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Thread: do soaps/creams matter?

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    Senior Member Wightman's Avatar
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    Default do soaps/creams matter?

    Do the soaps or creams really matter when it comes to a blade shave. Be it safety or straight... single blade I guess in general. Is there a big difference using one you whip up, or just buy some new gel cream in a can. With normal modern razors I use hair conditioner and things of the like to be honest. Is it important or more for the nostalgia of the shave?

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    The deeper you go down the rabbit hole of wet shaving the more important it becomes for a number of reasons that take about a page to explain.

    Certainly, I've found since using a straight, that I'm more fussy about soap. For example hair conditioner will work well enough with a DE, but since I do a lot of skin stretching in a straight shave, the slipperiness would make a straight shave very difficult to execute.

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    Senior Member Wayne1963's Avatar
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    Heck yes, it matters. When I began shaving as a youngster, I used one of the last produced Gillette twist to open razors. Of course, I used Edge Gel....it was considered the best back in the late 70's, or at least that's what the ads told me. It was a very hit and miss, mostly miss, situation.

    Fast forward a few decades, and I returned to the safety razor. This time, with the aid of the internet, I learned about making your own lather. This was a game changer! Now I loved DE shaving. Of course learning proper beard reduction and all the other things we wet shavers do helped, but not using canned foam was the keystone for me.
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    Senior Member Wightman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne1963 View Post
    Heck yes, it matters. When I began shaving as a youngster, I used one of the last produced Gillette twist to open razors. Of course, I used Edge Gel....it was considered the best back in the late 70's, or at least that's what the ads told me. It was a very hit and miss, mostly miss, situation.

    Fast forward a few decades, and I returned to the safety razor. This time, with the aid of the internet, I learned about making your own lather. This was a game changer! Now I loved DE shaving. Of course learning proper beard reduction and all the other things we wet shavers do helped, but not using canned foam was the keystone for me.
    Ahhhh I may have to look up some do it your self leathers than my good man. And I think I have one of these Gillette razors you talk of right now in the trade section to be honest. Among a couple other.(just to throw a quick plug in there with it.lol)

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    Senior Member rodb's Avatar
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    It matters to me, I like making the lather and it also acts as a visual guide to see where I've been and need to go
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    Mental Support Squad Pithor's Avatar
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    At least for my skin it matters a lot. At some point I used Palmolive shave gel, which was acceptable, as in: it didn't dry out my skin even more than normally. In retrospect, it probably marginally beat quite a few "traditional" soaps/creams I've used - noticeably so-called artisan products, at least in the skin "care" department.

    The lubrication it offered didn't come close to most of the products I use nowadays, however.

    Best regards,

    Pieter
    Last edited by Pithor; 10-02-2017 at 07:11 AM.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Yes, a good soap/cream does make a difference to a shave but only if you know how to make a good lather. That is a bit of a problem if you have not done it before and can take a few times to get it right. Nothing major though especially if you practice making a lather a number of times before trying to shave. I have never used hair conditioner and it has been so long since I used crap in a can that I can't say what they are like in comparison to a good shave soap/cream.

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    Senior Member GreenRipper's Avatar
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    I'll go on record in saying that what you use most definitely matters. I switched from the goo to traditional wet shaving almost eleven years ago (but only abandoned the cartridge last year). I can be very honest in saying that the goo did my sensitive skin no favors and switching to a puck, even a poor one, helped me out quite a bit.

    Some time back I was traveling and was forced to use the goo for a few days. A couple of shaves with the canned stuff didn't cause me any great irritation but I definitely noticed the poor quality of the product. The canned foam is extremely dense but because of that it doesn't spread all that well and it simply didn't feel as slick as almost any shave soap that I've used. I also feel that because it is applied by hand, and combined with that density, it simply doesn't do much to lift whiskers for removal. All-in-all it was a poor product that survives on convenience as opposed to quality.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth Dieseld's Avatar
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    Yes, it makes a difference!!

    A good quality soap/cream, not only helps to produce a better shave, but helps with skin care.
    As mentioned, the goo is too thick. And making your own lather lets you do what's best for your typeof shaving and your skin. Just the face feel after using a top tier soap, will convince you quickly.
    As well as the glide of your razor as you shave. There is truly a difference!!

    Give it a go and see what we're all saying. You won't regret it
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    Senior Member Porl's Avatar
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    Absolutely it does. I agree with all that has been said already.

    In addition to the benefits with the shave and how much kinder they are to the skin, there is something very satisfying about whipping up your own lather.

    It is also another thing to collect, but it won't break the bank as much as the razors and brushes do
    Fact: Opinions are not the same as facts... Well, that's my opinion anyway

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