Nearly every bathroom is home to at least one can or tube of shaving cream, lotion, or gel. Whether we’re shaving legs, face, bikini area, or anything else, we all want shaving products that help the razor glide smoothly, prevent bumps, protect sensitive skin, and — of course — are safe for our bodies and the environment. But which are the best non-toxic shaving creams for sensitive skin without hormone-disrupting ingredients? You’ve trusted Mamavation to bring you best non-toxic shampoos, best non-toxic peel-off facial masks, & best organic mattresses, now join us as we bring you the best & worst non-toxic shaving creams.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
False Marketing to Watch Out For When Shopping for Shaving Creams
Today there are so many options for shaving creams, lotions, gels, and soaps that it can be hard to know what to choose. Product marketing crews know they have to compete to get you to think their product is the one for you. But sometimes the terms on the packages do more to sell the product than to inform you about what it really is.
Some of these vague and not very well-defined terms include:
- NonComedogenic: Products for use on skin often claim they’re “noncomedogenic,” which sounds scientific but doesn’t really set them apart. Why? Almost all shave products we can buy today use ingredients that are noncomedogenic.
- Vitamins: Some shaving creams boast about the vitamins they contain. This is supposed to make us think that these products can add antioxidants and actually nourish our skin. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, most of the vitamins in shaving products are unlikely to make a difference. The amounts of vitamins used are too small for an effect, and vitamins degrade with exposure to light and air.
- Pure/Natural/Naturally derived: These terms sound good, but are completely unregulated and don’t mean very much. They can appear on labels for products that are reasonably safe and non-toxic, or on labels for those that are completely conventional with less desirable ingredients.
Here’s the bottom line: despite the long lists of obscure ingredients and the pseudoscientific jargon, all shave creams and gels can help give better results by keeping the hair or stubble moist and providing a barrier between the blade and the skin. Other than that, it’s just a matter of choosing the safest ingredients.
Ingredients to Avoid in Shaving Creams
There are a zillion ingredients in shaving creams – some of them good, some bad, some awful.
Here are some ingredients to watch out for in your shave creams, gels, and soaps brought to you by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Red List, which is part of the MADE SAFE screening process for personal care products.
- Petroleum-based ingredients:
- PEG ingredients
- polysorbate ingredients
- propylene glycol
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
This basic list is helpful to catch most of the things to look out for in shaving lotions and creams.
Mild vs. Harsh Preservatives in Shaving Creams
Anytime you add water or aloe vera to any formulation, it starts to collect bacteria and mold. This is the reason shaving products have preservatives inside: to stop the formation of mold in their products.
While some people want to avoid all chemical preservatives, you can run the risk of mold in products with zero preservatives in their formulation. (It’s happened to me!)
Mold toxicity is no laughing matter.
- Some mold spores produce mycotoxins, which can build up in the body and cause a multitude of symptoms. These mycotoxins are both microscopic and fat-soluble, and they often end up in your cells and mitochondria, disrupting health.
- About 25 percent of people may be vulnerable to mold toxicity, often because they have a genetic predisposition that inhibits their clearance of biotoxins. According to Psychology Today, “some cases of chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, mast cell activation disorder, histamine intolerance, irritable bowel, and leaky gut, multiple sclerosis and post-treatment Lyme syndrome, which do not respond to treatment, are due to a chronic inflammatory response caused by toxic mold.”
Preservatives to Avoid in Shaving Lotion
Because of the risks of mold, light preservative use is beneficial — but we still want to avoid certain types of preservatives. Here’s a list of preservatives you want to avoid in shaving lotion or any other personal care product you are using.
- DMDM hydantoin
- Imidazolidinyl urea
- Diazolidinyl urea
- Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
- 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol
Want to try making your own lotions? Check out 10 DIY lotion recipes to get you started.
Better Preservatives Inside Shaving Lotion
Mamavation recognizes the need to use mild preservatives whenever you have a product that contains water or aloe vera and there is a possibility it can sit on the shelf for two years or more. This is the type of situation where mold can grow inside a personal care product from accidental puncture, which has happened to me with completely natural products. Here is a list of preservatives that are safe to use in personal care.
- Sodium benzoate (Safe, provided it’s not mixed with ascorbic acid or vitamin C. This ingredient is partially restricted by the Made Safe and EWG certifications in certain situations but not banned so some certified products have it.)
- Potassium sorbate
- Dehydroacetic acid
- Glyceryl Caprilate
- Phenoxyethanol (This ingredient is partially restricted by the Made Safe and EWG certifications in certain situations but not banned so some certified products have it. We allow it at less than 1 percent of the formulation; however, not within infant or kids products. )
- Vitamin C or ascorbic acid
We think it’s fine if you want to avoid all preservatives, but we would recommend you date the bottle at the bottom with the date you opened them up and discard when they get too old.
Mamavation Recommends: Try 100 Percent Pure Seaweed & Grapefruit Shaving Cream
One product we’d love for you to try is the Seaweed & Grapefruit Shaving Cream from 100 Percent Pure. (Pictured above)
This product uses seaweed collagen, toning green tea, and soothing herbs with a grapefruit scent to help you shave. The ingredients are botanical and simple.
100 Percent Pure consistently wins for non-toxic ingredients and we have recommended many other products from their line so we recommend you check more out while you are there.
Mamavation’s Investigation of Shaving Cream
Mamavation investigated and ranked over 90 shaving creams, shaving lotions, and shaving gels to find the best products for sensitive skin based on hormone-disrupting chemicals and harsh ingredients. But before we share that with you, here are some additional skincare & haircare investigations you may find yourself looking for soon:
- CLEAN & MOISTURIZE! Looking for face washes & moisturizers without all those chemicals? Check out Mamavation’s investigation on Face washes & moisturizers and soap & body wash. We also have best & worst lotions.
- GLAM UP! Here are Mamavation’s favorite makeup and cosmetic brands that don’t have toxic ingredients like heavy metals.
- PROTECT! Want sunscreen protection without the hormone-disrupting chemicals? Pick up the sunscreen brands that Mamavation recommends!
- RELAX! If you are looking for safe hair relaxers, check out our investigation on hair relaxers here. We’ve included shampoo & conditioner brands for coiled & curly hair.
- STYLE! We also have an investigation on all the safest hair styling products (like hairspray and such) you can purchase here.
- COLOR! If you want to color or dye your hair, check out all the best & worst hair color brands here.
- ALL THE THINGS! And if you are interested in ALL our investigations check our always-expanding list here.
We looked at close to 100 different shaving creams, gels, lotions, and bars, with a focus on those that market themselves as natural, green, or safe. What we found is that products with similar marketing can vary greatly in how non-toxic they really are.
Not Our Favorite Shaving Creams
These brands contain a number of toxic or hormone-disrupting ingredients that were outlined above and few to no organic ingredients. This is the list we don’t recommend.
- Art of Shaving Unscented Shave Cream for Men
- Aveeno Therapeutic Shave Gel with Oat and Vitamin E
- Barbasol Thick and Rich Shaving Cream, Original
- Bee Bald Premium Shave Cream
- Bulldog Original Shave Cream
- Coochie Plus Intimate Shaving Cream, Sweet Bliss
- Dollar Shave Club Shave Butter
- Edge Shave Gel (fragrance free, ultra sensitive)
- Eos Shea Better Shave Cream for Women, Pomegranate Raspberry
- Eos Sensitive Shaving Cream for Women
- Eos Shea Better Shave Cream for Women, Lavender
- Eos Shea Better Shave Cream for Women, Vanilla Bliss
- Every Man Jack Shave Cream Sensitive Skin, Fragrance Free
- Face Skin Care Ultimate Comfort Shaving Cream for Sensitive Skin
- Flamingo Foaming Shave Gel
- Gillette Satin Care Ultra Sensitive Shave Gel
- Gillette Fusion Hydra Gel Pure and Sensitive
- Gillette Planet Kind Protective Shave Cream
- Harry’s Shave Cream with Eucalyptus
- Neutrogena Men Sensitive Skin Shave Cream
- Nivea Men Sensitive Shave Gel
- Organic SCA 3-in-1 Before and After Shave Cream
- PC4 Men Shave (Unscented)
- Preston Men’s Shave Cream
- Skintimate Skin Therapy Moisturizing Shave Gel
- Solimo 2-in-1 Shave Cream
- Tame the Beast: Beast Butter Whole Body Shave Cream
- Trader Joe’s Honey Mango Moisturizing Shave Cream
- Van Der Hagen Cooling Shave Gel
- Vanicream Shave Cream for Sensitive Skin
- Woody’s Shave Butter for Men
Better Shaving Creams
These brands may contain some ingredients that are problematic or they don’t disclose fragrances in their formulation, but they are significantly better than the ones in the “not our favorites” list.
- Act of Being HP+ Shaving Cream
- Alba Botanica Very Emollient Cream Shave, Coconut Lime
- Arbonne Shave Cream RE9 Advanced for Men
- Bulldog Original Shave Gel
- Bulldog Sensitive Shave Gel
- Burt’s Bees Cooling Shave Cream with Aloe and Hemp
- Cremo Barber Grade Original Shave Cream
- Gillette PURE Soothing Shave Cream with Aloe
- GIOVANNI Moisturizing Shave Cream (Sensitive and Fragrance-Free)
- GIOVANNI Tea Tree and Mint Shave Cream
- Henry Cavendish SEXXY Shaving Soap
- JR Liggett’s Shaving Foam
- Kiss My Face Pomegranate Grapefruit Moist Shave
- Men’s Soap Company Shaving Soap
- MoonDance Soaps Sweet Citrus Shave Soap
- Natrulo Men’s Shaving Soap Bar
- Olivino Men Conditioning Shave Cream
- SheaMoisture Shea Butter and African Black Soap Shave Butter Shave Cream
- Tierra Mia Organics Ladies Moisture Rich Shave Soap Bar
- Truly Coco Cloud Whipped Shave Butter
- Weleda Shaving Cream
Best Non-Toxic Shaving Brands
These non-toxic shaving creams, gels, and soaps avoid all problematic chemicals we called out in the post. Some use organic ingredients. All brands here are transparent about fragrance ingredients.
- 100 Percent Pure Seaweed & Grapefruit Shaving Cream (link directly to small biz, not Amazon)
- Alaffia Shave Cream Unscented
- Alba Botanica Very Emollient Cream Shave, Mango Vanilla
- Alba Botanica Very Emollient Cream Shave, Aloe Mint
- Alba Botanica Very Emollient Cream Shave, Unscented
- Andalou Naturals CannaCell MEN Smooth Glide Shave Cream
- Andalou Naturals Rose Pomegranate Botanical Shave Cream
- Andalou Naturals Coconut Lime Botanical Shave Cream
- Andalou Naturals Lavender Thyme Botanical Shave Cream
- Andalou Naturals Cannacell Rosemary + Lemon Balm Shave Cream
- BeautyCounter Counterman Smoothing Shave Cream
- Bevel Shaving Cream for Men
- Billie Shave Cream
- Dr. Bronner’s Organic Shave Soap, Lavender
- Dr. Bronner’s Organic Shave Soap, Lemongrass-Lime
- Dr. Bronner’s Organic Shave Soap, Peppermint
- Dr. Bronner’s Organic Shave Soap, Tea Tree
- Dr. Bronner’s Organic Shave Soap, Unscented
- Ethique Tip to Toe Bar
- Glimmer Goddess Organic Shave Cream
- Kiss My Face Moisture Shave Fragrance-Free
- Method Men Shave Cream Sea and Surf
- NOW Solutions Nutri-Shave Natural Shave Cream
- Pacific Shaving Company Natural Shave Cream
- Pacific Shaving Company Caffeinated Shave Cream
- Package Free Zero Waste Shave Soap Bar
- Poofy Organics Citrus Coconut Shaving Gel, Organic
- Pure Haven Shave Gel
- SheaMoisture Shave Cream for Women Coconut and Hibiscus
- Taylor of Old Bond Street Organic Shaving Cream
- Ursa Major Stellar Shave Cream (Birch and Sunflower)