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As a child, I loved watching my dad whip up a lather using a traditional shaving brush, shave soap, and mug, and I was in awe of that shiny safety razor. There was a lovely ritual to it all; a ritual that was entirely lost with the use of an electric razor or plastic disposable razors. The mindfulness of traditional wet shaving isn’t the only thing that’s lost with a switch to quick and dirty disposables or electric shavers. While shaving is one of those small daily things most people do through necessity and without much thought, it can have a big impact in surprising ways.
Unless you’ve already read a few of the articles in this series on shaving for Leaf Score, it might surprise you to learn that shaving creams, gels, oils, and aftershaves are often riddled with toxic chemicals. What’s more, your choice of shaving products can take a serious toll on the environment over the course of your lifetime.
The good news is that by switching to eco-friendly shaving products, this small daily ritual could help decrease your toxic load and environmental impact. And it could also save you money! To that extent, make sure to also take a look at our top picks for eco-friendly razors, and the best shaving brushes we could find too.
Many companies claim to make eco-friendly products for shaving but while some of their products may sound good, it’s important to note the provenance, certifications, and company history. For instance, many of the same companies that promote toxic household and personal care products (say, Gillette) have either acquired smaller, previously independent companies making eco-friendly products or now offer greenwashed products under the own brand, albeit half-heartedly.
So, who are the companies to seek out when looking for eco-friendly and body-friendly shaving cream, foams, gels, and oils?
Highlights: Certified Organic and free from synthetic ingredients, questionable chemicals, or GMOs.
Made in the USA, this Certified Organic shaving soap hydrates and soothes skin and is free from synthetic ingredients, GMOs, and any questionable chemicals. It’s also vegan friendly, Leaping Bunny and Fair for Life certified, and is made by a B Corporation that uses 100% post-consumer recycled packaging, and is engaged in aggressive waste and water-use reduction.
Highlights: Great for sensitive skin and close shaves while lathering nicely.
Made in the USA and free from dyes, parabens, SLS, artificial fragrance, and synthetic ingredients, this shave cream is great for sensitive skin, supports a close shave, and is Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free. It comes in a handy pump bottle, lathers nicely, and helps protect against nicks and cuts while soothing skin.
Highlights: Known for its luxurious lather and ability to soften hair for an easy shave.
If you’re looking for a shave soap with a luxurious lather, this is the one. It softens hair and offers extra glide for a smooth, close, easy shave and soft, hydrated skin. Made in the USA by a B Corp and USDA organic certified company, this shave cream is Leaping Bunny certified and vegan-friendly and comes in recyclable and reusable tins with mostly recycled packaging.
Highlights: Made entirely with certified organic and non-GMO natural ingredients that have won it a variety of awards.
A less familiar name, but a great one for a spa-like shave experience. This is made entirely with natural ingredients many of which are certified organic and non-GMO. The award-winning oil can be used for dry brushing, shaving, showering, and massage, and is ideal if you have dry skin. Made in the US, it is vegan and EWG-Verified™, and Qet is a member of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics® and a certified Green Business with Green America®. Because it is super concentrated, a little goes a long way and packaging is minimal and recyclable.
Highlights: Travel-friendly and capable of lasting for up to 100 shaves.
Natural, plant-based, and great for coarse hair, this travel-friendly 3.4 oz tube can support 40-100 shaves. It’s free from parabens, is vegan-friendly and never tested on animals, and features certified organic ingredients including aloe, shea butter, white tea, and orange essential oil – and it’s made in the US. Just don’t use with an electric shaver as it can clog the blades.
Highlights: Calendula, chamomile, and linden extract in the formula help to hydrate and soothe the skin while shaving.
Made with 99.9% natural ingredients, this non-lathering cream features calendula, chamomile, and linden extract to help hydrate and soothe the skin when shaving. It is free from parabens, phthalates, petrolatum or sodium lauryl sulfate and offers good cushion and glide when applied to wet skin. Made in the US by a well-regarded, eco-friendly company, it even has Carbon Neutral Certification from Natural Capital Partners! And you can send your tubes back for recycling.
Highlights: Considered to be one of the best propellant-free pump-action shaving foams around.
Made in Germany, this is one of the best propellant-free pump-action shaving foams around. It is made with mild plant-based cleansers and organic jojoba oil for a smooth shave without clogging pores. Lavera was a listed Germany Green Brand in 2017/18 and this shaving foam is cruelty free and Vegan Society certified. It is made predominantly with natural and organic ingredients and is free from all the usual toxic chemicals, though it does contain a couple of potential environmental toxins.