If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best shaving cream for straight razor is, then we recommend the C.O. Bigelow Premium Shave Cream as the best.
Using shaving cream is one of the best ways to get a smooth, even cut without nicking yourself. Here are our choices for the best straight razor shaving cream options, as well as some other things you should know before you start shopping.
Our top 5 picks for the best shaving creams for straight razors:
- C.O. Bigelow Premium Shave Cream
- Rocky Mountain Barbershop Shaving Cream
- Baume.Be Shaving Cream
- Lucky Tiger Liquid Cream Shave
- Pacific Shaving Company Caffeinated Shaving Cream
The Best Shaving Cream Reviewed
Here are our recommendations for the best shaving creams for a straight razor.
1. C.O. Bigelow Premium Shave Cream
- Doesn't require much cream.
- Mild scent is suitable for almost all users.
- Hydrates better than many competitors.
- Often used in barber shops.
- Comparatively thick and takes some practice.
- Typically sold in small tubes.
C.O. Bigelow’s premium shave cream is easily one of our top choices for straight razor shaving cream. This popular formula provides a creamy, soft lather that works well on all types of skin. You can apply it with your hands or with a brush, and it’s okay to mix it with a little water to help it spread further.
The highlight of this product is its use of eucalyptus oil, which provides a cooling feeling and a mild, pleasant aroma. That last part is one of the main reasons I see this as a top choice for men of all ages. Other shaving creams have stronger scents, and, frankly, those aren’t for everyone.
If there’s one major flaw with this product, it’s learning how much you can shave at a time. This is a relatively thick cream, and you’ll need to clean your razor often, which means it isn’t quite as good for a quick shave when you’re low on time.
2. Rocky Mountain Barber Company Barbershop Shaving Cream
The Rocky Mountain Barber Company isn’t one of the most well-known brands, but their barbershop shaving cream is worth a few looks. Naturally-derived ingredients make this cream suitable for all types of skin, while the fact that it’s made and sold in small batches helps ensure you have a newer, fresher product.
The standout feature of this product is its included scent. Its cool, light scent isn’t offensively strong, but it’s definitely more noticeable than many other products on the market. You can apply this product with either a brush or your hands, too.
This is ideal for buyers who want to experiment with shaving techniques. Notable ingredients include coconut oil, aloe, menthol, and fragrances. One thing you’ll note is that this product comes in a round tin instead of a squeezable tube.
These tins make it easy to dip your fingers in and get exactly the amount of cream you need, but remember to start small because you don’t need much to make it work.
3. Baume.Be Shaving Cream
- Slick, smooth formula offers a clean and close shave.
- You need less of this product than most other creams.
- Works particularly well on men with sensitive skin.
- More expensive than its competitors.
- Limited production means it sells out fast.
Baume.Be’s straight razor shaving cream is a premium product, although the fact that you only need a little bit at a time helps to offset the relatively high price.
This shaving cream stands out from others thanks to its origins in Belgium and the impact of European product regulations, which combine to form a cream that’s very different from most sold in the United States. This cream is particularly useful for men with sensitive skin.
Notable ingredients include carrot oil, extra Vitamin E, and shea butter, all of which are ideal for creating smoother, softer skin. This product is also free of parabens.
This is ideal if you’re worried about the impact of such artificial ingredients on your skin. Baume.Be’s formula works best when you use a shaving brush, although you can apply it with your fingers when you want to.
This is different from some of the other creams on this list, which work equally well when applied through either method. If you haven’t used a shaving brush before, consider testing it with another cream before you begin using this product.
4. Lucky Tiger Liquid Cream Shave
- Pleasant, comparatively strong citrus scent.
- Mid-range pricing makes it affordable for most men.
- Requires as little as a nickel-sized amount.
- More likely to trigger allergic reactions than some others.
- Most effective with a brush, not included.
Lucky Tiger’s liquid cream shave has one of the boldest scents on the market, and that’s the primary reason to consider this over the competition. Most shaving creams go for mild scents that won’t offend anyone’s noses, but this blend includes many fruit oils and extracts that help it stand out from the crowd.
Unlike the other products on this list, this product is closer to being a true liquid than a semi-solid cream. Some people compare it to body lotion, and you’ll certainly see it moving if you put it on your hands.
There are two things you should keep in mind before you buy this product. First, it requires more water on your face and while you’re using it than many competing products, which can slow down your shave.
Second, its longer ingredient list increases the likelihood of allergic reactions to one or more of its ingredients. These aren’t major flaws, but they are worth knowing.
5. Pacific Shaving Company Caffeinated Shaving Cream
- Better for reddened skin than most competing products.
- No animal testing.
- Especially useful for irritated and sensitive skin.
- Contains aloe and spearmint for a fresh smell and scent.
- More affordable than most other shaving creams.
- Not especially notable other than the caffeine.
- Caffeine may interfere with some medications.
Have you ever thought, “I love caffeine so much, I want it on my skin”? If so, then you had the same thought process as the scientists who researched this and found that caffeine is a great ingredient for reducing redness and sensitivity in your skin.
The Pacific Shaving Company decided to make use of this by creating a paraben-free shaving cream. The caffeine in this product is easily the highlight. It works by helping to constrict the blood flow where applied, which tightens pores and thereby reduces redness and other discoloration.
If you enjoy coffee, you’ll also get a small caffeine kick from using this product. Aside from the caffeine, this shaving cream also contains antioxidants and has a relatively short list of ingredients.
Finding the Best Shaving Cream for Straight Razors
What Shaving Cream Does
Shaving cream has two purposes:
- First, it moisturizes your skin. Shaving doesn’t just cut out the hairs near your face. Instead, it also removes some of your skin cells and gets rid of the oil that helps protect your skin from the elements.Quality shaving cream moisturizes your skin and stops it from drying out or looking raw after you shave.
- Second, shaving cream lubricates your skin. Shaving is most effective when you can pass your razor over your skin without pulling at the hairs. You can feel the difference between a smooth shave and one where it seems every single hair is pulling out when you pass over it. Lubricated skin allows for closer and smoother shaves, and in turn, helps you look better.
Contrary to popular belief, shaving cream does not soften your hair to make it easier to cut. That’s done entirely by hot water when you’re shaving. However, shaving cream can keep the heat closer to your skin while you’re shaving, which ultimately improves the effectiveness of your razor.
How Shaving Cream Compares to Other Products
Shaving cream is the standard product choice, offering an excellent balance of affordability, ease of use, and effectiveness. This attractive mix of qualities makes it a good default choice if you’re not sure what to buy or don’t want to purchase other products.
For quality, shaving soap is often the best option. Shaving soap takes longer to use because you need to spend some time working it into a proper lather, but it also provides more control after you master using it. You may want to get some shaving soap even if you normally use cream so you can use it before special events.
For fast shaves, butter or gels are a good alternative. They’re easy to apply and offer excellent control for shaving along specific lines, although they don’t provide the same nourishment and feel as creams or soap.
What Type Of Product Should I Start With?
If you’ve never used shaving aids with a straight razor before, I recommend starting with shaving cream. This provides a useful frame of reference if you decide you need to change products later on.
Try to avoid starting with a shaving gel unless you have no other options. Gels often include parabens, which are synthetic preservatives that some people have allergic reactions to.
Do I Need Any Additional Equipment For Using Shaving Cream?
That depends on where you shave. Men who stay clean-shaven often shave entirely in the shower. However, if you want to maintain a beard or mustache, you may need an extra mirror, a bowl, and some way to get your skin warm and soft before you shave.
Always follow the instructions on your shaving cream to get the best results. Some men also use shaving brushes, which are useful for applying certain creams. For people just starting out, the best shaving cream for straight razor users is simple, affordable, and does not require any extra tools.
Can Shaving Cream Clog My Drain?
Yes. Shaving creams, as well as related products like gels and butter, can clog any drain over time. If you shave frequently or live with other people who shave into the same pipe, chances are it will clog even faster. Even the best shaving cream for straight razor users will eventually clog your drain.
Fortunately, it’s easy to remedy this. Pouring half a cup of baking soda followed by one cup of white vinegar into your drain will reduce buildup from shaving creams and hairs, keeping your pipes clear and open.
These two chemicals will react when they meet, and the energy from this is what helps clear pipes. Pour hot water into the pipes ten minutes after adding the vinegar. For the best results, clean your pipes this way once every three months.
If you use a particularly thick shaving cream or share the sink, do it every six weeks or more often as needed. If your pipes constantly seem clogged, you may need to try other measures to clean them out.
Is There Anything Else I Can Do To Protect My Sink?
Yes. You can use a mesh strainer to catch most of the hairs. This works especially well if you shave with a bowl or a bucket and wash all of the hair into that rather than directly down the drain.
Tossing hairs and some shaving cream residue into the trash can significantly reduce the frequency of clogs and keep your pipes flowing well.
Does Using A Straight Razor Matter When I’m Using Shaving Cream?
The type of razor you use doesn’t matter as much as some companies want you to think. All razors operate on the same principle of moving against your skin to cut off hairs and surface skin cells, and most shaving aids work about the same regardless of the type of razor you’re using.
The reverse is also true. There’s no such thing as the best shaving cream for straight razor users that’s fundamentally different from, say, a shaving cream for disposable razors.
Any company that’s advertising creams for straight razors is just trying to get your attention by advertising something that has no significant impact.
That said, many men prefer straight razors because it’s easy to control their force and get a close, clean shave. This is particularly useful when you’re using a new shaving aid for the first time and aren’t sure how it could impact other types of razors.
What’s the Best Shaving Cream for Straight Razors?
Overall, I recommend the C.O. Bigelow cream if you’re new to shaving with a straight razor and want to start with a standard, affordable straight razor shaving cream.
The Rocky Mountain Barber Company cream is a good alternative if you want something with a stronger scent. Also, I think Baume.Be’s cream is the best on its merits, but the significantly higher price per ounce makes it hard to recommend for a wider audience.