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Thread: do soaps/creams matter?

  1. #11
    Senior Member ZipZop's Avatar
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    Aloha!

    Some real world here. Bottom line, it makes a HUGE difference. But let's put that to the test.

    I work out extensively and am a member of a private athletic club. When I travel, I visit reciprocal clubs that allow my membership. I went years shaving in clubs with canned foam with a DE razor. It was simple, and I put up with it. I could never get the same smooth, comfortable, close shave when shaving at my club that I could at home. The only difference? The soap/cream. At home I lathered with a brush and quality soap/cream, at the club I used canned foam. I called it crazy-foam because it was. I was crazy to use it. Sure, it's fast and convenient, but no, it does not protect nor prep your beard like a quality shaving soap or quality cream that you apply with a brush.

    So about 5 years ago I started using a brush and soap at my club. Sometimes even a straight razor, but a DE is just too convenient when you are in a public locker room. Now I get the same shave at the health club that I do at home. Same as when I travel. The soap/brush/razor come with me. Only difference is when I'm in a private hotel bathroom, I use my straight razor. Mostly I use a DE at a health club. But the soap and brush are always there.

    -Zip
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    "I get some lather and lather-up, then I get my razor and shave! Zip Zop, see that? My face Is ripped to shreads!" - Bill Cosby on Shaving

  2. #12
    Senior Member Wightman's Avatar
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    Alright. Well I guess now the only question is what is some good soap lather to get that's fairly cheap and easy to acquire... if any of those things go together.lol

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    Senior Member blabbermouth OCDshaver's Avatar
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    Yes, soap matters. You hear people talk about harsh edges and overhoned razors. And those are real phenomenons. But I'd say that most of the time its the soap that is failing you not the razor or its edge. Lousy soap will make any razor seem harsh. In my opinion there are two really good options on the cheap side of things. I use both. The cheapest is Arko. Its a great lather that really holds its own with soaps that are ten times the price. The other is Barrister and Manns Latha series. $10.99 and in my opinion the best soap available at any price. I don't comment very often anymore on soaps because I've tried a lot and have determined that B&M soaps are my favorite. I've gone through most of the names that others here use and they simply do not perform for me as well as B&M. So I sound like a broken record. But give them a try. At $10.99 you can't go too wrong.
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  5. #14
    Senior Member ZipZop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wightman View Post
    Alright. Well I guess now the only question is what is some good soap lather to get that's fairly cheap and easy to acquire... if any of those things go together.lol
    Aloha!

    Very deep and diverse rabbit hole here, sir. Some will prefer a particular brand, some will prefer a type of soap, i.e., "Tallow" based. Some will prefer a cream with menthol like Proraso Green. This part of wet shaving (like many others) is highly subjective. It is based on YOUR skin and YOUR preference. You can't just take a recommendation from someone and believe it will give you the same results. It may.... or it may not.

    I prefer a Tallow based soap like Stirling Soap Company. Stirling happens to be among my very favorite soaps. Others may like Glycerin based soaps, and that's fine. I don't particularly enjoy low end high volume soaps like Colonel Conk unless I add more Glycerin to them for added lather and smoothness.

    I mentioned Proraso earlier. This is an inexpensive soap and cream (your choice) that is the big brand in Italy. You can pick up a tub of Proraso on the cheap and it works great for many people. Same with their tubed creams.

    You are going to get a lot of recommendations here. You will have to experiment with your skin and beard to see which one works best for you. Soap/cream is NOT expensive as a rule, so you can have some fun building a small collection as you experiment.

    Have fun!

    -Zip
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  6. #15
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    yess!

    They matter .... in the sence that they got to do their job of :

    providing glide
    softening the hair
    protecting the skin
    producing a thick leather that stais on your face
    smell in a way that makes you happy)

    you can get that with 20$ soaps/creams or 200$++...depends on the way you want to go....

    I mean if you want unobtanium pixie fairy soap with a sprinckle of unicorne dust on top...you'll have to work for it)


    some people are happy with a 20 $ soap...some settle for nothing then the highest shelf stuff...
    All that matters is what you like ... in the end...

    If you're smiling while shaving that's what matters.
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  7. #16
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wightman View Post
    Alright. Well I guess now the only question is what is some good soap lather to get that's fairly cheap and easy to acquire... if any of those things go together.lol
    Considering you are in Canada.

    Shoppers Drug Mart carries the Proraso line of shave creams and soaps, do not get the Proraso crap in a can, as well as Omega boar shaving brushes. Neither are expensive as things go, can be had locally of the shelf and are more than good enough to get you started. The only thing with boar brushes is that they need about 2 weeks of everyday use for the tips of the boar bristles to split making the brush feel softer on the face.

    Alternately The Body Shop carries Maca Root shave cream and a synthetic shave brush. Neither are expensive and will do the job nicely for a start.

    Then there is online where the choices are limitless and the sky is the limit as far as what you want to pay for a product.

    Bob
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    Senior Member Wightman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobH View Post
    Considering you are in Canada.

    Shoppers Drug Mart carries the Proraso line of shave creams and soaps, do not get the Proraso crap in a can, as well as Omega boar shaving brushes. Neither are expensive as things go, can be had locally of the shelf and are more than good enough to get you started. The only thing with boar brushes is that they need about 2 weeks of everyday use for the tips of the boar bristles to split making the brush feel softer on the face.

    Alternately The Body Shop carries Maca Root shave cream and a synthetic shave brush. Neither are expensive and will do the job nicely for a start.

    Then there is online where the choices are limitless and the sky is the limit as far as what you want to pay for a product.

    Bob
    I have about six antique badger brushes already, so that's no worry to me. I don't think any of them are overly valuable, but that's okay. Thanks for the advice friend.
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  9. #18
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wightman View Post
    I have about six antique badger brushes already, so that's no worry to me. I don't think any of them are overly valuable, but that's okay. Thanks for the advice friend.
    Didn't know you had any brushes. Looks like you are set there then.

    Bob
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  10. #19
    Member AngeloAmerico's Avatar
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    I find that not only does a shave soap or cream in a tube give a better shave than that of gel/cream in a can; but it also is more affordable and longer lasting. Let me explain that. A can of barbasol costs $2 a can and would only last roughly a week with wet shaving. Thatís $104 a year or more on canned cream. A Proraso shave soap costs $10 and, in my experience, last up to 4-5 months at the very least. So yearly costs for Proraso would be $30-40 a year. Invest in a good shave soap that is highly rated like Proraso, Razor Rock, Taylorís Of Old Bond Street etc etc etc. they are worth the money, give you a better shave and save you money in the long run.
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  11. #20
    Senior Member GreenRipper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wightman View Post
    Alright. Well I guess now the only question is what is some good soap lather to get that's fairly cheap and easy to acquire... if any of those things go together.lol
    I'll go a different route and avoid recommending a particular soap and instead suggest that you find a producer or retailer that offers samples. As ZipZop pointed out, each of us have different preferences when it comes to shave soaps and samples allow you to test a couple of different offerings at minimal cost. When I say "minimal cost" we're usually saying roughly $3 for a sample that will give you approximately a half a dozen shaves (usually more). I admit this isn't great economy but it sure beats spending $15 for a full puck that you find tough to lather or has a scent that you just can't stand. Even better is that if you hate it you can use it for washing your hands or offer it up to someone here on SRP to try.

    When it comes to picking out samples try taking a peek at Obie's First Tier Soaps and Creams. Some of these are pretty pricey but most in the second and third tiers are very good, serviceable soaps that can be had for under $20 USD. Another good place for ideas is the Shave of the Day thread, just take a look at what guys are using and then do a little searching to see if samples can be found.

    One of the best place I've found for samples is Maggardrazors.com but you might want to see what can be had from purveyors on your side of the border.
    Last edited by GreenRipper; 10-02-2017 at 09:59 PM.
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