If you choose to shave, it's an essential step to lather up with a good cream first. But if you have sensitive skin, choosing the right shaving cream can mean all the difference between having smooth, soft skin or red, irritated bumps. Typically, the best shaving creams for sensitive skin will be loaded with even more moisturizing and soothing ingredients than your average formula. Ahead, a guide to the top sensitive skin-friendly formulas to keep in your shower.
Before you choose a shaving cream, it's important to first invest in a quality razor for sensitive skin. As a general rule of thumb, the more blades, the better (look for a razor with four or five blades). This puts less pressure on your skin, and it also helps remove hair on the first go so that you don't have to keep shaving over the same area, which can further aggravate skin. Many razors for sensitive skin are designed with a moisture strip that contains hydrating and soothing ingredients to help prevent irritation. You'll also want to make sure you're regularly changing your razor blade (about every five to 10 shaves), because using a dull blade will only contribute to redness, or worse, potentially even cause an infection.
Once you're ready to shave, be sure you wait until the end of your shower or about 15 minutes in, as the warm water will soften hair and open up the follicles to make shaving easier. You'll also want to remember to exfoliate your skin two to three times weekly to prevent ingrown hairs. For sensitive skin types, be sure to avoid any harsh scrubs that contain ingredients like nut kernels, which can tear at skin and cause even more irritation. After shaving, always follow up with a gentle, but nourishing body lotion to restore moisture.
Now that you're armed with a few key shaving tips, scroll on for the best shaving creams for sensitive skin.
1. Best Drugstore Shaving Cream For Sensitive Skin
In my opinion, the Aveeno Therapeutic Shave Gel is king when it comes to protecting sensitive skin (literally anything else seems to leave me with bumps). The shave gel pairs hydrating ingredients, like sunflower seed oil and vitamin E, with soothing ingredients, like oatmeal, aloe leaf juice, and allantoin, to leave skin moisturized and soft. There's no added fragrance in the formula, which is a plus if that's a common irritant for you. Plus, you get a big, long-lasting bottle for a great price.
"This is my favorite. I have sensitive skin and this stuff is like magic. Makes my legs feel smooth. Less ingrown hairs too! I’m a repeat buyer," wrote one fan of the shaving cream.
2. Best Shaving Cream For Very Sensitive Skin
Vanicream is a go-to brand for extremely sensitive skin types because their formulas are all completely free of common irritants like dyes, fragrance, lanolin, parabens, formaldehyde, and alcohol — sadly, many of these ingredients are often found in shaving products. The Vanicream Shave Cream follows suit with its gentle, non-lathering formula that was specifically developed for sensitive, reaction-prone skin types. If you have a skin condition like eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis, this is the shaving cream you want to use.
Amazon users confirm that while the shaving cream is serious when it says "non-lathering," it works for sensitive skin. "It's the best thing I've found to use on areas prone to eczema. It's definitely helped with razor burn and eczema breakouts," commented one reviewer. Another user with sensitive skin, wrote, "I experience less nicks, cuts, and shave burns using this product. The skin feels normal afterwards — no rash, and the seborrheic dermatitis symptoms I normally experience have decreased."
3. Best Men’s Shaving Cream For Sensitive Skin
A fragrance-free formula for men is hard to find, but Paula’s Choice PC4Men Shaving Cream is the rare exception. Leaving out menthol and fragrance, which are both common irritants (and strangely, found in most men's shaving creams), Paula's Choice instead contains moisturizers and soothing ingredients like coconut oil, glycerin, aloe leaf juice, and licorice extract. The result is a close, smooth, comfortable shave without the risk of bumps or irritation.
"I have really sensitive skin (especially on my neck), and I've found this shaving cream to be the best. When applied, it is thicker than other creams/soaps, meaning my razor glides more smoothly, resulting in less irritation," commented one reviewer.
4. Best Shaving Cream For Redness-Prone Skin
This shaving cream is actually a barber's staple, but the rich formula works no matter where you want to shave. Though it does contain added fragrance, the Proraso Shaving Cream Sensitive Skin Formula uses oatmeal extract and green tea to soothe skin and calm any redness. The 95 percent natural formula also includes moisturizing ingredients like coconut oil, glycerin, and lactic acid to leave skin soft, while it doesn't contain potential irritants like SLS or artificial dye. Proraso uses a three-day hot soap process to create a rich formula that produces a thicker, creamier lather to result in a closer, more comfortable shave.
One reviewer wrote, "I have lots of issues with skin sensitivity and cutting my face while shaving. This cream has done the best of helping me out with this issue. Very comfortable and does no irritate your skin. Also lasts a long time. Highly recommend!"
5. Best Shaving Cream For Razor Burn & Bumps
If you always seem to get razor burn or post-shave bumps, the Completely Bare Moisturizing No-Bump Shave Gel was created with a blend of conditioning ingredients to prevent ingrown hairs and bumps from popping up. The gel is infused with eco-friendly beads that dissolve upon contact with skin to help it absorb moisturizing ingredients, like jojoba oil and sunflower seed oil, more easily. Aloe vera, calendula flower extract, and chamomile extract are also included in the formula to reduce redness and itchiness while leaving skin smooth.
Though the formula does contain added fragrance, many sensitive-skinned reviewers swear by this shaving cream, so it really all depends on how well your particular skin type tolerates fragrance.
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