Everyone loves the feeling of smooth skin after a fresh shave. Our skin should be healthy and nourished, free from any irritation so it’s important that our shaving cream is eco-friendly.
So, is shaving cream eco-friendly? Many shaving creams and gels are not eco-friendly and contain synthetic chemicals that cause skin irritation and have also been linked to even larger health concerns. Also, many shaving creams and gels are packaged in aerosol cans which are not recyclable and end up as waste in the environment.
Just like with many other personal care products, you may be wondering what exactly is inside your can of shaving cream or gel. Since it’s going directly on our skin and into our pores, it’s important to be aware of the ingredients and any potential harm they may cause to our skin and the environment.
Why Use Eco-Friendly Shaving Cream
Your shaving routine is just that: routine.
We often don’t think about what exactly we are putting on our skin. Whether it’s your face, legs, or any other part of your body, your skin is exposed when you shave it.
When you wet your face with warm water, you are readying your hair to be shaved but also opening your pores. Whatever oils or bacteria that are on the surface of your skin can also enter your pores along with any chemicals present in your shaving cream or gel.
Once you start shaving, your skin will begin to exfoliate, revealing a fresh outer layer of skin. This skin can be more sensitive and even more susceptible to irritation from synthetic chemicals and fragrances caused by common shaving creams and gels.
Ingredients to Avoid in Shaving Cream
There are a number of ingredients you should avoid in shaving creams or gels. Upon looking at the ingredients label on the back of the aerosol can, you will notice many synthetic chemical-based ingredients most of which you will have difficulty pronouncing. Here is a list of toxic ingredients you should avoid, so you can have a safer shaving experience.
- Sulfates – commonly known as SLS/SLES (sodium lauryl sulfate or ammonium lauryl sulfate), these work great as cleansing agents and also help your shaving cream or gel have the lovely foaming texture we all know and love. Unfortunately, sulfates have been linked to skin allergies, dry skin, dermatitis, and even impaired hair growth.
- Fragrance – the term “fragrance” on an ingredient label could mean a number of things. The fragrance industry isn’t mandated to reveal what ingredients are exactly in their fragrances, so you could be exposed to hundreds of unknown chemicals. Fragrances can cause allergic reactions, headaches, dizziness, rashes, and skin irritation. On top of the health concerns, some fragrances may also be animal-derived using unethical and animal-cruelty methods.
- Triethanolamine – also known as TEA, is found in personal care products that foam, including shaving creams and gels. Along with DEA (diethanolamine) and MEA (monoethanolamine), they can be absorbed into the skin over prolonged use and have been linked to hormone disruptions along with allergic reactions, eye irritation, skin and hair dryness.
- Isopentane – this is a degreaser that breaks down the oils on your skin. It will help your hair stand up, so you can shave it easier. Unfortunately, it also causes skin dryness, headaches, dizziness, and allergic reactions.
- Glycols – they help moisturize your skin but have been linked to dry skin, rashes and skin allergies. Look to avoid propylene glycol, butylene glycol, and ethylene glycol.
- Palmitic acid – this is found in palm oil and animal fats, it creates a thick lather to keep your hair follicles upright. It also has been linked to contact dermatitis and allergic skin reactions.
- PTFE – polytetrafluoroethylene or more commonly known as “Teflon”. It’s only harmful when heated but has been shown to be poisonous to birds. Not exactly environmentally friendly if you ask me.
- BHT – butylated hydroxytoluene is a preservative found in personal care products including shaving creams and gels. It’s been linked to hormone disruption, irritation of the skin and lungs, and is carcinogenic in animals.
What to Look for in an Eco-Friendly Shaving Cream
Now you are aware of the potentially harmful ingredients you should avoid, here are some guidelines for finding an eco-friendly shaving cream.
- Check the ingredients – take some time and examine the label. If it seems most of the ingredients are synthetic chemical-based ones, avoid it. True eco-friendly manufacturers will be transparent and want you to know the contents of their products.
- Go all-natural – look for ingredients that are all-natural and organic, derived from plants or oils. These should be plants and oils you have heard from and be clearly written on the ingredients label.
- Look for ‘free” – look for the word “free” written after certain ingredients. Paraben-free, sulfate-free, fragrance-free, and cruelty-free. You get the picture.
- Avoid the can – many shaving creams and gels are produced in an aerosol can, which is not recyclable. Look for an eco-friendly shaving cream with its product in plastic-free packaging, recyclable plastic, or made from recyclable materials.
The Best Eco-Friendly Shaving Creams
Fortunately for the sake of our skin health, there are many brands that produce eco-friendly alternatives that will be safer for your skin, overall health, and the environment. They usually come in a bowl or puck-shaped form but may also come in a conventional liquid form. Here are our two top eco-friendly picks:
Taylor of Bond Street Shaving Cream
A high-quality shaving cream needs to come from a high-quality brand. Taylor of Bond Street is a classic brand that has been around since 1854. Their shaving cream comes produced in a bowl that is best used with a shaving brush for an optimal creamy and smooth lather. No need for a special gel packaged in an aerosol can with added fragrances and preservatives.
Taylor of Bond Street Shaving Cream (link to read reviews on Amazon) will help moisturize your skin with natural ingredients. A preservative and fragrance-free shaving cream, it’s available in a variety of natural scents including sandalwood, almond, coconut, grapefruit, and even avocado. A perfect eco-friendly and traditional shaving cream to pair alongside a safety razor.
Cremo Moisturizing Women’s Shave Cream
Your legs are important. That’s why you want a shaving cream that will give you all the extra moisturizing you need. Cremo Moisturizing Women’s Shave Cream (link to read reviews on Amazon) contains only natural ingredients including aloe, lemon, papaya, and olive oil extracts which make it a perfect eco-friendly option for women with sensitive skin.
The texture is very slick which allows your razor to glide effortlessly along your skin for a soft and smooth shave. The natural scents include delicious smelling french lavender and coconut mango neither of which are overpowering. Cremo’s unique formula is paraben-free, cruelty-free, and due to its high concentration, it will last you 90 days on just one tube (6oz/177ml). A great value-deal for a trusted and high-quality eco-friendly shaving cream.
Your shaving experience should be a time that is safe, enjoyable, and most importantly get the job done. You shouldn’t have to worry about exposing your skin to toxic chemicals or added to any already skin irritation, ingrown hairs, or razor bumps. Using an eco-friendly shaving cream gives you the added skin health benefits, reduces your exposure to synthetic chemicals, and also reduces your environmental impact. I wish you happy shaving and smooth, healthy, nourished skin!