Shave Butter vs Shaving Cream: The Differences
We’re all mostly familiar with canned shaving cream or foam. It’s what most of us start using when we begin shaving. Like a cloud in your hands. But, there are tons of different products on the market for shaving. Foams, creams, soaps, gels, oils, and finally shave butter. So what’s different about shave butter vs shaving cream? Let’s take a look.
Please note: this comparison is between a canned aerosol shaving cream and shave butter.
What is shave butter?
I’m sure we’re all pretty familiar with shaving cream. It’s just so popular and convenient. But, what is shave butter?
The easiest way to describe shave butter is to compare it to shaving cream.
What are the major differences between shave butter vs shaving cream?
Three major differences to consider in our Shave butter vs shaving cream comparison are:
- The lather
- How long will it last?
Lather comparison – shave butter vs shaving cream
Canned shaving foam or cream lathers instantly. You get some out of your can and you’re good to go. No need for mixing or anything like that. It’s very convenient. It takes maybe 5 seconds to get your whole face covered.
Shave butter works the same way just squeeze some out and you’re good to go. However, it doesn’t come in a pressurized can. Instead, you squeeze it out of a tube. So you don’t get the instant lather like you would from shaving cream.
In fact, It doesn’t lather at all. So it’s not as easy to spread on your face. That said, it takes a couple extra seconds to prep and that’s about it. No big deal. So, in just the same way as shaving cream, shave butter is very convenient. The difference is that shave butter won’t be thick, opaque, and creamy like shaving cream but, it’ll be light, thin, and transparent. Like a moisturizing lotion or a sunscreen.
Shave butter is transparent. Yes, I said transparent. Not all shave butters are completely clear but, they tend to be much thinner which makes it see through.
That makes it perfect for detailing. You can actually see exactly what you’re doing. No more guesswork, you’ll easily be able to tighten up those lines.
So shave butter will be light, thin, transparent, and the razor will glide across your face. Shaving cream will be thick, opaque, and creamy.
Cream = lather. Butter = no lather.
Ingredients comparison – shave butter vs shaving cream
The ingredients are where the shave butter really shines above an aerosol/canned shaving cream.
Some of us can get away with using shaving cream from a can. It’s fast, cheap, and in our comfort zone. Most of us have used it before. But, the rest of us can get some nasty razor burn and nicks. And we all know that treating those shaving cuts can be a big pain in the butt.
The main difference between the two as far as ingredients go is that shave butter is much better geared towards sensitive skin.
The propellants and chemicals in canned shaving cream don’t do a lot to prevent irritated skin. And they can cause irritated skin too. It just leaves your skin feeling extra dry and raw.
Shave butter, however, uses many natural and hydrating ingredients that can do wonders to improve your post shave feeling. Glycerin and shea butter are two ingredients that help draw in and maintain moisture for your skin. The result is no razor burn!
Shave butter is highly recommended for those with sensitive skin.
How long will shaving cream and shave butter last?
It honestly depends on how you shave. Some men use a ton of product, some are much more conservative. Some men shave every day with multiple passes and others shave once a week.
I will say, simply because of the difference in the lather, that shaving cream will most likely last you a little longer than shave butter.
Which one is better for me?
Shave butter wins out in most cases aside from how long it will last. It’s just a tad more expensive but, I think it’s totally worth the upgrade.
There are more options that have even more benefits with a couple of trade-offs.
If you want a better post shave feeling while maintaining the convenience of a quick shave, try shave butter.
Van Der Hagen Shave Butter – There aren’t too many shave butters around but, Van Der Hagen is a very popular one! This specific butter is white but, still transparent so you can see exactly where you’re shaving. It has many natural hydrating ingredients that leave your skin feeling great.
More options than shave butter vs shaving cream?
There are tons of different options on the market for shaving lubrication:
- Shave butter
- Aerosol shaving cream/foam
- Shaving cream
- Shaving soap
Let’s quickly cover shaving soaps and creams and how they compare to shave butter. These two options are quite different but, I’m listing them together for convenience.
Shaving creams and soaps vs shave butter
So shaving butter has some things going for it. It’s easy to apply, nourishing for your skin, and it’s transparent.
But, it doesn’t last a long time. We can’t really get a ton of uses out of it. And just like a shaving foam, it won’t get you the closest shave in the world.
In terms of closest shaves, nothing’s going to beat a quality cream or soap. Creams and soaps are also very nourishing for your skin, they can get you a super close shave (when done right), and they last quite a while. Especially your soaps that are very firm.
The reason why they last longer is because you use them to create lather with the addition of water. Your pressurized cans are instant lather so you don’t add any water to them and shave butter doesn’t lather at all.
The downside of creams and soaps? They require a brush to create lather, some experience, and a little time to get a good consistency going. Not quite as convenient. How long will it take to prep with a cream or soap? A few extra minutes once you get good at it. Not the end of the world.
So what are the pros and cons of each option?
Each option has its own pros and cons. And none by themselves are specifically better than the others. It depends on what you value most. For example, some men may value the time and convenience of a shave butter, gel, or foam more than the quality of shave a soap or cream provides.
Quality meaning how close the shave is and how well made the product is. How it feels and smells. Your common shaving foam/cream in a can is mass produced whereas many shaving soaps are made by artisans as luxury products.
And while the cost of a shaving soap can sometimes be higher initially, the triple milled soaps are very firm and can last many months, sometimes a year.
Reasons to use shave butter?
- Fast and convenient
- Nourishing to the skin for a great post-shave feel
- Perfect for sensitive skin
- You don’t get quite as many uses out of it
- Doesn’t get the closest shave
- A little more expensive than a shaving foam
Aerosol shaving foam/cream or gel:
Reasons to use a shaving foam or cream?
- Fast and convenient
- Lasts a little longer than shave butter
- Irritating to skin because of propellants
- Doesn’t get the closest shave
Shave soap and cream:
Reasons to use a shaving cream or soap?
- Can last a very long time
- Great ingredients for sensitive skin
- Water-based products make them more hydrating
- Gets a very close shave with great lather
- Takes time and experience to create perfect lather
- Requires more upfront cost (brush, bowl, etc.)