Shaving is one of the main steps in my skincare routine. I do it almost daily, and it can be a drag. I think everyone who does it on a regular basis goes through the struggle of finding the right method of shaving, which involves trusted tools and products. For me, the best and most trusted way of shaving includes Gillette’s ProGlide razor and almond oil combined with good shaving cream or foam. The problem with finding reliable shaving products is that they often contain horrendous quantities of irritating ingredients raging from excessive amounts of essential oils to rivers of fragrance. Not to forget that many of them contain menthol, which some might be okay with, but not me. Honestly, loads of the products available are just dreadful. I’ve decided to test 3 different brands offering shaving products for sensitive skin since such products are less likely to cause irritation. (Don’t go for nice smelling foams matching your perfume, it’s not good for your skin.) The prices of the products vary from affordable to higher price ranges, though nothing too exaggerated. After all, it’s a product that I use almost daily. I’ve assessed all of the products according to the quality of shave that they provide, and their ingredients – as always.
PC4Men Shaving Cream
This is the most expensive amongst all. However, I would say it will last the longest because you don’t need much of the product, and the tube is quite big (177ml). Use a small amount and mix it with a bit of water, then apply onto your skin. I like this cream a lot; I even have the travel size of it. This cream does what it says on the tube. I can always rely on this product. When used with oil, it provides a close shave and does not irritate my skin, ever. I like its creamy texture which works better for me while shaving. Also, the soothing ingredients in this product are appreciated by my skin. For a shaving product, there are a lot of them, like aloe vera, allantoin, liquorice extract, and many others. There’s coconut oil in this product, which may be troublesome for acne-prone skin, especially if you have an ongoing acne problem. However, for the majority of you should be fine with it; the product didn’t break me out. The texture is a bit thick so you will have to use a flannel or cotton pads to remove the residue, which happens with a lot of shaving creams. Overall, it’s a great product.
The PC4Men Shaving Cream retails for €16 (177ml) on PC’s website.
Ingredients: Aqua, Stearic Acid (texture-enhancing), Myristic Acid (texture-enhancing), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil (non-fragrant oil/emollient), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Potassium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract (skin-soothing), Arctium Majus (Burdock) Root Concentrate (skin-soothing), Carnosine (antioxidant), Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (skin-soothing), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (hydration/skin-soothing), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid (texture-enhancing), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative), Benzalkonium Chloride (preservative), Phenoxyethanol (preservative). (paulaschoice-eu.com)
Avène Shaving Foam
I prefer Avène’s foam over their gel product. I enjoy the creamy texture of the foam; I think it works better for my skin. It’s a simple foam product, just rub it between your hands and apply to the shaving area. It also provides a close shave, especially if you use oil before the foam. It did not irritate my skin at all, and in general, I am pleased with this product. It’s affordable, and it contains zinc pyrithione, which can prevent the formation of breakouts. As we all know, they are quite a common issue. Given it’s a pharmacy brand, Avène went for a medicinal ingredient, a better choice than including acids in a shaving product. The rest is pretty basic, something you would put in a shaving product, I assume. Although there’s perfume in the middle of the list, I cannot detect it, and it doesn’t cause trouble.
This foam retails for €8-10 (200ml) depends on the pharmacy.
Ingredients: AVENE THERMAL SPRING WATER (AVENE AQUA). GLYCERIN. PALMITIC ACID. STEARIC ACID. CETEARETH- 50. BUTANE. TRIETHANOLAMINE. METHYL GLUCETH-20. PROPANE. BISABOLOL. FRAGRANCE (PARFUM). HYDROXYCAPRIC ACID. ISOBUTANE. POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE. SODIUM POLYNAPHTALENESULFONATE. WATER (AQUA). XANTHANE GUM. ZINC PYRITHIONE. (avene.co.uk)
Bulldog Foaming Sensitive Shave Gel
This one is slightly cheaper than the previous foam. Performance-wise, it is also inferior. It doesn’t contain fragrance or menthol, it includes a few plant extracts with the purpose to soothe the skin. However, it did irritate my skin. Sometimes, I even felt stinging sensation upon application, which was weird, given that the ingredients seem pretty okay. I could get a close shave with this one, but sometimes it would just make me drag the hair rather than cut it, leading to razor burns and bleeding… Moreover, the pump stopped pumping mid-way through the bottle, meaning I could not use a lot of the product. I’d expected better performance.
This foam retails for €5 from lookfantastic.com.
Ingredients: Aqua, Triethanolamine, Palmitic Acid, Isopentane, Stearic Acid, Sorbitol, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil, Epilobium Angustifolium (Willowherb) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol. (biggreensmile.nl)
Proraso Sensitive Shaving Cream and Foam
These two are the cheapest because I’ve bought them in Italy. Had I bought them locally, I would’ve paid much more. On top of that, they are also the worst ones. I have both the cream and the foam version. I must say texture-wise, I like both of them, but I find them quite underwhelming. The cream is quite solid because it’s meant to be used with a brush. Though, I’ve managed to make it work without one. So if you don’t have a brush, it might be troublesome to use. The foam is pleasant, light and creamy, but not the best for shaving as I find it too aggravating for my skin. Despite Prosaro claiming that these products are for sensitive skin, they contain copious amounts of fragrance (a fragrance mix and hexyl cinnamal, citral, limonene, linalool) and menthol. The green tea and oat extracts won’t help with these many offenders. It’s horrifying how much of them they put into products for sensitive skin. I couldn’t finish both of them, because they caused several razor burns and nicks which each time took a couple of days to heal.
They were about €3 each, but I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone. Not worth a penny. Do not approach, do not bother.
Cream: Aqua (Water/Eau), Stearic Acid, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Glycerin, Parfum (Fragrance), Lactic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Metasilicate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Menthol, Thymus vulgaris (Thyme) Flower/Leaf Extract, Avena sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Camellia sinensis Leaf Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Potassium Sorbate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Geraniol, Citral, Limonene, Linalool (sephora.fr)
Foam: Aqua (Water/Eau), Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, Butane, Laureth-23, Glycerin, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Flower/Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Propane, Parfum (Fragrance), Benzyl Alcohol, Menthol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Citral, Limonene, Linalool, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Metasilicate, Isobutane, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate. (dermstore.com)