If you're someone who chooses to shave, you probably already know that not all shaving creams perform that well. (And some, like the shampoo you may have used out of desperation at some point, don’t perform at all.) But you don’t need to search far and wide — or spend more than $15 — to get your hands on a really good one. The best drugstore shaving creams are made with emollients like shea butter, vitamin E, and plant oils that help prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs while facilitating a close, smooth shave. Those nourishing ingredients won’t sap your skin of its natural oils, so your skin will feel properly moisturized when you rinse off — not dry, tight, or itchy. And since they hail from drugstore brands, they’re just as easy on your wallet as they are on your skin.
Using the right shaving cream is important, but there are a few other steps you can take to ensure an effective (and more importantly, safe) shave. If you're going to shave, wait until the end of your shower or bath, since the heat helps soften the hair follicles, then exfoliate the area with a gentle body scrub or washcloth to buff away dead skin cells. Also, make sure you’re replacing your razor blade regularly. Dull blades pull at your skin, rather than catch your hair, which can result in irritation.
With those tips in mind, scroll on to shop the best shaving creams under $15, all handily available on Amazon.
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1. The Overall Best Drugstore Shaving Cream
Over 13,000 Amazon reviewers agree: This cult-favorite shaving cream from eos is the best you can get from a drugstore. This also happens to be the only shaving cream I’ll use, if I can help it. It’s truly a cream, not a lotion, so it feels just like slathering on a decadent moisturizer — and even the driest skin will feel nourished when you rinse it off. It has much better slip than body cream, though, so your razor easily runs through it for a super-close shave. More to love: It’s cruelty-free and comes in three, divine fragrances: Pomegranate Raspberry, Lavender, and Vanilla Bliss, which smells like homemade birthday cake. Each bottle costs just $4 a pop.
2. Runner Up
This Aveeno Therapeutic Shave Gel is a perennial favorite among beauty editors and customers alike (see: its 9,800+ five-star ratings on Amazon). It’s the only lathering formula on this list (it dispenses as a gel, but works up into a fluffy mousse), but it won’t strip your skin or leave it feeling uncomfortably dry. In fact, the fragrance-free formula is made for dry, sensitive skin, so it’s enriched with ingredients like vitamin E, oat kernel extract, aloe, and allantoin (though it does contain parabens, in case those are something you prefer to avoid). You can't beat the price tag, either.
3. Best For Extra-Sensitive Skin
Although the eos and Aveeno shaving creams are suitable for sensitive skin, they do contain some ingredients that may trigger reactions in extra-sensitive skin. If you fall into the latter category, this Vanicream shaving cream is your safest bet. As the label says, it’s free of common irritants like fragrance, dyes, lanolin, and parabens. Instead, this non-lathering formula is infused with purified water and skin-strengthening panthenol, which creates a protective barrier to help keep razor burn and irritation at bay. For best results, follow it up with Vanicream’s very much beloved moisturizing cream.
4. Best "Barber-Grade" Cream
According to Amazon reviewers, this barber-grade shave cream from Cremo is heavy-duty enough to tackle unwanted hair anywhere on your body, including your legs, arms, underarms, face, and scalps — but the formula, which is spiked with aloe, calendula, and macadamia oil, helps protect even the most delicate skin from nicks, cuts, burns, and ingrown hairs. It works up into a milky emulsion, rather than a cream or foam, so it has a super-smooth slip. Other highlights: The translucency allows for a more precise shave, and a little goes product a long way, so this two-pack will last you ages. Plus, it's sold in five sophisticated scents, including Sage & Citrus and Silver Water & Birch.
5. Best Shaving Oil
If you’re a shower oil person, you’re probably also a shave oil person — a relatively niche category, but Tree Hut nailed it with this Moisturizing Shave Oil. This gel-to-oil formula contains a blend of argan, grape seed, sesame seed, and jojoba oils to impart nourishment, provide an ultra-smooth glide, and protect your skin barrier from moisture loss — a recipe for your silkiest skin ever. It won’t clog your razor like a cream or mousse might, so it’s conducive to quick shaves. Fans also love the coconut lime fragrance, which is sweet and tropical without being overpowering.