Is Your Shaving Cream Killing You? DIY Smooth Hippy Shaving Cream

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Over a year ago I shared my recipe for the shaving cream that I accidentally made when I messed up the dish soap I was trying to make. I have since reworked this recipe to make it work even better for you and your soon to be silky smooth legs! With summertime in full swing, the one thing I can count on is the need to shave my hairy greek legs to feel that silky smooth feeling that you get when you stick your freshly shaven legs between fresh cool bed sheets on a warm summer night. I truly love that feeling, but it's hard to shave without a good shaving cream to help protect your skin from nicks, cuts, and even skin dryness. What's even worse is that most of the popular brands of shaving creams that are sold in YOUR local grocery stores are filled with toxic ingredients that are even banned in many other countries. We have talked about this before; your skin is your largest organ and up to 70% of what you put ON your skin can be absorbed into your blood stream.

How TOXIC is YOUR Shaving Cream?

If you take a second to look at the ingredients on the label of your most common brands of shaving cream, you will find a plethora of toxic ingredients that have been known to cause a whole host of problems including cancer, asthma, dermatitis, and more! Some of these ingredients that you should avoid in ALL of your cosmetic products, if you are buying them from the store rather than making them yourself, are:

  • Parabens – One of the most widely used preservatives in bath and beauty care products, parabens prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast in all of your beauty products. Parabens have been known to be hormone and endocrine disruptors, mimicking estrogen, and causing cancer, especially breast cancer. Parabens have even been identified in biopsy samples taken from breast and ovarian tumors. The use of parabens also has been linked to reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, and skin irritation.
  • Isobutane – Used as a replacement for Ozone-Repleting CFC's, Isobutane is a petroleum derived gas that is a known irritant to skin, the lungs, and the eyes. Isobutane has been classified by the EPA as  harmful by inhalation and in contact with skin, dangerous for the environment, and •very toxic to aquatic organisms
  • Fragrances – This category scares me the most because you really have no idea what you are getting when you see this listed on the label. A long time ago this term was created so that companies could protect their secret formulas for their specific scent creations. The problem with this is that you never know what kind of chemical concoction they've come up with to create this scent. The Environmental Working Group's 2004 analysis of potentially sensitizing ingredients in cosmetics shows that “Approximately half of all products examined list the word “fragrance” on the label. Fragrances are considered to be among the top five known allergens” They also noted that certain types of asthma attacks are “specifically triggered by, and only by, cosmetic fragrances.”
  • Phthalates – This group of chemicals is used on many of our bath and beauty products to increase the flexibility and softness of plastics. Phthalates are known to be endocrine disruptors and have been linked to breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and reproductive defects in both girls and boys. Most of the time, phthalates aren't even listed on the ingredients label. They're usually added to fragrances and become part of the “secret ingredients”, therefore not having to be listed on the label at all.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium Laureth sulfate (SLES) – Many of the “soaps” on the market these days (i.e. your shampoo, body wash, etc.) are not soap at all, but synthetic detergents and surfactants that are created in a lab, to clean. About 90% of the cleaning products and toiletries on the market have surfactants in them. SLS has been known to be a skin, lung, and eye irritant and most of the concern surrounding it is because of its ability to interact with other chemicals, creating carcinogens.
  • Formaldehyde – Used in many bath and beauty products in the form of preservatives called DMDM Hydantion & Urea (Imidazolidinyl). These can particularly be found in shampoos and baby soaps. These formaldehyde-releasing preservatives have been known to cause joint pain, cancer, skin allergies, rashes, depression, headaches, chest pains, ear infections, and even insomnia.
  • Propylene Glycol – A synthetic glycerin type product that is most commonly found in anti-freeze, brake fluid,  and cosmetic  products sold in the US, Propylene Glycol is created during the petroleum refining process. Propylene Glycol not only dries out the skin, but it also is considered a STRONG skin irritant according to its MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)

Is Your Shaving Cream Killing You? - thehippyhomemaker.com

I have a SECRET to a GREAT shaving cream!

At the beginning of this summer, I thought I would try some new recipes for shaving cream. It seems like every recipe that I come across is strictly butters and oils, and whipped like a body butter. Though this made my legs uber soft and silky I did not have an easy time using these recipes! There were several things that made my shaving experience with shaving butters, more difficult. For one, the butters constantly clogged up my razor making it a much longer shaving process to clean the razor in between each and every stroke. These butters also made the tub a whole lot more slippery and dangerous, which is not good for me since I can not feel my feet. I also do not like shaving with body butter type recipes because they do not leave a nice foam trail to keep track of where I have and haven't shaven. My secret to a GREAT shaving cream is combining soap with the butter and oils so that when it is whipped it foams up and creates the kind of shaving cream I am looking for; one that protects and moisturizes my skin while also being easy to use and clean up after.

Herbal infusions for EXTRA healing power

It's no secret on this blog, that I think herbs are the bomb!  (Do people still say this phrase?…does that statement date me?) I LOVE using herbs to boost the benefits of the products that I make for myself in my own home. Shaving cream is no different, there are many herbs we can use to boost the healing powers of our shaving cream to help with everything from dry skin, razor burn, and healing cuts and scrapes! All you need to do, to give this recipe an herbal healing boost, is add 1 Tablespoon of each herb that you are wanting to use, to your boiling soapy water in this recipe, and let it steep, during the cooling phase. Strain the herbs from the mixture before the blending process!

  • Calendula flowers – The all-around skin healing herb is a must-have for something like shaving cream.  Used in everything from owie creams to facial toners, calendula has long been known to help heal cuts, scrapes, wounds and more with its anti-inflammatory properties. I pretty much use calendula in everything that I make for healing skin care.
  • Chamomile flowers – This anti-inflammatory herb is great for soothing irritation and softening the skin. Chamomile has long been used to help heal wounds and irritation. Chamomile is a great herb to use for sensitive skin types!
  • Lavender buds – Famous for its soothing properties, lavender is naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory, making it a great soothing herb to infuse into your shaving cream.
  • Marshmallow Root – This herb is great for hair and skin because of it's mucilaginous (slipperyness) effects. Using this herb in your infusion will help keep razor burn at bay because of its natural anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Mullein flowers – I know you bought some of this to make your own ear oil to treat ear infections and earaches, so now you have one more use for this herb! Mullein has been known to help make skin silky soft and smooth! It also contains antiseptic properties, helping to keep any nicks and cuts clean so they can heal properly.
  • Plantain leaf Used in classic folk herbalism for basically any wound healing, plantain is great at healing all sorts of skin conditions including eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and more! Naturally anti-inflammatory, plantain can quickly help heal nicks and cuts that happen during shaving. 
  • Red Clover – Red clover has long been used topically for relieving all sorts of skin conditions, including eczema psoriasis, burns and more! Containing analgesic properties along with anti-inflammatory properties, red clover makes for the perfect herbal addition to shaving cream.
  • Rose petals – Known for its gentle properties, rose is a staple herb for use in skin care. Even the most sensitive of skins have no issues using rose! Roses naturally help moisturize and reduce inflammation, while still containing antiseptic properties to keep cuts and nicks clean.
  • Yarrow – This herb is AMAZING when it comes to bleeding wounds. Used all over the world by native tribes, the Greeks, and even in Traditional Chinese Medicine for bleeding. This herb contains it all; anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, and even analgesic, yarrow is a herb that should not be left out when making your shaving cream!

Is Your Shaving Cream Killing You? - thehippyhomemaker.com

Smooth-Hippy Shaving Cream

This recipe can be used for women and men alike. It's great for shaving legs, faces, bikini lines, armpits, and more! Though you can

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a double boiler, melt your coconut oil, shea butter, and olive oil together. Let sit on the heat for 20 minutes once melted, to help prevent the shea butter from turning gritty later.
  2. While your butter/oils are heating up in the double boiler, bring your water to a boil. Remove water from heat and add aloe vera gel and grated bar soap in a large bowl. Stir until soap is completely dissolved. Let soapy water mixture sit on the counter to cool.
  3. Once your 20 minutes is up on the butter/oils, remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Once both oil mixture and water mixture are both cooled a bit (around 100 degrees or warm enough for the butter to still be melted), we are going to mix them together the same way we would if we were making a lotion. That is to say, get out your food processor/blender/hand mixer. I am using my hand mixer for this but you can do this in your large food processor or blender if that is what you have on hand. No matter the method, you're going to blend while pouring the butter/oil mixture slowly into the soapy water mixture. Once combined, you can blend in the vitamin e and colloidal silver if you are using either.
  5. If you were impatient and happened to blend them into one another too soon (meaning they are still too liquidy and haven't cooled enough to be a thick whipped cream like texture), don't fret. I get impatient all the time and this is how I deal with it. Make an ice bath in a separate larger bowl and put your shaving cream mixture's bowl in the ice bath. Every 3-5 minutes or so blend it with your hand blender until you get the thickness and consistency you were looking for.
  6. Whether you were impatient or not, this shaving cream will be completely finished processing itself overnight. You can use it as soon as you are finished making it, but it will get a little bit thicker and foamier as it cools completely overnight.
  7. Store in a glass mason jar. This recipe fills (2) 1-Quart mason jars.

TO USE: Scoop out a hand full of shaving cream, lather up wet legs, shave, and rinse! If you're shaving your face, you can always follow with a really great homemade aftershave! If you are shaving your legs or bikini area then follow up with a REALLY AMAZING homemade body butter! I have found that consistently using my body butter on my legs right after shaving in the shower, has helped my hair to grow back thinner, softer, and less often.

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All information on The Hippy Homemaker is meant for educational and informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician.

  • Gary McDonough

    Hey Christina, I’ve made this cream and I think it turned out right, it was my first time. I’m using it and it’s much better than my first recipe that I followed. My question is that it seems a little thin and doesn’t lather. Is that the way it’s supposed to be? If not can you offer me some suggestions? Also if this is the way it is supposed to be can you offer suggestions to thicken it naturally as well as increasing its lathering? Thanks.

  • Ashley B

    Well I made this today. I used homemade coconut oil soap instead of castile, I also mixed it in my stand mixer. Currently it’s mostly foam, however when I rub it on my skin it does turn into the consistency I remember shaving cream to be (haven’t used shaving cream in quite some time) but I put the mixer back on to see if it will change from foam into what it looks like in the picture more. Wondering if it’s just a tad different because of my soap choice. I do think I will love the end result either way though, and hopefully my boyfriend will as well 🙂 … I chose this recipe over the others because I wasn’t keen on the idea of it just becoming melted oil once applied. Especially for my boyfriend who I am still trying to convince natural is better than store bought, so it needs to be as close to the real thing as possible… Also it does make at least a half gallon worth of shaving cream I shouldn’t have doubted it lol… Happy Holidays, and thank you for this recipe once again.

    Edit: just got up to check the mixture and it has changed consistency 😀 now it looks more like your picture.

    I would also like to add one thing. On your aftershave page you mention making your own shaving cream with a link but the link is to your older version not this one. If someone finds your recipe through the aftershave recipe it won’t be the new and improved recipe 🙂

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  • yay! I am so happy to hear how well it worked for you! <3

  • Lauren

    Hey Christina! I just discovered your website and I love it! You are my new idol! I am a barber and I haven’t been able to find a good, store bought shaving cream or lather to use on my clients that isn’t full of harsh chemicals or heavy oils. I have tried a lot of the diy creams that are very heavily oil based and I hated them. They melted on my test subject’s skin and wouldn’t come off, although I tried using a few of those failed creams as a preshave oil and they worked great! I want to test this recipe out and was wondering if this would also melt on the skin because of the coconut oil in it? Also, do you think that a few drops of cypress oil would be beneficial in it? I read somewhere that it is good for skin and just wanted a pro’s opinion of it.
    Thanks!

    • I made this like a whipped soap to avoid that exact problem! This doesn’t melt on contact with the skin! You’re going to love it! Cypress eo is a great oil for the skin, though I would definitely use it sparingly as this is a product that may touch nicked/cut skin!

  • If you use distilled water and clean handling practices, the castile soap itself is very alkaline and will kill any bacteria that might be wanting to grow! I have had this concoction last under my bathroom counter without molding for 6+ months.

  • Laura Coe Pivonka

    Can I add essential oils to this for customized scent?

    • while there are a couple essential oils that would be great to add to this for skin healing benefits, you want to be very careful about what you add for scent because you will likely cut yourself while using this, and some can be irritating to open wounds and cuts!

  • Jamee

    So I just tried this amazing recipe, and my mixture just foams instead of whips… What did I do wrong? Will it still work? I’m letting it cool and go back to mixing every few minutes…

    • you’re doing the right thing 🙂 It can take some time for it to cool! If you wait, it will cool then you can whip again! I hope you love it!!!!

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  • yes it sure can! You might try cutting the oils in half, and see if that is better. The ratio of oil to water is what controls how much oil is left later!

  • cdunlap

    This recipe foamed up beautifully! I used cocoa butter instead of shea, it’s easier for me to get. I have a question though. How should you store the jars until you are ready to use them? Refrigerator?

    • they can be stored in a sealed mason jar under your bathroom counter (or other cool dark location). I have yet to get mold on mine, storing it this way, but yes you could also store them in the fridge if you like!

  • Isabella

    Okay, Christina I love you. This is probably one of the most helpful recipes ever. I hate the shaving creams I use. So this really helped. Thank you so much, Christina.

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  • Jenn Lynn

    Can I use this without the aloe vera gel? I unfortunately don’t have any. If it’s necessary to the recipe, would any normal aloe vera gel that you buy at the store work?

    • You can omit the aloe gel in this recipe or you could even replace it with vegetable glycerin!

      • Jenn Lynn

        Thank you! I ended up running to the store to get aloe vera gel anyways 😉 Another question that popped up… I have Dr. Bronner’s unscented castile soap, but I have it in liquid and your recipe calls for a solid form. Could I use the liquid and get the same result? I’m making this to give to a friend who has sworn off shaving cream so I want to give her a natural, great alternative and want this to turn out well!

        • no the liquid soap isn’t the same as the bar soap because they take two different ingredients to turn them into soap. One makes hard soap where the other makes liquid soap, so it won’t have the fluffiness that comes from using bar soap! I hope that helps!

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  • P. Reid

    I’m crazy about Miracle 2 soap. It’s a liquid soap. Can I use that in the shaving cream recipe? If so, do I need to tweak the recipe?

  • Anna

    If im using citric acid instead of colloidal silver for preservation purposes, how much citric acid i should add to the recipe? Thanks! 🙂

    • Christina

      1 tsp. should suffice!

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  • Joann

    I am curious what is the ppm of the colloidal silver you use in your recipes?

    • Christina

      I use 10 ppm for internal immune boosting and 20 ppm for skin healing applications!

  • Kathleen

    Is it possible to use the liquid Dr. Bronner’s in place of the bar? If so any changes to recipe amounts?

  • Tya

    Hello, can aloe vera juice instead of gel be used?

    • Christina

      Yes it sure can! I actually used juice this last time that I made it and saw not problems with the recipe!

  • meebs

    Hello! Do you by any chance know how long this products shelf life is if it’s not refrigerated? Thanks so much!

    • Christina

      As long as you take care not to get water in the jar, when scooping it out, and if you use distilled water rather than filtered or tap water, it should last on your bathtub side for months! I was able to shave only once a week with this recipe and it lasted me until it was all gone. I have not had a batch of this go bad before I could run out of it. If you add vitamin e, rosemary antioxidant, citric acid, and/or colloidal silver to this recipe you can sufficiently preserve the product. (vitamin e by itself is not a preservative though, it helps to keep the oils/butters in this recipe from going rancid, so you would want to add citric acid and/or colloidal silver if you are looking to preserve) I hope that helps!

  • I had no idea that one could make a good one at home! I use just water because I am fearful of what is in these. I may make some for my hubby!