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So you finally arrived on your vacation, only to find out that you forgot to pack your shaving cream. If you’re at a resort or populated area, there is usually just to go out to buy some, but what if you’re out in the middle of nowhere?

Yes, it is possible to shave with only water but that’s applicable when you don’t have sensitive skin and don’t get cuts or bumps easily.

Look at it from this point of view, there’s a reason why shaving creams were invented and why so many men buy them.

What do you need shaving cream for?

Using shaving cream has multiple benefits that can aid in a healthier beard. For years, it has become a staple for beard care in most countries.

Close shave

It makes your beard smoother and softer so that it’d be easier to shave. If paired with a good razer, it’ll help you in getting that close shave without affecting your skin.


It’s normal for skin cells to die off and block our pores. Using shaving cream will help you exfoliate and remove these dead skin cells.


Excess friction is the number one cause of skin irritation and cuts. By using shaving cream, you’ll be providing appropriate lubrication and decreasing the chances of irritation.

Knowing which parts to shave

The usual times for shaving are early in the morning. Sometimes, you’ll be so preoccupied with your thoughts that you forget which sections you’ve already shaved off. I’m definitely guilty of this!

With shaving creams, you’ll have a visual representation of which parts you’ve already gone over.


Shaving frequently can lead to discoloration. The good news is that you can However, if you use shaving cream, you’ll ensure that your skin has enough nourishment to prevent it.

Risks of shaving without shaving cream

Without shaving cream, you’ll be dragging a sharp item over the sensitive surface of your skin. While it’s possible to do it safely, there are still risks that can deter you from water-shaving.

Nicks and cuts

Without a proper lubricant, your skin will be much more susceptible to nicks and cuts. To combat this, make sure to do short and slow strokes.

Skin Irritation

If your skin is used to shaving cream, it might get irritated due to the sudden transition to water. Your skin may be used to having that layer of lubricant and changing it, irritate your skin. If I were to shave my beard with just water, my skin would probably feel like it was on fire afterward.

On the other hand, if it’s your first time shaving at all, you can still get your skin irritated due to the lack of moisture and nourishment of water.

Razor burn

As you shave off your facial hair, there’s a chance that you also scraped off skin cells. This will cause razor burns, and itchy bumps with a reddened area after shaving.

Razor bumps

Not only will shaving cause razor bumps but also ingrown hair. It’s itchy, pus-filled, and has the possibility of becoming infected when untreated.

Shaving with only water

It can be difficult to shave with only water for the first time. That’s why, it’s important to follow a tutorial first, even with something as simple as shaving.

What type of Razor

Having a new razor changes a lot of things. Not only does it ensure that you’ll spread fewer bacteria but it’s also useful for smooth shaving.

It’s much better if you get a safety razor but if you’re already used to straight razors then that can work too.

On the other hand, multi-bladed razors shouldn’t be used with only water. This is because your hair can easily get stuck, pulling and tugging on the hair. Since you’re already lacking in lubrication, using a multi-bladed razor will just cause problems.

Too much force

Never use too much force, even with shaving cream. This will cause cuts and uncomfortableness with your face.

And if you’re using a new razor, you won’t be needing much force at all.

Shaving with the grain

While shaving against the grain will give you a closer shave, it’s not a good idea since you’ll be only using water.

When it comes to shaving cream, you’ll get this sensation called a ‘glide’ wherein your razor draws smoothly and without much friction due to the lubricating effect.

But since you’ll be having less lubrication, use smooth and short strokes along the flattest parts of your face, just so you can get used to it.


If you try to multitask in that state, you’ll end up drawing blood. After all, shaving requires focus, especially when it comes to how aggressive you’re shaving.

You don’t have to be nervous either, it will just make things much worse. If you are, just do a couple of short and slow strokes to minimize any nicks.

Finish off with water/products

This step is to ensure that your face is smooth afterward. By letting your face relax with water or skincare products, you’re giving your skin the nourishment it needs.

Shaving with only water will make it feel drier than shaving with shaving cream. So, using a moisturizer will help you lock in moisture.

Even though shaving cream has numerous benefits, it’s still possible to do it without one. Though, there are certain ways to make it an easier process.

You can start by letting the room steam with hot water. This will open your pores and hair follicles. Afterward, you can use warm water for shaving and then cold water to finish everything off.

Exfoliating is also an optional step as it will help in exposing your hair follicles. It’s better if you also add a moisturizer with that.

After shaving

It’s not a requirement but these tips will help you to take better care of your beard’s health and the skin underneath it.

  • Create a moisture barrier using lotions like aloe, coconut oil, or shea butter.
  • Use aftershave if you already have one.
  • Use healing ointments for cuts and nicks, make sure to cover them up with a bandage.


Shaving with only water, while it comes with numerous risks, is entirely possible. It just depends on your skin and its needs, particularly with moisturizers.

One thing that you could take away from this is being careful with how you handle sharp objects near your face. This means, don’t use too much force and take your time in shaving.

After all, your skin is delicate and vulnerable enough as it is without shaving cream, to be aggressive is just pushing your luck with the risks included in shaving with only water.

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