The best shaving cream for women

  • If you shave any part of your body on a regular basis, you’re probably familiar with razor burn or at least mild irritation.
  • Eos Shaving Cream for Sensitive Skin gives you a close shave wherever you need while preventing post-shave inflammation – for less than $5 a bottle.

Today in dark confessions: I kind of enjoy shaving my legs.

The entire process, from the lathering up to the meditative strokes of the razor to the fact that it’s a great excuse to spend five extra minutes in the shower in the mornings is therapeutic to me.

What I don’t enjoy, however, is razor burn. My skin is sensitive, so even in the summer, I slather my legs in about a gallon of moisturizer to avoid the dry sting that comes after shaving. I’m not saying that the shaving creams on this list totally eliminate the need for moisturizer, though I did skip it while testing them to get a clear idea of how hydrating the formulas really were for me.

There are amazing shaving creams to be found at just about every price point. Whether you’re shopping drugstore brands or fancy ones, you should pay close attention to the ingredients before making a purchase – especially if you want to avoid dry, angry skin.

All of my top picks have soothing components like aloe, vitamin E, and essential oils to keep even desert-dry skin feeling soft and smooth after an encounter with a razor. Eos Shaving Cream for Sensitive Skin is our top pick for a close, comfortable, and cost-effective shave, but you’ll also want to check out the others on our list.

Here are the best shaving creams for women in 2020:

Updated on 1/6/2020 by Caitlin Petreycik: Updated formatting, prices, and links. Added related guides.


The best women’s shaving cream overall

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EOS

Eos Shaving Cream for Sensitive Skin delivers a smooth shave and cuts down on razor-induced discomfort at an excellent price.

I was initially skeptical that eos Shaving Cream for Sensitive Skin was going to be as soothing as it claimed. Since I began shaving my legs and underarms about 15 years ago, I’ve been (razor) burned by many creams and gels in the process – all of which promised to give me a close shave and silky skin free of bumps and redness.

But the eos Shaving Cream for Sensitive Skin lives up to the hype. Of all the shaving creams I tried for this buying guide, this one left my sensitive legs and even more sensitive underarms the smoothest and least irritated. That’s likely thanks to the aloe, oats, and lavender butter in the formula. It also lacks one major irritant found in many beauty products – added fragrance. I can personally tolerate a bit of a scent in my shaving creams, but if you get itchy just thinking about it, consider picking up a bottle of this stuff.

I skipped moisturizer while testing all the options for this guide, and while I still craved my usual layer of body lotion, eos Shaving Cream for Sensitive Skin did cut down on my usual post-shave hypersensitivity in a major way.

Pros: No razor burn or irritation even without moisturizer (though everyone has varying levels of skin sensitivity), costs less than $5, no added fragrance

Cons: Creamy texture might take getting used to if you typically use gel


The best shaving gel for women

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Aveeno

Aveeno Positively Smooth Moisturizing Shave Gel With Aloe helps minimize the appearance of hair over time, and it’s gentle enough to use on even the most sensitive skin types.

You shouldn’t judge a beauty product by its fragrance, but the fact that Aveeno Positively Smooth Moisturizing Shave Gel With Aloe smells like a hot cup of chai tea to me makes it one of my favorite things to put on my body. It also helps that it’s a great shaving cream even if it didn’t come with a glorious scent.

Made with natural ingredients like moisturizing soy extract and soothing aloe leaf juice, Aveeno Positively Smooth Moisturizing Shave Gel With Aloe is gentle yet effective. It was the first shaving cream I ever really got excited about, and I’ve been using it on and off ever since I discovered a bottle in my parents’ bathroom.

This comes out of the can as gel and works up to a foamier consistency as you rub it into your skin, so it’s great for folks who like to lather. Despite the texture, it doesn’t dehydrate skin the way so many shave gels do. I never nick myself while using this stuff unless, of course, I press down too hard on the razor.

Not only is Aveeno Positively Smooth Moisturizing Shave Gel With Aloe one of my personal favorites, it’s popular elsewhere too. Best Products named it one of nine best shaving creams for smoother legs.

I can’t personally speak to the claim that this shave gel prevents hair from growing back quickly (though I can definitely say that I notice fewer ingrown hairs when I use it), but online reviewers say it’s one of the reasons they love it so much.

Pros: Prevents cuts, lathers up nicely, soothes sensitive skin, could prevent noticeable hair growth according to some reviews, personally prevented ingrown hairs (though this may not be true for everyone, depending on your skin and hair texture)

Cons: Strong scent could be a drawback if you are sensitive to fragrance, may not slow down hair growth for everyone


The best menthol shaving cream

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Malin + Goetz

If you gravitate toward menthol shaving creams but hate when they dry the heck out of your skin, try Malin + Goetz Vitamin E Shaving Cream.

I live for products that have that instant cooling effect when applied to the skin. But as with so many tragic love stories, the ingredients that cause it – like menthol – tend to dry out skin. When it comes to shaving cream, this can exacerbate the adverse effects of the razor and result in redness, bumps, and overall irritation.

That’s why I was stoked to get my hands on Malin + Goetz’s Vitamin E Shaving Cream. The innovative formula balances cooling menthol with calming ingredients like squalene, vitamin E, cocoa butter, glycerin, and chamomile, so you get that fun tingle without needing to bathe in a tub of oatmeal afterward.

I also love the creamy texture and sleek minimalist packaging – there’s nothing like a shaving cream that makes your bathroom ten times more Instagrammable.

One thing to note though is that the formula is a little bit runny, so make sure you open the tube with the cap facing upright to avoid spilling out too much product.

Pros: Cooling formula with calming ingredients safe for sensitive skin, subtle fragrance

Cons: On the pricey side, spills out of the tube too quickly if you aren’t careful


The best ‘men’s’ shaving cream

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barbasol

Barbasol Soothing Aloe is marketed as a men’s item, but plenty of women – this writer included – swear by its ability to give a clean shave with minimal irritation.

I don’t really believe in “men’s” shaving cream and “women’s” shaving cream.

Skin is skin, hair is hair. The needs of one person’s skin and hair will be different from those of another, but the basic principle is the same. My point is – don’t overlook Barbasol Soothing Aloe just because it’s housed in the “Men’s Shave” section of the drugstore.

Barbasol Soothing Aloe entered my life by way of total cliché. One day I ran out of the shaving cream I’d used since high school mid-shower. Luckily, a can of my boyfriend’s Barbasol Soothing Aloe happened to be sitting nearby, so I lathered up with that and it turned out to be way better than the other stuff I’d been using.

I’ve since graduated to the even gentler formulas on this list but discovering Barbasol altered the course of my shaving life. Before this product, I really believed that all shaving creams were basically the same, but Barbasol Soothing Aloe changed my mind by drastically decreasing the amount of inflammation and ingrown hairs I experienced after shaving.

Barbasol also comes recommended by Into The Gloss (twice!) and The Huffington Post, so the experts are totally onboard with you using it to shave your legs.

Pros: Inexpensive, includes aloe to prevent irritation, thick foam texture

Cons: Isn’t quite as soothing as the other formulas on this list


Check out our other great skin-care guides

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The best makeup removers

It’s good for your skin to remove makeup every night, but it can be a pain without the right makeup remover.

We’ve done our research and tested the best makeup removers on the market to come up with our top recommendations. Whether you’re a devout double cleanser or prefer removing makeup on the fly, there’s something on this list for everyone. Here are the best makeup removers you can buy:

The best body scrubs

When it comes to body-care products, scrubs are oftentimes overlooked in favor of lotions and body wash. But the exfoliating treatments should be included in your beauty routine if you want silky smooth skin. Here are the best body scrubs you can buy:

The best exfoliators for any skin type or budget

Whether you’re new to the exfoliation game or a seasoned skin-care pro, Glossier’s Solution is the exfoliator you should be reaching for. Its powerful mix of acids dissolves dead skin cells and improves your complexion, giving your face a gorgeous glow. Check out our other top picks: