June 21, 2014

Shave Soap & Shaving Cream

I've been doing the traditional wet shaving routine with a double-edged razor for a relatively long time now, and I've kicked the habit of trying to find the best shaving products to use. I admit to buying too many different shave soaps and shaving creams in an attempt to find a holy grail that really doesn't exist (and even if one does, nobody really cares that much; we're talking about shaving your face here, not a cure for cancer).

Traditional shaving cream is WAY better than the gel, foam, and slime that you commonly find in convenient pressurized cans. One of the best shaving creams that I've used is this one from The Real Shaving Co.

This stuff is manufactured by the same company that produces shaving cream for famous and expensive brands such as Truefitt & Hill. In fact, I believe that the basic composition is the same regardless of the brand. The ingredients are listed on the tube:

You'll find a virtually identical ingredient list on high-end branded shaving cream, but you'll pay 3-5 times as much. So, this product from The Real Shaving Co. is super economical, available at some local drug stores (Rite Aid, for example), and a tube lasts forever. Buy a tube if you see one on the shelf next to a can of slime.

Some shave soaps are much better than the aforementioned canned goods. Things can get a little hairy when dealing with shave soap, however, because some are difficult to lather up, some do not perform well, and some smell terrible. I recently acquired a stick of soap (lime scented) from Mike's Natural Soaps, and it falls into the "much better" category.

It looks like deodorant or antiperspirant, but it's shave soap packaged in a form that can be directly applied to the skin before whipping it into a foamy lather with a shaving brush. I found the stick to be a little inconvenient, so I removed the soap and smashed it into a soap dish for use with a brush in a more traditional manner.

Anyway, this guy Mike knows how to make shave soap. The soap is old school because it's made with tallow and lanolin (vegans beware). The soap lathers up quickly and easily, the lather is really slick, and the natural lime scent isn't overpowering or artificial. After using the lime soap for a while, I decided to acquire a tin of Mike's "Orange, Cedarwood, & Black Pepper" shave soap. I think the basic soap formula and quality are the same . . . it just smells different. I like both of Mike's soaps enough to become a repeat customer.

That's about all for now. Two products that work well and improve the shaving experience. Good stuff.