Good question! How do you pick the best shaving soap in the market? What are the characteristics of the best shaving soap? How do you choose a winner among the hundreds of options?
Sadly, there is no one size fits all answer. It depends on several things – you, your beard, and your skin type. It even depends on how much time you want to spend on shaving.
Therefore, let’s pick the best soaps in various categories.
Shaving Soap or Shaving Cream?
Before we get into any details, this is the first question you need to answer. Which side do you pick? What are their differences?
Shaving soaps and shaving creams have different textures: The soap is more solid and compact, while the cream is more watery and fickle.
If you want complete control of the lather you get, foaming a shaving soap is the best way to do so. Depending on your strength, speed, and the time you spend, you can create the exact type of foam you are looking for – with the ideal thickness and volume. However, there is a minor downside: If you are new to traditional shaving, learning the technique to get the perfect lather might take quite some time.
Since shaving soaps have a much lower water content, they last longer than shaving creams and are, thus, more effective and cost-effective.
Freshness and Softness
The foam of the soap provides a much superior shaving experience compared to that of shaving cream. Shaving soap allows the blade to slide smoothly, making it the more optimal choice.
Using soap is like art – it requires skill and time; using the cream is the faster option. If you want to have a luxurious, enjoyable shaving experience while listening to some music, using the shaving soap might be the right option for you.
Now that we’ve compared the two options, let’s take a look at various types of shaving soaps.
Types of Shaving Soaps
Triple Pressed Tablet Shaving Soaps
Hard soap bars used to be out of fashion, but now, they’re back! Triple pressed tablet shaving soaps are the most sophisticated option in the market, but they are perfect for true lovers of traditional shaving.
These soaps are fine-grained, homogenous, and hardly conserve any water. Since they are very saturated, you will get a lot of foam using a small amount of the soap, and therefore, they will last much longer than any other option. Additionally, they don’t deteriorate with time. They maintain their quality!
The foam it produces is similar to a good-density cream, perfectly preserving moisture once assembled. It is recommended to use stiffer and harder brushes with these soaps – a Badger or a Bristle brush are great options.
Are you interested in trying it out? Check out the traditional soaps from Pre de Provence or the hot milled soaps from Caswell Massey.
Bar or Stick Shaving Soaps
Bar shaving soaps are a unique format of traditional soaps.
The best stick shaving soaps are also triple pressed, meaning they have a solid consistency, include little water in their composition, and last for a long duration.
You can use these in two ways:
- Rubbing on the stick with a more rigid or stiff brush.
- Moistening the face by directly rubbing on the soap bar and then lathering with a softer brush.
Stick shaving soaps are ideal for travel because the foam is of excellent quality, and they take up very little space in the toiletry bag.
Creamy Shaving Soaps and Morbid Shaving Soaps
This category includes two different soaps with more inconsistency but equally excellent results. A great example is the Taylor of Old Bond Street, which has already impressed thousands of men worldwide for their fragrances and ease of foaming.
But let’s go into detail. Creamy shaving soaps acquire their texture due to the glycerin (fat or oil) they contain and their higher water content.
These glycerin soaps have two advantages:
- They could be used as perfume alternatives, thanks to their intense fragrances.
- Economic price.
However, it is hard to label them as affordable in the long run because they run out much earlier than triple-pressed options, requiring you to purchase them more often.
The same goes for soft shaving soaps. They are the least thick, contain even more water, and assembling the foam is pretty easy even with the softest brushes.
Shaving creams are the opposite of triple-pressed soaps. These are soaps that have been emulsified and beaten with water and gas, already creating a foam. Being so light, creams usually come in tubes and are ideal for foaming directly on the face.
In other words: shaving creams are the perfect choice for those looking for faster shaves. Edwin Jagger has a great selection of creams based on your beard type and needs.
If you are in a rush, shaving gels are one of the best options for you because they allow you to create foam without using a brush. Many men with well-groomed beards choose to use a shaving gel because it is transparent, making it much easier to define their beard lines. However, we don’t recommend it. Shaving gels create waste, don’t hydrate your skin as much, and provide a low-quality lather.
Italian Shaving Soaps
According to this list above, there are two things you have to keep in mind:
- There is no “best soap” because finding the best soap depends on the user and his preferences. Many men choose to have multiple types of soaps in their bathrooms so that they can pick the appropriate one given at a specific moment.
- No matter what, an excellent triple-pressed soap is the best thing you can spread on your skin.
However, if you would like a premium shaving experience, you have to go for the classic of the classics: Italian shaving soaps.
Brands like Saponificio Varesino, Extro, Cella Milano, and Proraso have been combining the centuries-old tradition of the best shaving soap with advances in the sector, giving rise to unusual, unique, and unmistakable textures and fragrances.
How to Make the Best Lather with Shaving Soap?
Since using a shaving soap can be a little complicated, here are four steps you can follow:
- A few minutes before shaving, damp the soap with warm water and let it sit.
- Rub the brush to soak it in soap, and in a bowl, beat it until a homogenous foam is created. The result should have a creamy texture without bubbles.
- If the foam is too thick, add more water. However, make sure to use the wet brush to do so.
- If the cream comes out watery and with bubbles, soak the brush with more soap and repeat the process.
After a few attempts, you’ll feel like a master and an artist. Don’t worry! It takes practice to become an expert.
Do You Already Know Which Shaving Soap to Pick?
You can pick your shaving soap from the top 10 list compiled by a reputable classic shaving store like www.newenglandshaving.com.
What type and what brand will you choose? Proraso shaving cream or Castle Forbes shaving soap? A shaving bar soap to take with you on the road or a shaving cream for a quick shave?
Remember that we are more than happy to give advice or answer your questions so that you can discover the best shaving soap for yourself.