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Run out of shaving cream? Before you rush to the drug store — or worse, shave your skin dry — take a look at this list of substitutes. Chances are, you probably already some of the following on hand already.

When it comes to your shaving routine, hydration is key. You should always soak your skin in the shower or at the sink before shaving. Applying a lubricant, including any of the soaps, oils, gels, or creams listed below, will make it easier for the razor to slide over your skin.

Baby oil

Baby oil is a synthetic form of mineral oil. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it’s a proven moisturizer. When applied to the skin, baby oil creates a protective layer that prevents water loss.

Coconut oil

Like baby oil, coconut oil is an extremely effective moisturizer. It also has anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, making it ideal for preventing irritation associated with shaving.

With that said, it might not be the best option to shave certain areas like your face, for instance. If you have sensitive or oily skin, coconut oil can clog your pores.

Hair conditioner

If you run out of shaving cream mid-shave, hair conditioner is an easy option that’s already in your bathroom. Sure, it’s formulated to hydrate your hair, but it will have comparable effects on your skin. Not to mention, it will soften body hair, making it easier to shave off.


Like conditioner, creams and lotions for your face, hands, or skin are designed to provide moisture. They can be used to lubricate your skin while you shave.

Take care to avoid rubbing it into your skin too much, as you’ll want to maintain a protective barrier between your skin and the razor.

Aloe gel

Known for its medicinal properties, aloe vera treats sunburned skin by providing hydration along with a gentle cooling effect. Some people also incorporate aloe into their skincare routine, using it to soothe and moisturize. The same properties make aloe an ideal shaving gel.

Olive oil

Olive oil is rich in skin-friendly nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. It has antioxidant properties and also fights bacteria, making it ideal for use on the skin, including the face.

Although it can be a bit greasy to apply, you will come away with a clean shave.


Hand soap, bath soap, and body wash are obvious choices when it comes to alternatives for shaving cream. They’re already in your bathroom, plus they’re easy to apply and rinse off well. But while they may do the trick once in a while, they are more likely than other ingredients to dry out your skin.

Most of the ingredients on this list are completely safe to use while shaving, and don’t present any more risks than your regular shaving cream. If you want something natural, opt for coconut oil, olive oil, or aloe vera.

With that said, just remember that whenever you try a new skincare product, irritation is possible — especially if you have sensitive skin. Certain areas of your body, including your face or pubic area, might be more susceptible to irritation.

To avoid a reaction, test the ingredient on a small patch of your skin before applying it to the area you want to shave.

You’ll find numerous shaving cream alternatives online, but they’re not equally effective.

For instance, while food items such as honey, peanut butter, or avocado may offer skin benefits, they can be messy to apply.

In addition, household products meant to clean and sanitize tend to draw moisture away instead of locking it in, which could lead to irritation.

For the more delicate areas of your body, opt for alternatives to shaving cream that have been proven effective on sensitive skin.

Baby oil is hypoallergenic and free of chemicals like parabens and phthalates. It’s also gentle on your skin.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, aloe vera gel is generally safe to use on skin. Side effects are rare.

To use one of the alternatives listed above, follow these simple steps:

  1. Take a shower or bath. Soaking your skin for around 15 minutes before you shave removes dirt and softens your body hair, preventing irritation.
  2. Apply the shaving cream alternative. If you are using an oil, less is more. Apply a small amount to your palm and rub it on the area you would like to shave. It should spread easily. For lotions and aloe vera gel, you’ll need to apply enough to cover your skin. Don’t rub it in, as this will remove the protective barrier between the razorblade and your skin. To shave with soap, use a bath sponge or puff to get a good lather. With enough bubbles, your razor will glide smoothly over your skin.
  3. Shave. Shave the area, moving your razorblade gently over the skin in the direction that your hair grows. You should rinse your razorblade after each swipe.
  4. Apply a moisturizer. Be sure to apply aftershave or another moisturizer, including any of the lotions, gels, or oils on this list.

Shaving cream acts as a barrier between your skin and your razorblade. It allows the razor to glide easily along your skin, preventing redness, razor burn, and irritation.

With that said, shaving cream isn’t the only product capable of protecting your skin from the negative effects of shaving. Nearly any moisturizing oil, gel, or cream will do.