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How to choose - Shave Cream vs. Shave Gel

If you shave regularly, or even if you don’t, all guys have encountered the wall of shaving products with the questions – what should I choose? With a range of formulas and brands, we are here to clarify the differences, benefits and things to look for when trying to choose your next shave cream, gel, oil, soap or foam. The main goal of these products is to help prevent irritation, get a closer shave and prevent razor burn. The harsh reality is that shaving is not kind to your skin, it dries out your skin and can cause discomfort if done incorrectly – lets prevent that and get you on your way to a better shave!

Why You Should Ditch the Shave Foam

While lots of men are accustomed to using shaving cream in a can, or shaving foam, these are some of the worst formulas out there! The cans are filled with air to create a lather, but this air makes it incredibly difficult for the foam to coat the hairs on your face, to keep them upright and prevent razor burn. However, shave foams tend to be the most convenient, hence the large following. We at Tommy Gun’s would like to introduce you to the next level of shaving, a true shave cream or gel.

Shaving Cream vs. Shaving Gel

Shaving cream has a thicker consistency and contains better ingredients vs. a shave foam which delivers both a better shave and skincare benefits in one, to leave your skin feeling hydrated and smooth. Shave creams can come in a few formulas, one of the more traditional versions is a shave soap/bar that resembles the look of a bar of soap like this one from The Art of Shaving that even comes with a wooden bowl. Shave bars/soap are concentrated formulas that require water and a shave brush to create a lather. Shaving soaps are great for travel as they are compact and liquid-free, they also last a very long time and are perfect for the traditionalist. The more common formula is a cream that does not require the use of a brush but rather can be applied with your hands directly from the tub/tube to your face such as this one from Reuzel or these from The Art of Shaving, coming in 9 different scents. However, incorporating a shave brush into your routine will help you achieve a closer shave as the hairs on the brush help to lift the hairs on your face, prepping them for a closer shave with less tugging. Shave creams create a lather when applied but remain concentrated and free of air when in the packaging. While it might look like a small bottle or tub, high-quality shave creams last a long time since you don’t need to use much to achieve the desired lather and results! They are made with high-quality ingredients that will help prevent irritation and give you a closer shave than any foam ever could.

On the other hand, a shaving gel does not always foam or lather. Shaving gels are easy to apply and water is not required. They tend to have a thinner more lubricating consistency and are typically found in a pump for easy dispensing. Gels can come in either a lathering, creamy consistency, like the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shave Gel, or they can be transparent, such as the American Crew Precision Shave Gel which allows you to see exactly where you are shaving – this is important when using a straight razor or for fine detailing/edging. Shaving gels create a protective layer and allow your skin to stay hydrated while shaving, often being preferred when navigating a sharp straight or safety razor over the skin.

What is a Shave Oil?

A shave oil is generally used as a pre-shave step to prep the skin and deliver nutrients deeper into the skin, all thanks to the thinner formula. While shave oils can be used alone for shaving, we recommend pairing a shave oil with a shave cream/gel unless your skin is ultra-resilient. This will ensure that you get the best of both worlds - skin prep and nourishment from the oil, and a better shave with closer razor glide from the shave cream/gel. Explore our wide range of shave oils here

The Takeaway

While there are a range of shaving products on the market, we encourage you to elevate your shave with the right choices. Shave creams, gels and soaps will help you achieve a closer shave with added skincare benefits and reduced irritation. Don’t let the price tag fool you, these products are long-lasting and will help you create a purposeful, enjoyable shaving routine. Trust us, they’re worth it. We recommend you ditch the drugstore shave foams and elevate your routine with something more worthy of your time and money. Shaving is such a crucial part of the male grooming routine, you deserve the best.