Shaving Cream Vs Shaving Gel

Shaving Cream Vs Shaving Gel

When you shave your face in the morning, you reach for your trusty gel or cream – or maybe you reach for whatever happens to be there.

But deciding whether to use a shaving gel or cream is an important choice that shouldn’t be taken lightly!

One of the biggest things to consider is the product’s lather factor, as this has a direct impact on how hydrating and moisturizing your shaving product will be.

Should you choose the one with the best lather?

When you shave, you want to achieve that frothy lather as it makes you feel like you’re getting a better shave. Shaving creams do create more lather than gels.

That said, gels have their own benefits that should not be overlooked. With that in mind, it’s time to figure out which one is best for you once and for all, so you can get the closest, smoothest shave, because even if you have the best razor on the market it will mean nothing if you don’t use the right product.

Here’s our guide to shaving cream vs shaving gel, starting with pros of each.

Shaving Cream – The Pros

comparison of shaving gel and shaving cream
  • Since it has a rich lather, applying shaving cream to your face before you bring a razor to it can help you to nourish your skin and prevent razor burn.
  • Shaving cream lifts the hair on your face so that it makes it easier to shave it.
  • After using a moisturizing shaving cream, your skin will feel smooth, so it’s also beneficial if you suffer from dry skin as it can help to keep it better moisturized.
  • However, you should ideally apply the shaving cream to your skin with the use of a brush, such as a badger brush, so that you can create a richer lather that really hydrates your skin. A brush also makes the cream much easier to apply so you can reap the most benefit from it.

Shaving Gel – The Pros

Some of the biggest reasons why you should use a shaving gel instead of a cream is because:

  • Shaving gel tends to be more concentrated than something like a foam, which gives it a richer consistency. The reason why this is important is because it gives your skin a moisture-rich barrier, keeping it hydrated. It actually keeps your skin more hydrated than a shaving cream would.
  • Shaving gel is so hydrating, in fact, that you can use it on your razor without water. So, here’s to a waterless shave if you like the sound of that!
  • It also gives you enough of a razor glide to protect your skin against nicks as well as dryness. This can also benefit you if you have skin conditions as it will prevent irritation from occurring.
  • Shaving gels are transparent when you apply them to your skin, which makes it easier to see where you should shave without making any mistakes, unlike cream that tends to hide where you’re supposed to shave. This is also beneficial when it comes to styling and trimming your beard so you don’t make it uneven.
  • Shaving gels are concentrated so you don’t need to use a lot of the product. This saves you money, because you only use a small amount of it.

What Are The Ingredients In Shaving Cream Vs Shaving Gel?

shaving gel and cream ingredients

Shaving creams and shaving gels tend to contain similar ingredients.

These include chemicals such as stearic acid (which is a fatty acid), triethanolamine (an organic compound used to make surfactants, which increase how the product spreads), and polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate, which holds water to the skin.

Shaving creams also tend to contain glycerin to soften the skin. The problem is that most shaving creams and gels contain alcohol, which can be drying for the skin.

If you regularly feel that your skin stings or feels tight after using a shaving cream or gel, its alcohol content is probably the culprit and should be avoided.

If you love using a shaving cream or gel, you have to be smart about the types of products that you purchase. Choosing one that doesn’t contain alcohol is a good idea to prevent dryness and skin sensitivity. 

You can also find shaving creams that contain natural ingredients, such as aloe and tea tree oil to keep skin healthy and soft. Brands such as VI-JOHN and Burt’s Bees are worth checking out if you want a more natural option for shaving creams.

Shaving gel enthusiasts should reach for products such as Pure by Gillette, as it contains no alcohol, parabens, sulfates, or dyes. If you want to try something that’s more natural or organic, reach for brands such as Biofficina Toscana and Alkemilla Eco Bio Cosmetic.

The bottom line is that you can find chemical ingredients in both shaving creams and gels, so it’s up to you to choose more natural products if you want to treat skin that’s dry or sensitive.

Which One’s Easier To Use?

man shaving with razor

There’s no doubt that shaving gels can be said to be easier to use than shaving creams.

You don’t even need to apply the gel to your face with the use of a brush. Simply glide it on and you’re ready to shave, with or without water. If you’re often pressed for time and want a quick and easy shave without any fuss, then using a shaving gel is probably the best choice for you and your lifestyle.

That said, maybe you’re not interested in which one is easier to use. Maybe you like how using a rich shaving cream and taking the time to apply it is relaxing.

If you enjoy the process of shaving in this way, then a cream will be better for you because it will make the entire shaving process feel much more enjoyable.

Is Shaving Cream Better For Sensitive Skin?

Earlier in this article, we looked at why choosing a shaving cream or gel with non-irritating ingredients is essential to keep your skin in its healthiest state.

However, if you have particularly sensitive skin you might be wondering whether shaving cream or gel is better for you overall.

It really depends, but generally men with sensitive skin who shave regularly will reach for shaving gels instead of creams. It’s not because these are necessarily better products– again, both gels and creams require you to find ones with the best ingredients – but it’s because gels can be easier to work with.

This directly relates to a lack of skin irritation because when you can see through the gel that you’ve applied to your face, you’re more informed about what areas to shave and how to move skilfully across your face so that you don’t hurt yourself.

For example, you might see that doing one pass with the razor is enough, instead of going over the same area of skin again and causing irritation to your skin.

Related Questions

brush with shaving cream

Is shaving cream the same thing as shaving foam?

No, shaving foam comes in a can and it dries out the skin the most out of all shaving products.

It’s fluffy and airy, but it doesn’t get absorbed by the skin so it doesn’t provide enough lubrication.

How can you prevent razor burn?

Always make sure you apply a shaving gel or cream before you shave. Then, shave in the direction of hair growth, using short and light movements.

You should also rinse your blade regularly during shaving to prevent it from becoming clogged up and requiring you to press harder onto the skin.


You can’t achieve the perfect shave if you’re not armed with a quality razor and trusty shaving cream or gel.

In this article, we’ve looked at the pros and cons of both shaving creams and gels, and provided information on which one you should reach for the next time you’re at the grocery store or shopping online.

Ultimately, as you can tell, many factors come into play when you need to decide which one is right for you. You need to consider the skin condition you have as well as your lifestyle in order to make the best choice.

Whether you want to use a shaving cream or gel, it’s important to scrutinize product ingredients so you can find the ones that work best with your skin type and which ones you should avoid, such as alcohol that has a drying effect on the skin.

Here’s to your smoothest shave ever!