You’re alarm goes off, jolting you out of bed and you drag yourself into the bathroom. You reach for your razor and your trusty shaving cream. Except, you’re out. You’ve got five minutes to get out the door and there’s no shaving cream in sight.
Guys run into this problem everyday (Sometimes we forget to take inventory, ya know?). We run out of shaving cream at the worst moments. It makes us question whether we really even need it in the first place.
So do we? Is having a great shave without shaving cream even possible? Let’s take a look at some shaving cream substitutes and if they’re worth trying for yourself.
Shaving Cream Substitute #1: Hair Conditioner
Hair conditioner can be a great alternative to shaving cream, as long as you use the right one. If you’re going to use a conditioner, choose an organic hydrating conditioner. As a rule of thumb, going organic will almost always reduce skin irritation since it doesn’t contain any nasty alcohols or chemicals. Hydrating conditioners are jam packed with vitamins meant to sooth the surface of the scalp (skin) and soften hair, both important elements of a bomb shave.
Shaving cream substitute #2: Household oils
If there’s nothing in your bathroom cabinet that you can use, oils are a great alternative. And we’re not talking about fancy shaving oils — obviously those can be used for shaving. We’re talking about those household oils you have lying around the kitchen like olive oil, coconut oil, mineral oil or even baby oil.
These oils provide a smooth surface for your razor and an extra dose of moisture and protection against the jagged edge of your razor. Try rubbing a decent amount over your beard 10-15 minutes before shaving and your hair will be soft enough to shave right off. Not to mention your skin will feel silky smooth all day.
Shaving cream substitute #3: Water
Just water? Sounds blasphemous, but it’s possible. Dry skin against a metal razor causes friction, which creates heat as the razor passes over the skin. This heat can damage the skin cells and cause irritation. Water prevents some of this friction and slightly moisturizes the area. Obviously it doesn’t have the skin supporting nutrients that a good shaving cream will have, but it’s definitely an option. If you’re going to use water, make it as hot as you can stand. It’ll make your hair softer and your shave that much more bearable.
Reduce the Friction & Keep Things Sharp
The whole reason for using shaving cream is to reduce the amount of friction between your razor and your skin. Oils and conditioners create a slick surface, but soaps and shampoos will do the exact opposite. They contain drying agents that will suck the moisture out of your skin, and cause every little bump and ridge to pop up even more, increasing your risk of nicks and cuts.
Reducing the friction also means keeping a sharp razor and avoiding shaving against the grain. Even though you may want that super-close shave every time, you’re simply not going to get it without shaving cream. You can try, but more than likely you’ll end up with ugly irritation and bumps all over your face. No one will like you that day (just kidding…kind of).