Foaming Shaving Cream

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Attempting to thicken my homemade liquid soap, I ended up with shaving cream instead. I call it a “Fortunate Flop”. Many other DIY shaving cream recipes involve mixing oils/ butters with a bit of soap. Having tried that approach, I was always left with a greasy razor and an oil-ring around my bathtub. It just didn’t work for me. This recipe, on the other hand, contains no oily residues, yet it is a moisturising and super foamy shaving cream that is unlike any DIY recipe you’ll find online.

Recipe variations

Liquid soap made from coconut oil: You can use any natural liquid soap. Just don’t expect it to lather up as well. Remember, you can make it yourself too – here’s my recipe. If you’d prefer to buy a liquid soap for DIY, then here are my top 3 recommendations:

  • The Bear Necessities fragrance-free liquid soap: This is undoubtedly the best liquid soap on the natural market. It is the most effective, it has the best lather, and it is one of the most affordable too. This is by far my first recommendation if you are looking for a liquid soap to use for all your DIY recipes. It will also be the best product to use for this specific recipe.
  • Dr Bronner’s Liquid Soap: This soap contains many different oils and additives, and has received many positive reviews online. However, it is expensive, since it has been imported from the USA. It also doesn’t lather as well as The Bear Necessities liquid soap, but this would be my second choice.
  • Pure Simple Fragrance-free Liquid Soap: This is an olive oil based soap (castile), which means it does not lather very well, so it won’t foam up a lot (if at all). But it will still work in this recipe.

Essential oils: You can use any essential oil in this recipe. Other good alternatives include chamomile, sandalwood, geranium, tea tree and frankincense.


Cost Price: R38.47 per 300ml.
Lasted me about:
 3 months using once per week. I needed about one teaspoon for both underarms, and about a tablespoon for each full leg. So I was using about 2.5 tablespoons per week.
Estimated shelf life: 6 months if you store away from direct sunlight and moisture. This applies if you use my homemade liquid soap recipe. I cannot speak for other liquid soaps.

*Costs accurate at the time of writing, and based on the best retail prices I’ve found.


  • To truly make this recipe from scratch, you will need to make liquid soap from scratch first, which is a much longer process than when you already have natural liquid soap on hand.
  • This recipe may separate into layers in hot climates. To fix, simply shake or stir.


  • No oily residue, yet moisturising and gentle on skin.
  • Great lather that is incredibly foamy.
  • The lavender soothes razor burn, cuts and prevents rashes and breakouts on skin.
  • If you use homemade liquid soap (like I have), you bring the cost of this recipe way down, and it will be significantly cheaper than buying natural (and even some unnatural) shaving creams.


  • Coconut oil based liquid soap: is a great cleanser which foams up really well. (Buy here)
  • Vegetable glycerine: moisturises the skin and retains moisture in the skin by acting as a protective barrier that locks in moisture. It is also necessary to hydrate the xanthan gum in the recipe to prevent clumps from forming. (Buy here )
  • Xanthan gum: thickens liquid soap to give it a cream-like texture. Xanthan gum is a sugar derived from either corn, soy or wheat. (Buy here)
  • Lavender essential oil: soothes razor burn, cuts and prevents rashes and breakouts. (Buy here)
  • Sea salt: helps thicken the liquid soap and detoxifies and cleanses the skin of impurities. (Buy here)

Important note: If you are new to using essential oils, please read more about how to use essential oils safely here. Need help finding these, or other ingredients? My shopping guide may help you.


If you don’t want to make it yourself, then these are some natural shaving cream products which you can buy. They are, however, more pricey than making it yourself:

Best reviews & Certified Organic:
Pure Beginnings Shave Crème ingredients: Glycerin, aqua (water), sorbitol, decyl glucoside, lauryl glucoside, sesamum indicum (sesame) seed oil, aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf extract, xanthan gum, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, hydrolyzed wheat protein, inulin, guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, allantoin, citrullus lanatus (kalahari melon) seed oil, mentha piperita (peppermint) oil, menthol, citric acid, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil*, benzyl alcohol, dehydroacetic acid, tocopherol, gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen) leaf oil, eucalyptus globulus leaf oil, linalool, limonene.

Simplest natural ingredients:
Earthsap tea tree shaving cream ingredients: Water, cetyl alcohol, stearic acid, glycerine, tea tree oil, mint oil, lemon oil, lavender oil.

Do you think that this is an effective shaving cream? If you’ve tried it, please share your feedback in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “Foaming Shaving Cream”

  1. Hi! I love your blog!! I have some questions concerning the storage.
    Should it be a jar or can I use a dispensing glass bottle for the shaving cream and what about the after shave? What works best? I still need to order my packaging 🙂

    • Hello Suzaan,
      Thank you for your positive feedback and question. I must apologise that it’s taken me so long to get back to you. I have so many comments coming in, that there’s a bit of a backlog. I’m sure you’ve already bought your packaging by now, but I’ll still respond. To answer your question, you can use a glass dispensing bottle for the shaving cream, because it is the texture of a cream. But make sure the dispenser has a wide enough tube. Some dispensers have very narrow tubes – that won’t work. A tube that is at least 3-5mm wide should work. Generally, if it’s the texture of a milkshake and can be sucked up through a straw, you can use a dispensing bottle. Not that I’m telling you to drink your shaving cream. Haha. The aftershave will also work with a pump bottle. If the aloe gel you buy is more of a liquid than a gel, then it would be best to use a dropper bottle – like the ones essential oils are packaged in, but the bigger ones – like the 50ml and 100ml dropper bottles that jojoba oil is often packaged in. If you’ve already bought your packaging for these products, I would love to know how well they worked for you? Let me know. 🙂


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