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Shaving is a regular part of our shower routine, and the only thing more important than using a good razor is using the right cream. Not only does a good zero waste shaving cream prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs, but it can also nourish the skin thanks to healthy ingredients and reduce single-use packaging, looking at you plastic!
Anything we can do to make our bathroom routines more sustainable is a cut above! Goodbye Plastic… Helloooooo smooth, silky smooth skin!
Zero waste shaving cream brands we love
We've chosen brands that offer bar soap, oil, and cream and we've made sure that all include beneficial skincare ingredients like aloe vera, shea, coconut butter, and essential oils. And we even have an unscented option too.
Ooh, we love a good double-duty product! Loaded with tantalizing and all-natural ingredients that help heal the skin from tip-to-toe, Ethique's Solid Shampoo Bar and Shaving Bar is the perfect plastic-free multitasker that can be used on your hair and bod!
Ethique is one of those brands that we never hesitate to recommend to people because thier products are so pure and well-formulated.
Let's talk ingredients, revitalising citrus, and peppermint oils are the stars of the show here and totally live up to the quality and performance making this the best zero waste shaving cream! One bar is the equivalent of 3 shampoo bottles & is good for up to 80 uses.
When applied to the skin, peppermint stimulates the circulation in a way that feels initially cooling and refreshing, then gently warming. Peppermint is also a first-class antiseptic, making is really great for a man's shaving routine.
The fairly traded, organic cocoa butter and coconut oil will help to soften and restore, even after you shave. And the kaolin clay works its magic by absorbing sebum and preventing clogged pores!
This bar has a lot to offer, it's vegan, cruelty-free, and certified palm-oil free too! And it's obviously free of ingredients we are trying to avoid. Make sure you check them out in our hand soap and zero waste makeup remover posts.
Born in New Zealand this brand takes sustainably to a whole new level. All ingredients are meticulously sourced to be non-toxic, ethical, and therapeutic grade. Being a Certified B Corp means they adhere to high-standards performance, accountability, and transparency.
All of Ethique's products come in plastic-free packaging and plastic-free shipping!
Sometimes gifts come in small packages. Sometimes they don't come packaged at all and that's what you will get with etee's zero waste organic shave bar. Plant-based and packed with a dose of nutrients from superheroes like Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Castor Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, Bentonite Clay, Black Spruce Essential Oil, and Cedarwood Essential Oil! Sounds divine, doesn't it?
Castor oil, a heavy vegetable oil, conditions and provides a protective barrier on the skin that helps to aid repair. Byeee razor burn!
Your skin will be left feeling moisturized and smooth! This bar is free from Sulphates, Parabens & harsh chemicals, and animal testing!
We have a love affair with etee! This Toronto-based Greenovator has been featured in our zero waste toothpaste, eco-friendly loofahs, zero waste hand soap, zero waste floss, and natural face wash guides, just to name a few.
They have MAJOR eco-cred and when it comes to packaging, they always try to source natural options where possible. As such, all of their packaging, boxes, stickers, tape, envelopes, stuffing, and inserts are either recycled, compostable, or biodegradable.
Editor’s Note: Although these bars are vegan and palm oil free, etee does make products with ethically sourced beeswax and some other products do contain palm oil.
Jungle Culture's zero waste solid shaving soap bar is perfect for people on a budget. They lovingly hand-crafted all of the bars in Vietnam with locally sourced organic coconut oil and high-quality essential oils.
The bars are cold-pressed, and you have two wonderful ones to choose from:
- Aloe Vera & Cooling Mint Shave Bar "combines cooling mint extract with soothing aloe vera to create an uplifting and revitalizing shaving experience for men and women".
- Charcoal & Cracked Black Pepper Shaving Soap combines "combines rich, moisturizing charcoal with invigorating black pepper to cleanse and exfoliate your skin whilst shaving".
Aloe and charcoal are both well-known and loved for leaving skin silky soft and nourished and depending on how much you shave, this bar can last up to one year.
About Jungle Culture
Jungle Culture is a fantastic zero waste online shop where you can everything you need from your bathroom to your kitchen, with almost everything being plastic-free. They are also members of 1% For The Planet and are so transparent about their ethical sourcing, their coconut bowls are so gorgeous and you can meet the maker right on their website. All their goods are "innovatively crafted with leading British designers and Asian artisans"!
Beauty By Earth's zero waste shaving soap is infused with the likes of shea butter, Cacao Seed Butter, Sunflower, and Safflower seed oil, all of which aid in healing the skin.
Cocoa seed butter in particular repairs and protects the skin, it's a dry wax and a really good emollient which means it acts as a barrier to prevent water loss and helps keep the skin so soft.
The lavender and Ylang Ylang give is a light and lovely scent. You won't find any unwanted Sulfates, parabens, phthalates, synthetic dyes/fragrances, triclosan, petroleum, or gluten in these USDA- Certified organic, Leaping-Bunny vegan bars, but a heads up, they do contain palm oil.
They source their palm oil from Ciranda (of Wisconsin) the first American company to be granted a 100% sustainable identity by the most stringent RSPO criteria.
About Beauty By Earth
They are Leaping-Bunny certified, have an excellent rating from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), and this year they partnered with rePurpose Global to become "plastic neutral" which means they work towards:
"Offsetting the environmental impacts of plastics in our supply chain by removing plastic waste from our landfills and oceans is not only essential but speaks to our core values. We are excited to take this next big step in our sustainability journey and it is only the beginning.”
Love that they are doing this, but we must mention that the majority of thier procuts are in plastic.
If you want something other than zero waste shave bar how about Buck Naked's Canadian Glacial Clay Shaving Soap? It's perfect for a wet shave and is formulated with skin-loving and skin-nourishing oils that help soften the hair follicle!
The Clay is the star of the show here! It's considered a natural treatment to help tone the skin, stimulate circulation and remove dead skin cells, all essentials to a really great shave. It's simple to use, just scoop out a little, and apply it to the legs, the water will help to lather it making it easy to cover your whole leg.
Buck Naked's Clay is socially and environmentally responsible; harvested under government authorization, First Nations consultation, and sanctioned by international standards associations. Their Shea butter is sourced from the Global Shea Alliance.
It's lightly scented with cedar + sage essential oil, free from all the nasties, vegan, cruelty-free, and palm oil free too! And it's naked! All of their bar soaps come with a little cardboard sleeve, that can easily be recycled. This soap comes in a metal tin that can be reused or recycled.
About Buck Naked Soap Co.
Along with offering amazing natural products, as a champion of equality Buck Naked has partnered with the One Drop Foundation, an organization doing unbelievable work to help make clean water more accessible to marginalized communities around the world.
They allocate 2% of annual profits and 10% of sales proceeds from their Ripple Effect line directly to the Foundation and all of the work they do aligns with United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
They had us at Hippie! 😘 LOVE the fact that Hippiecraft's Foaming Shave Cream comes in a glass mason jar that can be refilled by them or reused by you for so many things in the home, including DIY cleaning recipes and even eco-friendly gift wrapping.
You've got two scents to choose from, lavender or Rosemary Mint, both are so beneficial to the skin. Along with these, you will also find handmade liquid Castile soap, organic coconut oil, organic olive oil, organic hemp seed oil, organic jojoba oil, water, potassium hydroxide (lye), Aloe Vera Gel, Sweet Almond Oil, and Essential Oils.
Castille soap is a bonafide superhero ingredient, it's excellent for and safe for all skin types, but works great for acne-prone skin too. It's got antibacterial properties and is great for those who have dry skin and are worried about dryness.
This small, local Etsy seller carries eco-friendly bath and body care. Everything is handmade using only the best organic and natural ingredients. And free from chemicals, artificial dyes, artificial fragrances, parabens, sulfates, and, preservatives!
Other products are packed in reusable glass and metal tins.
7. Leaf Shave
Leaf Shave's oil is a simple concoction of ingredients that will lock in moisture and soften hair proving a little extra glide when you shave. It's unisex and can be used on any part of your body.
With a combination of 5 beneficial oils and Vitamin E, this zero waste shave oil will reduce inflammation that can lead to razor burn and or any irritation.
Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant that also doubles as a great moisturizer and sunflower oil is rich in omega-6 linoleic acid and carotenoids, which can help repair and protect the skin!
This unscented oil is simple to use, apply a dropper to wet skin and hair and rub it in before applying shave soap. After your shave, apply a dropper and rub it into your skin for lasting hydration. It's free of all the stuff we don't want and it's vegan too!
It comes in a glass bottle, the dropper is wood, glass, and rubber and the refill cap is aluminum. Leaf Shave reminds us to:
"Clean and recycle or re-purpose the glass bottle when done, save the dropper for the refill bottle and recycle aluminum cap".
About Leaf Shave
If you want a sustainable shave, look no further than Leaf Shave. The two Adam's, who own the company, wanted to give people a better razor for a better shave, but at the same time taking the planet into account.
Leaf Shave users will keep 3+ million disposable plastic razors out of landfill this year. 🤯
They package and ship plastic-free. They measure, record, and aggressively offset the carbon footprint of thier organization. And they financially support climate action non-profits.
8. DIY Zero Waste Shaving Cream
Making your own skincare products reduces waste and saves you money! We love a good shaving balm and this one is SO healing. We are using simple ingredients that are easy to find and will benefit the skin tremendously.
Let's begin with the basics, shaving cream is meant to protect the skin from the blade and hydrate it too, so choosing ingredients that do both was really important to me when creating this recipe. I've tried using coconut oil and shea butter (both great) to shave my legs but found they weren't helping with in-grown hairs and razor burn (ouch)! I need to amp up this recipe to make it effective.
I've also added essential oils to this recipe. I am a firm believer in the effectiveness of essential oils when used properly, they have amazing healing benefits not only for the skin but overall health.
Sandalwood Essential oil is soothing, and hydrating, and aids with razor burn thanks to its antiseptic properties.
Neroli Essential oil has antimicrobial properties and improves the appearance of skin irritations and helps to balance oils too.
German Chamomile Essential oil is excellent for sensitive skin and aids in reducing redness. And it's soooo calming!
So you see all of these oils are chosen because of their specific benefits to the skin and ones I feel will aid in the shaving process.
By using three carrier oils, coconut, grapeseed, and sunflower, and combining them with shea butter and carnauba wax, you get this smooth creamy balm, that I simply love.
The shea butter lubricates the skin allowing for a close shave and I chose to use Carnauba wax mainly because it's vegan. It's used widely in everything from lipstick to balms. It's a great alternative to beeswax but has a higher melting point (180-185 degrees) so keep that in mind.
It's also harder than beeswax. It's an excellent thickening agent and efficient emollient, which helps make the skin soft and smooth.
This moisturizing shave cream will not foam like the ones you are used to and that's okay. I hope you will give it a try anyway.
- 2 tbsp Coconut oil
- 1 tsp Grapeseed oil
- 1 tbsp Sunflower oil
- 1 tsp carnauba wax
- 1 tsp Shea nut butter
- 4 drops Sandalwood essential oil
- 4 drops Neroli essential oil
- 1 drop German Chamomile essential oil
Step 1: Place the oils, wax, and butter into a glass bowl. Fill a pot halfway with boiling water. Put the glass bowl on top (creating a double-boiler). Melt all the ingredients.
Step 2: Remove the bowl from the heat. Use gloves the glass will be hot. As the balm begins to cool, add the essential oils.
Step 3: Put the liquid into a sterilized jar and let it sit to cool for about 1 hour. The balm will change color and that's ok.
How to use this DIY shaving balm?
- In the shower, let the water run on your legs for a bit. This will help to soften the skin and open up the pores, making shaving easier.
- Apply the balm directly to the skin. Use as much as you feel comfy with.
- Use short strokes and don't push too hard.
- Rinse and dry.
- Apply a really good moisturizer
Recommended for: All skin types
Usage: When you need a good shave
Make sure you do a patch test before trying any new products
If you are pregnant, make sure to check with your doctor before using any product with essential oils
Ingredients to avoid in shaving creams
Don't be greenwashed by the increase in prominently promoted natural ingredients such as sunflower oil, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, and aloe in drug store shaving creams. They are still loaded with suspect ingredients to avoid like formaldehyde-releasing DMDM hydantoin, BHA, and triclosan! As well as...
1. Propylene Glycol
Is derived from petroleum. My first question is why the heck is this in my shaving cream? I mean this stuff is found in anti-freeze, brake fluid, and paint. The by-product from this “oil” creates a layer on your skin and over time does way more harm than good. It strips away your skin's natural oils and dries it out.
If you are buying a shaving cream (you won’t want to after you see how easy this recipe is) look for ones with moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, jojoba, or coconut oil.
2. Mineral Oil
Mineral oil also comes from petroleum and may contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which have been shown to be carcinogenic. It’s a cheap, synthetic ingredient that’s added to certain skincare products to help the skin retain its moisture - which Propylene Glycol is stripping away- but what they don’t tell you is that this ingredient creates an impenetrable layer on the skin prohibiting it from releasing toxins.
NOT GOOD! And when used over a long period of time, it will clog pores and dry out the dermis. Take a look at my in-depth graph in my Smart Swaps Series It outlines how to read and understand labels.
Like butane, isobutene and propane are chemicals that are used in aerosol cans to push the gel, foam or substance from the can. They are also known to dehydrate the skin.
Why should we care about dry skin? Because it ages us, it makes fine lines and wrinkles more prominent (no thank you) and daily exposure to toxic chemicals can lead to health problems too.
Regardless of what's in it, we also have to contend with VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) from aerosol creams and gel pumps. A few years back, the state of California forced shaving companies to reduce VOCs from 7% of their product by weight to 4%.
How do we choose the best zero waste shaving creams?
Like all things with sustainable skincare we look for the following:
Good ingredients: We want products made of the finest natural ingredients possible — that will not harm us or the environment. Certified organic ingredients and products are always best. It means no pesticides or other harmful chemicals throughout the production process.
Vegan: We favor products that have ZERO animal ingredients or derivatives.
Cruelty-free: steer clear of any products that could be tested on any animals.
Palm oil-free: Palm oil is quite taxing on the communities where it is produced. With ethics and sourcing issues that are still very tenuous and very present, I try to avoid them wherever possible.
Sustainably sourced: Choose products that are not only safer for us to use but safer for the planet and for the people involved across the supply chain.
Better packaging: Products that come in compostable, zero waste, recyclable, and/or reusable containers are always preferred.
A final word on low waste shaving creams
Hair removal isn't the most enjoyable beauty routine, but our hope is that the suggestions above will not only help to give you a great shave, reducing nicks and snags, but also benefit the planet too!
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