Can You Use Regular Shaving Cream With A Straight Razor?

One of the shaving razors that have been gaining prominence in the recent past is the straight razor. This is because its angle and pressure enable it to get closer and deeper into the follicle with each pass. If you plan to have a close shave at home, shaving cream is one of the ingredients that will provide you with a smooth and clean shave.

However, you should take note that straight razors require a special shaving cream to provide users with a great shaving experience. This often raises the question of whether you can use the regular shaving cream with a straight razor.

Before we answer the question, let’s understand the history of the straight razor, how it works and why it’s superior.

See also:

History Of The Straight Razor

Straight razors were first developed as a necessity as it was the only option that offered users a close shave. But with time and the development of new technology, the straight razor started losing its edge to the safety razor.

In the recent past, many shavers have chosen the safety razor because it’s user-friendly. However, the straight razor is still gaining prominence because of its closeness and efficiency.

Today, the straight razor has stood up well against the regular shave and has proven to be the most relaxing, enjoyable, and sought-after shave. It produces smooth results and vintage appeal that provides men with a superior feel.

Lee's Razors
Lee's Razors

Check out:

Why The Straight Blade Is Unique

The straight blade is different in that it features a single-edge blade that has no guards. There is a wide range of straight styles, blade shapes, and weights that shavers can choose depending on their personal preferences. 

Not only is using a straight razor personal but it creates character during a shave. This is because a straight razor shave requires more attention to detail. For instance, shavers can use their razors close to their skin without minding the positioning of the blade.

Straight razor is a long-standing shaving option
Straight razor is a long-standing shaving option

Can You Use The Regular Shaving Cream With A Straight Razor?

Yes, it’s possible to use normal shaving cream. However, this won’t work well as the shaving creams that are specifically made for straight razors.

Therefore, we advise that you choose shaving creams that are specifically made for straight razors.

Why The Regular Creams Don’t Work For Straight Razors

For the razor to glide easily over the skin, a straight razor needs to be combined with a quality shaving cream. While the regular cream works very well with regular razors, they don’t work well with straight razors.

This is because they:

  • Are too thick. Most of the regular shaving creams have a very thick consistency and don’t easily spread over the shaving area. They can also stick to the straight razor blade, making the cleaning and shaving process to be harder. You should bear in mind that canned foam has less water than a true lather.
  • Doesn’t make lather. When you use them prior to a shave, they don’t make a true lather on your skin. This prevents the straight razor from gliding over the skin and may result in nicks and cuts when shaving.
  • Creates a slightly rough surface. During shaving, a straight razor requires more smoothness that lasts longer. This is as compared to the regular shaving creams that don’t perform well when they are mixed with water and remain on your skin for safe and smooth shaving. True lather enables users to hold the razor against stubble and gives more cushioning and gliding as compared to the canned foam.
  • Have harmful chemicals. When you shave well with a straight razor, you can easily prevent skin infections. However, when you use regular shaving creams, you may end up with dirt and bacteria entering the skin.
Shaving cream made specifically
Shaving cream made specifically for straight razors is still the best experience

Is It Possible To Use Straight Razors Without The Shaving Cream?

Yes, shavers can use a straight razor without the shaving creams. However, this may lead to straight razor accidents while shaving:

  • Razor bumps. One of the side effects of using a straight razor without a shaving cream is razor bumps. Without good preparation on the skin for the razor with a lubricant, this will cause skin irritation. Razor bumps are hairs that are grown inside the hair follicles and appear a number of days after shaving. These are a result of hair breaking off unevenly before curling back into the skin. The results are bumps that look like acne that can be painful.
  • Razor burns. Shavers who use a straight razor without the shaving creams will end up having some red rashes. These rashes have various symptoms such as redness, burning, itching, and stinging.
  • Nicks and cuts. Shaving without lather increases your risk of shaving injury. This is because if you have no lubrication when shaving, you will not have protection on the skin and you will end up hurting yourself.

How To Apply Shaving Cream With A Straight Razor

You can use your fingertips to apply the shaving cream to the area that needs shavings. However, it’s important to use a shaving brush and then shave in the normal way. 

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Use a washcloth to wet the face. This will help open pores and soothe the skin
  • Use a brush (you can try a synthetic shaving brush) to scoop shaving cream from the can. If it’s in a tube, squeeze it.
  • Mix it in a bowl for around one minute to create a smooth cream
  • Apply the cream on the face and cover it evenly. Cover the entire area before starting the shaving.

After you are done with the shaving, the cream should rinse away immediately with no residue left.

How To Shave With A Straight Razor

Using a straight razor to shave isn’t hard and no special skills or efforts are needed. In fact, these razors have been designed to make the shaver’s work easier.

Straight razors can particularly be helpful to people with sensitive skin. However, users of the razors need to ensure that they prepare their skins first with lubricants like shaving creams.

You should apply the shaving cream after washing the face and before a shave. All you need to do is to put it on a wet and clean cloth over the cheek, upper lips, chin, neck, and jawline.

This is important as the shaving cream is usually formulated in a  way that enables it to soften the stubble and protect the skin from cuts and nicks that may be caused by the razor.

Straight Razor
Quality shaving cream greatly affects your shaving experience.

You should hold the razor at an angle of 30 degrees from the face. Run it along the face in the direction that your beard is growing. Ensure that you take some slow strokes while applying some little pressure. Let the weight and sharpness of the razor do the cutting.

Even though you already have lather on the face, you can easily cut too close or you can harm the skin. Therefore, it’s advisable to apply minimal pressure so that you do not irritate the skin. 

Choosing the right shaving cream for a straight razor

There are several factors you need to consider when choosing a shaving cream for a straight razor. These include:

Type of skin

If your skin is normal, it’s easier to choose a shaving cream for a straight razor as most products will work for you.

But if you have dry skin, it’s advisable to choose a cream that has natural ingredients such as aloe Vera that will hydrate as well as moisturize your skin.


You will need to choose the right fragrant. Some of the best ones are peppermint and sandalwood. If your skin is sensitive, you can choose an unscented cream.

See also: Top 8 Best Shaving Soaps for Sensitive Skin

Lather quality

Do you like your lather rich? If you do, you can find many foamy products to use. But if you don’t, you may want to consider shaving butter and gels as they don’t lather.

Shaving takes

During the beard trimming with a straight razor, you should ensure that you can view the cheek line as well as the neckline well, or else you will end up messing with the style of your beard.

To have a clear view, you will need a cream for the best straight razor cut. Such cream requires a mixing bowl to be worked up to lather.

Final thoughts

With the right choice of shaving cream, you can go a long way in enhancing your shaving results. By spending a little more money to get a good shaving cream for a straight razor, you can end up with the perfect shave.

See also: How Long Does Shave Cream Keep?

Lee Cantor

Provide the best shaving product reviews and shaving advices to the wetshaving community and friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts