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Do You Need Shaving Cream To Shave?

Last Updated on November 30, 2021

Do You Need Shaving Cream To Shave?

Putting on shaving cream before you shave can be tedious after a while and may feel unnecessary, which in some cases it can be but there’s a reason we use shaving cream and so deciding against it shouldn’t be something you do on a whim.

It’s worth knowing what’s in store when you dry shave and how to do it effectively so you don’t run into the nasty side effects that can happen when you change from wet shaving to dry.


Risks Of Not Using Shaving Cream

When you shave with a hand razor or safety razor, you’re dragging a sharp surface over your skin’s soft, sensitive surface. It’s possible to do this carefully and safely. But there are some risks and side effects caused by dry-shaving.

Nicks and cuts

When you shave without any lubrication (dry-shaving), there’s less protection on your skin when you shave which can lead to the razor blade getting caught on your skin more causing nicks and cuts on the skin.

Razor bumps

Shaving without shaving cream can cause razor bumps and ingrown hairs. Razor bumps can be itchy and pus-filled and in rare cases, they can become infected.

Razor burn

Dry-shaving has the potential to scrape off skin cells, even if you don’t visibly nick or cut your skin. This can cause razor burn, itchy bumps, and redness after shaving.


Alternatives For Shaving Cream


When generating a lather from a traditional bar of soap, make sure that you use only a moderate amount of water. A well-made lather from the soap can provide an excellent lubricated base along with a mild cushion and heat retention.


Like shaving cream, conditioner provides a smooth, silk-like consistency. Conditioner also helps to retain moisture to the skin; this can help reduce post-shave irritation. When applied liberally, there can be some cushion provided for the razor blade. However, the conditioner can be relatively thick, so clogging, particularly on cartridge razors, could be a problem.

Face Wash

A face wash won’t clog your pores or your cartridge razor head. Some cleansers are non-lathering, making them similar to latherless shaving cream. 

Body Wash

Body wash is a suitable alternative if you don’t have a bar of soap handy. Ideally, you will want a body wash absent of any exfoliating beads or gritty texture as this will likely cause more discomfort while shaving. 


How To Shave Without Shaving Cream

  1. Use a replacement of your choice to lather onto your hands, soap will be the most accessible and easiest to prepare.
  2. Now lather the soap (or other product) onto your face, legs, or wherever it is you want to shave.
  3. Once you’re covered and ready to go get a razor blade (a fresh one ideally) and clean it under the faucet followed by thorough drying.
  4. Now drag the razor blade across your skin. The soap, or whichever lubricant you chose should help the blade slide across your body with ease and minimal pressure required.
  5. Once you’re shaven, wash your face and clean your razor.


Tips For Dry Shaving

Use a new razor

Where you can, use a brand new razor when dry shaving your legs to avoid side effects such as ingrown hairs and razor burn. A dull razor can cut and irritate the skin so it’s better for you to use a fresh razor with a conditioning and moisturizing pad to achieve a smooth, pain-free shave. 

Shave with the grain

Most people shave against the grain and this is a good idea in some cases when you need a really close shave but if you’re more of a casual shaver and aren’t interested in getting a cut that’s as close to the skin as you can get then shaving with the grain will prove much better. Use short strokes and clean your razor either by wiping it or rinsing in water after each stroke for an optimum shave. Cleaning your razor removes shaving cream buildup and lubricates the moisture strip on your razor to help it glide across your legs. 

Avoid alcohol-based post-shave products

Alcohol-based products are notorious for causing irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin so finding alcohol-free products to use for your aftercare routine is going to be much more beneficial for you.

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize

If you’re dry shaving then you need to find a substitute for the missing shaving cream or other lubricants. The best way to do this is to use a skin-friendly moisturizer after your shave so your skin can exfoliate. Naturally, as you shave with a manual razor the blade will remove debris, dry skin, and dirt but using a moisturizer afterward and washing your face will help keep your skin fresh and smooth.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is it ok to shave without shaving cream?

Shaving without shaving cream may increase your risk for a shaving injury. When you shave without any lubrication (known as dry-shaving), there’s less protection on your skin when you shave.

What’s the point of shaving cream?

Shaving cream creates a thin layer of protection between the blade and the skin, ensuring less friction and minimizing the risk of redness, razor burn, and irritation.

Is dry shaving bad?

The biggest drawback to dry shaving, with either an electric or manual razor, is skin irritation. Using too much pressure while shaving can also cause irritation, and in some instances, razor burn.


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