Shaving Gel & Foam

Ethical shopping guide to Shaving Gel & Foam, from Ethical Consumer

Ethical shopping guide to Shaving Gel & Foam, from Ethical Consumer

This is a product guide from Ethical Consumer, the UK's leading alternative consumer organisation. Since 1989 we've been researching and recording the social and environmental records of companies, and making the results available to you in a simple format.

The report includes:

  • Ethical and environmental ratings for 32 brands of shaving foam and gel
  • Best Buy recommendations
  • Animal testing
  • Problem with Palm Oil
  • Company profile: Procter & Gamble



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Score Ratings

Our ratings are live updated scores from our primary research database. They are based on primary and secondary research across 23 categories - 17 negative categories and 6 positive ones (Company Ethos and Product Sustainability). Find out more about our ethical ratings


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The score table shows simple numerical ratings out of 20 for each product. The higher the score, the more ethical the company.

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The Full Scorecard shows the 'black marks' for each product, by each of the 17 negative categories. The bigger the mark, the worse the score. So for example a big black circle under 'Worker Rights' shows that the company making this product has been severely criticised for worker abuses.

Scores start at 14.  A small circle means that half a mark is deducted, a large circle means that a full mark is deducted.

Marks are added in the positive categories of Company Ethos and the five Product Sustainability columns (O,F,E,S,A).  A small circle  means that half a mark is added, a large circle means that a full mark is added.

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Best Buys

as of March 2017

As our ratings are constantly updated, it is possible that these companies will not always come out top on the score table.


Organic and cruelty free:  

Green People shaving gel and Badger shaving soap.


Cruelty free:

Friendly Soap solid shaving soap, Pure Nuff shaving soap, Neal’s Yard shaving cream, Weleda shaving cream, Lush shaving cream.

Lush, Friendly Soap, Green People
and Neal’s Yard made vegan products.

Neal’s Yard, Friendly Soap and Pure Nuff made shaving soaps which minimise packaging.

Neal’s Yard and Lush have their own high street shops and the others are available from health food shops or by mail order.


to buy

Image: Shaving Foam


Image: Weleda Shaving Foam


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Related Content

Ethical issues in the cosmetics sector

Last updated: March 2017 




Shaving gels, foams, creams, oils, serums and soaps


Toxic chemicals

At Ethical Consumer, we have rated all the men’s shaving product brands for their toxic chemicals policies.

Those companies which received a best rating had a policy which has banned the use of parabens, phthalates and triclosan (see our feature on toxics for why we have chosen these chemicals).



Image: Shaving


As you can see from the table below, almost half of the brands in our list have not committed to banning any of these ingredients.

Table: Shaving Foam

 Friendly Soap received a middle rating for not using parabens.

Vegan and organic shaving products

Companies which are suitable for vegetarians or vegans have been marked on the table using the symbol [A] while those made with organic products have been marked with an [O].

Brands that are certified by the Vegan Society and the Vegetarian Society get an extra whole plus point, while those that just market themselves as vegan or vegetarian only get and extra half point.

The following brands were certified by the Vegan Society: Friendly Soap, Green People, Lavera.

The following brands were certified by the Vegetarian Society: Bulldog,  Lush.

The following brands carried organic certifications: Avalon Organics, Badger, Green People, Lavera, Logona, Sante.


Animal testing

Although the testing of cosmetics on animals has been banned in the EU, this is not the case everywhere else in the world.  The EU’s REACH legislation has also complicated the issue. 

Ethical Consumer rates all companies selling cosmetics on their animal testing policy. Companies will score a best rating if they have a policy not to test on animals, have a fixed cut-off date (a date after which none of their products or ingredients will have been tested on animals), and are not selling to markets, such as China, where animal testing of products is required by law.

The following brands were certified by the Leaping Bunny certification for not using animal tested ingredients: Avalon Organics, Badger, Body Shop, Bulldog Skincare, Friendly Soap, JASON Natural Cosmetics, Molton Brown, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Superdrug.

Additionally, although not Leaping Bunny certified, Green People, Pure Nuff Stuff, Logona, Sante, Lush, Weleda, King of Shaves, Aesop, Wahl got our best rating for animal testing policies.


Palm oil

Palm oil and palm oil derivatives have become an important component in many personal care products. In particular, it is used for its viscosity and as a skin conditioning agent.

The new column on our table shows how all the companies rank on their palm oil policy and practice.

The following brands scored best in our palm oil category: Friendly Soap, Pure Nuff Stuff, Lush.



Shaving products come in a variety of packaging with varying environmental impacts. Worst will be large packages with complex materials like aerosols, and best will be smaller packages like the shaving oil from King of Shaves. 

Best of all are the solid, shaving soaps made by Friendly Soap, Neal’s Yard and Pure Nuff but these need a shaving brush to apply them. Watch out for badger or boar hair bristle brushes.


Which brand of razor should you buy?

Please see our guides to razors to find out which is the best brand to buy to complete your wet shave.




Company profile


Procter & Gamble (P&G) is the focus of several consumer campaigns including one over its sourcing of palm oil from Felda Global Ventures, a Malaysian company that was said to be the world’s largest palm oil plantation operator.

Campaign organisation SumOfUs stated in March 2017: "Felda deals in the human trafficking of its plantation workers, confiscating close to 30,000 passports, and still works with labour contractors and recruiters who charge enormous fees to trafficked foreign workers. Plantation workers are trapped in modern-day slavery, all to produce palm oil that ends up in P&G products. The multinational consumer goods company is well aware of the problem, and yet still buys conflict palm oil from its joint venture partner Felda.”

P&G’s products have also been named and shamed in campaigns against the use of microbeads. The International Campaign Against Microbeads in Cosmetics lists Gillette on the orange list for containing polyethylene (PE).

P&G has stated, perhaps as a result of consumer pressure, that it will remove polyethylene microbeads from all toothpaste and cleansing products by 2017. However, in 2016, when Greenpeace East Asia (GEA) ranked companies on their commitment to tackling the issue of microbeads in their products, P&G’s commitment was found inadequate as it only applied to one type of plastic (polyethylene) in certain products (personal cleansing and oral care) rather than to all forms and in all products. It also only applied to microbeads used for specific purposes (scrubbing agents, colour, chewing gum base), rather than for all functions.

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If you want to find out detailed information about a company and more about its ethical rating, then click on a brand name in the Score table. 

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