Homemade Shaving Soap Recipe

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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. Tim Seaward Avatar
    Tim Seaward

    Hello Wellness Mama,
    Please can you advise me?
    As I was googling for shaving soap I came across your recipe for shaving foam. It has all the ingredients I would like to use. However, I want a solid shaving soap so that I can control it with a brush, and I would prefer to use this recipe and perhaps adapt it. Is that possible? I thought that if I were to use coconut oil, pure beeswax, and cacao butter (all of which solidify when cool), and add the soda, castile soap, and vitamin E, then, with the right amounts it might produce a solid bar. If you think that might work – even by adding or subtracting elements (this is where your expertise comes int), then would you please let me know. I think your blog rocks! Thanks. Merci – Tim

  2. Rachel Avatar

    I love the slight cheat on the bar of shave soap, using a handcrafted bar of soap, rather than going full hog cold process soap (I still haven’t got to trying that method yet, so welcome the ease of this)

    Question would Dr Bronners castile soap bar work for this recipe?

    Thanks Rachel

  3. Sam Avatar

    Please consider demonstrating with a video, especially the last two — shaving cream and shaving bar soap — versions. Have been looking for a recipe that results in dense lather, and would love to what is possible (rather than to wonder if I am doing something wrong).

  4. Jenni Lewis Avatar
    Jenni Lewis

    I made the Shave cream for my husband and he said it was the closest shave he has ever had, and leaves his skin so smooth and soft. He compared his regular routine with using the shave cream (same razor each time) – he rotated his regular store-bought product to the homemade one every other day. After the 4th day he was determined to throw the store-bought version out!

  5. Jenny Avatar

    Ive had a go at making the natural bar soap , turned out lovely, melted fine no problems using melt & pure & set lovely in no time at all. Only problem in using it lathers but doesn’t last on the face seems to disolve to quickly? Anything I can put in to help with this ? Other than that really happy with it .

  6. Meigan Avatar

    I have been making the fluffy shaving cream for years and my husband loves it. I’m havin a hard time cleaning the shower in the area that he shaves though. I think it’s the Shea butter coating the tiles— any suggestions?

  7. Jamie Avatar

    I tried making the bar shave soap with a natural bar. However like many users it wouldn’t melt. I put the setting to hi instead of low and it started to turn the soap brown and it started to burn. The house filled with smoke but it looked like it worked. However, I’m concerned all of the healing ingredients of the aloe were burned away. Is this ok? Any tips you could give would be much appreciated as this is the only recipe I’ve found that allows using a natural bar of soap already made. Thanks so much.

  8. Liz Avatar

    How should you your shave cream be stored? Is it shelf stable or should it be refrigerated?

  9. Elyse Avatar

    Just wanted to finally comment since I’ve been using your shaving cream recipe for a year now. We love it! My husband wanted something more natural and your website came up. It’s easy, quick and works well for him. Thanks!

  10. deb Avatar

    I made a cold process shaving soap. My Dad uses it every day, and loves it. I put it in a mug and gave him a shaving brush. No more dollar store Barbasol foam, and his face is baby soft! I keep a bar of it in the shower for my legs.

  11. Aria Avatar

    Could I use Bentonite clay instead of kaolin? I’ve purchased it to try out a cream deodorant recipe I found, but I’d love to try this one out too 🙂

  12. Andrew Avatar

    Would something like Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap Bars work for the Natural Bar Shaving Soap?

  13. Charlotte Avatar

    Would it be possible to use Bentonite Clay instead of Kaolin Clay? Many Thanks…Im so happy i’ve found this site!

  14. Krista Avatar

    Hey! I’m planning on making the soap pucks tonight for my bf. I’m going to use muffin tin liners in a muffin tin to make things easy. I was wondering if I would substitute the 1TBLS of almond oil with Shea Butter? I was thinking the Shea might make a richer later and we are addicted to Shea! My concerns are 1) will it clog pores (it’s such a small amount I figure it might not) 2) would it clog the rasor (again.. such a small amount?) I do have sweet almond oil so it’s not a problem to stick to the recipe, just thought Shea might make it extra moisturIzing and a richer layer? What do you think? Lastly I hear about ladies having trouble melting their soaps. I’m using Dr Bonners uncented castile bar soap – any experience with this? Thanks!!!

  15. Stacey Williams Avatar
    Stacey Williams

    If you have a castille soap that has the
    coconut oil, Shea butter and vitiamin e in it do you still need to add those when making the shaving cream? How much shaving cream does the recipe make?

  16. Netizen Avatar

    Great stuff! I was inspired by this blog to make my shaving cream, which I use with a straight razor.

    I noticed that some people had concern that the clay would dull a blade, but that has not been an issue.

    I hone my own razors using water stones, and often times I will rub two blocks together in order to create some clay to help sharpen the razor.

    So clay, is beneficial to razor sharpness. It is the hairs that do all the dulling.

    One reason why it is necessary to have a soapy shave soap is that it SOFTENS the hairs. high pH softens the hair.

    Sure, it disrupts the acid mantle…BUT. Everytime you shave, you peel off the top layer of skin along with the acid mantle.. I think.

    Anyways. Great post, Wellness Mama. I really enjoy this website.

    My modified recipe of the shaving cream consisted of using a two fluid ounce (1/4 cup) bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Hemp Almond Castille Soap, adding two fluid ounces of Castor Oil… and 1 TB of Kaolin Clay. I shook this combination up in an old olive-jar and use the cream for shaving. Just a little water keep the cream nice and slippery!

  17. Chesley Avatar

    Katie, I feel like you are my new best friend! I started with your underarm detox, realizing what so many already knew, that I shouldn’t use chemical deodorant/antiperspirants on my underarms. Many friends tried natural (but store bought) deodorants and frankly, they stank! I didn’t want to add to the aroma. Haha. I did the detox and made a batch of your deodorant (bought containers online), and passed them out to my “stinky” friends, and we all love it! And we don’t smell! That has led me to try many other of your recipes for natural DIY substitutes for my every day products. I’m having so much fun!

    On to Shaving Soaps… I made, use, and LOVE the shaving foam! Put it in a foaming soap container and its perfection! That has made me want to gift the men in my life some shaving soap. I’ve ordered boar bristle brushes and plan to put the soap into ceramic mugs for daily use. I’m reading the comments (including ones not delivered in a kind and loving manner), and want to ask a few questions.

    1. Does your husband use the shaving soap? Does he have issues with his blades dulling? Should I be concerned about this?
    2. Do you know the ingredients of the Dr. Bronner’s Natural soaps vs. bars I’ve made myself (hot process)? I do have essential oils in my bars, which leads me to the next question…
    3. Can I add essential oils to the shaving bars or is this an irritant? (My adult son has been using Col. Conk Bay Rum Glycerine Shave Soap for about a year now and loves it! Loves the scent, too. Wondering if I can try and replicate that scent?)
    4. AND, according to the lid, his soap has avocado oil, vitamin E, and glycerine in it. Have you ever tried adding any of those? Or do your ingredients do similar things?

    Sorry for the long post! I really just want to send you an email with everything I’ve learned from reading your posts! I’m having so much fun! Even at…gulp…49!

    Thank you for encouraging change in my family’s lives!

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      Yes, my husband shaves with this soap, and while his blade dulls… all blades do. The whiskers cause it to dull. It’s possible that the fellas complaining about their blades getting very dull are perhaps using straight razors, in which case the concern is a bit higher (although that’s what the strop is for, guys!), or they might have very sensitive skin, or need a very gentle shave, but they failed to specify, so we will never know. My husband use a safety razor that he prefers to be pretty aggressive (and he also has a pretty heavy beard), so he changes out his blade every couple of shaves. The beauty of safety razors is that even the world’s sharpest blades cost peanuts compared to the multi-bladed razors that you find in stores nowadays: even if you discard a blade after each shave, you still are coming out far ahead on cost.
      Regarding ingredients, I am not sure how Dr. Bronners would vary from yours. You can safely use essential oils, but (if you can) try to use gentle ones, being aware that every face is different, and what is irritating to one man may be fine or even enjoyable for another.
      As for adding ingredients… Yes, my ingredients work in similar ways, but if you want to sub things out, go for it! As with all DIY recipes, this is just a jumping off point. If you think of something cool to add, by all means experiment!

  18. Sheila Avatar

    Hi there! I have been following you for a month or so now and was recently inspired to make some HP soap. I don’t have the patience for CP so far. After playing with it for a little while on a soap calculator, I did come up with a great base soap recipe that has been nice and moisturizing that I thought I would share. I am actually going to stir in a little bentonite clay and make some pucks for shaving out of it, as it foams nicely and seems fairly stable, while leaving the skin smooth and soft. I have even been able to stop using body lotion since switching to homemade soap, and I have very dry, sensitive skin. It is super fatted at the end at 5%. Here is the recipe.

    Avocado oil 10%
    Castor oil 5%
    Coconut oil 20%
    Lard 30% – I imagine tallow would work as well
    Shea butter 10%
    Sunflower oil 25%

    I stir in several drops, up to a teaspoon, of essential oils for various fragrances and properties at the end of the cooking time, along with a bit of reserved oil and the clay, and spoon it into a PVC or other home made mold lined with parchment paper.

    There is no olive oil in this soap, as many people seem to dislike it for shaving. Plus lard is cheaper. 🙂 The lard makes a nice, non-drying, firm bar of soap. The sunflower oil helps prevent rancidity and has tons of Vitamin E in it, along with other beneficial fatty acids. The castor oil boosts lather, the Shea and avocado add a nice moisture boost, and the coconut oil is cleansing. I did the sunflower oil in part due to it being non-comedogenic, which is a big deal for things used on the face, in my opinion. My husband, who is super picky about any number of things and not on my natural band wagon, said he would shave with it if I made him, which is high praise from him!

    I was able to find everything at Walmart except the lye, which I ordered online with my Amazon Prime membership. You may need to go to a health food store for the Shea butter, but I was pleasantly surprised by what one can find at Walmart these days. They even had some EOs in the pharmacy. I got a cheap crock pot and stick blender, and some measuring spoons and a scale, and several of my ingredients all for under $50. I had some stuff at home already, like the coconut and sunflower oil. I even found some avocado oil lurking in my fridge, but Walmart does carry it in a a couple different sizes. You could probably sub something else for the Shea if you wanted, but be sure to run it through a soap calculator first.

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