Shaving foam vs Cream vs Gel: Which one to use when?

Shaving foam vs Cream vs Gel (1)

Grooming your beard has to be your number one priority to look your best in front of others. It’s incredible how easy it is to lather your skin up, run the razors, and you’re clean as a whistle. However, there’s one short debate on ‘shaving foam vs cream vs gel’ and which one should you be using.

You’ll come across dozens of options when it comes to gels, foams, and creams. Seriously – which one do you choose, and why? I’ll help you find the difference between the three, so you can easily pick the best option up.

Do Men Need a Shaving Cream?

I’d like you to try something right now – go through your beard hair and see what does it feel like to touch them. Aren’t they all wiry, tough, and pointy? It’s true – they’re quite sharp and when you run the naked razor against them – it’s mayhem.

What you need to do for a close (but safe) shave is to get some sort of protection. Something that can make your beautiful beard hair look as soft as your skin. That’s possible with the help of shaving creams, gels, or foams.

Whichever one you choose; their main task is to help you:

  1. Keep your skin hydrated
  2. Lubricate your skin, so there’s a layer between the razor blades and your skin
  3. Easily track hair removal on your skin
  4. Help your skin relive its soothing and refreshing feel

In short – is shaving easier with shaving cream? Definitely! All these benefits are going to make your life much more comfortable. Combine these, and your skin is ready to combat the might of a shaver or razor.

But again, you might be wondering – what is the difference between shaving cream and shaving foam? Or, perhaps, what is better; shaving gel or foam? Let’s cover that next!

Shaving Foam vs Cream vs Gel: What’s the Difference?

To some guys who’re in it for the grace of shaving, there might not be a huge difference. After all, it is just later, shave, clean, repeat until the shave is complete. But for other thinkers like ourselves, it’s a common question – what is the difference between shaving cream and shaving foam?

Shaving Foams

Shaving foams have gone through dozens of changes over the years. But if there’s one thing to easily define it – it’s a can full of aerosol and air. That’s it. Often, you’d see people compare these shaving foams to shaving creams, which isn’t a valid comparison.

The lather from a shaving foam can isn’t great either. It’s barely enough to help you cover your face for a good shave. Not to mention, the ingredients from these aerosol cans aren’t healthy for your skin either. This actually makes it the worst product to shave your skin with.

Though there are a few positives, which is why it’s still a preference for many, it’s airy, quickly creates a lather, and you can easily rinse it away if there’s an issue.

On the other hand, there’s a much better solution to shaving foams – shaving creams.

Shaving Creams

Although shaving creams might not have a distinctive appearance when compared to foams, they are quite different. Creams are a much denser formula which, when mixed with water, creates a fantastic lather that soothes the skin.

It’s a little harder to find shaving creams as they’re sold as foams itself. They’re traditionally available in tubs, which are further mixed with water for a frothy lather. It’s even easier to apply them to the skin – rub it against your hair, and give it a few seconds. They should be careful and softened from the cream.

Unlike shaving foam, which only makes the hair a little more sturdy, shaving creams are better. Their ingredients are much better for the skin and can quickly penetrate your hair follicles. This is why you feel it’s so easy to swipe the razor across your skin without any issue.

But there’s an alternative to it – shaving gels. What is better, shaving gel or foam?

Shaving Gels

With shaving gels, you don’t have to create a lathery solution yourself. Since there’s no foam involved, they can easily be applied to the skin. Gels are quite easy to use and are usually available in cans as well.

Gels were made to replace creams and foams, which are great at lather but weren’t healthy options. These gels are made from better ingredients, which are much better at penetration than creams – that too, without its side-effects.

One great advantage of shaving gels is that it’s transparent. When you apply it to your skin, you can see-through the paste, and this actually helps you while shaving. Now, you’ll know which hair portion is being cleaned away on a single swipe.

Shaving is actually a very skin-damaging task to do, especially if you don’t apply anything to it. Gels add a layer of protection to your skin, as the lubricant adds moisture to your skin. This can quickly help you avoid razor burns and ensure a smooth and close shave.

Lastly, shaving creams can easily clog your razor blade with hair. Gels are easy to rinse away and don’t clog blades too. This way, you won’t be whisking the blade in the air to get it to start shaving again.

Now that we’re clear on what is what let’s head into some differences.

What is better; shaving gel or foam?

Let’s talk about the differences a bit now. For the sake of this discussion, I’ll keep foams and creams in a single category, and gels in another. Here are the key differences between these two:

1. Lather

No doubt – shaving foam vs cream vs gel – whichever one you choose, they’re all good at frothy lathers. But gels create a much more luxurious lather, which is eventually going to help you out in shaving your skin. On the other hand, foams and creams lather instantly, so there’s one other crucial decision for you – time.

Foam-based lathers are useful if you wish to save time. They’re light, quick, and can quickly help you shave while you’re on the run. Gels, although the better option, might need a little more time to rinse away as it’s a thick and creamy lather.

2. Airy

Shaving foams and creams are quite airy. On the other hand, gels are the exact opposite – there’s no air. It’s a simple, watery gel in which you’re going to rub and create a lather for your skin. That’s it!

3. Lubricants

The purpose of shaving cream or gel is to moisturize your skin, so it’s ready for the metal blades. Foams and creams are good at lubricating the surface, but won’t do much. Creams are good at penetrating the hair follicles, but there’s a chance you’ll still get a cut or burn.

Shaving gels create a much more enhanced lubricant for your skin. There’s a much lesser chance that you’re going to have a razor burn. It quickly covers up your skin and provides hydration, which keeps the razor at bay.

4. Ingredients

When I’m talking of shaving foam vs cream vs gel, the ingredients are what matter. If it’s not suitable for your skin type, it’s probably not the best option. It’s vital that you consider your skin type and beard type – and then the ingredients it has to make it worthwhile.

For example, Aloe vera can be a great addition to the shaving gel if you have sensitive skin. Similarly, chamomile and Vitamin E are also found in such creams that can help your sensitive skin avoid burns.

5. Waterless Shave

Early rise and shine – scratch that – I can’t do that. Somedays I’m up, somedays I’m not. Still, you’re going to rush to work, and the early morning shave can’t be missed. So, in such cases, you don’t have ample time to create lathers with waters and then shave.

Gels are easier as they’re great at waterless shaving. You won’t have to mix it in a bowl or in water, or anything, all you have to do is apply it to your skin. This is great if you wish to go for a quick shave!

6. Protection

Protection is also a necessary need from shaving foams, gels, and creams. Gels are great as the lubricant basically creates a layer between your skin and the razor. Whichever way you run the blade on your skin, the gel makes it smoother, and you won’t feel the hair peeling off of your skin.

On the other hand, creams aren’t great at this. Sure, the lather can help you get some degree of protection, but one wrong cut, and you’re in for a whole lot of bleeding. Though this also depends on the type of your skin – so you should give both these options a try before you choose.

7. Transparency

Shaving creams and foams are not transparent. The lather will cover your skin up, and you won’t see anything. On the other hand, gels are open, and you know where you’re running the blade.

8. Cost

The cost of the shaving lubricant might be the biggest concern here. Although aerosol cans are quite cheaper, high-end shaving gels and creams can be quite expensive as well. Though it also means the product will be of a much higher quality.

You can also compare the cost against the number of shaves you’ll be getting from a single can or tube. If you shave every day, a normal-sized gel tube can last you over two months. It’s going to cost you a bit more too – but for the right cost and size, it should be sufficient.

On the other hand, shaving creams can run much longer if used adequately. Also, they’re going to cost a little lower than gels and more than foams. So, that’s the comparison in terms of cost and the time for which you can use these products for shaving.

So, which one is better; shaving gel or foam?

If I conclude this section to answer, what is better; shaving gel or foam, I’d go with a shaving gel. Like I said before – this is different for every man. Your face is different, your skin type is different, and the sensitivity at which you feel is different too.

Give both these options a quick try. Whichever one it is – shaving foam vs cream vs gel, they’re all readily available in local markets too. But with the plethora of options available to you, which one should you choose, or which is the best shaving cream or gel available?

The Best Shaving Gels

I won’t leave you hanging to find the best shaving gel by yourself. Don’t worry – if you chose to get shaving cream or foam, I’d get to that too. So, I’ve compiled a list of the best shaving gels below, let’s have a look:

  1. Aveeno Therapeutic Shave Gel (Link)
  2. Nivea Men Sensitive Shaving Gel (Link)
  3. Gillette Series 3X Shave Gel (Link)
  4. Edge Shave Gel for Sensitive Skins (Link)
  5. Gillette Fusion ProGlide 2 in 1 Shave Gel (Link)
  6. Tomb45 Non-foaming Shave Gel (Link)
  7. Nivea Men Deep Clean Shaving Gel (Link)
  8. Harry’s Shave Gel with Aloe Enriched Formulae (Link)

There’s so much variety in these products. For sensitive skin, better ingredients, enriched lather, and so much more. Whatever aspects of a good shaving gel you’ve thought of before, you can now take a look at those.

The Best Shaving Creams

Now, I’ll be moving on to shaving creams. We’ve talked a lot about each of these before, and you must be equipped to handle the difference between the three. Now, let’s get to the best shaving creams. Here we go:

  1. SoftSheen-Carson’s Razorless Shaving for Men (Link)
  2. Cremo Grade Cooling Shave Cream (Link)
  3. Almond Shaving Cream by Taylor of Old Bond Street (Link)
  4. Cremo Coconut Mango Shave Cream (Link)
  5. The Art of Shaving Cream (Sandalwood) (Link)
  6. NIVEA Men Sensitive Shaving Foam (Link)
  7. Proraso’s Pre-shave Cream (Link)
  8. Gillette Foamy Regular Shaving Foam (Link)

Which shaving foam is the best? It’s your call! All the rules for shaving gels apply to shave creams as well. Pick whichever one you feel is going to help protect your skin, while ensuring a good shave as well.

Final Thoughts

That’s the end of our discussion on ‘Shaving foam vs Cream vs Gels’. I’ve discussed everything there is to know about all these three. There’s a little difference between the three, which you must be aware of by now as well. Whichever one you go for – it’s safe and comfortable to get a close shave if you’re using a lubricant to protect your skin!