When it comes to getting a close and comfortable shave, you must make sure everything is on point to achieve the best results.
This includes not only the required prep to your skin beforehand, but also a sharp and suitable razor blade…
…the right kind of shave cream.
However, if you have overly sensitive skin, then you REALLY have no room for error otherwise you will be in discomfort and misery long after you finished shaving.
While we recently went over the best razors for sensitive skin, we wanted to dedicate an entire article determining the best shave cream for men with sensitive skin…
Because without a quality shave cream, any razor will fail to deliver great results for your skin.
Different Types of Shaving Cream For Your Naturally Sensitive Skin
Shave cream comes in many different varieties including soaps, creams, gels, and more.
For the scope of this article, we are concentrating largely on more traditional shave creams.
From both our personal experience and what we learned while researching, we found that men generally agreed that these more traditional creams tend to provide better results when compared to some of the mass-marketed creams, gels, soaps, etc. that you may find at your local grocery or drug store.
So, what makes some of these standout shave creams different from other solutions?
Simply put, their careful selection of ingredients, consistency of the cream itself, and performance when paired with a quality razor blade is what made these some of the best shave creams designed from the ground up for men with sensitive skin.
Why Artisanal Shave Creams Are Different
So, what’s the big deal about these shave creams?
Well if you have sensitive skin, a whole lot!
When using a quality shave cream, you will instantly notice an entirely different level of comfort. Shave creams like Truefitt & Hill or Taylor of Old Bond Street are able to be whipped up into a thick and creamy lather that will provide an excellent base for the razor to work with.
But that’s not all:
A key sign to quality in any shave cream will be its lubricated base.
A slick shave cream will help for the razor to glide effortlessly along the surface of your skin with every pass of the blade…
…a key consideration for those men who have overly sensitive skin.
What’s more, is that a rich cream like the one offered by Truefitt & Hill will insulate your skin during the shave process.
This plays a key role in ensuring that your skin remains warm and the hairs soft.
A shave cream that doesn’t insulate well (i.e. gel and canned creams) will create a poor shaving environment that features air pockets in the lather making it more difficult for the razor to get a clean and easy cut on the hair while preserving your skin.
However, as you will see below, there was one shave gel that did catch our attention as it performed well for men with sensitive skin.
Yes, A Shave Brush Is Required When Using The BEST Shave Creams For Sensitive Skin
For men who decide on investing in a quality shave cream (which you should), you will need to use a shave brush.
Shave brushes, while evoking an old-school vibe to them, are terrific at drawing out the best properties of any shave cream, and play a key role in prepping your hairs before you shave.
When applying a shave cream via a shave brush (as opposed to your hands), you are actually able to get your whiskers to stand on edge (whereas if you used your hands, they would be matted down).
An upright whisker will ensure that the razor blade will get a clean cut on the hair, ultimately reducing the number of passes required.
Here’s why you should care:
Being that you are trying to NOT irritate your skin, the less times the razor must touch your skin the better the results (and more comfortable the shave) will be – especially if you have sensitive skin.
If you are like me, don’t try to ‘MacGyver’ it – seriously, even a $20 shave brush will deliver more than adequate results.
Shaving Techniques For Sensitive Skin
While we don’t want to go too far beyond the scope of this article, it’s important to hammer home the basics of shaving.
Even the best shaving creams in the world won’t make a difference if you don’t know how to shave properly.
One of the biggest traps that men (sensitive skin or not) find themselves falling into time after time again is the regular rotation of their razor blades.
Trying to shave with a dull blade will not only make the shave less effective (i.e. requiring more passes), but will also further irritate your skin.
If budget is a huge issue and you don’t feel like investing in a new cartridge head on a regular basis, consider one of two options:
- Invest in an older razor (i.e. Mach 3)
- Go with a safety razor
Mach 3 blades are much more affordable and still offer a great shave. Secondly, given that there are less blades on the head when compared to most modern cartridge razors currently available, it’s likely going to increase the comfort of your shave (as we found out here).
Safety razors on the other hand are a bit more complicated devices. Their single blade gives you more control during the shave process and the number of times a razor blade touches your skin.
It’s not uncommon to hear men in forums like Badger & Blade or The Shave Den often exclaim that switching to a safety razor helped with the irritation they were otherwise experiencing with a cartridge or even electric razor.
Oh, and there is a great added benefit for safety razor owner:
Even the best safety razor blades only cost a few pennies each.
Making it incredibly easy to rotate a blade once every few shaves without feeling like you are wasting money.
Just make sure you dispose of the blades properly.
Should You Use Shaving Oil?
One product we like to recommend to men with sensitive skin is shaving oil.
Shaving oil works in tandem with a shave cream to create an ultra-slick lubricated base for the razor to pass upon.
Given that your skin is already extremely sensitive, adding a drop or two of shaving oil before you shave will help to lessen the impact that the razor blade will have on your skin.
If you go with a pre-shave oil, stick to a solution that is all natural like this one by Lather & Wood. It will be less abrasive than a chemical compound on your skin and should provide better results.
Non-Comedogenic Shaving Cream
If you are a man that gets acne regularly while also having sensitive skin, there are some great non-comedogenic shave creams (non-pore clogging) options that exist in the marketplace for you.
Namely we found that both the Truefitt & Hill shaving cream and the Neutrogena Defense Shave Gel to be among the best in class options for men who don’t want a sudden uptick in acne forming either on their cheeks or neck shortly after they shave.
Both of the above options will rinse off easily with water to ensure that your pores don’t clog at all.
As a runner-up, Taylor of Old Bond Street (Unscented) is also a great option if you have a slightly lower budget.
Best Shaving Cream For Sensitive Skin & Razor Bumps
Taylor of Old Bond Street – Natural Shaving Cream
Relying on just a few core ingredients and absent of any parabens or fragrances will this offering by Taylor of Old Bond Street one of our favorite shaving creams on this list.
Using aloe, jojoba, glycerin, along with a few other core ingredients to provide a slick lubricated base, men with sensitive skin will love this shave cream.
Like many of the shave creams we are reviewing here, Taylor of Old Bond Street does require a shave brush in order to fully whip up a thick and creamy lather.
There are many men who definitely will try using this shave cream sans shave brush, we just simply wouldn’t recommend this as you truly won’t be drawing out the best features of this product.
But application aside, the nature of this shave cream will all but guarantee a soft base to make your razor blade glide effortlessly with each pass.
There is a reason why Taylor of Old Bond Street has been in existence since 1854 – it simply works incredibly well.
So, if you suffer from highly sensitive skin or even just a mild degree of sensitivity, this shave cream should be a move in the right direction for increased post-shave comfort.
Pros: A age-old shave cream that has withstood the test of time. A favorite among men around the world.
Cons: Does require a shave brush in order to get the most out of the product.
Bottom Line: Both an affordable and highly rated shave cream that make even the most severe sensitive skin better. Just make sure you don’t skip on the shave brush.
Jack Black Beard Lube Conditioning Shave
Unlike Taylor of Old Bond Street that has been around for over 150 years, Jack Black is a much newer entrant in the men’s grooming world.
With a wide variety of skin care products ranging from moisturizers to eye creams and everything in between, Jack Black can be the ‘one stop shop’ for a lot of men out there that are always working to look better and younger.
So how does their beard lube work for men with sensitive skin?
Like many Jack Black products – terrific.
Using a heavy base of natural ingredients, men with sensitive skin should see very little in the way of adverse side effects that they would normally experience when using a gel or chemical based compound.
When you look at the back of this beard lube (i.e. shave cream), you will find ingredients that compliment your sensitive skin including jojoba oil, heather extract, macadamia seed oil, peppermint oil, along with several other natural humectants to help retain the water in your skin’s moisture barrier.
One ingredient that stands out in this product, especially for men with sensitive skin is the cetearyl alcohol.
Unlike single-chain (or also referred to as ‘simple’) alcohols, cetearyl alcohol is actually a fatty alcohol (long-chain).
This means that instead of drying out your skin like a denatured alcohol, cetearyl alcohol works in just the opposite manner to help deliver an additional layer of moisture along with being an emulsifier for the shave cream.
Cetearyl alcohol is often derived from coconut rather than chemicals.
Beyond the ingredients, this Beard Lube by Jack Black is also a latherless shave cream, this means that it goes on in an incredibly thin layer making it easy for you to see when you make the strokes with either a cartridge or safety razor.
Secondly, given its latherless nature, you don’t have to worry about picking up a shave brush upon checkout – making it a very easy product to work into your existing shave regimen.
Pros: Offers all-natural products that deliver spectacular results. Also no need for a shave brush.
Cons: Can be a bit pricey compared to some of the others on our list.
Bottom Line: If you are looking to try newer brands while making an eco-conscious decision, this one is a worthy contender. Also, the brushless nature is perfect for men who find themselves always on the road.
Proraso Sensitive Skin Shave Cream
The classic Italian shave company Proraso knows a thing or two when it comes to delivering excellent shave products.
Like Taylor of Old Bond Street, Proraso has been around for a number of years (since 1908 to be exact) and caters to men with several different skin types including those that skew a bit more sensitive.
The white label product line by Proraso has been specially formulated to take care of men who have sensitive skin.
Offered in both a traditional shave cream and a shave soap, it’s up to you to decide which form factor works better into your workflow.
However, if it’s your first time jumping into more traditional shave products, we would recommend a cream as its easier to generate a rich lather with very little effort and know-how.
So, what makes the Proraso white label line different from the rest?
Primarily two key ingredients: oatmeal extract and green tea.
When these two work together they will help to not only provide anti-oxidant properties through the green tea extract (which is key in fighting free radicals), but it will also provide a post-shave soothing effect that will help to ward off any pronounced irritation or redness.
Men with mild to highly sensitive skin will look to benefit when using this shave cream.
If you are looking for a more traditional European offering that has withstood the test of time, Proraso will make a fine choice.
Also to note, even though this shave cream comes in a tube form, it still will require a shave brush in order to achieve the best results.
Pros: One of the best shave creams for men with sensitive skin. Offered in both cream and soap form, can pick the one that is right for you.
Cons: No pronounced issues here other than both cream and soap variants do require a brush for best results.
Bottom Line: If you have extremely sensitive skin, this is going to be one of the best options available on the market today.
Art Of Shaving Unscented Shaving Cream
Art of Shaving is likely going to be one of the more familiar offerings on this list. Found in both cities and malls across the country, this shave cream will be the most accessible if you want pick up a quality shave cream today in order fulfill that instant gratification itch.
While this shave cream will help quell any post-shave blues for men with sensitive skin, it does tend to cost a bit more than many of the other offerings on our list.
As an example, the Taylor of Old Bond Street shave cream costs roughly about $3.20 per ounce whereas Art of Shaving can set you back to around $5.00 per ounce – a whopping 56% increase in cost.
Price aside, there is a reason why you find Art of Shaving so highly revered among other men with sensitive skin, the formula base of glycerin and coconut acid will help to ensure that your face feels smooth to the touch and absent of any irritation long after you shave.
So, if you have regular pain on your neck coupled with general razor burn, this shave cream can very well help remedy many of those issues.
For men with super sensitive skin, this shave cream is for you.
Just expect to pay for this performance with your wallet.
Note: Art of Shaving instructs that this shave cream can be used with our without a shave brush.
Pros: A great shave cream that can be used with or without brush. The glycerin and coconut base will provide welcomed results.
Cons: A pricey option that may be outside the budget for most men.
Bottom Line: If you are looking for performance no matter the cost, give this shave cream a try.
Truefitt & Hill
Another shave cream that has been designed especially for men with sensitive skin is this offering by Truefitt & Hill.
In business for over 200 years, Truefitt & Hill is the crème de la crème when it comes to shave creams.
It’s considered by many to be the Rolls Royce of the shave cream world – and a price tag to equally match it.
But what makes this cream so much better than others on the list?
For starters, Truefitt & Hill smartly excludes any additional fragrances to this cream. Sensitive skin or not, you won’t be applying any unnecessary chemicals to your face when you use this cream. But not only that, if you plan on using a cologne or body spray, this shave cream acts as a great complimentary product as you won’t be carrying conflicting fragrances on your skin.
But when it comes to shave comfort, here’s where it really shines:
Truefitt & Hill will also work if you have occasional acne (if you have heavy acne you will want to check out the Neutrogena Gel which we also cover in this article).
It’s natural non-comedogenic properties will ensure that this shave cream doesn’t cause a significant uptick in acne post use.
We found that many men who have mild acne but desire a close shave recommend this shave cream time and time again due to this products great results all around.
Expect to get a close and rewarding results with this shave cream after just a single use.
Unfortunately, it’s a bit tricky to find this cream in stores (save for the boutique stores that are in larger cities), so online will be your best bet.
Pros: A shave cream that solely focuses on providing great results with no scents.
Cons: It’s expensive.
Bottom Line: The one shave cream that men are excited to use time and time again. Be careful, once you try it, you may never want to go back to a canned cream ever again.
Neutrogena Razor Defense Shave Gel
While we aren’t ones to highly recommend a shave gel to men with sensitive skin, we cannot help but talk about this offering from Neutrogena.
For any man out there than has both sensitive skin AND acne, this shave gel is the absolute best one for you – and one worth buying today.
Why is this so great?
Any man with acne will instantly love its non-comedogenic properties (i.e. doesn’t clog your pores). Therefore, once you are done shaving, the water-soluble formula will rinse clean off your skin ensuring that there is no buildup in your pores that could cause unsightly whiteheads after you are done shaving.
While this product does contain a few added chemicals (normally found in any gel), there are a lot of complimentary finds on the label that will help soothe sensitive skin as well.
Most notably you will see that this can contains aloe leaf juice (the same stuff that provides relief from sun burns), soymilk powder, sunflower seed oil, along with a glycerin base.
While there are parabens present within the can, which can be a point of contention for some men, these act as key preservatives for the solution so it provides the same great benefits for your skin long after it came off the assembly line at the factory.
While this shouldn’t be taken as medical advice, it is worth noting that according to the Food And Drug Administration they have made the following statement:
So, if you have both sensitive and acne prone skin, this shave gel is definitely worth a look at.
While we personally found that this can be a bit tricky to find at your local drug or grocery store, online retailers often stock Neutrogena regularly making it an easy addition to your shopping cart the next time you are carousing your favorite online retailer.
Pros: For men dealing with both sensitive skin and acne, this is one of your best bets. The added gel component will make it great for travel.
Cons: Its gel form that may be a deal breaker for some men.
Bottom Line: Sensitive skin, acne, and portability are all the shining points of this shave cream. Neutrogena is a trusted brand that tends to consistently put out amazing grooming products for men. You won’t be disappointed.
What Did We Learn About Discovering The Best Shaving Cream For Sensitive Skin?
When it comes to shaving creams designed for sensitive skin, less is more.
This means picking out a product that is absent of a lot of excess chemicals or synthetic ingredients (i.e. Fragrance/Parfum) as they can lead to unwanted irritation both during the shave process and long after.
Secondly, natural ingredients can make a marked difference when it comes to comfort.
As always, it’s important to remember with many of these shave creams that have been formulated for sensitive skin often will last you a couple of months when compared to gels and other foams you may have been using previously.
So if you are looking for a great way to improve your morning shave, give one of the shave creams above a try, you will be glad you did!