There was a time when all you had to shave with was shaving soap. Today we have a huge range of shaving creams, shaving oils and – now – shave butter.
Our favourite has to be the classic Dr Carver’s Shave Butter followed closely by Van Der Hagen and a new witch-hazel variety from Strictly Man.
While a much less well-known brand The Henna Guys also offer a fantastic jar that also deserves a top spot.
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What is Shave Butter?
Shaving butter feels more like moisturizer. It’s non-greasy and also transparent so you can actually see what you are doing. Shaving soap and cream can be uncomfortable when you can’t see the skin you’re shaving and you feel like you’re attacking the skin rather than nourishing it. It’s still thick so like lathering shaving soap it helps raise the bristles and reminds you where you have missed.
Not only is this a great way to prevent shaving rash for men, it’s also a great way for women to shave. Shaving your legs with shave butter is a luxurious experience that you can repeat regularly without risking discomfort or irritation.
How To Use Shave Butter
Shaving butter is easy to use. Just rub a coin-sized amount between your hands and apply over the shaving area. Dollar Shave Club recommends leaving it for 15 minutes to “marinate” the skin – their words, not mine! Then you just shave as normal.
Of course butter also feels great with a double edge safety razor so you can combine these for the ultimate shaving experience. The non-greasy formula means you are also more able to maintain a good grip of your razor unlike many shaving soaps and oils.
The Best Shave Butter
Dr Carver’s Shave Butter Review
The clear market leader for the best shave butter is clearly Dr Carver from Dollar Shave Club.
California-based Dollar Shave Club opened their internet doors in 2011 with a goal to provide lower-priced alternatives to the razors sold by large brands, just as we aim to do by promoting the classic safety razor.
Their first video ad that went viral in which CEO Mike Dubin introduced the brands mission statement, “Our Blades Are F***ing Great.” Their rise has since been nothing short of meteoric and they offer a range of great shaving products. Before you sign up to their subscription though do check out our review of the best shaving clubs where we question just how good DSC really is.
This butter is enhanced with golden barley, organic pear cactus, Pacific sea algae, black willow bark, oat extract and various vitamins.
While the base product seems to be plant-based macadamia nut and grape seed oils there are a few fragrance oils like lavender and eucalyptus as well which may affect some sensitive users. For most people though these just give it a great fresh scent.
It has a nice minty-citrus smell that doesn’t conflict with aftershave. You do have to re-apply for each pass but it’s great for a quick shave.
Strictly Man Arctic Shave Butter
Even startups like Dollar Shave Club can feel a bit old (a $1 billion acquisition by Uniliver can have that affect – just as The Art of Shaving gets accused of selling out to Proctor & Gamble)
While beard brands seem to be springing up all over the place it is great to know there are new ventures in happening the shaving world.
Strictly Man reached out to us at Artisan Shaving with a free tube of their new Arctic shave butter, a refreshing new entrant to the relatively small shave butter market.
Strictly Man founder Christopher Forsberg told Artisan Shaving “Our biggest differentiator is in the formula. When developing, I knew I wanted two things: witch hazel, which is a fantastic skincare ingredient, and a soothing or cooling sensation. We achieved the cooling through peppermint oil, which is naturally antiseptic and antibacterial.”
That’s certainly innovative. While witch hazel as aftershave is common it is not often found in a shaving lubricant.
Strictly Man grew from Forsberg’s idea to get more men into makeup, particularly tinted moisturizer and concealer which can be applied minimally but with a great impact. However, the brand isn’t exclusively for men.
“We love it when women use our products as well! My wife and all of our female friends use the shave butter for their legs,” said Forsberg. Read our full interview with him here.
Van Der Hagen Shave Butter Review
Made and enriched with soothing, natural ingredients like macadamia oil, shea butter, mango butter and cocoa butter, Van Der Hagen smells great and is slightly cheaper than Dr Carver.
A little goes a long way, wipes away easily and is not as “sticky” like some other creams. If you have facial hair to work around then this makes it easy to shave around your beard and moustache lines.
We’ve found the consistency slightly thinner and more like real butter but this comes down to personal taste.