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A photo of a man shaving his face using shaving cream.


Should You Use Shaving Cream or Gel?

Should you be using shaving cream or shaving gel? Here, we dive into the shaving cream vs. shaving gel debate and which product is the best fit for you.

It's possible that shaving is a perfected part of your grooming routine, one that you rarely think twice about. But for some, it can be a bothersome task that leaves you with razor burn and a few not-so-flattering bumps. Whether you're doing a full beard shave or cleaning up your stubble, creating (and sticking to) a great shaving routine with essential products is key to achieving a close, comfortable shave.

While having a quality razor is at the top of the must-have list, if you want a safe, clean shave that's free of irritation, having a shaving aid in your grooming arsenal is just as important. When you're shopping around for shaving products, you might end up torn between two of the main types: shaving cream and shaving gel. Ahead, we're breaking down everything you need to know about shaving cream vs. shaving gel, including the differences between the two and which shaving product is the best fit for your routine. Whether you feel like you've mastered shaving or are still learning the ropes, read on for an important lesson.

Do You Need Shaving Cream In Order To Shave?

Before we get into the shaving cream vs. shaving gel debate, let's talk about why you need shaving products to begin with. When you're shaving any area (you could be removing hair on your legs or shaping up your beard), there's always a risk of developing razor bumps or burn. Think about it: You're dragging a sharp blade across your skin multiple times a week, and that can have a negative effect on your skin. That's why you'll want to prep as much as possible before you start shaving. Shave cream formulas create a barrier between the skin and your blade, protecting and lubricating your skin to ensure a clean, cut and irritation-free shave. Priming your skin with shaving cream or shaving gel a few minutes before you pick up your razor can also help prevent ingrown hairs.

Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream White Eagle

Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream White Eagle is made with ingredients like menthol and camphor and helps prep any skin type for an ultra-smooth, close shave. If you have sensitive skin, we recommend looking for products that specifically mention sensitive skin on the label. Our Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream Blue Eagle is a favorite amongst sensitive skin types, thanks to its soothing, fragrance-free formula. This product is made with aloe vera and helps prepare your skin for a magnificently smooth shave.

Is Shave Gel The Same As Shave Cream?

Close Shavers Squadron Smooth Glider Precision Shave Lotion

Though commonly referred to as shaving cream, shaving aids come in many different forms. This can include shaving oil, foams, and gels, such as Close Shavers Squadron Smooth Glider Precision Shave Lotion. Our lightweight shaving gel with kukui nut oil and aromatic essential oils helps prepare skin for an effortlessly close shave. It instantly transforms from a lightweight gel-lotion to a transparent shaving gel upon application.

Which Is Better: Shaving Cream or Gel?

While shave creams and shave gels both can help with achieving a smoother, softer shave, there are a few differences between the two—mainly, the consistency. Shaving creams have an airy texture that lathers up, while shaving gels are clear and lightweight. At the end of the day, choosing between the two product types all comes down to personal preference. If you're a shaving newbie, a shaving gel may be easier to work with. These transparent formulas don't lather, so you can clearly see what you're shaving for a more precise finish. On the other hand, if you enjoy classic, lathering formulas, a shaving cream is likely to be a better fit.

An Easy Shave Routine From Kiehl's

Following a dedicated shave routine is the best way to ensure smooth results every time you reach for your razor. Keep scrolling for our easy four-step shaving routine.

Step 1:

Wet Your Skin and Hair

Your shaving products may be unique to your skin type, but all shave routines should follow a few key steps. The first one is always to start with clean, damp skin. Begin your shaving routine while you're fresh out of the shower to achieve the best results. Your skin will already be clean, soft, and free of any excess oil or dead skin cells, making it easier to get a clean shave without damaging the skin. Be sure to use a face wash like Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash to effectively remove any debris, dirt, and oil while giving your skin a fresher, healthier appearance.

You can also use a scrub to further prep your skin. Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub is a Kiehl's-favorite because it not only exfoliates but also helps soften tough facial hair for a more comfortable, closer shave.

Kiehl's Expert Tip: If you're shaving your body rather than your face, we suggest shaving in the shower instead of saving this step for afterward. Load your hair up with a hair mask that needs a few minutes to work its magic, then shave while you wait to rinse it out.

Step 2:

Apply a Shaving Cream or Gel

Once your skin is ready for shaving, it's time to apply a shaving cream or gel. Use upward, circular motions to rub the shaving aid onto your skin with either your fingers or a shave brush. Applying the formula with a shaving brush can help create a more even coating. If you opt for this method, try a brush-on shaving cream like Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream with Menthol White Eagle. If you have thicker hair, let the cream or gel sit for two to three minutes to penetrate and soften the hair before you begin shaving.

Step 3:

Start Shaving

Now that your skin is prepped and your shaving products are applied, it's time to grab your razor. Always shave in the direction that your hair grows to help prevent razor bumps and burns. After each time you swipe your skin with the razor, run it under hot water before you continue. You should also toss your razor or razor blade and replace it with a new one after five to seven shaves.

Step 4:

Use Post-Shaving Products As Needed

No matter how well you prep your skin, there may still be a few bumps in the road on your journey to achieving a perfect shave. Whether your skin feels red, irritated, or bumpy post-shave, there are products specifically formulated to target these concerns. To reduce feelings of irritation caused by shaving, we recommend Ultimate Razor Burn & Bump Relief. This formula contains aloe vera, lipo-hydroxy acid, willow herb extract, and vitamin E. It works to instantly hydrate, remedy feelings of irritation, and gently exfoliate to help reduce the appearance of ingrown hairs. After shaving, apply a small amount of product to the shaven area with clean fingertips, avoiding contact with your eyes.

If you have oily or blemish-prone skin, add Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion to your shaving routine. This unique facial toner balances oily-prone areas and soothes men's skin when used as an aftershave lotion. Moisten a sterile cotton pad with the formula and apply it to your skin in any areas where it's needed.

Now that you know all about the differences between shaving cream and shaving gel, you can decide which one is right for your routine.

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