From some old school yoga & ayurveda folks I've heard of the following for shaving:

  • Raw Milk - I haven't tried this as yet but hope to do so when I get some unheated/ unpasteurized milk. It can be thinned down with water apparently and would still work as a Preshave facial lubricant/ friction reducer & moisturizer.

  • Yogurt - I have tried this and it words wonders for the skin, but given the texture/ colloidal & viscous nature & maybe some stickiness the cut/ shaved facial hair pieces & fragments get stuck in between the "Multi Blade Safety Razors" (Gillette Mach 3).

    • Despite a bunch of washing with water its harder to clean the blades. This is something that definitely does not happen with commercial Shaving Foam
    • I might try a "diluted" and "beaten" mixture with water i.e. Buttermilk which has less colloidal matter, less viscous and is more liquid
  • Shave Oils - I have read about some commercial pre shave oils but not had a chance to use or verify how effective they are. If so, maybe we could look up its ingredients list to find the active elements? Or maybe someone could suggest some "natural" oils that are maybe gifted in this direction could I try out for myself?

Thoughts on the above 3 and maybe other organic & natural substances. I'd prefer to avoid "chemicals" if possible. I posted & like some of the answers in that direction:

3 Answers 3


There are a few recipes available out there. Most of those that I have seen are oil based and the ingredients that they use are very easy to buy (at least where I live). I will give you an example which uses just three ingredients (you can find different variations of this recipe here or here).

The ingredients used are coconut oil, shea butter and olive oil. Olive oil and coconut oil are usually used for making soap because they are great for hydrating the skin, so here they make the same effect. Also it should be easy to clean your razor afterwards (although I haven't tried this recipe I have used a lot of soap made from these ingredients and I believe that it shouldn't stuck in your razor).

  • So I've tried the following so far: 1. Curd/ Home made Yogurt - Good moisturizer etc, but Hair Fragments stick & clump between 3 blades. 2. Tried semi warm milk yesterday - Doesnt stick to face as easy but shaving is fine - Again hair clumping between 3 blades - Less than yogurt but still had to clean them out _wont just wash out. Wouldnt the Oils in your Recipe aid this CLUMPING? or Alleviate/ Fix it?
    – Alex S
    Jun 5, 2016 at 3:00
  • I have been shaving with olive oil soap for years Sep 10, 2020 at 8:31

Completely traditional: Shaving brush and soap:

  1. Soak the (preferably badger hair) brush for a 30 seconds in warm water.
  2. Thoroughly wet your face (while brush is soaking)
  3. Shake excess water from brush
  4. Wet soap (a bit)
  5. Work the brush on the soap until there is some soap on it
  6. Work the brush on your (wet) face until it has a thick, creamy consistency, similar to the consistency of spray can shaving foam
  7. Spread it around the area to be shaved
  8. Shave!
  9. Clean the brush and let it dry for tomorrow
  • Welcome to Sustainable Living! How is this answering the question exactly? What kind of soap do you propose?
    – THelper
    Sep 15, 2017 at 8:23
  • The type of soap is less important than the method of application. Most types of soap are suitable. I find that regular bath soap works well. Even home made lye and fat soaps work surprisingly well. A major feature of a well formed soap lather is that it doesn't readily clog your razor as it easily dissolves in warm water.
    – Conor
    Sep 15, 2017 at 12:07
  • @Conor - We know the method, we are talking about MATERIAL, not METHOD; MATERIAL "soap" / "cream" / "foam" alternatives that are natural and maybe even made from edible substances e.g. Coconut oil etc.
    – Alex S
    Sep 16, 2017 at 13:10
  • 1
    @Alex Soap is made from fat (usually animal fat for hard soaps) and lye, both are extremely natural ingredients
    – Conor
    Sep 17, 2017 at 0:02

Usually, it is oil-based soap or cream. There are commercial products out there. It seems that olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter would work well. It also depends on whether you have sensitive skin or not, that would determine which product is best for you.

There are also products that have red clay/ Kaolin clay.

It would be interesting to know the results from someone who has tried red clay or clay soap or cream for pre-shaving. Please let me know the results if you have tried those.

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