Sometimes it can feel like the entire skin care realm is there to intentionally confuse you: creating products with seemingly little to no difference, forcing you to question your regimen. In reality, it is the contrary - different products produce different results, and each are made with your own comfort in mind. So if you’ve ever wondered whether you should be using a soft shaving cream, hard shaving soap, or non-foaming gel, you’ve come to the right place!
Most wet shavers begin by shaving with foaming shaving creams in aerosol cans from the drugstore. Cheaper shaving creams are often made with harsh ingredients, and therefore dry out your skin. Advancing to a soft shaving cream from a tub is generally an excellent choice for your skin. Higher quality shaving creams are infused with conditioning ingredients that produce an intense lather, protecting your skin and giving you a smoother, neater shave. Creams are recommended for brushless shaving, as a creamy lather can be produced using your hands.
Hard shaving soap offers a more traditional barbershop shave, and is the common choice among more seasoned wet shavers. Soaps need to be worked into a lather using a shaving brush, so you should be aware that you will need to acquire a brush if you choose to shave using soap. Triple-milled soaps are extremely high quality, and produce an excellent lather - however it takes some practice to produce a lather using soap and a brush. Soaps are often fragranced less intensely than creams, which often appeals to men who prefer strongly scented aftershaves or colognes.
Shaving gels differ from creams and soaps in that they produce little to no lather. Some shavers prefer a non-lathering gel since they tend to remain translucent, allowing you to see the hair underneath. Largely considered to be the “mess-free” option for shaving, gels are a good choice for anyone looking to cut down on their shaving time. Gels are also often formulated to give a burst of freshness and hydration, so if you have ultra sensitive skin and need that extra punch of moisture a shaving gel may be your best bet.
Overall, the difference between shaving creams, soaps and gels comes down to personal preference. They all work to soften beard hair, condition your skin and give you an easy, comfortable shave. Once you solidify your personal shaving routine, you’ll discover which type of shaving lubrication is your favorite. So go ahead: experiment.