-lubricating highly slippery molecules along with the best skin moisturizers like aloe vera, olive leaf extract. You need just a little hot water to activate this cream formula. So just wash your face with warm water, take a pea-sized portion of the cream in the tip of your fingers and work your way through the beard for about 30 seconds to get a lather-less shaving experience. This extraordinarily slick cream eases the movement of your razor on your face and leaves you with a refreshing citrus fragrance. This cream is also free from parabens and SLS but contains parfum.
You might wonder what coffee does in a shaving cream. It may sound weird but caffeine in a shaving cream gives you the same effect of a morning Joe i.e. it wakes you up and kick starts your day with a quick release of dopamine. Caffeine apart from its temporary anti-drowsy and stimulant properties has an important effect on the skin. It fights free radicals and prevents premature ageing of the skin. Topical application reduces fine lines and puffy skin and repairs UV damage. Caffeine has anti-inflammatory properties and acts as a powerful anti-oxidant. This shaving cream also has shea-butter, sunflower oil, spearmint seed oil, corn oil, menthol and Vitamin E among other ingredients. The lather works well even without a brush to give you a smooth and refreshing shave. It’s free from all the ingredients that are to be avoided and is fragrance free. This best shaving cream may not be your substitute for the morning coffee but will definitely add to your dose.
This is actually a three-in-one product which acts on behalf of three different products having three different tasks in hand. This product acts as a pre-shave oil, preparing your skin for the shave, then acts as a shaving cream lathering up your beard for a smooth clean shave and finally acts as a conditioner in giving your skin a glowing conditioned after effect. This cream is enhanced with a ultra-hydrating formula and is rich in phospholipids and nourishing fatty acids. It has its share of essential oils like jojoba oil, macadamia nut oil, eucalyptus and peppermint. This cream encapsulates the moisture in the skin providing a smooth glide of the razor while the essential oils penetrates and protects the skin from rashes and moisturizes it leaving a soothing effect. This unique triple action glycerin based shaving cream is exceptionally light and enhances easy removal of the residual cream from the razor without clogging it. Overall this certified organic product is always worth a try. This product is only not suitable if you are using an electric shaver or a straight edge razor.
It’s very similar to Jack Black Lube in that it also packs in a pre shave oil, a shaving cream and a skin conditioner in a single container. The main ingredient of this best lather-less shaving cream is dimethicone, which is a water based silicone that forms a small film above the skin protecting it from the direct effects of the razor while lubricating the skin for its smooth maneuvering. The micro silicone beads attributes to the super lubricating nature of this cream. This lotion like cream is also packed with almost 6 natural fruit extracts that help in rejuvenating and moisturizing the skin. These fruit extracts are essentially from peppermint, grapefruit, orange, lemon, ginger and bergamot. They also have anti-inflammatory properties and a smooth non-over powering aroma. This cream can be easily worked up with your hands and gets slicker with water to give you a perfect shave without forming lather. It is essentially odorless but is a tad too expensive compared to other products in the list.
Bulldog is a recent addition to the men’s grooming brand but this British retailer has already won accolades and is climbing up the chart of the best shaving creams of 2017. This shaving cream has aloe vera, camelina oil and green tea as essential ingredients. All of them are beneficial to skin. They help in moisturizing the skin and leaves a refreshing effect. While the benefits of aloe vera have already been discussed before, green tea also acts as a gentle exfoliator while camelina oil with high Vitamin E contents is an immune booster. Bulldog is free from parabens, SLS, synthetic dyes, and artificial fragrances. This thick cream forms lather easily and is easy for the razor and comfortable on the skin. This cream hydrates the skin and minimizes dryness.
If you want your shaving cream to have a strong masculine smell coupled with elegance, then this may be the perfect pick for you. Though we prefer an odorless shaving cream with less fragrant chemicals in it but this is an exception. It has a spicy peppery odor which is in harmony with a woody aroma forming a triad with a flowery complex. The odors are in perfect harmony with each other and do not overpower any one. The Tabac shaving cream forms a perfect silky slick lather that acts as a cushion and is specially suited to avoid nicks, cuts and burns. This best shaving cream is less expensive and can be worked on with the badger brush or your fingers, with equal ease. It is free of all the ingredients that we want to avoid except that it has a generous share of fragrance. This shaving cream from the West Coast Shaving Company is really a stunner.
The first look at this shaving cream jar may not impress you at all, but this is a magic jar and has loads in it which will not fail to surprise you when it comes down to performance. The cream has a low viscosity but excels in the easy with which the lather is formed and also the qualities of it. This highly slick lather forming cream is mostly low on artificial abrasive chemicals including parfum. It has a natural base and is filled with natural ingredients and essential oils. It nourishes the skin and leaves a tone of pine, juniper and sage. The key ingredients include castor and coconut oil. Although this shaving cream is a little on the dearer side but this powerhouse performer is worth every penny.
Best Shaving Creams : Buying Guide 2018
Some say that “picking a shaving cream isn’t easy”. But we would say that if you know what all to avoid and what are the things that you would like to have in a shaving cream then choosing one wouldn’t be much of a hassle. Let’s have a look at the things that should be avoided in the best shaving cream you pick. Most of these ingredients, that we would be talking about, can cause potential health hazards and should not be a part of any product that you use on your skin. The ingredients are as follows:-
- Parabens: Parabens can be a part of a cosmetic product and appear in the form of Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Heptylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Isopropylparaben and Benzyl They mainly act as preservatives and prevent growth of bacteria in the product thereby increasing its shelf life. Parabens are absorbed by the body through the skin and are known to mimic the hormones in your body interrupting their normal functions. Though there have been speculations of relating parabens to cancer and other disorders, it’s yet to be proved. But at the same time the speculations have not been completely rejected either. So it’s better to be safe than be sorry.
- SLS: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is an important ingredient in most cosmetics. It’s a cheap surfactant and is incorporated to produce the lather. Though there have been rumors of SLS being a potential carcinogen, but it has a few side effects due to which it has to be avoided. SLS causes skin and eye irritations, it opens up the pores of the skin and aids in the entry of harmful substances in the skin, it pollutes the water and is toxic to fish, and is responsible for bio-accumulation. SLS can remain in your body up to 5 days and strips your skin of the natural oils too.
- SLES: Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate is also an inexpensive foaming agent and a skin irritant. It can be a potential carcinogen when contaminated with Dioxane and hence it’s advisable not to buy a product containing one.
- Fragrance: Fragrance refers to a list of almost 3100 chemicals and you wouldn’t prefer using it without knowing its side-effects. Although it’s really difficult to find a shaving cream without one, it’s better to avoid it if you can and replace it with the scents of natural essential oils if you prefer your shaving cream to bear a particular smell.
It’s better to look out for a shaving cream which is enriched with natural ingredients and essential oils instead. These ingredients naturally moisturize and protect your skin and leave you with a refreshing after-tone.
Another important factor that you need to consider before choosing your best shaving cream is your skin type. Your skin can be either sensitive or dry or oily. Based on your skin type you should decide on what to use and what not to. For example, a person with a sensitive skin should avoid using a shaving cream with astringent in it as it may be harsh and result in irritation while a cream with astringent can be used by a person with an oily skin. The astringent reduces the oil on his skin and prevents the skin pores from clogging. Similarly a person with dry skin should choose a shaving cream with glycerin, as glycerin encapsulates the moisture on the skin and helps in smooth gliding of your razor blade along with a moist glow after the shave.
How to use a shaving cream:
If you have picked up the shaving cream of your choice, it’s on the way you use it that can make a difference. There are three essential ways in which you can use your shaving cream. The trick in using a shaving cream is how to retain the moisture and heat. You may or may not use a shaving brush to aid you in the process. A shaving brush is generally preferred by most. It not only retains the moisture but also gently exfoliates the skin by removing the dirt and oils.
- You need to wet your shaving brush by sinking it in warm water. This softens the bristles and ensures a rich and easy lather while maintaining the moisture. Then you should drain the excess water from the brush and work up a rich lather in a bowl with a dollop of shaving cream. You can then apply the lather on your face.
- You can also use the shaving brush by directly working up the lather on your face. Here too you need to sink your brush in warm water. It’s advisable to wet your face with warm water too. After draining the brush off excess water you put a dollop of shaving cream on it and gently work it across your face to create the lather that you want.
- You can also use your shaving cream without a shaving brush. You need to wet your face with warm water and with a small amount of shaving cream on your fingers you need to work it up across your face in circular motions to get the maximum lather.
Warm water and the circular movements are the two important things that have to be kept in mind while applying a shaving cream for achieving the best results. Once the lather has been applied uniformly all over, it’s time for the razor to do its job.
Choosing the best shaving cream can make a huge difference to your shaving experience. But after this article it shouldn’t be much of an issue and you can glide through the choices like a razor on a slick lather. Voila! this is the one of the best valentine gifts for him.