Make Your Own (DIY) Shaving Cream: A Step by Step Guide

Stop Buying and Start Making Your Own Shaving Cream

Shaving cream is one of the most essential parts of any shaving kit, but unfortunately, most of the canned shaving creams on the market are loaded with chemicals that can dry out the skin. On the other hand, many of the more natural shaving soaps and creams can be a bit expensive. However, there is another option, and that is to learn how to make shaving cream at home.

Making your own shaving cream doesn’t have to be difficult, and doing so gives you a lot more freedom to choose the ingredients you want and avoid those that you don’t. This will allow you to throw away those cheap aerosol canned shaving creams, with their harsh chemicals, and instead create a far superior product for basically the same price.

Below you’ll find several different sets of instructions on how to make shaving cream, so why not experiment with multiple options to find which one works best for you. All of the homemade shaving cream and soap recipes we’ve included are virtually guaranteed to better nourish and lubricate your face, giving you a closer, better shaving and hopefully eliminating embarrassing and painful razor burn.

These recipes are perfect for guys with more sensitive skin, or for anyone who’s looking for a more natural alternative to the cheap shaving creams, but isn’t willing to spend an arm and a leg to get it. Still, before we get to the recipes, there’s one thing you need to be aware of.

 

A Quick Note on Lathering

One thing you’ll quickly notice when learning how to make shaving cream at home is that most recipes you’ll find will never produce as thick or foamy of a lather as you’re used to if you’ve been using canned shaving cream all your life. However, you’ll be hard pressed to find almost any natural shaving cream that will, and this is due to the fact that extra chemicals are added to the canned screams to make them so foamy.

The only problem is that these chemicals do nothing to help lubricate your face, which is after all, the point of using shaving cream. Still, in truth you only need a small amount of lather, as only the lather directly between the razor blade and your face will have any effect—so don’t worry if your homemade cream or soap doesn’t foam so much, as long as you’re happy with the results. Be sure to check out our article on how to create a shaving cream lather with a brush as well as the best shaving bowls and first-rate shaving brushes to get the job done right.

How to Make Shaving Cream: 3 DIY Recipes

The Classic Lathering Shave Cream

The first recipe we’ll look at is probably the one that comes closest to commercially available shaving creams. To make it, you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup shea or cocoa butter
  • 2/3 cup olive, grapeseed, jojoba, almond, castor or avocado oil
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 10-15 drops of essential oil (choose a scent you like – My favorite is Sandalwood here on Amazon)
  • A few drops of vitamin E oil or grapefruit seed extract (this is optional, but highly recommended as it will help keep the cream from spoiling, while vitamin E also nourishes the skin)

To start off, melt the shea/cocoa butter and the coconut oil in a double boiler or a pot over low heat. As soon as everything is melted, take it off the heat and then whisk in the rest of the ingredients using an electric mixer or hand beater. Keep mixing everything until it becomes nice and creamy and starts to look like cake frosting.

When it’s thoroughly mixed, put it all over to the fridge for a few minutes until it begins to harden and set up. When it’s beginning to get firm, transfer it over to a jar or other container with a tight fitting lid and then store it in a dark place until you’re ready to use it.

DIY Shaving CreamIf it starts to separate as it’s hardening, it’s usually a sign that it wasn’t mixed together well enough, so mix it back up and try again. As long as you properly store this shaving cream in the dark in an airtight container, it should be able to last for at least a month or two.

This is a fairly basic recipe, of which there are a ton of different variations. For instance, some people add liquid castile soap to try to generate more lather, but we’ve found this usually isn’t necessary. Instead, if you’re looking for something a bit more like a traditional shaving soap, try one of the other two recipes below.

Foaming Liquid Shaving Soap

This recipe is surely the easiest way how to make shaving cream at home, but the use of castile soap may cause problems for men with sensitive skin or who are prone to overly dry skin. Still, for ease and convenience, it doesn’t get much better. The ingredients you’ll need are:

  • 1/8 cup liquid castile soap
  • 1/8 cup distilled water (should be warm, but not overly hot)
  • 1/8 all-natural aloe vera gel (must be gel, not aloe juice)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (can be any of the ones mentioned in the previous recipe)
  • A few drops of essential oil
  • A few drops of vitamin E oil or grapefruit seed extract

To make this shaving soap, all you’ll need to do is pour all of the ingredients into a clean shampoo bottle (or something similar), and then give it a few good shakes to mix everything up. When you’re ready to use it, simply shake the bottle for 10 seconds or so, then dump a small portion out into your hand and work into a lather, adding a bit of water if necessary.

This recipe should make enough soap to last you about a month, but you can feel free to double it if you want, as the vitamin E oil/grapefruit seed extract should easily ensure it lasts at least two or three months.

Natural Shaving Soap

This final recipe definitely cheats a bit, as it takes advantage of a bar of all-natural soap in order to make it. However, if you’re looking for something that’s more along the lines of a traditional shaving soap, then this is definitely the one for you. Just make note of the fact that this soap will require the use of a shaving brush in order to get the best results. To make this all-natural shaving soap, you’ll need:

  • One bar of all-natural soap (look for something designed specifically for the face, with as few ingredients as possible; unscented is best)
  • 2 teaspoons castor oil
  • 2 teaspoons other oil (again, see list above)
  • 2 teaspoons aloe vera gel
  • 1-2 tablespoons white, cosmetic or French clay
  • A few drops of essential oil

To make this soap, you’ll first need to grate the bar of soap into a large stainless steel pot, and add to this the oils and aloe. Slowly heat the pot over low heat, mixing occasionally, until the soap has fully melted and everything is incorporated. Next, take it off the heat and mix in the clay and then finally pour the melted soap over into a mold (we’ve found that cardboard lined with plastic is the easiest).

The soap will gradually harden over time, and will usually take at least a few days before it’s ready to use. However, the big benefit is that the resulting bar of shaving soap can last for years. To use it, follow the instructions we’ve already provided for getting the best lather out of shaving soap.

One Final Word on DIY Shaving Creams

We all know how big of a pain in the you-know-what shaving can be, but trying to do it without shaving cream is just plain madness. Still, the cheap canned creams really aren’t much better than just using water. So, if you’re looking for a high quality shaving cream, but aren’t willing to spend the money it takes to get one, any of these three recipes could work well for you. As long as you’re aware of the limitations, learning how to make shaving cream is definitely something you’ll be glad you took the time to do. If you do find this DIY shaving cream is not your jam, we can help guide you to which of the many shaving creams and shaving soaps are the best so you won’t waste your money. In addition, you may want to check out our article on the top safety razors to take your shaving routine to the next level! If you want more DIY projects, check out our DIY preshave oil recipes.

3 thoughts on “Make Your Own (DIY) Shaving Cream: A Step by Step Guide”

  1. Which of these three would compare closest to Taylor of Old Bond Street’s Sandalwood Shaving Cream (which you have reviewed on YouTube)?

    1. I would say “The Classic Lathering Shave Cream” is the closest but please set your expectations appropriately. This DIY shaving cream is not going to lather or perform as well as Taylor of Old Bond Street’s Sandalwood Shaving Cream. They are truly masters in shaving cream.

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