A great shaving cream makes for a great shave - period. A rich cushioning lather like soft cumulonimbus clouds, whipped into submission and applied to the face with a brush, creates a slick surface that acts as the medium between you and your blade, softening skin and hair, and helping the blade glide over the hairs, cutting them without discomfort and minimising any chance of irritation or excessive drying.
Most shaving creams employ a fairly standard blend of glycerin and fatty oils that serve the above functions. What distinguishes one product from another are exactly its differences: the fats employed makes all the difference when you're a connoisseur for choice and a sucker for specificity, and the blend of fragrance oils changes our entire experience of a shave. Considered together, each and every shaving cream appeals to a different array of skin and shaving needs and fragrant preferences. In this article, we've chosen our top four for you to explore.
Luxury Pick: Castle Forbes Lime Shaving Cream
If you delve into the world of shaving forums and ask those in the know what their favourite shave cream is, eventually you're going to come across the name Castle Forbes. Made in a real castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Castle Forbes also make some fragrances, but it is their shave creams that have received the most acclaim and are known for their dense lather, concentrated formula and for being fragranced only with the purest essential oils. Handmade in small batches to ensure quality and consistency, it's a small and boutique operation. In addition to the first class lather, Castle Forbes Lime Shave Cream shave cream possesses an incredibly zesty and fruity fragrance of limes, and adds a real burst of citrus zing to your shave. If you're going to treat yourself, or someone else, this would be our pick.
No list of the best shaving creams would be complete without Proraso. While it's not the most luxurious or boutique offering on this list, it wins the award for best value. It's a frequent entry point into the world of wetshaving, and after trying this most people don't see the need to try any others and settle on this one for life. It's fragranced with a hefty punch of eucalyptus and menthol, a classic Italian barbershop scent. The retro packaging looks great too.
Good for Sensitive Skin: Taylor of Old Bond Street Jermyn Street Shaving Cream
This shaving cream is gentle on the skin, lathers in a sinch, and is super slick when applied, easing the blade over the hair and skin, making it perfect for those new to the wet shaving circuit, or who suffer from sensitive skin afflictions. The end result is wonderfully soft skin that is lightly fragranced with a cooling aroma.
Most Moisturising Lather: Geo F. Trumper Coconut Shaving Cream Bowl
Geo F. Trumper's Coconut Shaving Cream is revered for its texture and feel, with a lather that cushions unlike anything else. Thank Coconut Oil extracted from the pulp of the namesake ingredient, rich in naturally occurring fatty acids (Lauric Acid, Stearic Acid, Myristic Acid) that makes the lathering process effortless, and gives a wonderful ‘slip’ to the product. After a shave the skin is left hydrated and soft.
This cream also comes in convenient tube format - we love this product for travelling, as it easily packs away and lathers generously even without the aid of a brush - one less thing to carry around. Furthermore, using an exotic scent like coconut is an excellent way to break from routine, imperative when one travels to exotic locales!