When I was shaving yesterday I realized that after stopping the usage of deodorant and shampoo my only polyingredient sin remains Gillette, THE shaving cream.
Since replacing it for something more simple would be a) cheaper b) (probably) more pleasant to my skin, I'm searching for alternatives.
So if you have any recommendations for DIY shaving creams please do share. Also secret paleo shaving techniques are welcomed ;)
Also aftershaves ? Yes/no/what ?
EDIT: I was actually surprised with cream suggestions but thanks everybody for sharing your opinions on this ichy matter. Be well, shave well.
I don't use any shaving cream, lots of warm shower and steam from the shower seems to do the job so long as the razor is sharp enough and the beard isn't too overgrown. If my beard has gotten especially wild (e.g. after I've been hiking without a shave for a couple of weeks) then plain soap helps a bit.
I used to used brushes, creams, etc as well. Now I use cold water. This is how men in the military used to shave. I now have no razor bumps and get the closest, smoothest shave ever.
There apparently are a lot of benefits to cold water shaving: http://artofmanliness.com/2010/03/24/cold-water-shaving/
I just started shaving my head about 6 weeks ago so I've been trying out lots of shaving methods. I think there is real merit in NWHamilton's cold water shaving method as I've noticed better shaves when I get pulled away from shaving for a few minutes and have to pick back up with cold lather. I just dismissed it as a fluke but will now purposely try it.
Something I've found that the original poster may be interested in as an alternative to shaving cream is Shave Secret shaving oil. It's $6 through the website but Wal-Mart carries it for less than $3 per bottle. The packaging says it is made entirely from "essential oils" and my less-than-discerning nose can definitely make out clove, rosemary and eucalyptus in it. It looks gimmicky with its cheesy packaging but it really helped a lot. I've gotten the closest shaves yet with it and less razor bumps and less post-shave drying. You can also use it as pre-lather, to go on before the shaving cream, if you still want to use shaving cream.
1) Generously wet the area to be shaved
2) In a moist palm, massage 3-5 drops of Shave Secret
3) Massage into the area to be shaved and wait 5 - 10 seconds
4) Shave as usual. (Be sure to rinse your razor often)
5) No need to rinse the shaved area, just towel dry.
To get a really close shave, just re-wet the skin and shave again.
Use 3-5 drops for additional moisturizing and conditioning of the skin.
If you experience any razor drag-add more water, not more Shave Secret.
To clean razor, rinse under hot water and tap in the sink. If necessary, you can use a tooth brush to unclog razor.
To use as a pre electric conditioner, apply 1-2 drops, wait a moment and shave as usual.
As far as I know, your shaving cream contains: Aqua, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Arachis Hypogaea Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Boric Acid, Parfum, Sodium Silicate, Citronellol, Coumarin, Eugenol, Linalool
That's not realy bad...
As an alternative you could use Aleppo olive oil soap with laurel oil and a shaving brush.
After shaving and washing your face, you could apply some coconut oil.
I've been using this for quite some time now: http://www.amazon.de/Palmolive-208298-Rasierseife-classic-50g/dp/B0012XZAKE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=drugstore&qid=1281002574&sr=8-2
And it works great - better than Nivea shaving cream. Cheap, environmentally friendly, small. Took just two or three days to learn to use it.
I am quite sure that just about any brand of soap will work. And you could probably even use... coconut oil ;)
Lush got a very interesting selection of products for your shaving needs.
I've been using it for most then a year. Works great, feel great and deliver.
I found this at Walmart:
Reposting here, Justin Owings nails it! (he has a great meatza reipe too!) http://www.justinowings.com/on-shaving-shaving-cream-and-razors/