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Why do Women and Men Use Different Types of Shaving Cream?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 21, 2024
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Women and men may be equal in many of today’s societies. The question is: Does gender equality apply to shaving cream? The answer to this is roughly, yes, though different types of shaving cream marketed to men, women or to both may have some subtle differences. Chief among these are packaging, price, and fragrance.

For all the women out there who stole dad’s or continue to use a husband’s shaving cream: Relax! You have not been using the wrong shaving cream. The main ingredients that make up most creams, gels or foams for men and women are the same. Different types of shaving cream marketed for sensitive skin for men usually contain more moisturizers and less fragrance, but most share a more “manly” smell similar to aftershave products.

The shaving cream marketed to women may contain equal parts moisturizer and various chemicals, as do men’s shaving creams. However they may be more appealing in fragrance, containing scents that have floral notes instead of aftershave scents. They’re also generally packaged in colored containers that feature pastels, while men’s shaving creams tend to feature bold primary colors.

Lastly, women’s shaving cream tends to be more expensive ounce for ounce than does men’s. Check out the price difference between Barbasol® and Skintimate® for a comparison. Women will pay more, in most cases, than do men to get “feminine” packaging and fragrance.

So why would men and women use different types of shaving cream? The fact is, not all do. Some couples share their shaving cream. Others prefer the predominantly masculine or feminine fragrance and purchase gender specific types. Men are less likely to tolerate the floral scents of women’s shaving cream and are less motivated to purchase women’s shaving cream because of the extra cost. Women may be turned off by the aftershave smell of some men’s shaving cream or they may find the “feminine scents” offered by women’s brands, coupled with marketing and female appeal packaging, more attractive.

The bottom line though is that there are negligible differences between gender different types of shaving creams. Some smart companies have capitalized on appealing to the strict Mars or Venus types, and others now offer unisex shaving cream, with more neutral scents, or little to no scent. Either sex can choose to use either gender’s shaving cream, and for both sexes, those products for sensitive skin may be the best choices. Gels, for instance tend to contain fewer harsh chemicals (sometimes called beard softeners) than do foams.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a BeautyAnswered contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By Eli222 — On May 27, 2011

I think that shaving creams were invented by the manufacturers of razors.

When I shave using shave cream, the razors last half as long as when I shave with regular soap and water. I think it has to do with the oils and emollients in the shaving cream. The best shaving cream is Ivory soap and water.

By Hannah77 — On May 26, 2011

My husband uses the women’s shaving cream that I buy for my legs. He says that it leaves his face feeling softer and not as dried out. He's funny about it though, he puts it on with a shaving brush. He wouldn't dare tell anyone he uses it, but I'm sure other men do.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a BeautyAnswered contributor, Tricia...
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