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For many people who shave, a shaving cream seems like an unnecessary add-on to your shower routine. However, the right shaving cream can actually make your legs, underarms, or anywhere else you choose to shave feel smoother and more hydrated long after you finishing shaving. We turned to dermatologist Dr. Heather D. Rogers for her thoughts on the best shaving cream for women, from the ingredients that she looks out for to a few of her favorites. So, whether you're just trying to upkeep your look in between laser hair removal appointments or are just in need of a quick fix, let this list of shaving creams, shaving gels, and shaving bars help you find your favorite.
Let me be the first to say that shaving your legs or shaving your bikini line is by no means a necessary task. But if you do choose to shave your body hair, no matter where it is, make sure that you’re using the best and safest products to do so. That means finding the best razors, the best bikini trimmers, and so on—and stocking up on the best tools includes finding the best shaving cream formula for you. (P.S.: The editors at Marie Claire wrote the definitive guide on how to shave your legs if you’re a newbie looking for some tips.)
Do I need to use a shaving cream?
Dr. Heather D. Rogers, founder and CEO, Doctor Rogers Skin Care and co-founder, of Modern Dermatology, notes that while shaving creams aren’t necessary to get the closest shave, you do “need a product to limit the friction between your leg skin and the razor.” This can be a creamy body wash, a body lotion, or a body oil, but reducing friction is key.
What should I look for in a shaving cream?
There’s way more on the market than your classic whipped shaving foam. Butters, bars, gels and more are all popular options right now. However, everyone has different shaving needs, and different formulations suit different preferences.
“As a dermatologist, I have to say fragrance does nothing good for skin so I avoid it and advise my patients to avoid it also,” says Dr. Rogers. Plus, she recommends looking for a product that can pull double-duty in your shower: “I want something I can use as my body wash and to shave; that is cream-based and will not dry out my skin; something that is safe for me to cover my body in as well as safe to go down the drain.”
Shop Dr. Heather Rogers' Picks
Dr. Rogers' Shaving Cream Pick
One of the only products that meets all of her requirements for the best shaving product? Dr. Heather Rogers' very own Body Wash. This wash has plant-based 100% biodegradable ingredients and includes oils for hydration.
Best Splurge-Worthy Shaving Cream
This Soothing Shave Cream is "formulated with squalane, a moisturizer and skin conditioner that replenishes fatty acids and antioxidants, and glycerin which can help restore normal skin barrier function," says Dr. Rogers.
Best Shaving Cream for Sensitive Skin
"I love that this is unscented, making it suitable for sensitive skin," says Dr. Rogers.
Dr. Rogers recommends this pick from FUR "because it's free of phthalates, parabens, silicones, and artificial colors or fragrances."
Best Shaving Cream Bar
Dr. Rogers says that this shave bar from Joanna Vargas " foams well with nourishing ingredients like glycerin and shea butter to help hydrate dry skin."
Shop Marie Claire Editors' Favorite Shaving Creams
The Beauty Director's Best Shaving Cream
"Anyone who loves a lightweight, gel-to-milky texture needs this shave gel in their rotation. It’s built for summer days when a lotion or cream texture feels too heavy, but honestly, it's perfect for any time of the year when you need your razor to glide along your skin. The ingredients are equally thoughtful, with hints of dandelion root extract and organ oil that soothe and condition all skin types."—Deena Campbell, Beauty Director
Best Shave Butter
"I steal this from my boyfriend constantly, that's how amazing it is. It feels like a thick body butter and leaves my skin feeling so soft and smooth that I (almost) don't need to apply body lotion after! Plus, you can sign up for a subscription so that you never have to run out."—Julia Marzovilla, E-Commerce Writer
Shop the Internet's Favorite Shaving Creams
Best Affordable Shaving Cream
At just $6, this affordable shaving cream by EOS includes ingredients like shea oil, shea butter, and aloe for 24-hour lasting hydration. Your skin will look glowy in no time.
Best Three-Pack of Shaving Cream
Stock up on this affordable three-pack of shaving creams (and receive them next day thanks to Amazon Prime). The formula includes ingredients like vitamin E and lanolinm so it's worth having on your shelf just in case you run out.
Best Whipped Shaving Cream
This fan-favorite cream is only $8 and has the most luscious texture that evenly coats your skin in an even layer of hydration to protect it from your razor. Hero ingredients include aloe and coconut oil, both known for their soothing and hydrating properties.
Best Shaving Cream For Your BIkini Line
The skin around your bikini line is super sensitive. Take care of it with this $5 clinically-tested shaving cream from eos that contains soothing ingredients like colloidal oatmeal.
Best Shaving Cream/Body Wash Hybrid
This Body Wash comes in a jar and is available in three yummy, adult-feeling scents: White Tea, Grapefruit, and Orange Neroli. One glowing review even wrote: "This stuff is amazing! Its great as a cleanser and works great for shaving."
This made-in-America shaving cream from Athena Club (which makes some of the best razors for women on the market) is considered one the softest-feeling creams on the market. It's also scented with notes of rose, sage, lime, vanilla, and cedarwood, so it will turn your entire shower into a spa.
The Best cult-Favorite Shaving Cream
The lemon fruit extract in this shave cream from Refreshments promises to brighten your skin over time. The inclusion of shea butter and olive oil, though, keep your body feeling smooth.
Meet the Expert
Dr. Heather D. Rogers, MD, founder of Doctor Rogers Skin Care, sees patients full time at her dermatology practice, Modern Dermatology in Seattle, Washington. Known as “the doctor who can stop time,” Dr. Rogers’ years-long waitlist is due to her outstanding results—but also a result of her dedication to helping her patients truly understand the nature of their skin. Having treated tens of thousands of patients with skin in every state of health, Dr. Rogers knows how to help every person reach their skin goals, all while supporting—rather than hindering—our skin’s natural adaptive capabilities. Empowering people with the knowledge to see what their skin needs in each moment and providing the high-quality products to meet those needs has been the basis of her successful practice—and is now the basis of Doctor Rogers Skin Care.