The 10 Best Shaving Creams of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
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The Flamingo Foaming Shaving Gel won us over with its wonderfully creamy texture and budget-friendly price tag
When you’re in a rush and need to shave, it’s tempting to just grab a razor and have at it. But your skin — especially in delicate areas like your underarms and bikini line — would really appreciate it if you applied a shaving cream or gel first. A thin layer of the product allows for much smoother sailing for your razor, which means you’ll have less irritation and fewer ingrown hairs.
“Firstly, it is important to choose a product that is formulated for your skin type,” says Rosmy Barrios, MD, a medical advisor for Health Reporter. “For example, if you have sensitive skin, look for a shave cream that is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic to reduce the chance of an allergic reaction or other skin irritation.”
Dr. Barrios says you should next consider ingredients. “Opt for natural ingredients like aloe vera, tea tree oil, and coconut oil that have soothing and moisturizing properties,” she explains. Lastly, you’ll want a gel or cream that lubricates your skin to prevent cuts and razor burn.
Our PEOPLE Tested team grabbed our favorite razors and tried out 20 shave creams, gels, and oils. We evaluated the products based on their feel and consistency, how easy they were to apply, whether they could achieve a close shave, and how much (if any) skin irritation occurred.
Keep reading for the best shaving creams that PEOPLE tested.
Flamingo Foaming Shave Gel
Wonderfully creamy texture that's easily spreadable
Provides an even, close shave with no irritation
Thick consistency can cause the razor to clog up
What makes this shaving cream stand out most is the super creamy texture of the product. While it comes out thick, it is easily spreadable for great coverage. Plus, a little goes a long way — seriously, just a squirt will do just fine, or else you’ll clog your razor with it as you shave. It comes out as gel but foams quickly as you spread it on your skin, helping it stay in place. This allows for a smooth path for your razor, which results in an even shave. The only downside to that thick and rich consistency is you’ll have to rinse your razor more often.
If you have sensitive skin, this is the perfect shave cream. We loved how soft our legs felt — no irritation here! — and we found that the shave lasted longer because it got such a close shave. For the low price, it offers a luxurious shaving experience, and because a little does really go a long way, you’ll get many shaves out of a single container.
Price at time of publish: $6 ($17 for 3-pack)
Formula: Gel | Size: 6.7 oz. | Star ingredients: Aloe, bisabolol, conditioning emollients
Related:The 10 Best Hair Oils of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
Skintimate Skin Therapy Shave Gel
Soft foam spreads well
Incredible value, especially since a little goes a long way
Stays in place without sliding down your skin
Consistency might be too thick for some
Caused some ingrown hairs, but fewer than other products we tested
If you like a traditional shave cream that really lathers up your skin, you'll love this one by Skintimate. A little goes a long way with this shave gel; we found it best to start off with a quarter-sized amount and add more if necessary. We loved that it not only spread well, but it stayed in place so you don't have to worry about it sliding off your legs before you even have a chance to swipe the razor — the trick is to rub it together in your hands for a soft foam that spreads well.
We found this shave gel prevented irritation and there were fewer ingrown hairs over time; ideally, there would be no ingrown hairs, but we found that there were fewer compared other products we had tested. We liked the light floral scent that left skin feeling clean, but really the best part is that this product is under $4. And because you need to use so little of it, you'll find it'll last a long time.
Price at time of publish: $4
Formula: Foaming gel | Size: 7 oz. | Star ingredients: Lanolin and vitamin E
Eos Fragrance-Free Sensitive Skin Shave Cream
Provides a close shave without irritation
No need to moisturize after — it leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated
Can dispense just the right amount for your needs
Translucent formula made it hard to tell where we had already shaved
We loved the thick lotion-like consistency of the shaving cream. Shea butter has long been touted as a powerhouse ingredient for dry skin, and we loved how this shave cream really left legs feeling moisturized. True to its name, it’s a cream, not a foam, so it won’t lather. It stays translucent during the application, though it does distribute well across the skin.
We really liked the cream consistency because we felt we knew exactly how much we were using when we dispensed it — something you can’t usually say for foaming shave creams and gels. It resulted in a close, irritation-free shave. The only drawback was that the product’s translucency made it too easy to keep going over the same area because we just couldn't see where it was on the skin. After shaving, our skin felt so moisturized and soft, plus it had a nice scent. We felt we could have skipped a moisturizer completely — that’s how nourishing this shaving cream feels.
Price at time of publish: $5
Formula: Cream | Size: 7 oz. | Star ingredients: Shea oil, shea butter, colloidal oatmeal
Hanni Shave Pillow Moisturizing Body Gel
Best for Close Shave
Good for wet or dry shave (although works better for wet)
Lovely light scent
Not a lather formula
If you have had trouble getting a close shave or have gotten painful ingrown hairs in the past, the Hanni Shave Pillow moisturizing body gel could be exactly what you need. Aside from the close shave, we loved the light scent it left behind.
This body gel has such a thin consistency that it surprised us with how close a shave it provided without any irritation. We found that it actually felt more like a cleanser than shaving foam. The fact that it doesn’t lather up doesn't get in the way of its effectiveness. You apply it like you would deodorant, which makes for an easier mess-free application you're able to use it on wet or dry skin, but we found it glided on even better when the skin was wet.
Price at time of publish: $24
Formula: Gel stick | Size: 3 oz. | Star ingredients: Adaptogenic mushrooms, cactus water, glycerin
Truly Beauty Coco Cloud After Shave Moisturizer
Offers a super close shave in just two passes
Added ingredients help keep skin hydrated and moisturized
Comes out pretty thick
If you shave frequently, you might find that your skin gets robbed of moisture. That’s why it helps to have a moisturizing shave lotion like Truly Coco cloud. The product smells amazing, and we found that it took just two passes with the razor to get smooth skin.
It comes out feeling thick, and we found it’s best to lather it up in your hands first so it’s easier to apply across the shaving area. It turns white as it lathers up, so it’s easy to see how well it’s spreading across your skin. We found that anywhere we spread it on too thick, it took an extra pass or two with the razor. Once we were through shaving, we were left smooth sweet-smelling skin. Especially if you shave daily, this product will leave your skin feeling truly hydrated.
Price at time of publish: $32.90
Formula: Cream | Size: 2 oz. | Star ingredients: Shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, cocoa butter
Related:The 19 Best Bath Towels of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
Lather Almond Shave Crème
Easily spreads onto the skin
Whipped, creamy texture
Almond oil helps moisturize skin
Despite the name, it doesn’t actually lather
If you like more coverage with your shave cream, you’ll love this thick whipped cream from Lather. Despite the name, it doesn't really lather, though it does spread evenly across the skin. We liked that it was thick enough of an application so that we could see the areas already shaved, which saved time because we didn’t keep swiping the same spot with the razor.
It feels more like whipped body cream than it does traditional shaving foam. We loved how our skin felt soft and supple after a shave, thanks to the infusion of almond oil, which has terrific moisturizing benefits. Again, don’t let the name fool you with its consistency, but if you’re looking for a shaving cream with nourishing natural ingredients, this one fits the bill.
Price at time of publish: $24
Formula: Cream | Size: 4 oz. | Star ingredients: Almond oil, coconut oil, glycerin
Olio E Osso Lisica Shave Oil
Highly moisturizing with no irritation
Spreads super easily
A little goes a long way
Stays on the skin for awhile after shaving, leaving behind a heavier feel
May be a bit of a learning curve in terms of how much to use
Shave oil is an option for those who don't love cream or lathering foams but still want something that spreads like a dream. This product glides on nicely and moisturizes skin, much like you’d expect with an oil. If you're not used to oil, you might have a bit of a learning curve. We advise using a little at a time, as you don’t need a ton of it to cover your leg. That is enough for us to recommend this product — it’s a great value because it lasts longer.
It spreads evenly, but again it does not lather up like foam or other shave traditional shave products. We found that we didn't get quite the clean shave we were hoping for, though, and the oil did clog up the razor a bit. Allow yourself some trial and error with the amount of product and the razor you use during the shave. We found it’s best to use this for a pre- or post-shower shave, so you don't waste water trying to wash this shave oil off your skin.
Our skin felt very soft and supple after a shave, but with the oil consistency, there was a hint of heaviness left behind. Still, we found no irritation, razor burn, or hints of ingrown hair, so it’s worth a try if any of those have plagued your shave experience.
Price at time of publish: $25
Formula: Oil | Size: 4 oz. | Star ingredients: Olive oil, shea oil, beeswax, grapefruit essential oil
Fur Shave Cream
Best for Bikini Line
Provided a smooth shave on delicate areas with no nicks or cuts
Both moisturizing and exfoliating ingredients
Lightweight, creamy consistency that bubbles up to a nice lather
Pricey for the amount (but a little goes a long way)
You might be able to get away with a bit of irritation on your legs or even your underarms, but when it comes to the bikini line, an irritation-free experience is a necessity. We loved the fur Shave Cream for its creamy consistency. It's lightweight enough to resemble a hair conditioner, but when applied, it bubbles up, which means it's working to soften the skin.
The bottle promises maximum glide and zero razor burn. We found it left a close smooth shave on a delicate area prone to getting nicks and cuts. Instead, our skin felt smooth and silky, thanks to all the moisturizing ingredients that exfoliate and smooth the skin, like lemon peel oil. It might seem pricey at $32 for just 5 oz., but we found a little goes a long way with this product.
Price at time of publish: $32
Formula: Cream | Size: 5 oz. | Star ingredients: Olive oil aloe, lemon peel oil
Gillette Venus 2-in-1 Cleanser + Shave Gel
Creamy consistency that covers skin well
pH-balanced for use on pubic area
Left us with a smooth, clean shave
Doesn't lather as much as we were expecting
We loved the creaminess of this gel lotion and found it easy to dispense just the right amount for our skin, unlike the cloud of foam you get when you try to use other shave gels. It does lather up, but it feels more like a cleanser than a cream. We loved how easily it applied for an even distribution across the skin.
You might be a little disappointed if you're looking for more of a lather with your shave gel. But we found the Gillette Venus 2-in-1 covers well — no concern for overusing product here. It’s pH balanced, which allows for an irritation-free shave without a hint of razor burn or ingrown hair — a bonus if you plan to use it for your bikini line. Aside from how smooth our skin felt after a shave, we loved that it's free from dyes, parabens, silicones, and other fragrances.
Price at time of publish: $20
Formula: Gel | Size: 6.42 oz. | Star ingredients: Coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil
Oui The People Sugarcoat Moisturizing Shave Gel-to-Milk
Close shave great for underarms and bikini lines
Very moisturizing, resulting in soft, smooth skin
Unique gel-to-milk texture
Doesn’t create that satisfying lather
For starters, Oui The People is not like your ordinary shaving foam or gel. It's billed as a gel-to-milk consistency. So, what does this mean for your skin? When applied, it feels more like a serum or a gel-based moisturizer instead of your typical foaming cream or gel. Spread it on the area you want to shave and the gel becomes opaque, but it doesn't lather like a regular foam or cream. Don't let that cut you short, though — we found that this unique texture softens both the skin and the hair resulting in a great, close shave.
Despite it not having a thick lather, it still feels luxurious and results in a smooth shave for legs, underarms, and bikini lines. If you really prefer a thick lather, this isn't the right shave product for you. But if you’re open to a different consistency, you'll be pleased. We found this product to be a better fit for one-blade razors rather than multiple blades due to the thinner consistency. It feels very moisturizing, and you’re left with soft, smooth skin.
Price at time of publish: $64
Formula: Gel | Size: 5 oz. | Star ingredients: Marula oil, dandelion root extract, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate
Related:We Tested the Best Eczema Creams of 2023 — These 7 Actually Work
Things to Consider Before Buying Shaving Cream
It’s always a win when you find a product you use often in budget-friendly price range. That’s why we loved the Flamingo Foaming Shaving Gel and the Skintimate Skin Therapy Dry Skin Women's Shave Gel, priced at around $6 and $4, respectively. And while we say “oui” to splurging on the Oui the People Sugarcoat Moisturizing Shave Gel-to-Milk, it really depends on how much you plan to shave. With many of the products on our list, a little goes a long way, so keep in mind there’s value to be had, regardless of the price tag.
Whether you choose a gel, foam, oil, or cream is entirely up to you. We suggest opting for one that is easy to apply a thin layer to your skin to create a smooth route for your razor to travel, but not so much that you’ll end up wasting the product. It also depends on whether you prefer to shave wet or dry; we like that the Hanni Shave Pillow Moisturizing Body Gel allows you to shave either way.
As with all skin products, you’ll want to read ingredients to see that you’re avoiding any allergens and are keying into your skin’s unique needs. We love the moisturizing effects of Fur Shave Cream for the bikini line and the shea butter-infused Eos Shea Butter Dry Skin Shave Cream, which is calming for irritated skin. If you prefer something with all-natural ingredients, the Lather Almond Shave Cream is a good bet.
How We Tested
Our PEOPLE Tested team tried out 20 shave creams and gels, using a multi-blade razor and shaving at least twice a week over the two-week trial period. For each shaving cream, we evaluated based on the feel and consistency of the product, how well it lathered, if it easily distributed across the shaving area, how close and even the shave turned out, whether there was any skin irritation, and how our skin looked and felt after the shaving was complete.
We rated each of the products on a 1-5 scale based on the different testing categories. The products that earned the highest average rating made it on this PEOPLE Tested list of the best shaving creams.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is gel or foam better for shaving?
Both gels and foams are good for shaving because they help the razor glide more easily along the skin. It depends on what you prefer in terms of application. Some like a luxurious foaming shave cream while others find they use too much of it and can barely move the razor through it. Aside from proper application technique, you’ll want to make sure the ingredients match up with your skin’s needs, especially if you’ve got sensitive skin.
What shaving cream gives the closest shave?
We found the Hanni Shave Pillow Moisturizing Body Gel to offer the closest shave. The gel stick formulation made it easy to apply a thin layer of it — just enough to make the razor glide easily, but not too much that you clogged up the razor with wasted product. If you prefer a shaving foam, know that a little typically goes a long way — as it does with the Skintimate Skin Therapy Dry Skin Women's Shave Gel — so you’ll want to apply a thin layer that won’t make trouble for your razor.
Is buying shaving cream worth it?
Yes, especially if you have sensitive skin. Using a razor without first applying cream or foam is a surefire way of irritating your skin with razor burn and painful ingrown hairs. Whatever formula you prefer, be it gel, oil, or foam, make sure to use the right amount of product so you can glide your razor over your skin easily for a close, irritation-free shave.
What Is PEOPLE Tested?
We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.
But we don’t stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we’ve awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.
In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.
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