We — men and women both — spend a lot of our personal grooming time getting rid of unwanted hair. Shaving is a daily ritual for many of us, as routine as brushing our teeth or taking a shower. Because of this, the products we use need to be as gentle, effective and safe as possible.
As we all well know by now, our skin is our largest organ (and a highly permeable one, at that) and anything we put onto it gets absorbed directly into our bloodstream. Plus, there’s nothing worse than razor burn post-shave!
With that said, it’s obvious why we’re fanatical about the ingredients that go into our health and beauty products being natural and organic— shaving cream included.
Fortunately, there are a number of organic and natural shaving products on the market as well as a huge community of like-minded people on the web, creating and sharing DIY recipes for organic and natural shaving products.
There is a common misconception that organic and natural can be used interchangeably when talking about beauty products (and food!). This is, in fact, not the case at all! Organic products must be certified by the USDA; the ingredients in the product have been grown or created in accordance to a strict set of procedures and regulations set by the government.
On the other hand, there are no regulations or laws guiding the use of the word natural on any food or beauty product. Even if a company labels their product natural, they can still include chemicals, pesticides and genetically modified ingredients (a practice known as green washing), basically rendering the term natural completely meaningless.
That’s not to say all companies who label their products as natural are taking advantage or being deceitful (we have ourselves label our products natural). Many smaller companies do not have the funds to go through the organic labelling process even though they make their products in the same way as the larger organic-certified companies.
Likewise, many DIY bloggers only include whole, real ingredients in their recipes (many of which are organic!) so they are actually natural products. Of course, we will only include those beauty brands who we trust and are using completely natural ingredients in their shaving products.
It doesn’t matter if the shaving products you’re buying are organic, natural or conventional, you’ll want to be sure that they do not include any of the following chemicals. These 12 dangerous ingredients have all been linked to cancer, reproductive issues, allergy problems, asthma and many are incredibly harmful to the environment.
Companies put parabens in their beauty products because these preservatives slow the growth of bacteria without changing the functionality or feel of the product. The problem is that parabens are shown to be estrogen disrupters that have been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues in scientific studies.
Synthetic fragrance can cause serious asthma and allergy issues. Additionally, these man-made scents often have an incredibly negative effect on the environment and have been shown to be harmful to wildlife.
Aside from the fact that petroleum is made from a by-product of crude oil, petroleum can’t be metabolized by humans (meaning it builds up in our tissue over time), it’s possibly carcinogenic, and, like parabens, has been shown to be an estrogen disrupter.
A common detergent agent found in many laundry and beauty soaps, SLS is also used as an engine de-greaser and car wash soap - in other words, it’s highly abrasive and can seriously irritate your skin. Further, SLS reacts with other common ingredients in beauty products that creates a nitrate by-product, which is potentially carcinogenic.
Another common preservative found in both food and beauty products, BHA/BHT has been shown to be a skin irritant, contribute to organ-system toxicity, endocrine disruption and cancer.
These are coloring agents used as food dye and in hair dye. Studies have been done that have linked an incredible rate of bladder cancer with the woman’s use of hair dye that contained coal tar dyes. While more research needs to be done to elaborate on the link, it’s still an alarming finding even early on.
Aside from the fact that this chemical is used to embalm bodies, it is also a common skin irritant that can cause hair loss and scalp burning. There is also a great amount of research and studies done that has started to link formaldehyde with cancer. Again, like with all the chemicals found on our list, these correlations cannot be completely confirmed but the evidence is building.
DEA creates a lather in your shampoos and soaps. It is harmless on its own but like with SLS, when combined with other common ingredients, it creates harmful nitrates that have been linked to cancer.
Dibutyl phthalate is found mostly in nail polishes; its properties help the polishes from becoming brittle and dried up quickly. Like others on the list, it has been shown to react negatively to certain common chemicals and has also been shown to be an endocrine disruptor which can cause reproductive and developmental problems.
These silicone based compounds are found in hair products to help the hair dry more quickly and to help moisturizers glide onto the body easily. Both the Canadian government and the European Union have concluded separately that siloxanes are endocrine disruptors and also pose serious risks to aquatic life health.
These are polymers that help keep products stable and enhance the penetration of the product. It is this function that makes PEG compounds so harmful; they’re basically helping all the other bad ingredients spread easily across your entire body for your skin to soak up into your bloodstream!
Yet another hormone disrupter, triclosan is used in deodorant, cleansers and hand sanitizers as an anti-bacterial agent. It also doesn’t break down well so after it is flushed through the shower or sink drain, it often builds up in the water causing harmful effects on fish and other aquatic wildlife.
Now that we’ve gotten the negative stuff out of the way, it’s time to focus on the fun things— products! Because they’re made with safer, gentler ingredients, natural and organic shaving products will leave your skin feeling smoother, more hydrated and less irritated than if you’d used conventional creams or products. The nourishing, naturally-derived ingredients in these products are meant solely to help, not to hurt.
Men and women have different shaving needs (obviously) and our product recommendations reflect those varying requirements though many are uni-sex, so feel free to poke around both sections to find the natural and organic shaving products that are right for you!
If you’d rather go the homemade route when it comes to your women’s organic shaving cream, we are behind you 100%. Making a hydrating, effective and safe shaving cream is actually quite easy— and totally customizable. Have fun playing with essential oil blends, consistency and quantity to find the perfect natural shaving cream for you and your legs.
As with any DIY recipe we recommend you try, we encourage you to always use organic products for every ingredient listed.
Melt the coconut oil and Shea butter together in a double boiler; turn off heat and add in the olive oil. Once the mixture is melted and well combined, add in the essential oils of your choice and stir well. Put in refrigerator to set. Once it has solidified, remove and let soften.
Add your mixture along with the Vitamin E capsules and baking soda to the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Beat until light and fluffy. Store in an airtight glass container in a cool, dry place for up to one month.
You can find the complete ingredient list at Everyday Roots
Mix ingredients together in a foaming soap bottle. Shake well before each use.
You can find the complete ingredient list at Wellness Mama
In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil and shea butter on the lowest heat setting. Add the olive, jojoba or sweet almond oil and stir until fully blended and remove from heat.
Transfer mixture to a medium-sized bowl and refrigerate until it is solid. Once it has solidified, take the bowl out of the refrigerator and using a hand mixer, begin blending the mixture until it has a fluffy, whipped consistency, about 5 minutes. Add the liquid castle soap and whip again until fully combined.
Transfer to a jar with a lid and store in a cool, dry place. This mixture will keep out of the refrigerator for some time as long as no water gets into it so be careful to keep it away from the drain while you’re shaving!
You can find the complete ingredient list at Mommy Potamus
Also, if you're new to creating your own products I would highly recommend picking up her e-book (we are not affiliated, it's just a great resource)
In a small saucepan, melt the shea butter and coconut oil over low heat. Remove and transfer to a bowl. Add the jojoba oil and essential oils and stir to mix. Put bowl in the refrigerator and chill until solid. Remove and using a hand mixer, blend the mixture until it is a whipped consistency, about 5 minutes. Transfer into a jar with a lid and store in a cool, dry place.
You can find the complete ingredient list at Food For My Family
You can find the complete ingredient list at Simple Life Mom
This is a great customizable homemade shaving cream recipe for men. Just add your favorite masculine scented essential oil!
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk or blend on high for about 5 minutes until the mixture is emulsified. Transfer to a jar or bowl with a lid or a bottle with a pump. A little goes a long way with this recipe!
You can find the complete ingredient list at Modern Hippie Housewife
Men will love this hydrating, luxe oil to put on before they shave to keep their skin super smooth and their stubble softened.
Mix oils with a whisk until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a container with an airtight lid or glass bottle with dropper top. Use on your face after you’ve dampened the skin with warm water and let it sit for a minute or two before applying your shaving cream.
You can find the complete ingredient list at Hybrid Rasta Mama
Dissolve the salt in warm water in a small saucepan over low heat. Take off heat and add all remaining ingredients. Put into a glass container with a well-fitting lid.
You can find the complete ingredient list at One Good Thing By Jillee
Blend cucumber, rind and all, on the highest blender setting or in a food processor until completely liquefied. Add mint extract and blend for another 30 seconds. Strain. Add mixture to water and microwave on high for 3 minutes and again on medium for 2 minutes.
Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator.
You can find the complete ingredient list at CraftBits
No matter who is shaving, nor where they’re doing it, we have a few simple shaving tips that will make a major impact on your shower experience.
A Close, Clean and Completely Natural Shave
Whether you’re ready to hit the “buy it now” button on Amazon or you’ve made your ingredients list for your next DIY project, these natural and organic shaving cream recipes for both men and women are sure to leave your skin feeling smooth, nourished and hair-free.