How to Shave Without Shaving Cream: Ultimate Guide


how to shave without shaving cream

Okay, you ran out of shave cream. We’ve all been there at some point. Unless you’re shaving for the first time, the moment you realize you’re out of shaving cream is a horrifying one. You take from full confidence to rock bottom in seconds.

How will you shave without shaving cream? Finding the right alternatives and applying the right steps will truly be a lifesaver. Get that smooth skin without ripping your precious skin to shreds and ending up being an unsightly red mess.

So, apart from just going out and getting some shaving cream, there are other options to help you have complete control of the situation. Keep reading to find out.

What Is Shaving Cream?

Shaving cream is a thick, foamy cosmetic product that helps prevent cuts and nicks, and cushions the skin during shaving. It is typically applied to the face or legs before shaving to lubricate the razor and protect the skin.

Shaving cream is specifically designed to protect the skin from the harsh effects of shaving, such as razor burn, ingrown hairs, and irritation.

What is Dry-Shaving?

Dry shaving is a type of shaving that doesn’t use water or lubricant. You can dry shave with electric razors or blade razors on any part of your face or body.

Is Dry-Shaving Bad?

The short answer is no, but there are a few caveats. The downside is that dry shaving requires a lot more precision and it can be more difficult to avoid nicks and cuts with a blade. If you’re willing to put in the extra effort, dry blade shaving can give you a closer and more irritation-free shave.

Dry Shaving with a Blade Razor

  • Shaving without shaving cream is possible but is not recommended: Can lead to razor bumps and ingrown hairs if you draw the blade too quickly.
  • Dry-shaving can cause skin irritation: Again if you draw the blade too fast. It’s a little safer to use a lubricant or water to shave.
  • Wet shaving is better for those with sensitive skin: Dermatologists recommend using wet shaving when using razors with multiple blades on sensitive areas like the pubic area and armpit.

Dry Shaving with an Electric Razor

  • Dry shaving with an electric razor is easy: No mess and easy clean-up. Can lead to razor bumps and ingrown hairs if you apply too much pressure.
  • Some electrics can be used wet or dry: Shaving dry is very common with little risks. Some electric razors like the Braun or Panasonic can be used wet, which gives a better shave.
  • Not as close: Electric is good for beginners, but the shave is not as close as a blade razor.
Using an electric razor, like the Braun Series 9, you can shave without any shaving cream

Can you Shave with Just Water?

While it’s not the ideal way to shave, if you don’t have any other options for a shaving cream alternative, you can shave with only water.

To do this, start by steaming up your bathroom with a hot shower to help open up your pores and hair follicles. Then switch the stream to a warm (not hot) temperature before carefully shaving.

How to Shave with Just Water

Shaving without shaving cream or gel is possible by using water only, though I don’t advise it unless it’s electric.

  1. Before shaving, soak your skin in hot water to open your pores and hair follicles.
  2. You can shave with a razor, trimmer, or electric shaver.
  3. Be careful not to cut yourself.
shave without shaving cream
Practice caution when shaving with water alone. In some skin types, it can lead to nicks and cuts.

What are the Benefits of Shaving without Shaving Cream?

Shaving without shaving cream does have a few reported benefits. However, they don’t apply top everyone based on their unique skincare needs.

  • Shaving without shaving cream can reduce the risk of cuts and nicks, and the chance of irritation.
  • Nearly any moisturizing product can be used as a replacement for shaving cream.
  • Shaving without shaving cream can be more efficient because there’s no need to wait for the cream to dry.
  • Shaving without shaving cream can be more comfortable because there’s no need to wait for the razor to heat up.

12 Shaving Cream Alternatives

Top alternatives to shaving gel and cream.

1. Baby Oil

Baby oil is a popular alternative to shaving cream. It’s often used as a lubricant to help the razor glide smoothly over the skin.

Baby oil can also help to soften the hair, making it easier to shave. When using baby oil, be sure to apply it generously to the area you will be shaving. You may also want to consider using a razor with a larger head, as this can help to prevent nicks and cuts.

NOTE: it’s not recommended to use baby oil on the face because it can cause clogged pores or oily skin.

using oil for a flawless shave
Oils offer a good amount of moisture and comfort that makes them a perfect alternative to shaving cream.

2. Pre-shave Oil

Pre-shave oil is a hydrating and glow-inducing product that can be used on legs and some men’s products for the face instead of shaving cream. This helps to increase shave comfort and prevent razor burn.

Pre-shave oil can also reduce the risk of nicks and cuts, making shaving more comfortable. Some pre-shave oils also have anti-aging properties, which may help keep your skin looking younger.

3. Bar of Soap

A bar of soap is a suitable substitute for shaving cream in a pinch. It’s thicker than face cleansers, providing a little lubrication and cushion during shaving. However, don’t confuse bar soap with shaving soap that’s made for shaving.

A note of caution. Simple, non-sulphate soap and don’t make it your everyday shaving product.

Shaving without shaving cream
Soap lather can provide sufficient lubrication and help ease shaving.

4. Aloe Vera Gel

If you’re looking for a natural alternative to shaving cream, aloe vera gel is a great option. This plant-based gel has medicinal properties and can help to soothe and protect your skin while you shave. It’s also easy to find at most drugstores or online.

Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive compared to other shaving creams on the market. Simply apply a small amount of aloe vera gel to the area you’re planning to shave and then proceed with your normal shaving routine.

5. Hair Conditioner

Hair conditioner is a great substitute for shave cream because it has moisturizing ingredients. Also, it’s easy to apply and doesn’t lather or foam, so it’s easy to see where the razor is going.

Slather hair conditioner on your skin in circular motions and begin shaving- it’s the perfect lubricant for a smooth, silky shave!

6. Body Wash

A body wash substitute is a gentle and moisturizing option that can be used in place of shaving cream. They often foam when mixed with water, providing added cushion and heat retention.

Some substitutes include Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash and Alba Botanica Shaving Soap.

7. Body Lotion

If you’re looking for a shaving cream substitute, lotions are a great option because of their creamy texture and hydrating properties. Lotions should not contain fragrance or alcohol, which can dry the skin. They leave the skin soft and velvety smooth, making them good shaving cream replacements.

8. Shampoo

Shampoo can be used as a shaving cream alternative in a crunch. It’s not as effective as traditional shaving creams, but it will do the job. Be sure to use a moisturizing shampoo to avoid dryness and irritation.

9. Olive Oil

OK don’t laugh! Olive oil is a good shaving cream substitute because it softens facial hair and reduces the chances of getting razor burn. It has antioxidant properties and can fight bacteria, making it a great choice for those with sensitive skin. However, you may not like the smell.

10. Shea Butter

Shea butter is an excellent alternative to shaving foam because it offers an ultra-high moisture level, is gentle on sensitive skin types, and has anti-aging benefits for the skin.

Simply massage shea butter to your legs or facial hair and begin shaving – your skin will thank you.

Shea Butter can be used as a shaving cream on its own, so check out the local beauty supply store or organic grocery store to stock up on raw shea butter for your bathroom shelf.

How to use a shaving cream alternative
How to use a shaving cream alternative like shea butter.

11. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a good shaving cream substitute, because it’s a moisturizer and an effective shaving cream alternative for areas that don’t tend to get oily or sensitive.

Coconut oil is heavy and comedogenic, so it may not be the best option for people with acne-prone skin, but it’s still an effective moisturizer and a good shaving cream substitute for areas that don’t typically get shaved.

12. Peanut Butter

This is going to sound crazy – peanut butter makes for a great shaving cream alternative. It’s thick and creamy, which helps to protect your skin from razor burn. Plus, it has a pleasant smell that will leave you feeling refreshed. Simply apply a thin layer of peanut butter to your skin before shaving.

It must be a very thin layer and no chunky peanut butter.

13. Honey

To use honey as a shaving cream alternative, simply apply it to the area you plan to shave and then proceed with your normal shaving routine. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to the honey for extra benefits.

If you find that honey is too sticky or difficult to work with, you can also try using a mixture of honey and coconut oil. Simply combine equal parts of each ingredient and apply it to your skin before shaving.

How to Shave Without Shaving Cream?

If you want to shave perfectly without using any shaving cream, there are a few simple steps that you need to follow.

How to Shave Without Shaving Cream
How to Shave Without Shaving Cream

Step 1: Wet your skin

Apply lukewarm water for a few minutes: This will help soften your beard and open up your pores, making it easier to shave.

Step 1: Select shave cream substitute

Review the shave lubricant alternatives adhering to each with their own benefits. Apply the product with your hand to the wet skin area you want shaved.

Step 3: Choose your razor and shave

Shaving should be done in the direction that your hair grows, using a gentle razor blade. Second, use a bit more pressure when shaving to get a closer shave. And finally, be careful when shaving sensitive areas – use extra care and caution.

Step 6: Dry your skin

Pat skin dry – no rubbing.

Step 7: Apply aftershave

After shaving, it’s important to apply moisturizer in order to prevent irritation and dryness. Also, aftershave balm is a great way to prevent irritation and tightness while keeping your skin hydrated.

Household Ingredients to Avoid for Shaving

Many ingredients found in shaving cream are safe to use, but remember that irritation is always a possibility. If you have sensitive skin, avoid using products with fragrance, menthol, alcohol, or other harsh chemicals.

If you have any allergies, be sure to test the product on a small patch of skin before using it anywhere on your body.

Remember to moisturize after shaving to soothe your skin and prevent irritation.

How to Make your Own Shaving Cream?

If you want to shave without using shaving cream, you’ll need aloe vera gel, glycerin, vegetable oil, Shea Butter and peppermint oil.

  1. Combine the aloe vera gel, glycerin, vegetable oil and Shea Butter in a bowl and mix until combined.
  2. Add a few drops of peppermint oil and mix again.
  3. Apply the mixture to your face and shave as usual.

Can I Shave my Pubic Hair without Shaving Cream?

You can shave your pubic hair without shaving cream, but it’s important to be extremely careful not to irritate the skin. A shave lubricant is advisable. Dermatologists recommend shaving wet to get a close, smooth, and non-irritating shave.

Alternative for Shaving Cream for Pubic Hair

Shaving without shaving cream can be done with conditioner or aloe vera gel. Baby oil is gentle and can be used on sensitive skin. Aloe vera gel is a safe bet to use on skin and side effects are rare.

Post-Shave Skin Care


After shaving, the skin can feel dry, irritated, and red. Post-shave skin care products help to soothe and protect the skin from further irritation.

After-shave products typically contain alcohol to help rehydrate the skin and treat irritations, as well as other ingredients such as moisturizers and anti-inflammatory agents.

Choose an after-shave that has little alcohol content, no artificial fragrances, scents, colorings, or humectants to avoid any potential negative side effects.


Honey is also a great moisturizer and post-shave skin care option because it contains enzymes that help condition and soften the skin, and it also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce redness and irritation. Again, add a little coconut oil to thin it out and make it easier to apply.

Healing Ointment

After you’ve finished shaving, it’s important to apply a healing ointment to your skin. Healing ointment is made of jojoba oil and other healing ingredients.

This will help soothe any irritation and prevent infection. There are many ointments available, so choose one that’s right for your skin type. Apply the ointment to a clean, dry face and massage it in until it’s fully absorbed.

Potential Risks or Side Effects

Shaving without shaving cream can be risky.

  • Shaving without shaving cream can lead to cuts and nicks, skin irritations, and even skin infections.
  • Shaving without lather can lead to skin injuries.
  • Shaving on dry skin with disposable or cartridge razors can cause razor burn or red rash.
  • Shaving without shaving cream can lead to ingrown hairs and razor bumps.
  • If you have acne, shaving without shaving cream can be problematic.

Final Thoughts

Now you don’t have to panic when you run out of your shaving cream. There are plenty of alternative products to choose from. It’s only a matter of finding out what works well for you and applying the proper procedures when shaving.


Is it better to shave dry or with water?

If you want to avoid irritation and achieve a close shave, wet shaving is normally the better option. Wet shaving with soap or shaving cream can help to soften the hair and prepare the skin for a closer shave. On the other hand, dry shaving can be quicker and doesn’t require any additional products. If you have sensitive skin, it’s important to choose a shaver that’s designed for sensitive skin in order to avoid irritation.

Is it OK to shave without shaving cream?

The answer is yes, you can shave without shaving cream. However, there are some things you should keep in mind if you choose to do so.

For one, shaving without shaving cream can be more difficult. This is because shaving cream provides a lubricating barrier between your skin and the razor, making it easier for the razor to glide over your skin.

What can I use to shave if I don’t have shaving cream?

Soap is a cheap, readily available and easy to use shaving cream, but it’s also easy to get cuts and nicks on the face. So don’t use soap long-term.

Is it okay to shave with soap?

If you are new to shaving, using a shaving soap can be a safer and easier option than using a blade. Not to be confused with regular bar soap, shaving soaps are a superior shave lubricant and offer a super close shave.

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I'm the founder of Bald & Beards, an amateur barber and I've been obsessed with men's grooming, styles, and trends for over 20 years.