Shaving Cream History

Jodie Michalak
Shaving cream has rich history!

A popular grooming product used by both men and women, shaving cream history dates back to 3000 B.C.

About Shaving Cream History

Whether it is used to shave facial, under arm, or body hair, shaving cream acts as a lubricating buffer between the razor and the surface of the skin, preventing irritating conditions such as nicks and razor burn.

Like many grooming products and practices, the concept of shaving cream is ancient. Cavemen were believed to begin the history of shaving cream back in 3000 B.C. Although this simple formula combined animal fats and wood alkali, it was still applied to the beard prior to shaving to lubricate and protect the skin.

Today, shaving cream is a very popular product that is available in several different forms.

  • Shaving Cream: First modernized and made available in America in 1925 by Burma-Vita, the original shaving cream was touted as the first brushless cream. While the concept of shaving cream was fresh, the demand for Burma's cream was very low. Quickly the makers of the cream sought new and quirky ways to promote this essential grooming product. Rather than conventionally advertise their product, their marketing ploys were humorous rather than serious. Burma quickly became famous for over 7,000 wacky, rhyming, roadside and highway billboards. Today, many of the original and unique advertisements can be found on famous roadsides along historic Route 66. Unlike shaving gel shaving lotion, shaving cream is dispensed from a pressurized aerosol can. Once a small dollop of foam is released, it quickly expands and enlarges in size. When emulsified in the hands, shaving cream creates a smooth and supple lather, creating a moisturizing slip that helps a razor glide effortlessly onto the surface of the skin.
  • Shaving Gel: Developed in 1980, shaving gel is a very popular alternative to shaving cream. Unlike shaving cream, shaving gel doesn't expand nearly as much when dispensed, resulting in a reduced amount of chemical ingredients. People with sensitive skin may find shaving gel a more comfortable alternative to a shaving cream. Gels also provide a moisturizing base that helps to protect and nourish the skin before and after shaving. Many shaving gels contain aloe and Vitamin E to replenish lost hydration to the skin.
  • Shaving Lotions and Oils: Not nearly as common as shaving cream or gels, shaving lotions and oils are still a useful product prior to shaving. Not only are oils and lotions a more environmentally friendly alternative to aerosol dispensed creams and gels, many lotion and oil formulas are made from natural and organic ingredients, making them one of the better solutions for extremely sensitive skin.

How to Apply Shaving Products

While the many forms of shaving products are varied, the concept and application is the same. Shaving products should be applied to slightly damp skin immediately before using a razor. While most shaving products are recommended for use with blade razors, there are some products that are marketed for electric shavers. Prior to shaving, make sure the skin has been softened with warm water. Warm water helps to open the skin's pores, making the task of shaving easier and more beneficial. Razor burn occurs when the skin has been shaved too quickly or without proper preparation. A product such as a shaving cream, lotion, gel, or oil will act as a sufficient barrier between the razor and tender skin, making the art of shaving more pleasurable while delivering closer and smoother results with fewer nicks and cuts.


While some grooming products are fads that eventually fade away, shaving cream history proves that a simple and effective grooming product never loses its appeal!

Shaving Cream History