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It may be a given that your clothing and makeup are all animal-free, but what about your shaving routine? Most shaving creams on the market are tested on animals or contain animal-based ingredients, making it that much harder to shave cruelty-free.

Luckily for us (and for the animals, of course!), there are more vegan and cruelty-free options than ever before for just about everything, including shaving products.

Here is our guide to choosing the best vegan shaving cream or soap for a shaving routine that your skin and bunnies everywhere will appreciate.

Shaving cream vs. shaving soap: which is right for you?

man applying vegan shaving foam

Before we delve into our favorite products, let’s sort out the differences between shaving cream and shaving soap so you can know the pros and cons of each.

Shaving cream

If you’re looking for a quicker and simpler shaving routine, you’ll likely gravitate toward shaving cream, which can be applied easily with or without a shaving brush. Shaving creams usually have a fluid, creamy texture (hence the name) and tend to be more moisturizing, often making them an ideal choice for those with particularly dry skin.

Conventional shaving creams are most often sold in aerosol cans, but seeing as these are full of harmful propellants that aren’t great for the environment, you’ll only find non-aerosol shaving creams on our list.

Shaving soap

Shaving soaps most often come in a reusable tin or jar, as a solid puck, or, less commonly, as a thin liquid. The best way to lather and apply shaving soap is with a shaving brush, so you’ll want to make sure you have a synthetic brush before investing in a solid shaving soap.

Unlike shaving cream, which simply sits on your hair and skin, shaving soap actually lifts away oil from your hair, softening the hair and give you a cleaner shave. However, certain ingredients can make shaving soaps rather drying on the skin, which is why it’s especially important to look for a deeply hydrating formula.

Some shaving soap brands have the added benefits of offering refills for their reusable tins, which gives you a more eco-friendly option than single-use plastic tubes. Check out a demonstration on how to refill your tin and store your shaving soap down below:

What to look for — and what to avoid — in vegan shaving creams and soaps

Choosing a cruelty-free, vegan shaving soap or shaving cream may seem straightforward — just look for the words “vegan” and “cruelty-free” and you’re good to go! — but there’s more to it than that.

Understanding the most important qualities in a soap or cream is the difference between choosing an okay product and a great one. Some of the most important qualities to look for in a vegan shaving soap or shaving cream are cushion, slickness, lather, and scent:



Refers to the sort of protective barrier that the cream or soap provides for your skin. The most cushion a product has, the less likely you are to experience irritation.




Is the slippery layer produced by a soap’s lather that allows your razor to smoothly glide over your skin without dragging or pulling. This is an important quality for avoiding nicks and cuts.




You generally want a rich, creamy lather from a soap or cream to moisturize your skin and lift hair away from your skin for a closer shave. Some formulas you’ll encounter may have a thin lather or be completely latherless, which some shavers may prefer.




While there’s nothing wrong with an unscented soap or cream, a great scent can really enhance your shaving experience. When choosing your product, consider whether you want its scent to linger, or if you’re okay with it fading after it’s been washed off. Opt for natural scents derived from botanical extracts and/or essential oils rather than artificial fragrances.




In addition to these qualities, you’ll want to look for nourishing, moisturizing ingredients to keep your skin supple and smooth. Vegan shaving soaps and creams are more likely to have natural, moisturizing ingredients such as vegetable glycerin, avocado or jojoba oil, fruit extracts, and shea butter.

Not all vegan ingredients are necessarily good for you, however, and some should be avoided. Here are some commonly used ingredients you may want to steer clear of:

Sodium hydroxide


This ingredient is often used as a saponifying agent, meaning that it helps convert oils and fats into soap. However, it’s known to be extremely caustic and can cause skin irritation and organ toxicity.


Sodium laureth sulfate


Not to be confused with the similar sounding sodium lauryl sulfate, this ingredient is used as a surfactant, or cleaning agent, in shaving soaps and other cosmetics. While generally considered nontoxic on its own, sodium laureth sulfate is often contaminated with manufacturing impurities, which is why we’ve included it.




Phthalates are sometimes used in shaving cream to increase its elasticity. Often hiding under the generic name of “fragrance,” this ingredient has been singled out as a possible endocrine disruptor.




Parabens are used as preservatives in shaving cream and other cosmetics, but they’ve been scrutinized in recent decades for possible links to hormone disruption and the promotion of cancer cell growth. There are many ingredients in this family, but you can easily identify them because pretty all of them end in the word “paraben” (e.g., butylparaben, methylparaben, etc.).


man applying vegan shaving soap

The Best Vegan Shavings Creams and Soaps

Now that you’re an expert on choosing a vegan shaving cream or soap, it’s time for reviews! Here are our top picks.

Henri et Victoria Shaving Soap (Unscented)

The unscented Henri et Victoria Shaving Soap is about as simple as it gets. With just five plant-based ingredients, this shaving soap will give you a great shave without all the chemicals and preservatives found in traditional shaving creams.

Users love that this soap has a thick, rich lather and a great slickness. The unscented formula may be ideal for those with sensitive skin or those who simply aren’t fond of fragrance, but the formula is also available in several other scents, including the popular Cognac & Cigars.

Some find that this shaving soap is lacking in cushion and could be more moisturizing. If your skin is already on the dry side, this may not be nourishing enough for you.


  • Thick lather
  • Great slickness


  • Too drying for some
  • Could be more lubricating

Men’s Soap Company Shaving Soap

The Men’s Soap Company Shaving Soap is an all-natural soap made in the US without harsh chemicals and preservatives that could irritate your skin.

The company believes so strongly in the quality of its clean, simple ingredients, that their products come with a satisfaction guarantee. Most users are fans of its pleasant scent and find that its lathers very well, giving you a close and comfortable shave.

As gentle as this formula is, however, it does contain sodium hydroxide and may still be drying to some users.


  • Pleasant scent, not overwhelming
  • Minimal, all-natural ingredients
  • Satisfaction guarantee
  • Gentle, non-irritating


  • Contains sodium hydroxide
  • Too drying for some

Cremo Cooling Shave Cream

The Cremo Cooling Shave Cream is not your typical shave cream. A common complaint among users is that it doesn’t produce a thick foamy lather, but it’s not supposed to. Its thin lather still moisturizes and lubricates your skin and softens hair for a super close shave, but without clogging your razor with mountains of foam.

Users like the value of the Cremo Shave Cream; even with daily shaves, one tube will last several months since you only need a pea-sized drop at a time. True to its advertising, this soothing cream does minimize nicks and irritation, according to most users.

While some like its cool, minty scent, others find it off-putting.


  • Great value
  • Lubricating
  • Minimizes irritation and cuts
  • Gives close shave


  • Thin lather takes some getting used to
  • Scent overwhelming to some

WSP Rustic Shaving Soap

The artisanal WSP Rustic Shaving Soap is made with natural, nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, and vegetable glycerin to provide a comfortable shave. It comes in eight different scents, including the crowd favorite Barbershop.

Users love the scents but some wish that the smell lingered longer after shaving instead of fading away almost as soon as it’s rinsed off.

Most shavers are able to get a slick, thick lather from the WSP Shaving Soap relatively easily, but some have found that the soap is simply too hard and takes extra effort to lather.

If your skin is particularly sensitive, you may find the WSP Shaving Soap too drying and irritating for you.


  • Great scents to choose from
  • Produces thick, slick lather
  • Natural ingredients


  • Scent fades quickly
  • Too hard for some
  • Can cause skin irritation

Pacific Shaving Company Caffeinated Shaving Cream

If you prefer cream to soap, you may fancy the Pacific Shaving Company Caffeinated Shaving Cream. This shaving cream is highly lubricating with great slickness. It has a thinner lather, which is great at reducing razor clogs, but is also less efficient at lifting hairs away from the skin, making it hard to get the closest shave possible. It also has a tendency to slide around the skin rather than staying in place, which can make a mess.

The cream’s added caffeine doesn’t seem to do anything for users one way or the other, and its spearmint essential oil is soothing to some and irritating to others.

If you’re not a fan of mint-scented creams, this isn’t the product for you.


  • Moisturizing
  • Great slickness
  • Less razor clogging


  • Doesn’t lift hair enough
  • Lather doesn’t stay in place
  • Caffeine seems pointless
  • Spearmint can irritate sensitive skin

Brickell Men’s Smooth Brushless Shave Cream for Men

For something completely different than traditional soaps and creams, try Brickell Men’s Smooth Brushless Shave Cream. As the name suggests, this non-lathering formula doesn’t require a shave brush.

Users love this shave cream’s simple formula, made with clean, pronounceable ingredients like aloe vera and shea butter. Even without lather, this shave cream provides a protective barrier for your skin, giving you a close, smooth shave without razor burns and nicks.

While most users are fans of this brushless formula, those with especially fine hair find that it doesn’t provide enough lift. It may also take longer to apply and wash off this formula than traditional soaps and creams.


  • Minimizes irritation
  • Natural ingredients
  • Provides a close, smooth shave


  • Not ideal for fine hair
  • Takes more work to apply and rinse off

Mid Century Shaving Cream

Mid Century Shaving Cream is proudly made with fewer than ten ingredients, and none of them are sulfates or parabens. Users like how this cream nourishes and softens the skin.

This formula is unscented, but it’s also available in a sandalwood bourbon scent, which users rave about.

The quality of this cream’s lather is up for debate; most think it lathers just fine, but others find it lacking. The Mid Century Shaving Cream is a good value, but perhaps not a great one, as it’s one of the less economically priced options on our list.


  • No sulfates or parabens
  • Softens, hydrates skin
  • Lathers enough for most people


  • Not the most bang for your buck
  • Contains sodium hydroxide

Dr. Bronner’s Organic Shaving Soap (Peppermint)

If you’re looking for a natural, organic formula, you may enjoy Dr. Bronner’s Organic Shaving Soap in the classic peppermint scent.

This formula is different than other shaving soaps on our list because it’s a thin liquid in a squeeze tube rather than a solid puck in a tin. Not everyone is a fan of this formulation, because it can be difficult to dispense a precise amount of product without making a mess. Its thinness can also make it harder to lather.

Users enjoy this shaving soap’s great slickness and natural ingredients. It helps to minimize irritation for most, but as with any peppermint-scented formula, it can actually cause irritation for others. Fortunately, it’s available in other scents like lavender and unscented for those with sensitive skin.


  • Very slick
  • Variety of scents
  • Natural, organic ingredients
  • Minimizes razor burn, nicks


  • Runny formula is difficult to dispense
  • Doesn’t lather well

Dr. Jon’s Natural Vegan Shaving Soap

If you’re all about a great-smelling soap, you’ll love Dr. Jon’s Natural Vegan Shaving Soap in Savannah Sunrise. Notes of peach, honeysuckle, and orange blossom will bring some much-needed aromatherapy to your shaving session. If fruits and flowers aren’t your thing, Dr. Jon’s offers plenty of other scents.

Of course, this soap isn’t just about its scent; it’s got great cushion and slickness to protect your skin from nicks and burns, plus it’s deeply moisturizing. Users love the unique packaging of Dr. Jon’s Natural Vegan Shaving Soaps, which come in an array of different designs to go along with its multitude of scents.

The only drawbacks to this handmade, artisan shaving soap is that it’s slightly pricier than most other similarly sized options and contains sodium hydroxide, which will be off-putting to some for the reasons mentioned earlier in this article.


  • Amazing scent selection
  • Uniquely designed packaging
  • Great cushion and slickness
  • Hydrating ingredients


  • Contains sodium hydroxide
  • Price per ounce

Olivina Moisturizing Classic Shave Bar Soap

If you want the cleanest, simplest ingredients in a solid shave soap, you may want to consider Olivina Men Shave Soap in the Bourbon Cedar scent. It’s made with essential oils, sustainably harvested palm oil, shea butter, and other nourishing plant-based ingredients, without drying chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, or phthalates.

Users are a fan of the Olivina shave soap’s scent, but reviews are mixed for its performance. It appears that getting a proper lather out of this solid soap may take some trial and error, and users are split on the quality of its cushion and slickness.

While we enjoy an all-natural soap as much as the next person, this may not be the best one for shaving purposes.


  • Great scent
  • Natural, simple ingredients without harsh chemicals


  • Difficult to lather
  • Insufficient cushion and slickness

Eli’s Extracts Rangoon Head Shave Cream

For all you head shavers out there, we haven’t forgotten about you! Eli’s Extracts Rangoon Head Shave Cream is made with nourishing ingredients to keep your dome smooth.

Users love this deliciously fragrant formula, and with ingredients like essences of cucumber, peach, and pear, you’ll have to remind yourself that it’s for shaving, not eating! Fans of Eli’s Extracts Rangoon Head Shave Cream find that it’s deeply moisturizing and that it protects their head from unwanted nicks and razor burn.

There isn’t much not to love about this shave cream, but since it is formulated specifically for heads, you may want to choose a different cream from this brand for your body or face.


  • Great scent
  • Deeply moisturizing
  • Protects skin from nicks and razor burn


  • Nothing, really!

The Best Vegan, Cruelty-Free Shave Cream

best vegan shave cream - brickell

After reading through hundreds of reviews, my top pick is Brickell Shaving Cream

This cream has the most important qualities that a shaving cream needs: great cushion and protection…despite being a brushless product. Add to that a fantastic scent and an abundance of natural, plant-based ingredients, and it’s easy to see why this product from Brickell is the winner.

Sure, this cream isn’t offered at a bargain price, and its thickness makes it a little harder to work with, but its quality more than makes up for that. Even without the need for a good, synthetic shaving brush, you’re in for an amazing, cruelty-free shave with Brickell.

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Cristina fulfills her passion for animals and writing by working as an attendant at a dog daycare by day, and writing for HappyHappyVegan by night.

Before joining HHV’s team, Cristina wrote and edited petitions that focused on animal rights and environmental issues. She’s traveled the US with PETA’s youth outreach division, peta2, and Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) to educate thousands of college students about veganism and animal agriculture. As a vegan for nine years, she’s extremely grateful to live in Southern California, where there is no shortage of amazing vegan eats and events. She shares a home with her boyfriend, their Australian Cattle Dog, Piper, and her beloved houseplants.