Homemade Shaving Options for Men

Homemade natural shaving options for men

Most of my posts are geared toward women, but I’ve gotten several requests on Facebook for natural skincare and shaving options for men, since shaving is one of the biggest parts of skin care for most men.

While I obviously have no firsthand experience with this, I interviewed by husband and did some research on The Art of Manliness about the best shaving options for men.

I’ve been making my husband’s shave soap, after shave, and facial rinse for years because he has such thick hair that regular products didn’t work and just irritated his skin. He also switched to an old fashioned razor and a brush shaving set a few years ago and he loves it.

Ladies, if you’ve been looking for a unique and usable gift for your husband, boyfriend, or dad, a real shaving kit with some homemade products is a great option!

A Real Shaving Kit

My husband’s opinion and the general consensus on the Art of Manliness forums is that to get a real shave (if you are going to shave, which was a controversial topic over there) a man must use an old fashioned safety razor or straight razor and preferably a brush and mug soap rather than conventional shaving cream.

There are even brush and mug sets like this one or nicer brush sets with stainless steel brush handle and safety razor. Fortunately, these “old-fashioned” shaving options actually save money in the long run (no disposable or expensive razor heads to buy) and are MUCH better for the skin when used with natural shaving cream.

The Shave Soap

If your man is open to natural shaving, there are several great recipes for homemade shaving soap that you can make at home and that are 100% natural and organic.

If you aren’t up for DIY shave soap, there are actually some decent and really inexpensive store bought options. Williams seems to be the most popular and is actually relatively natural (much more so than shave creams according to the EWG database). There are also more high end options available, like this one which smells great or this pine-scented natural version!

The Aftershave

Alcohol based after shaves can be problematic for the same reason you aren’t supposed to use rubbing alcohol on new piercings: it kills healing skin and slows healing. There are some wonderful nourishing options for after shave skin care for men…

Homemade Lotion Bars are extremely nourishing and contain ingredients that will naturally prevent aging and encourage healing. Some other great options are:

  • Rosemary Oil which is naturally antibacterial and has a great woodsy scent.
  • Shea Butter by itself is also an excellent after shave lotion and has a manly scent.
  • Coconut oil works by itself too and will discourage breakouts from shaving (is there anything it won’t do?!)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar also works great by itself or infused with cinnamon sticks, cloves and bay leaves (if you can handle the smell)

What do you (or your man) use for shaving? New razor or old fashioned? Shaving cream or soap? Aftershave or no? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. I’m so glad you picked this topic to discuss. I have just recently made the shaving cream using your recipe and my husband loves it. He has thick hair and we spend a lot of money on new razors and razor refills and they never seem to work good enough.  He also likes to use an after shave for his sensitive skin but so far nothing seems to really work. However, I have noticed that his skin is so much softer since we have switched to the homemade shave cream.  I definitely plan on purchasing the safety razor and the brush which will come in handy for the shave cream.  I will also try introducing other options for the after shave to prevent bumps.  Thank you for the great post I can’t wait to share the  info with my husband:) 

  2. My husband is trying to perfect using a straight razor these days and has found there’s definitely pros and cons. We haven’t tried homemade cream/lotion yet though. His cheapest way: grow a beard! (although he shaved it for summer now).

  3. I have 4 adult sons and 1 husband and I make and sell soap.  A few years ago I gave each one  of my men a shaving mug,  a Kent badger brush and some homemade shaving soap. They all LOVED it and say it is the best way to shave. A couple of my sons have very thick facial hair and they say it is the smoothest shave they ever had.

     I make my shaving soap with lots of castor oil for lather, add vitamin E and added kaolin clay to give it the “slip” for a close shave.  We just cut a bar in half and put in the shaving mug. I sell my shaving soap so if anyone wants to check out my website  it is http://www.prairiekari.com  I use only natural ingredients in my soap and can let people know the exact ingredients in each bar if they want to email me through my site.

    I actually use a bar to shave my legs too. I rub the bar on my legs and shave. Nice!

  4. i cant find your recipe for the mens shaving cream? is there one?

  5. lol nevermind i think i found it 🙂

  6. I just tried melting two different homemade soaps in order to make the shave soap, but they don’t melt 🙁 I’ve given them about 2 hours in the water bath but no result. Can you please be more specific as to what ingredients must the soaps have in order to be used successfully for your recipes? Thanks!

    • I’m using oil based soaps, but glycerine based soaps should work as well. Do you know what ingredients were in your soap?

  7. My husband has been a ‘wet shaver’ for several years. We have tried several types of shaving soaps. The best so far is mitchell’s wool fat. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001LY7FRK//ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=wellnessmama-20&linkId=c735a296f2b1f2ebd0138e6b872ba5db

    The next best (which started shaving better after hubby gave up all dairy) are the handmade one’s by mama bears. They are all glycerin based. She also makes blends for the ladies

    The definitive place for learning how to wet shave is the forum
    this forum will have reviews for the soaps, after shaves, razors and blades. Also lots of helpful advice for switching from a mach3 type shave to real shaving.

  8. I am getting mine a rechargeable electric shaver for xmas, as he hates shaving and always nicks himself

  9. will the lotion bars break me out?

    • I would guess it depends on your skin, but I doubt it. I have naturally oily skin and it doesn’t bother my skin (or hubby’s) at all. Shea butter and coconut oil are naturally antibacterial which helps with that…

  10. Nice post.

    I started traditional shaving with a DE this time last year, and my skin has never felt better.

    Williams is a long-standing staple, but the latest formulation has proved to be finicky for a lot of wet shavers. I’d recommend Van Der Hagen as a better option that’s available in drug and department stores.

    For people who are willing to go mail order, the RazoRock Artisan line of soaps is a great combination of quality, ease of lathering, effectiveness and price.

  11. In the shaving bar do you recommend glycerin or lye based homemade soap?

    • Really whatever will work best on the guy’s face. Some guys do a lot better with glycerine since it is smoother for shaving…

  12. what about the ladies and waxing is much better what waxing recipies do you have

  13. I’ve been wet shaving for years now. I switch between a straight razor and a double edged safety razor (depending on my mood). As for aftershave, I find an alum bar to be a wonderful solution. It closes the pores and it soothes the skin. Witch Hazel works too, however, it does have some alcohol in it. I used to make my own soap, but it became too much of a hassle with my limited time. I primarily use Williams, now.

    • You might like the Sandlewood shave soap from Crabtree and Evelyn. It works great for my beard, and the scent is quite nice.

  14. What about the old fashioned safety razor for ladies legs and armpits?

    • I just switched over to a safety razor and I LOVE it on my legs and pits. Definitely recommend, though I’d suggest using some sort of shaving soap/creme. There’s a bit more drag with the DE razor over the cartridges or disposables.

  15. I’m already using a safety razor but I’ve never considered homemade soap/creme. I shall hunt down the recipe and give it a go. Thanks!

  16. What brand of vitamin e oil is best to use? I’ve researched D-ALPHA tocopheryl is the natural type of vitamin e but I’m having a difficult time locating it. I’d prefer not to by synthetic if at all possible. Suggestions?

  17. I’ve used a shaving oil for few years now and found it gives the best results and it also seems to moisturise at the same time. I never get that itchy feeling after shaving now. Any recipes for Shaving Oil?

  18. I got a gravatar and I wanted to see if it worked.

    Here’s the thing. I want to make a lotion bar for my nephew – who’s 16 and shaving (once every couple months) and I wanted to know what are the expiration dates on one of them? Does it vary – like if I add Jojoba oil or vitamin E or any other ingredient (I know if I put in some herb or flower it would but I think you know what I’m asking,, like mica won’t affect expiration right?) If you don’t use any food/herbal infusions etc… does this have an expiration date?


  19. Sandalwood is a great option for mens shave lotion or after shave. It’s a disinfectant, anti-inflammatory, astringent, antiseptic, anti-bacterial…. I can’t remember everything but it’s a full body tonic. Oh it also helps cuts heal faster and clear up scars. Good for acne-prone skin too.

    Lately I’ve been using Sandalwood and Vanilla essential oil. They smell great together! I use a little more vanilla for womens skin care products. A little sweeter makes it more feminine but Sandalwood is a masculine scent. I’ve used it in deodorant, body butter, shave lotion, after shave and bath gel for men. Sandalwood is my new favorite man scent after years of using Rosemary and mint. My husband isn’t fussy or picky but he loves this new scent. Then I just add more vanilla to girl it up.

  20. give Karmin a try.

  21. I am looking for a natural replacement for electric shave for electric shaving. Any suggestions?

  22. Sorry I meant lectric shave

  23. I’m so happy I found your recipe for men’s shave soap – my s/o and I have recently converted over to straight razor shaving and have come to love it so, so much more. I have a tendency towards awful breakouts and conversely, he has pretty serious eczema, and the shave soap we currently have is fine for him but almost always makes me break out a bit (as a side note, there’s a brand called Zen Society that makes amazing tea tree oil cleanser and it seriously saved my face).

    I used your lotion bar recipe earlier this week and it went great, had an absolute blast making the things too! I’m actually in the process of making a kind of personalized “love yourself” kit for all my friends this Christmas and those lotion bars are definitely part 1 of that plan.

  24. I have just introduced a young teenage man to the oil cleansing for acne that I found on here. He would like to wear cologne now, however that is not a good option as far as a purchase for his family I read about making perfume on your blog. Wow, that’s way over my head so I ended up here thinking about aftershave that might have a fragrance. I’m wondering if I recommend shea butter since it has a manly smell if that will interfere with his oil cleansing? Thank you

    • It will probably depend upon his skin type and if it reacts to it or not…

  25. This is very useful. I was thinking of switching to natural ingredient for shaving and just found this blog. The recipe for the home made soap looks great. I am going to make that on the weekend 🙂