There have been many times over the years when I was on the road and forgot to bring shaving cream. Even though I have sensitive skin, I have instead used just plain soap on numerous occasions. Therefore, my forgetfulness makes me qualified to give you an answer.
Plain soap and water can be used to shave, but it is not recommended over the long term since most soaps do not create an adequate barrier between razor and skin. It is always better to use shaving cream or gel to ensure that your skin will stay moisturized and free from any irritations, cuts, or injuries.
Now, let’s look at a few potential alternatives that you might have handy. I’ll even give you an easy recipe if you want to try making your own shaving cream! Then we’ll give a bit of extra information that you might be curious about. Let’s glide right in!
What Are Some Shaving Cream Alternatives?
If you don’t want to use any shaving cream for your personal reasons, you can use one of a few different options:
- Shaving Soap- This is a type of soap specially made especially for shaving (Amazon Link). It works pretty much like a bar of soap, but the lather it produces resembles those from your typical shaving creams.
- DIY- You can also make the lather yourself, which could possibly take a bit of your time, or purchase a specialized tool to create lather, appropriately called a shaving brush.
- Hair Products- For a cheaper alternative, your shampoo or conditioner is enough since your body hair, and the hair on your head is just the same thing in the first place.
- Oil- You can even use gentle oils such as baby oil or coconut oil.
In truth, you can use any product you can think of as long as it’s generally considered to be safe and not too harsh for your skin. Here is the brand of shaving soap that I recommend if you want to go that route.
DIY Shaving Cream
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try creating your own shaving cream.
How to make your own shaving cream:
- Mix an equal proportion of coconut oil and shea butter, then melt the mixture over low heat.
- Don’t stop stirring the mixture until the two ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Once they’re completely melted, add your favorite scented oil to give it your own twist, but make sure not to put too much. Just a couple of drops will do.
- Stir again for a few seconds, then transfer it to a container.
- Refrigerate the mixture until it turns back to solid.
- You can then add a small amount of aloe vera gel to maximize your homemade shaving cream’s moisturizing effect.
- With a hand mixer, beat the mixture until it reaches a smooth and foamy consistency.
- Finally, transfer it to its permanent container and make sure to store it in a cool, dry place so that it will last you long enough.
Experimentation is the key here. You’re free to play with the proportions of the ingredients so you can achieve your preferred consistency and smoothness.
Is There a Right Way to Shave?
Depending on your culture or traditions, it’s undeniable that you had already experienced shaving some parts of your body. For the gentlemen out there, the area that needs frequent shaving is definitely the face, while for the ladies, it could be their legs, underarms, or their bikini line.
Although many kinds of hair removal options exist nowadays, shaving still stays as the cheapest and fastest way to remove your pesky unwanted hair. However, you cannot just simply pick up a razor and start dragging it all over your face or body. Whether you are a man or a woman, or someone who identifies as neither of those, you are at risk of skin damage and infection caused by improper shaving of your unwanted hair.
Hence, here are some tips that dermatological experts unanimously agree with to help make your shaving experience as smooth sailing as possible, keeping you from leaving a bloody mess in your bathroom.
Don’t Cheap Out on Razors
Your razor is your weapon of choice in dealing with your unwanted hair, so it goes without saying that it should be able to do the job efficiently and comfortably.
Don’t just pick the first razor-shaped thing you see in the supermarket. Look at it for a while and note how many blades it has. In this case, the more blades it has, the fewer times you have to scrape the razor over your skin.
Pro Tip: Usually, a razor with a movable head is always better than those that are fixed as it gives you much more flexibility and dramatically reduces the chances of your skin being nicked or cut. There are also some razor companies that add a strip of lubricant to their razor heads for a smoother shaving experience.
Once your razor starts to feel duller, don’t hesitate to replace it immediately so that you won’t increase your risk of damaging your skin. Generally, typical razors are made to be disposed of after only 5-10 shaves, but if you want a more eco-friendly option, you can choose to use those razors where you can keep the handle and the head and only need to replace the razor blades if they start to get dull.
Always Hydrate Your Skin Before Shaving
Although you can shave whenever you want, the best time to shave is definitely after showering. At that time, your body hair is still soft, and your skin is entirely hydrated as well, allowing the razor to glide more smoothly all over it.
If you have no time to shower, you can prepare the area you want to shave by thoroughly scrubbing it with your favorite soap or body wash to remove any excess dirt and oil that could possibly make shaving much more challenging and uncomfortable.
Apply Appropriate Lubrication
As for lubrication, we’re explicitly talking about shaving cream or shaving gel. A lubricant such as shaving cream, for example, can improve the glide of the razor and serves as the middle ground between your soft skin and your rough hair so that your razor won’t feel any friction between them, leaving you with an injury-free finish.
As we have previously discussed, avoid using plain soap unless you have no other alternative available.
Trim First Before Shaving
Longer body hair tends to make it too hard for your shave to work with, so your best course of action is to trim them first. Just trim as much as you could but don’t enjoy it too much, or you’ll risk accidentally cutting your skin. This is especially in those areas where you have limited vision.
When you start shaving, be as gentle as you can. If your blade is sharp enough, you won’t even need to exert any force to remove the hair you don’t want to see.
If you get cuts from your razor, don’t panic and apply pressure to the bleeding area. Afterward, clean it thoroughly and apply your favorite ointment products to avoid any chances of infection, as well as to shorten the healing time.
Should I Only Use Shaving Cream or Gel For Shaving?
Shaving cream or gel is not always necessary.
Usually, you only use shaving cream when you want to shave your face. The skin in your face is quite different than the skin on the rest of your body. It’s more special and more sensitive, so you have to put extra care every time you want to run a sharp blade all over it.
By using shaving creams or gels, you are creating a barrier that prevents your razor blade from penetrating your skin, which in turn, makes the shaving process smoother and more enjoyable. It also leaves your skin feeling moisturized and refreshed, which feels the same as that moment when you just finished brushing your teeth.
However, if you have a sensitive skin type not just on your face but also on your whole body, your best option is to always use a lubricant before shaving to avoid any skin problems or injuries.
What Is the Difference Between Shaving Cream and Shaving Gel?
Shaving gels are generally thicker and more concentrated than shaving creams, which tends to be more foamy and airy in comparison. Shaving gels also tend to be more opaque so you can actually see the hair while you shave. Vision is typically limited in shaving creams due to the white foamy lather.
However, it really depends on the quality of the product and your overall personal preference in determining which one of the two is better than the other. Before engaging in any debates, don’t forget that the goal of using shaving cream or gel is just the same, which is to keep your skin moisturized and comfortable during and after shaving.
Shaving is one of the burdens that people are saddled with in many cultures. So, you might as well make the most of it and find a product that creates the best experience for you. My advice is to try a bunch of different methods and hone in on the one that is a perfect fit. Usually, this won’t be plain soap, especially true for people with sensitive skin. Save for emergencies, over a couple of days only, avoid the stuff like the plague.
I hope this article has been helpful! Thanks for reading.