My previous post about shaving with a double edge safety razor and bar soap may have been a bit too big of a change for some of my readers. Don’t despair, today I have a less expensive shaving cream alternative for you!
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A less expensive shaving cream alternative
The (no longer) secret to a great, smooth shave for a fraction of the cost of shaving cream is: liquid castile soap!
This less expensive shaving cream alternative works great for women’s legs and underarms, using a traditional disposable or disposable cartridge razor. I have no experience with this product for men shavings faces, so if you try that, please proceed with caution. I used my homemade liquid castile soap, undiluted Note: since I bottled this for travel I decided to keep the full concentration of the soap, and dilute in my hands when I use it. Recall that my normal dilution ratio for hand, face, and body soap is 3 parts water to 1 part castile soap. Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap should work the same as my homemade liquid castile soap, based on my experience with both Dr. Bronner’s and my castile soap.
Normally when I travel by car I bring my double edge safety razor and a small piece of bar soap (which I carry in an Altoids tin), and I shave my normal way. When I travel by air and do not want to check a bag (which is any time I fly – I am tired of damaged suitcases!), my options are bringing bar soap and my double edge safety razor WITHOUT a blade, or using a traditional disposable cartridge razor and shaving cream. I have never been in the mood to search drug stores at my destination for double edge safety razor blades, so I usually go with the disposable cartridge razor (I use Venus) and a travel size can of shaving cream.
On my last plane trip, I had my Venus razor, but forgot to pack the can of shaving cream. When I got to my hotel room, I looked at my options for a shaving cream alternative. I had my liquid castile soap, my favorite Trader Joe’s shampoo, hotel bar soap, hotel shampoo, and hotel conditioner. I knew the hotel/commercial bar soaps were too sticky (I had tried that years ago and it was not good). I’ve heard that conditioner is a shaving cream alternative. But I had 2 reasons not to try to the hotel shampoo or conditioner. 1: there is no ingredient list on those tiny bottles, so I couldn’t check for fragrances to which I am allergic. 2: Most shampoos include chemicals that I avoid, including sodium laurel sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate.
So, my shaving cream alternative options were castile soap or my shampoo. My first try was the castile soap, because that bottle was more full, and I thought the shampoo might be too thick. I was quite happy to discover that the castile soap worked well!
I am thrilled to have found this hack for a shaving cream alternative – I hated having to use chemical-laden shaving cream, but used to choose that convenience over having to search for razor blades at every travel destination.
How I use liquid castile soap as a shaving cream alternative
I poured 3-5 drops of my liquid castile soap into my hand, rubbed my hands together, and applied the soap to one leg at a time. I then shaved using my Venus razor, rinsing the razor after every few strokes. The razor glided along my skin smoothly, without sticking or cutting. My legs felt as smooth as they usually do after shaving with a disposable razor.
Note: I still love my double edge safety razor and use that exclusively when there is no air travel involved. I feel I get a longer lasting smooth shave, and prefer the cost and environmental benefits.
Shaving Cream: $2.50 (assuming I purchased on sale), lasts approximately 2 months.
Homemade Liquid Castile Soap: $12/gallon = $0.09375/oz
Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap: $16/32 oz = $0.50/oz
My travel bottle holds 3 ounces of liquid, which is about 1,800 drops (this estimate is based on 600 drops/ounce of essential oils, and the drops seen about the same size). I used about 10 drops per shave. Therefore I estimate this bottle will last about 180 shaves. I estimate that, if used regularly (shaving every other day), the bottle of soap would last me 12 months. Cost per month of shaving cream is $1.25 ($2.50/2=$1.25/month). My soap is just over $0.02 per month (3oz x$0.09375/12 months=$0.023…). The cost of using Dr. Bronner’s is just under $0.13 per month (3oz x $0.50/12months=$0.125).
One year of shaving cream use is approximately $15, versus $1.50 using Dr. Bronner’s castile soap as a shaving cream alternative. The savings might only be $13.50/year, but it’s 10 times less expensive than using the traditional product. Every penny saved adds up! Plus, no chemicals in this shaving cream alternative!
Do you have any travel or shaving tips?