Best Shaving Soaps for Sensitive Skin
For many men, the grind of daily grooming means razor burn, bumps, rash, and pain. The constant, repetitive act of shaving can take its toll. Add to that a tendency to sensitivities/allergies to some shaving soaps and you have a recipe for disaster.
But have no fear, sensitive skin issues is a leading reason why men the world over are embracing classic wet shaving. A single blade (rather than a multi-bladed cartridge) and a voluminous, protective lather from a skin-nourishing shaving soap can add up to a game-changing groom. Many artisans were inspired to try their hand at soap-making because of their own skin-care woes, so we are happy to carry so many conscientious shaving soap crafters on our site.
Choosing a Shaving Soap for Sensitive Skin
There are a few things to consider when choosing a shaving soap/cream for sensitive skin.
- Allergies/Sensitivities: First, check the ingredient list. Look for natural ingredients and those shaving soaps free from parabens and other harsh chemicals. In addition, check for items that are known irritants. Many shavers report menthol, cinnamon, clove oil, mint, eucalyptus, lanolin, and even tallow can set off negative reactions. But don’t dismiss a soap out-of-hand. Sometimes leaving a shaving soap to cure longer or using it less frequently can still keep it in your rotation.
- Fragrance/Scent: While there is a huge push toward essential oils and their many benefits, they can often be the culprit in skin irritations. Many artisan soap makers have gone to scenting their soaps with wonderful, complex, and heady aromas (some made exclusively with EOs), but you might just have to forgo some delightful scents in order to reduce redness, itchiness, breakouts, and more. Choosing an unscented shaving soap might be the safest way to go.
- Tools/Technique: It is also important to note that arguably many, if not most, irritation and razor burn is caused by your technique. If you have perfected your angle, lathered your shaving soap properly, picked the best blade for you and you still find yourself with irritation, then you probably have an issue with a particular soap. But many irritations can be alleviated by plying the blade correctly. Check out our “how to” video for some tips.
WCS Recommendations on Shaving Soaps for Sensitive Skin
Here are some best sensitive-skin shaving soap recommendations from the wet shaving gurus at West Coast Shaving.
Specially Formulated Shaving Soaps
Grooming Dept Nai Shaving Soap, Aion: The Nai formula for this soap was specifically created to emphasize high quality, cosmetic ingredients with light fragrance so it is perfect for those with sensitivities/allergies.
Proraso Shaving Cream Soap, Green Tea & Oat: If you want to experience the much beloved and world-renowned lather from Proraso then have no fear. The Green Tea & Oat line from the iconic Italian soap maker is designed for those with “pelli sensibili”. Treat your sensitive skin to this classic brand.
Soap Commander Shaving Soap, Courage: Soap Commander is an artisan soap maker that focuses on healthy skin. Out of a desire to help battle their daughter's eczema, Darren and Connie discovered soap making. Knowing their history means you can be assured their products are perfect for dry, easily irritated skin.
Oleo Soapworks Canard Shaving Soap, Don Luis: Another fabulous artisan with a focus on skin-care is Oleo Soapworks. Like many in the wet shaving world, Vida was inspired to try her hand at soap-making because of persistent skin issues that were only exacerbated by commercial soaps and moisturizers.Try this exceptional shaving soap with tons of skin-nourishing ingredients and a richly dense lather from duck fat.
Unscented Shaving Soaps
Shaving Soap, Bare Naked: Perhaps no other shaving soap maker today has put more thought and testing into their soaps than Wholly Kaw. Natural, environmentally conscious, exceptional lather, fantastic scents have been developed through meticulous effort and extensive peer review. As you might expect, a soap dubbed Bare Naked might be without any added aromas. And you would be correct. This lather monster comes with no additional essential oils or fragrances oils, just the smell of clean! Perfect for those with sensitivities or those who want to pick a cologne without interference. You can get this unscented shaving soap in both vegan and tallow bases.
Wholly Kaw Shaving Soap Bare Siero: This phenomenal artisan has recently released another exceptional soap base without added fragrance. The Siero base does use tallow along with a plethora of skin-nourishing oils, milks, and proteins.
Chiseled Face Shaving Soap, Natural: If you love the handmade goodness of an artisan product, you will love Chiseled Face Shaving Soaps. This natural option is Chiseled Face's unscented offering. There is no additional fragrance added but it does have the natural, light scent of willow bark, seaweed, and aloe. Perfect for the man with skin sensitivities.
Truefitt & Hill Ultimate Comfort Shaving Cream: You can find comfort in knowing the Truefitt & Hill reputation precedes it. Ultimate Comfort is their unscented range designed for those with sensitive skin. It is designed to provide the closest shave while at the same time protecting and aiding in the repair of the shaver's skin.
What are your go-to favorite shaving soap for sensitive skin? Have you found the classic shave is better for your skin? Tell us about it in the comments below.