It’s not surprising that a league of men is using this period of social distancing as an excuse to grow out their beards. With more time on their hands and way, way fewer in-person obligations to attend, tonsorial pursuits might be the only thing for which this strange and scary time has provided some guys an ideal testing ground.
But regular shaving has its benefits—especially for those of us who already know wearing facial hair isn’t a good look. It gives a sense of routine and structure to your day, helps keep you well-groomed (you can’t really get a good shave without washing your face or taking a shower) and even makes it easier to comply with the CDC’s recommendations for wearing face masks. If you’re going to keep your face shorn, here are some of the best shaving creams to do it with.
Murdock Shaving Cream
Murdock’s shaving cream has one of the most indulgent textures of any of the products on the list—imagine slathering your face with a freshly whipped batch of cream, albeit one that smells like lavender and bergamot, and you’ll come close to the experience. But the cream’s thickness isn’t just for show; in our experience, it means that we suffered far fewer cuts than with other thinner varieties.
Recipe for Men Clear Shaving Gel
Recipe’s clear shaving gel isn’t just a novelty product on a world of frothy, opaque alternatives. It feels cool while its on your face thanks to a dose of lemon extract and menthol, and because its transparent, you can actually see where you’ve removed hair and where you haven’t. That makes it a lot easier to shave your face with a single pass.
Claus Porto Classic Shaving Soap
The Portuguese brand beloved around the world makes one of the best-smelling shaving creams a guy can use. Its classic version features a masculine blend of vanilla, vetiver and ylang ylang. Its other ingredients aren’t anything to sneeze at, either: shea butter and walnut oil both help make for a close, smooth shave.
Triumph & Disaster Old Fashioned Shave Cream
The men’s grooming brand that makes one of our favorite night creams also makes an excellent shaving cream. This version, a modern, citrusy take on traditional barbershop soaps, is best applied with a brush—but you could also lather it with your hands in a pinch.
Acqua di Parma Barbiere Shaving Cream
If you already wear Acqua di Parma’s beloved fragrance Colonia, you’ll love that the soft texture of its relatively new shaving cream is scented with the very same ingredients. It also includes pomegranate seed oil, lemon oil and hyaluronic acid to help you get a close shave—and leave your skin looking refreshed.
The Art of Shaving Olibanum Pepper
If you like sandalwood, The Art of Shaving’s thoughtful combination of olibanum (the tree resin commonly used for frankincense) and pepper will come as a welcome surprise. It smells so good that you might find yourself shaving more often than you strictly need to.
Anthony Shave Cream
You can apply this thick, rich shaving cream with a brush, but it’s formulated so that you don’t need to. A small amount will go a long way, softening your beard with eucalyptus, rosemary and squalene and refreshing your face with hops.
Jack Black Supreme Cream
Jack Black’s emphasis on using ingredients found in nature means that its signature shaving cream boasts an ingredient list that sounds more like an herbal tea blend than something you’d put on your skin. And that’s a good thing: i’s blend of jojoba oil, macadmia nut oil, rosemary leaf oil and soybean oil makes for a very close shave.
Kiehl’s Brushless Shaving Cream
There are two versions of this shaving cream from Kiehl’s: one with menthol, and one without. If you have sensitive skin, you’ll want the “blue eagle” version, pictured here, which skips the menthol in favor of sesame oil and aloe vera, which help you get a close, calm shave.