Homemade Shaving Soap Recipe

Katie Wells Avatar

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Homemade natural shave soap recipes
Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » 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.

If shaving is your chosen method of hair removal, read on!

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 castile content.

Foaming Shave Soap Ingredients

how to make homemade shaving soap

  • 1/4 cup Natural Aloe Vera Gel (not juice!)
  • 1/4 cup Liquid castile Soap
  • 1 TBSP Olive or Almond Oil
  • 1/4 cup warm Distilled Water (or lavender infused)
  • 1/2 tsp 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 castile Soap
  • 1/2 tsp 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

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

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

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

This simple shaving soap recipe is a natural alternative to chemical laden store bought brands and leaves skin soft and smooth

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


133 responses to “Homemade Shaving Soap Recipe”

  1. John Zeh Avatar
    John Zeh

    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.

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      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)

    2. Alex Avatar

      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.

  2. Kate Avatar

    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!

  3. Liliana Avatar

    I made the shaving cream with baking soda. My husband says he feels his face sting. Why is that?

  4. Lorie Avatar

    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.

  5. Neelam Avatar

    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?

  6. Cherie Avatar

    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?

  7. James Hart Avatar
    James Hart

    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.

    1. name Avatar

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

  8. Mikie Avatar

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your shave cream recipe. I wanted to shave again this evening just because 🙂 THANK YOU!

  9. Lewis Harper Avatar
    Lewis Harper

    Bet you $10 neither recipe would produce a stable lather…:)

    1. Dawn Avatar

      You would lose that bet. Fan of the bar soap recipe with a lather brush but both recipes work great. 🙂

  10. Sophie Avatar

    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.

  11. Kimmie Winn Avatar
    Kimmie Winn

    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??

  12. Tara Newton Owen Avatar
    Tara Newton Owen

    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!?!?

  13. Cynthia Loiselle Avatar
    Cynthia Loiselle

    Any idea how much GSE or vitamin E is needed to preserve the shave cream?

  14. Kat B Avatar

    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.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I’ve never had it go bad, but keeping in the fridge would keep it thicker and keep it good longer…

  15. Eryn Milliken Avatar
    Eryn Milliken

    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!

  16. Disa Avatar

    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. Julia Sanchez-Harris Avatar
    Julia Sanchez-Harris

    I just made the shave cream for my husband. It came out perfect!! I can’t wait for him to try it 🙂

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