7 Shaving Cream Alternatives: See What Really Works


What if you need to shave and shaving cream is not available? You’ll want to look for similar qualities in a shaving cream alternative in order to protect your skin during the grooming process.

While you don’t necessarily need shaving creams and specialty products to get a smooth shave, you never want to attempt a dry shave. Using only water won’t get you that soft, smooth skin you’re going for either.

Shaving kits and creams are the obvious choices for a close burn-free shave. They can soften the hairs, provide lubrication, and soothe the skin, but they aren’t always readily available when grooming needs arise. 

Listed below are great alternative products to shaving cream.

1. Body Wash

Hop in the shower and work up a lather with your favorite moisturizing body wash. This easily accessible product has hydrating properties that will soften the skin and hair follicles. Even a bar of soap will do the trick.

While this is an easy product to grab when you’re in a pinch, its cleansing ingredients can dry out your skin if used too often. 

Save the shave for the end of your shower to open your pores and allow for a smoother result. 

body wash or soap as alternative to shaving cream
FYI – you can use alternative products like body wash or soap when shaving without cream. They can help soften the skin and open your pores, making it ideal for shaving.

2. Conditioner

You might just ditch the shaving cream altogether after you try shaving with the hair conditioner that’s already in your shower. The main objective of the conditioner is to coat individual hairs and reduce friction, so it makes sense that it also allows the razor to glide nicely over the skin while providing a reliably gentle buffer. 

Similarly, the same beard conditioner that you’ve been using to soften your facial hair works wonders during a shave. Since it’s designed for sensitive facial skin, you have little risk of irritation from harsh ingredients. No skin redness here! 

3. Lotion

Is lotion a good substitute for shaving cream?

Absolutely! Outside of your shower, a good moisturizing lotion can provide that protective barrier you’re looking for. Put it on, shave, and then reapply afterward for added hydration to prevent that irritating razor burn.

Bonus points if it makes you smell like cedarwood.

4. Aloe Vera

From sunburn to razor burn, aloe vera is the go-to remedy for red damaged skin. While its cooling properties aid in soothing and healing, it also works wonders in the prevention of shaving bumps and redness altogether.

Its thick consistency serves as a fantastic barrier during the hair removal process and works as a natural antiseptic for even more protection if you happen to nick yourself during your shave. Win!

5. Baby Oil

Can I use baby oil to shave? 

Yes! Baby oil is not just for baby butts. This versatile product is made of mineral oil and fragrance, making it naturally non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores.

Rub a few drops into your skin after your shave to lock in moisture. The result is super smooth, soft, touchable skin.

6. Coconut Oil

Remember a few years ago when it seemed like the whole world discovered that coconut oil can be used for just about anything? This versatile anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory miracle oil can brighten your smile through oil pulling, boost your metabolism in the kitchen, and enhance your sex life as a fantastic lube.

While some people swear by coconut oil as a moisturizer, it’s extremely comedogenic and may cause clogged pores, especially if you have oily skin. Be aware of this if you plan on using a shaving cream alternative on your face.

Coconut oil solidifies when temperatures dip below 75 degrees Fahrenheit, which can make it difficult to work with. Simply warm it up in your hands, or run the jar under warm water to get that melted liquid consistency that you need in a shaving cream alternative. Run your razor under warm water often to prevent build-up during your shave. 

7. Olive Oil

Take olive oil out of the kitchen and into the bathroom for that smooth, comfortable shave you’re going for. This is a heavier oil that won’t be easily absorbed into your skin but can soften the hair nicely and act as a barrier during your shave.

For best results, spread a layer over the area you’ll be shaving and let it sit for a few minutes before you dive in with your razor. 

Can I use Vaseline to shave?

Vaseline is a petroleum jelly that’s a mixture of mineral oils and waxes. This extra-thick consistency does not make it an ideal candidate for your next shaving session. You’ll just end up with a clogged razor and the unwanted hair that’s left behind.

Instead, smooth a layer of Vaseline on your freshly shaven skin after you’ve shaved with another product to soothe the skin and lock in moisture. 

Vaseline can be hard to get off the skin. Use a warm washcloth and cleanse with your face or body wash to remove residue. 

Final Thoughts

Chances are high that you already have at least one of these common household products that provide similar moisturization and lubrication as your favorite shaving cream. Whether your grooming just needs a touchup, or your goal is to be as bald as a hairless Sphynx, these products will get the job done.

When shaving pubic hair, these gentle products work just fine to prep and shave your most sensitive bits. Be super careful to avoid harsh scrubs or acne-treating body washes that contain acids. You’ll be feeling the burn, and not in a good way.

Whether you’ve run out of shaving cream or are simply sick of hurting your budget, there are lots of options that allow you to shave. These alternatives will leave your skin as smooth as normal shaving cream, if not smoother!

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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.