Homemade Shaving Soap Recipe

homemade shaving soap recipes natural organic Homemade Shaving Soap Recipe

At my house, we make almost all of our own toiletries, including deodorant and toothpaste. I’d read plenty to convince me that conventional shaving soaps were relatively toxic, but for a long time, I just used natural bar soap instead. Over time, I developed my own shaving soap recipes that work better than soap and leave skin soft without the chemicals.

Foaming Shave Soap Recipe

This is the shave soap I use most often in the shower because it is easy, inexpensive and works great. Some men may find it harsh on the face due to the high liquid castille content.

Foaming Shave Soap Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Natural Aloe Vera Gel (not juice!)
  • 1/4 cup Liquid Castille Soap
  • 1 TBSP Olive or Almond Oil
  • 1/4 cup warm Distilled Water (or lavender infused)
  • Vitamin E or Grapefruit Seed Extract (to preserve)
  • Essential Oils for Fragrance (optional) – I use lavender
  • 8 ounce or larger Foaming Soap Bottle

Foaming Shave Soap Instructions

  1. Mix ingredients in foamer bottle and shake gently until mixed.
  2. Shake well before each use.

This recipe will last a couple of months (I use up within about 2 months, so I don’t know beyond that). I don’t recommend citrus oils if you are going to be in the sun, since they increase sun sensitivity.

Shave Cream Recipe

I don’t use this recipe as often, and more in the winter for extra moisturizing, but it makes a rich, creamy lather and works really well. This one is also better for men’s faces, as it is more gentle than the above recipe.

Shave Cream Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive, almond or coconut oil
  • 2-3 TBSP Shea or Cocoa Butter
  • 1/4 cup Aloe Gel or Honey
  • 1 TBSP Kaolin clay or white cosmetic clay (optional)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup Liquid Castille Soap
  • Vitamin E or GSE (to preserve)

Shave Cream Instructions

  1. Melt the oil and shea/cocoa butter in a double boiler until just melted
  2. Remove from heat and add other ingredients
  3. Whisk or blend well for several minutes
  4. Transfer to jar or container to store
  5. Check while it is cooling to make sure it doesn’t start to separate. If it does, shake or mix well to re-incorporate.
  6. Lasts up to two months (not sure about longer)

how to make your own shaving soap naturlaly Homemade Shaving Soap Recipe

Natural Bar Shave Soap Recipe

If you don’t happen to have all these extra ingredients on hand, this is any easy way to modify a regular bar soap to make it more shave-friendly. It is a little time consuming, but these bar soaps last a long time and are great for making shave mugs if the men in your life happen to use shave mugs and brushes.

Shaving Soap Ingredients

  • 1 bar of natural, handcrafted soap (store bought regular soaps don’t work!)
  • 1 TBSP olive or almond oil or aloe vera gel
  • 1-2 TBSP white clay, french clay, kaolin, or cosmetic clay

Shaving Soap Instructions

  1. Grate soap and on low heat, melt soap down with oil or aloe vera. It will take a while, so be patient and stir often.
  2. Once melted, stir in the cosmetic clay (this makes a richer lather and is great for the skin).
  3. Pour into molds (I use cardboard) or old mugs and let set for several days until it re-hardens. Will last months and will cure more over time, making it longer lasting.

homemade shaving soap Homemade Shaving Soap Recipe

If you like this recipe, check out these other homemade beauty recipes:

Natural Homemade Substitutes for Conventional Beauty Products
Seven Natural Remedies you Already Have at Home
Seven Natural Beauty Tricks From Your Kitchen
Make Your Own Natural Deodorant With This Simple Recipe
UPDATE: Remineralizing Toothpaste Recipe!
Natural Homemade Sunscreen Recipe
Natural Bug Spray Recipes that Work

Ever made your own shave soap? Still use the toxic aerosol stuff? Share below!

Reader Comments

  1. Karyn says

    I’ve been switching to homemade as we use up our conventional toiletries and have been relying on your recipes :)   so this was timely. I had actually started to wonder if coconut oil by itself would work or do you think it would get too gummed up? Thanks again for another helpful post!

  2. Hannah Richards says

    Hi, I’ve tried your foaming shave soap and loved it! I now use nothing else! However, I made the shave cream for my husband, who has sensitive skin, but he has still experienced burning…any suggestions on how to tweak this recipe for sensitive skin?? Thanks for all your help!

    • says

      Try omitting the baking soda and using natural bar soap melted in water in place of the liquid castille soap in the recipe. you could also sub in arrowroot instead of the baking soda, though leaving it out should be ok too.

    • name says

      Add a little witch hazel. Seriously.. follow her other suggestions but try the witch hazel or some other natural astringent to the mix.

      Gooooood luck. :)

  3. Lyndsey says

    I’m wanting to make the Natural Bar Shave Soap for my grandpa for Christmas.  Where can I buy any of the clay that I would need for the recipe?

  4. Jillian Westfall says

    I’ve just whipped up the shave cream batter and am so excited to try it.  I tried another recipe from pinterest without success, way to runny.  I used almost half the bottle to shave my legs and it still all ran off.  This is now in the process of cooling and I can tell it’s going to be a much thicker lather!  The only nice thing for the other recipe was that my legs were SMOOTH!! 

  5. Danette says

    I am making shaving soap as a gift for Father’s day. I am in the process of gathering my ingredients. Initially I had some trouble finding the right place to purchase clay but finally stumbled across Texas Natural Supply; they are my new favorite website.  I am not sure home much soap to use; how many ounces of bar soap did you use to make the Natural Bar Shave Soap? Handcrafted soaps range in size from 3.5-5oz. 
    thanks for this recipe and for your response, 
    Danette (Austin, TX)

  6. Loretta e says

    I made the shave cream recipe last night for my hubby and he said he got the closest shave ever! You also inspired him to switch to a safety razor which he found at an antique store for $6! I used coconut oil, cocoa butter, honey, baking soda, Dr Bronners, and grape seed extract. I will be using this from now on!

  7. Katie says

    How does the bar soap work? Do you lather it in your hands and then put it on your body, or do you just rub it straight onto where you’re going to shave? I’ve never used anything like that before!

  8. Jen says

    I tried making the shave cream & left out the clay because I don’t have any, this ended up becoming more of a gel than a cream. It still worked well but I’d rather have the cream, is there another substitute for the clay?

  9. Beth says

    Where do you buy your ingredients? I’ve been looking online, but I’m having a hard time discerning the quality of the products.

  10. says

    My shaving cream came out too runny. Can I still salvage it? I used the clay and the baking soda. Not sure what went wrong. Do I need to use an electric blender? Any tips would be incredibly helpful. Thank you.

      • says

        That means it’s not too late. It’s currently in a mason jar and cooled. Should I decant it and try again. I don’t have an electric mixer but I would be willing to go get one tomorrow. Will that be too late? Thanks so much for the quit reply! And I see now that there was indeed a repeat! I’ll try to delete one. Apologies in advance if I am unsuccessful. Cheers, Wellness Mama!

        • says

          You could even try whisking in more clay before you get the electric blender so that you don’t have to get one unnecessarily. Another thing to remember with the clay is that it will continue to thicken after you add it, so even if it isn’t perfectly smooth at the beginning, it will get smoother as it rehydrates.

          • says

            Thank you, Wellness Mama. I did as you suggested and it worked. It isn’t as thick as the one in your pic but much improved. I even gave it a test run. And so far, I’m very pleased. Looking forward to the next batch! Thank you for sharing the recipe with us all.

  11. says

    I’m sorry if there is a repeat. I have no idea how to add to the discussion. Made several attempts and my message keeps disappearing. My shave cream came out too runny. Not sure why. Any tips? Do I have to use an electric blender? Not enough Shea Butter? I eyeballed measure. I just want to salvage what I made – correction: what I attempted to make! :)

  12. Brandi says

    I would add in Castor Oil….it is a natural anti-inflammatory and cleanser. The chemical makeup of Castor Oil allows it to penetrate deep into the layers of the skin. I use Castor oil and olive oil mix as a face wash. It is awesome. The Castor oil can actually dry out the skin. My mix is about 85% olive oil (unrefined organic first cold pressed of course) and 15% Castor oil. (to try it I mixed it up in a kids medicine cup .5tsp castor to 3.5tsp olive oil which makes up the 4tsp cup) Even then I have to use additional Olive oil on the spots I have some eczema or it would still be too drying. My boyfriend already uses this to shave and loves it. He uses a 5050 mix because his face is naturally oily. I know this probably sounds crazy to wash your face with oil but it is incredible. I’m not sure if this site includes the Oil Cleansing Method or OCM in it’s recipes because I haven’t gone through the whole site yet but if not WOW it’s a must try. For this to have maximum effectiveness you must steam the face. Steaming should be done anyway to open up the pores before washing or shaving. It only requires a wet rag rung out from hot water and placed on the face….probably do it a couple times. If just washing then use the mixture and rub all over face for about a minute to really get it saturated, then steam a couple times and gently wipe face of excess oil and steam again a couple times. One more gentle wipe over and that’s it. Rub and remaining oil into face….I could tell right away that the 80% EVOO to 20% Castor I tried originally was too drying right away. My mouth area and chin felt really dry and like my face would crack if I smiled. So I rubbed in some EVOO to remoisturize. To close pores of free radicals in the air after cleansing a few splashes of the coldest water you can stand would work. If you can’t OCM everyday then the ratio is not right for your skin. I also use microfiber rags instead of terry. It’s not so bad if you were washing your face in cold water but when steaming it hurts. I just bought a 2 pack in the automotive area because they are used to wash cars and cut each one into 4 lol.

    Back to shaving, med should steam first always anyway. I’d also heat the shave cream in warm water bath or the like to aide in effectiveness. Apply cream, shave….it usually helps to have a cup with soapy water to vigorously “swish” the razor in because the oils can clog the blade up pretty quickly so a few swishes are needed regularly. This could also be used for women, I use oil myself, and the swishing still needed lol. After the shave is complete use a little more of the CastorEVOO mix and rub in the face and proceed to steam away. My BF is of Syrian descent and as you can imagine he has thick hair and also shaves his head. Good shaving creams and habits are a MUST. He approves of the OCM for shaving and facial cleansing.

    If you are curious about WHY cleansing with oils would actually be beneficially and not magnify acne issues please read about it here…. http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/ Mainstream would have you believe a lot of lies. This includes the food industry as well which is a completely different rant lol so it’s up to us to expose the real truth in healthy living as a whole.

  13. Mindy says

    Thanks for the recipe! I have recently started using an all natural bar soap instead of shaving cream, and was trying to decide what I would use when the bar ran out. I plan to make your shaving bar. But I have a question. Would bentonite clay work instead of the costmetic clay, or is that something very different? Thanks in advance for any help you can give me. :-)

  14. Leigh says

    This may be an odd question. I want to make a sensory box for my baby/toddler and they recommend using shaving cream in a lot of them (messy!) but I don’t want him getting into those chemicals. Would this be something I’d use for that. Any ideas?

  15. Beth says

    I just tried to make a batch of the shave cream and it came out very thin. I quadrupled the recipe that you gave and followed the instructions exactly. Any thoughts on what could have gone wrong and how I can fix it? I have three tubs of thin shaving liquid!

      • Beth says

        At this point I’ve added almost three times as much coco and shea butter as the recipe calls for and it’s still not as thick as the photo is. I think I’m just going to bottle it and use it as a lotion, but I wish I could figure out where I went wrong! Thanks and Merry Christmas.

  16. Disa says

    I made the shave cream recipe for my boyfriend and he loves it. Says it is far better than the shave creams you get from Gilette etc.

  17. says

    I made the shave cream for my dad for Christmas. I mixed it in the stand mixer and it filled FOUR pint jars! The next day it condensed down to one. My dad loves it (though it took him a little to get used to it not foaming up like the store stuff cans), and my mom raved about how soft his face is!

    I actually used bentonite clay and I loved it!

    Question, though…
    Within about a week it turned into a solid. It works great with a save brush, but did I do something wrong? I’d like to make some shave bars and am thinking about using the same recipe since it did this, but I’m hoping I didn’t mess up!

  18. Kat B says

    I made the shave cream and it is kind of thin, but it think it will still work. Should something like this be refrigerated to keep it from spoiling quickly? It says it lasts 2 months, but I am just curious since the Shea/Cocoa butter is heated and then cooled.

  19. says

    I made this shave cream recipe and…. you said it makes a “rich, creamy lather”. Ummm… My husband shaves with a straight razor and he could NOT for the life of him get it to lather. Is it SUPPOSED to lather?? at all?? What makes it lather? I need to add more. lol It just got all gummed up on his brush. I was actually trying to make like a soap BAR, so I did the regular shave cream recipe, but then also added some shavings from a natural homemade castille soap bar and did 2 TBSP of kaolin clay. He says it LOOKS like poop, but if it worked, he didn’t care. I want to fix it, but not sure what I need to add, or what I messed up. I did do 1/2 the recipe instead of the whole amount- in case it didn’t turn out. The consistancy is good, but it doesn’t lather at all. HELP!?!?

  20. Kimmie Winn says

    I want to make the natural shave soap bar for my husband, but I’d rather make my own soap base instead of ordering a melt and pour base… Can I use a normal cold process or hot process soap recipe and add in the extras during or before the trace stage??

  21. Sophie says

    I made the shaving cream. I subbed red palm oil (for the vitamin E) for half the shea butter/cocoa butter and added a tsp of zinc oxide. Instead of the vitamin E oil I added rosemary essential oil. I skipped the baking soda- what is the purpose of the baking soda? Wouldn’t it hurt the acid-mantle of the skin? I added a pinch of citric acid instead after considering the acid-mantle… not sure if this is bad but I don’t think it did anything bad when I used it.

    I’m obviously not male but for non-face shaving it worked really well and has a great lather!!! I’m thinking of making a big batch for an all over moisturising body wash. Smelt great with the honey and rosemary essential oil. I’m hoping to have my boyfriend try it for beard shaving and will let you know how it goes.

    • name says

      Sodium bicarbonate aka ‘baking soda’ is a buffering agent which means it neutralized PH and also acts as as surfactant..

  22. James Hart says

    Most of these ingredients I noticed have to be bought at the store. I know how to make lye from natural materials, mixing it correctly with animal fat makes soap. How would you make one out of stuff you can grow in the backyard without have to buy ANYTHING from the store.

  23. Cherie says

    I have tried store bought soap and handmade soap to try out the shaving bar recipe and nothing will melt after more than an hour of trying. What am I doing wrong?

  24. Neelam says

    Hi, I tried the shaving cream recipe. No substitutions or omissions. It whipped up nice and fluffy. But separated the 2nd day. Even the volume shrunk to half it’s original. Any ideas?

  25. Lorie says

    I read in your comments that Bentonite Clay can be used for the shaving bar. My local vitamin shop carries Red Clay Powder Moroccan, which is supposed to be good for Senstive skin. Will this clay be good to use? I plan on making the shaving bars this weekend.

  26. Kate says

    I made some for my husband today. He was instantly impressed. I did end up using Moroccan clay which turned it a lovely shade of red but he didn’t mind at all. He said he had none of the irritation he normally gets from shaving. He also loved that he didn’t need to use verymuch. So thank you from the both of us!

  27. John Zeh says

    This is NOT a proper shaving soap! I say this as a man who knows about shaving soap chemistry and puts a sharp blade on his sensitive skin every single day. The skin of the face is much more sensitive than the hands’ or legs’.

    Just don’t believe everything a hot mama posts on the internet. She has no idea of what she is writing about. A shaving soap is not a hands soap. Shaving soaps should be done by men (don’t misinterprete me, no sexism intended!) because unless it’s a metrosexual, men are pragmatical, cut the shit (perfumes and so on) and go straight for what their faces need without any extra women’s crafting blingbling – and they try it on themselves before passing it to others. Unless you shave your face every day…

    Within the shaving motto of YMMV, some people may actually tolerate and even like this, but I label this as dodgy. Some comments…

    NEVER EVER EEEEVER add clay to a shaving soap, no mater what people may say good about it. Why? Simple: Clay has hard minerals that will dent the blade on the microscopic level, thus irritating the skin. Do you want the very sharpest blades on the world dented? Not on my face, thank you!

    And baking soda does nothing here best case, or it can even make it worse for the skin. Sodium Bicarbonate is an alkaline buffering agent weak base), and hand made soaps are already alkaline by definition (it all starts with a strong base). So adding it would not buffer the pH, you would need an acidic buffering agent. Instead, you might be raising even more the pH of the soap, and this is *never* good for sensitive skin. If it stings, your skin is being eaten alive (aka caustic burn).

    If you want a good shaving soap, learn your chemistry and safety, and do it yourself from scratch. Google, youtube and YOUR BRAIN are your friends.
    If you don’t know what you are doing, you can do it anyway, but keep it to yourself. Passing bad things onto others is at least negligence.

    Sorry ladies, this might not the best way to please your man. Use your honest intentions some other way.

    • says

      The baking soda can be left out if it is a concern. I understand where you are coming from, but for me, avoiding chemicals is a higher priority that extending the life of a razor blade. If you have a natural recipe that is a “proper shaving soap” I’d love to share it… (and p.s. women use shaving soap too)

    • Alex says

      For someone who doesn’t intend any sexism, it sure sounds like sexism to call any additive a person who is female may like in their soap ‘crafting blingbling.’ And props for clarifying that ‘metrosexual’ men are not as pragmatic as the rest of you.

      Apply your reading comprehension skills and note that no recipe above calls for hand soap, but /handcrafted/ soap, many of which are super-fatted, and are a lot more pH balanced than that sodium lauryl sulfate crap you get at the supermarket. Which, dear reader, Katie warns people not to purchase. Remember, YOUR BRAIN is your friend.

      And, for the record, women are typically shaving quite a bit more surface area than you are, pal. I think it’s perfectly fine that women decide what ‘blingbling’ they want in their soaps, unless you’re the type of man who likes to tell a woman what to do with her body. Unlike ‘metrosexuals,’ obviously. They’re just not pragmatic enough to stop all those women who are ruining shaving for you by making their own soap.

      If you don’t have anything nice/non-misogynist/non… ‘metrosexual’-phobic to say, you may want to consider keeping comments to yourself. If you’re genuinely concerned about the longevity of the razors of others, leave off your sexism and your snark.

      Great recipes, Katie. I actually really love your shave soap, and contrary to internet science, I seem to get a lot more life out of my razor since I switched. A smoother shave as well.

  28. John Zeh says

    Thanks for the censorship on my comment, you have only proven my point. Go on, keep on rashing and burning people’s faces. Now it’s not negligence, you are doing it deliberately with knowledge. Shame on you!

    PS – I’ve saved my other comment and I’ve posted it with your nickname and website on shaving forums, and people aren’t happy. You’ve shot yourself on the foot…

    • says

      Wow… some people have no patience. I’m glad you have the time to peruse shaving forums all day. I have five children and a busy life and don’t spend my entire day waiting for your comments to come through so I can approve them. My filter flagged your commend and I wasn’t able to approve or respond until today. I appreciate that you spent the time commenting, but I don’t appreciate the rude tone or vindictive behavior… Again, if you have something constructive that contributes to the conversation and would like to share an all natural shaving soap recipe, I”d be happy to read it.

  29. Melissa says

    What brand of Aloe Gel do you use/ Where to buy? All the ones I find that say “natural” and 100% aloe vera: have so many other ingredients listed that I don’t know how it counts as natural and 100%. Thanks for this great article and all of your articles.

  30. Zoe says

    Are you able to share what kind/brand of bar soap you used for the shaving bar recipe? Mine would not melt, no matter what I tried. I grated it and initially attempted to melt it over a double boiler, then gave up and put it right in the pot which just turned the bottom layer of flakes brown. Not a hint of melting.

    Then I boiled a cup of water and mixed it with the flakes in a blender. This worked, I guess. But since I added water, I doubt this is going to harden into anything now.

    The ingredients on my bar are: saponified coconut oil, olive and palm oils, essential oils (patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver, clary sage and clover, organic pine and juniper).

    Thank you for your help.

  31. Monica says

    Hi! Where can I find vitamin e extract or grapefruit seed extract? Or does anyone recommend a certain kind and if so where do I find it? I searched Amazon & looked at some of the affiliate links but no luck. I really want to try this. I use Aveeno & it’s better than some of the other brands but my legs still sting a little after shaving. Thank you!!!

    • Basia says

      I bought mine in my local pharmacy. It costs about 3$, I’d say but I don’t live in the US so I’m not sure how much it is there.

  32. Paula says

    How much lavender essential oil for fragrance do you put in your Foaming Shave Soap Recipe? I’ve been making it for over a year now and I just love it!! :)

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