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When shopping online, shaving gel advertisers all promise an immaculate shave. But how do you know which one is right for you? Our buying guide is here to help you discern specific performance-boosting key ingredients, what makes a shaving gel suitable for your skin type, and the benefits of both foaming and non-foaming gels.
Choosing a shaving gel that works with your skin type will make a huge difference when it comes to achieving that clean, close shave you desire. Men’s skin can be generally categorised into one of three types, which we will describe below.
Avoid astringent-based shaving gels that contain harsher ingredients like alcohol or witch hazel which cause further drying of the skin.
Oily skin produces excess sebum which can clog pores, putting oily-skinned gents at a greater risk of acne and ingrown hairs.
If this is you, astringents such as alcohol and witch hazel won’t be an issue as they do a great job of stripping dirt and oil preventing pores from clogging. You equally won’t want heavy moisturisers, so look for glycerin-based gels instead.
We advise looking for shaving gels specifically aimed at sensitive skin as they often contain soothing, dermatologically-tested ingredients to be as mild as possible.
Some great moisturising ingredients to look for are glycerin and aloe vera. Glycerin acts as an emollient and is suitable for all skin types. It attracts and locks in moisture without clogging the pores, preventing acne and ingrown hairs.
The gel of the aloe vera plant has been used medicinally for centuries to treat a myriad skin conditions. Aloe gel contains plenty of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and amino acids that produce soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. Naturally-occurring salicylic acid exfoliates away dead skin cells, leaving your face feeling baby smooth!
However, foam isn’t always better. A non-foaming shaving gel creates less friction, giving a smoother glide. Moreover, the absence of big, fluffy dollops of foam allows you to see everything clearly and won’t clog up your razor, especially if you use a multi-blade model.
Try to avoid shaving gels that contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). SLS is an ingredient commonly used to produce lather and foam in personal care and grooming products. While it leaves your skin feeling ‘squeaky clean’ this isn’t always a good thing! SLS is a known skin irritant that strips the skin of its natural oils which can cause dryness and unwanted skin reactions.
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Original Shave Gel
Best Overall Shaving Gel for Men
Refresh Shave Gel
A Naturally-Healing Gel for Dry and Sensitive Skin
Ice Cool Foaming Shave Gel
Best Antibacterial Shaving Gel for Healing Inflammation
Razor Rail! Premium Clear Shaving Gel for Sensitive Skin
A Soap-Free Sensitive Gel That Promises to Change Your Life
King C. Gillette
Transparent Shaving Gel
Best Clear Shaving Gel for Precision Sculpting
Men's Foaming Shaving Gel
A Cushioning Gel for a Soft, Smooth Shave
African Whitewood Razor-Glide Shaving Gel
Best Scented Shaving Gel for Men
Clinique For Men
Aloe Shave Gel
Packed With Aloe Vera for a Comfortable Shave
Acqua di Parma
Barbiere Shaving Gel
A Premium Shaving Gel That Doubles as a Moisturiser
King of Shaves
Antibacterial Shave Gel
An Affordable Essential for Spot-Prone or Oily Skin
Milkman Grooming Co.’s Razor Rail! Premium Clear shaving gel is the perfect match for guys who have to shave a lot! Whether you are a daily shaver or into a bit of manscaping, the hefty 500 ml bottle gives approximately 100 applications when using 2 to 3 pumps per shave.
Soap-free, highly moisturising and lubricating with mild ingredients that are incredibly gentle on sensitive skin, you can use this life-changing shaving gel with or without water. Just pump the gel and apply where needed. Once you’re done shaving, use a flannel or washcloth to wipe off the excess.
Plus, it uses a distinct combination of naturally-active ingredients such as aloe, cucumber, willow bark and bergamot which are combined to achieve a comfortable, smooth finish with a great fragrance. Lots of guys with sensitive skin swear by this gel, having ditched their previous brands without looking back.
This clear, non-foaming shaving gel provides an invisible barrier to enhance razor glide and contains both aloe and tea tree to soothe whilst it gets to work. Found in almost every drugstore or even the corner shop, this is a cheap and cheerful option, albeit not one for every skin type.
When you are ready to start shaving, apply your shaving gel of choice to the area you wish to shave. Always use a clean, sharp blade and shave using short strokes against the direction of your hair’s growth. Once you’re all done, rinse your face with cold water and slap on a bit of moisturiser to leave your face feeling nice and soft, ready for the day ahead!
Ready to re-haul your grooming regime this year? Even changing something as simple as your shaving gel, aftershave or razor to one that's better suited to your skin's needs can make a big difference to how you look and feel. Find more of our recommendations below. Happy days!
Author: Wren Mann
No. 1: Bulldog｜Original Shave Gel
No. 2: Primal Earth ｜Refresh Shave Gel
No. 3: Elemis｜Ice Cool Foaming Shave Gel
No. 4: Milkman ｜Razor Rail! Premium Clear Shaving Gel for Sensitive Skin
No. 5: King C. Gillette｜Transparent Shaving Gel
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