Ok, I get it, there are a lot of shave snobs out there that love their trusty Taylor of Old Bond Street shaving cream, we do too!
In fact, we rated TOBS one of the best all-around shave creams in a recent review.
Yeah, it was that good!
But here’s the deal guys:
Not everyone has the time nor the budget to invest in a quality shave cream.
The requirement of a shave mug, brush, and time, make owning a traditional shave cream sometimes prohibitive when you just want to get out of the door in the morning.
To really demonstrate why this fast growing shave cream segment (brushless/latherless not to be confused with canned creams) is just so darn good, we wanted to put together a list of all the great reasons we found, so check it out:
1. Give Badgers A New Lease On Life
Whether you are an animal conscious dude or don’t have a ton of money, shaving without a shave brush is definitely one of the biggest benefits of going with a brushless shave cream.
We get that shave brushes provide a great pre-shave exfoliation and help your hairs stand on edge, but when push comes to shove and you are looking for speed and convenience, a proper brushless shave cream (i.e. not out of a can) can get the job done in both a fast and very adequate manner.
If you ever owned a shave brush, you know that proper maintenance can sometimes be a hassle if you want it to last you for years.
Not caring for your shave brush will lead to a loose knot which subsequently means that the hairs of the brush will fall out – not cool when you have to stop shaving to pick fallen badger hairs from your face.
Oh, and the only way you can fix a loose knot is to buy a brand-new shave brush – not cheap, especially if you are fond of silvertip badger hair brushes.
2. Super Slick
If you read any shaving blog or article, all the experts agree that a slick lubricated base is one of the key indicators for quality shave creams and ultimately a post-shave comfort.
When testing some of the top brands on the market, which we will get to in a minute, the incredibly slick base found in brushless shave creams will be more than enough so you won’t have to rely on a pre-shave oil for additional comfort.
3. Works With Just About Any Type Of Razor
Whether you are using a razor designed for shaving your head, a standard cartridge razor, or simply a safety razor, brushless shave creams will work with any shaving tool.
So, if you hate the clogs you might get when making a short stroke of a cartridge razor when using a richer shave cream, that problem largely dissipates with the when going latherless.
If there was one caveat to using brushless shave creams, it would be with the straight razor (Sweeney Todd anyone?!).
The straight razor performs best with standard shave soap as you have total control over the viscosity of the cream, allowing you to hone in the perfect cream for the perfect shave.
But for 99% of men out there, you likely aren’t using a straight razor every day – so this caveat doesn’t apply.
4. Dopp Kit Savior
Whether it’s a weekend trip with the kids or you need to go visit with a prospective client, traveling stinks.
Well not the actual vacation part, but the process of waiting in that damn long TSA line only to wish you paid for the ‘Even More Speed’ or signed up for TSA pre-check (psst. you should definitely do it – it will make traveling THAT much easier).
But beyond the overly long line and security theater, the wonderful TSA agent will still find your 4oz. tub of shaving cream.
Then you have a decision to make:
- Leave the hour-long line and go check in your carry-on bag.
- Throw it out.
I dunno about you, but almost no shave cream is worth the hassle of dealing with the airline agents and standing in that long damn line again.
So, with all that being said, many of the quality latherless shave creams on the market do offer a travel size option for you to take with you on your next trip.
Making them truly the hero of your dopp kit pack list.
Pro Tip For The Frugal Men: Travel sizes are also an incredible way for you to fully test out a grooming product before investing in a full-size bottle.
5. That’s A Nice Set Of Cans You Have There
Ok, ok, horrible dad joke.
But seriously, if you are still sporting a canned shave cream, you need to up your game.
Chances are that if you rely on a canned shave cream, you probably also have either ashy cheeks, post-shave skin irritation, and are just generally miserable about the whole shave experience.
Don’t worry, there IS light at the end of the tunnel.
Canned shave creams are like the diarrhea of the wet shaving world.
They get all over and you have no control over the final results.
These massed produced creams by huge companies rely on the cheapest ingredients possible to get the job done (i.e. profit matters more than your skin).
Now I am not paid nor endorsing any other shave creams, I am just simply stating the facts.
To prove it, do this:
Go to your bathroom real quick and grab your canned shaving cream – don’t worry, I’ll wait…
…did you go?
Or are you reading this article while on the shitter?
Ok, check after you wipe please!
Point being is this:
Next time you pick up a canned shave cream, turn around the label and look at the back.
Chances are that alcohol will be one of the leading ingredients.
While alcohol is synonymous with a lot of skin care products, doesn’t mean that its good.
Note: There are two types of alcohol – fatty (long-chain) and non-fatty (simple) alcohols.
Simple alcohols are the bad ones for your skin (think denatured alcohol, isopropyl, methanol, etc.).
They will dry out your skin and in some instances, cause irritation.
However, cetyl, lauryl, stearyl alcohol are all fatty alcohols and act either as an emollient (softens skin), emulsifier (balances the shave cream solution), or both.
Beyond just the alcohol, you may also find other synthetic compounds and colorants that are chemically derived and generally may be considered hazardous.
What we like to recommend for men out there is to simply do a quick search on the Environmental Working Group’s website to find out how bad some of these ingredients are.
So, with all this science talk…why should you care?
When checking out most brushless shave creams, many of the manufacturers like to rely on more natural ingredients which tend to react better to your skin and provide a more comfortable shaving environment, even if the razor blade has seen a few shave sessions.
So, if you have sensitive or dry skin, naturally derived latherless creams are your go to pick.
6. How’s Your Tetanus Shot Doing?
Ok if there is one thing that I hate about men shaving with canned shave cream – other than all the stuff above, it’s the actual can itself.
If you are trying to be efficient with your time and shave in the shower, chances are that you leave your canned shave cream in there once you are done.
Don’t worry, I was guilty with this as well!
Well, the problem is that when you leave the can in that damp environment, the bottom is likely going to rust.
I dunno about you, but if I am shaving my face, head, body, or junk, the last thing I want is rust mixing with my shave cream – especially if I nick myself.
Just about any other shave cream other than canned comes in a tub or tube form factor, making it much easier to handle in a wet environment, and perhaps even a little safer.
7. Speaking Of Your Head, Body, And Crotch…
What a segue…
If you like to keep all areas of your body pretty kempt, don’t worry we aren’t judging, in fact we encourage it as women tend to like a guy that maintains themselves.
Brushless shave creams can be applied anywhere, and yes we do mean anywhere.
Their incredibly slick compound will ensure that you don’t get any irritating razor bumps post-shave.
Also, if you shave in the shower, the shave cream will take a bit more effort to rub off (pun intended), making it perfect so you don’t have to dodge every jet of water coming from your shower head for fear that you won’t have a smooth and comfortable shave.
8. Lessen The Amount Of Times You Need To Shave
Unless you are in boot camp (but then again you probably wouldn’t be reading this), given the slick lubricated base by brushless shave creams, you can in some instances, go against the grain.
A word of caution for men out there: if you have terribly sensitive skin, I wouldn’t recommend going against the grain, but it is worth testing. Just do it on a little portion of your skin one day and see how it reacts post-shave.
But for the men without sensitive skin, read on:
Going against the grain is considered acceptable by safety razor standards as the final pass (i.e. after you went first with the grain, and then across the grain), but with cartridge razors, it really depends a lot on the man.
Some men who have naturally thicker or coarser hair often can’t go against the grain with a cartridge razor.
The primary reason being is that you develop ingrown hairs as some cartridge razors employ a ‘lift-and-cut’ technology that cuts the whisker just a fraction below the surface.
This makes for a close shave, but also opens the chance of ingrown hairs and/or razor bumps of occurring as the hair regrows and curls into the skin.
Men with thin hair should experiment going against the grain with a cartridge only if they have a slick latherless base they are working with.
9. Concentrated Formula For Efficiency
If there was one part about brushless shave creams you are guaranteed to love, it will be the amount required.
With their unique concentrated formula, about an almond-sized amount of the cream will be more than enough to cover your entire face.
This makes it easier for you to see your whiskers as you shave while also not be getting shave cream all over the place.
So, if you pack a travel size tube, expect a sub 3.4fl oz container to last you your entire trip – with ease.
10. In Some Instances Brushless Shave Creams Are Cheaper Than Canned Creams
Yeah, you hear that right.
Given the highly-concentrated formula of brushless shave creams, you can expect them to last for months, not weeks.
In fact, some of the bigger name suppliers, which we will get to in just a bit, claim that a single 6oz. bottle will last about 90 shaves.
That’s 3 months’ of continuous shaving!
Not even taking off a Sunday!
So, for the budget-minded men out there, brushless creams are worth a consideration.
All This Talk About Brushless Shave Creams, But Where Does This Leave Us?
If you haven’t tried out a brushless shave cream, I would strongly encourage you testing one out.
Even if you just plunk down a couple of bucks on a travel size tube.
Sure, it might not be the cheapest on a per ounce basis, but it gives you the opportunity for you to try out an entire tube without forking over $20 bucks.
When you look at the brushless shave cream market, there have been newer entrants as of late, but it really boils down to 3 primary companies that lead the pack in quality: Jack Black, Kiehl’s, and Cremo.
Here’s a primer on the above companies:
From eye creams, body lotions, and of course brushless shave creams Jack Black produces a wide line of men’s focused products. Their notable shave cream that’s worth exploring is their Beard Lube.
Based heavily on natural ingredients like jojoba oil, phospholipids, heather, and more, you get great results in a natural and healthy way.
Plus, they offer their beard lube in 3oz, 6oz, 16oz, and 33oz bottles.
Secondly, Kiehl’s has been around forever (Since 1851) and is quite the authority in both luxury and quality grooming products.
Their Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream (White Eagle), is no exception to their high standards. Like Jack Black, Kiehl’s only relies on the best quality ingredients that will all but guarantee that you get a close and very comfortable shave time and time again.
Also, coming in 4 different sizes including 2.5oz, 5.0oz, 8.0oz, and 10.1oz, you can easily test out their product – although, we are sure after one shave session you will be a lifelong convert.
Lastly, Cremo, is an awesome shaving company that makes an incredible brushless shave cream.
What we love about Cremo is their accessibility, found in many drugstores across the nation, you can easily test this stuff today.
Of course, if you are lazy like us, you can also easily order it online as its available at most online retailers like Amazon and Walmart.com.
Unlike Kiehls’ or Jack Black, you don’t have to pay a high price per ounce for this shave cream.
If you are on the fence on trying out Cremo, they offer 3 sizes including 6oz, 3oz, and 1oz – all of which carry a sub-$10 price tag.
All-in-all, it’s a perfect time to try out latherless shave creams.
Even if you aren’t into the whole wet shaving, badger brush, safety razor thing, simply adding a better shave cream will make your trusty cartridge razor sing.
Do it – you will be happy you did!