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Homemade Shaving Cream 101: How to and Our Favorite Recipe

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February 16, 2017

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Shaving Tips

Making homemade shaving cream gives you a say in what goes on your sensitive skin. Store-bought products are often pretty harsh and contain chemicals that you may not want anywhere near you, once you learn where their sources are from.

a close-up on a shaving cream and a brush

But with homemade shaving cream, you decide what’s in the blend. You decide how thick it is. You decide every component and mix to your heart’s content. Best of all, it’s incredibly easy to do. But let’s look at some pretty important decisions first.

Froth or Foam?

For lack of a better word, shaving “gel” has become something of a fading fad in the past few years. With rising straight razor popularity, there’s no surprise that homemade shaving cream is on the rise as well. This brings us to our first question: When shaving, do we want froth or foam?

What’s the difference? Froth is typically pretty watery and usually, contains a good amount of fluid in its mix. Some people prefer this since it takes less time to scrape through and ultimately melts away for a “cleaner” feel. Froths have their place and are excellent for shaving, but foams usually win the popularity contest by a mile.

A good foam should come to a stiff peak when you’re finished whipping it, not unlike when you make whipped cream. In fact, unless you’re using a tint, a bowl of freshly whipped cream and a bowl of homemade shaving cream should be nearly identical.

Thicken It Up

a woman's legs with shaving cream on them

So how do we get our homemade shaving cream to this level? We aren’t going to be using actual cream, so we have to add something to add that stiffness, right? It’s less that and more a question of how thick you want it. If you prefer a shaving cream so thick that it’s like a shaving gel, you’ll need to work with non-castile soap bases.

If you have goats milk soap on hand, crumbling this and heating it until it melts will give you an excellent non-castile soap to use. Local farmers markets are an excellent source for these bars, and they usually come with their own scent already added. Find one you like, cut a small corner off and heat it down to liquid level. Using a soap base also helps clean as you shave.

However, if you don’t have access to a non-castile soap, you can still have a perfectly thick lather. Use of a foam pump rather than a typical soap pump will force air into the foam as it comes out, making it expand and fluff. This might be just a little bit easier than hunting down a milk based soap.

Sweet Smell of Success

lemon essential oil in small bottles

Now that you’ve got a general idea of how thick you want your homemade shaving cream to be, what do you want to smell like all day? Essential oils are perfect for adding a heady aroma to your lather.

If you can’t find an essential oil you like, there are dozens of other additives that you can use. A twist of lime or a squeeze of orange juice isn’t out of the question, though the citric acid in these fruits may leave your shave feeling a little stingy. A splash of the cinnamon from your spice cabinet won’t hurt, either, as long as it’s mixed in well. If your garden has a particularly hefty load of a herb that you like, feel free to throw it in during the heating portion of our recipe. The natural oils will leach out into the mix, and the herbs can be strained out before the final mix is bottled.

Whatever you choose, do remember that overuse of essential oils can burn skin. You don’t want to use more than a few drops from an eyedropper in the entire recipe. Yes, this means that the scent is fairly mild, but it’s better to be milder. Otherwise, your skin might feel flaming for the rest of the day. Essential oils are incredibly concentrated substances. When making this recipe, it is probably best that you wear gloves when handling the essential oils bottle if you are not used to them.

Homemade Shaving Cream Recipe – Quick & Simple

a young man with shaving cream on his face

Things you’ll need:

  • 3 ounces non-castille soap, scented or unscented.
  • 1/2 cup shea butter.
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • Scent flavoring: essential oil, herbs, pressed flower petals, etc.
  • A very small amount of water.
  • A FOAMING soap pump, which can be found at any department store.
  • Small sauce pan.

How to Prepare It

Step 1

Melt your non-castille soap in the small saucepan with the heat on the lowest setting you have. If you have a double boiler, this works even better. Also, if you have shea butter, melt your coconut oil instead. If you are using a scented ingredient other than essential oil, go ahead and add it here.

Step 1.1.

If you used flower petals, herbs, or anything else that’s left anything other than a clear melted soap or oil, go ahead and strain your fluid through a thin sieve to cool in a bowl.

Step 2

Pour your melted fluid into a bowl four times larger than it needs to be. Mixing bowls are ideal for this, though very large cereal bowls may be used. Allow it to cool for just a few minutes. Three to five is usually plenty.

Step 3

Add your non-melted ingredients to your melted ones. While whipping with a fork, whisk or whatever your preferred whipping tool is, add your essential oil if you have not already scented your foam. Ten drops are enough for this particular blend. Any more will likely leave an unpleasant skin reaction.

Step 4

Using a funnel, pour your newly homemade shaving cream into a foam soap pump. Cap the bottle and admire your handwork! You’ve done it! This bottle should last for several shaves and has a long shelf life.

I hope our recommended recipe for a homemade shaving cream will help you use more natural shaving products in the future. Make sure to try it and let us know how well it worked.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

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