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  1. #1
    Renato's Avatar
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    Default Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Having just re-entered the world of wet shaving thanks to Gillette Fusion and Trumpers Sandalwood Shave Cream, I was trying to find an explanation of how to use a PalmOlive shave stick when I came across this shaving site by a chap called Bruce.

    http://www.bruceonshaving.com/2010/0...g-soap-sticks/

    Reading the various articles, I was surprised to learn that
    a.______ I was a novice,
    b.______ that real wet shavers go for shaving soap and a brush made from boar or preferably badger bristle,
    c.______ that gels and foams aren't much good,
    d.______ that creams are okay for beginners, as they're just watered down versions of shave soap,
    d.______ that Tallow is a very good ingredient to have in shave soap, and
    e.______ that some of the best shave soaps come in stick form, and some are very inexpensive, and
    f.______ that the hard shaving soap is the most economical form of shaving.

    Is this news to most of you, or have I just been way out of date?

    What do you think of his points?

    I must admit that if all I had at my disposal for wet shaving were the spray gels and foams they sell in supermarkets and chemists, I wouldn't be wet shaving now, as it was taking my face about a week to recover from wet shaving. I only ever bought the Trumpers cream because Basenoters here told me it was the best around at the time.
    Regards,
    Renato

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Although when I was younger I used shaving soap with a brush, I now exclusively use foams which have worked fine for me. Will continue to do so.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Strictly a soap and badger-brush man.
    Personally, I don't get on terribly well with creams, but to each their own.
    Badger & Blade website is the Basenotes of wet-shaving. Maybe check them out if you are interested to learn more.

    With regards to some of the points raised:

    b. Badger hair retains water better than boar, and is softer too.
    c. Gels and foams typically contain chemicals that actually displace water when shaving. Neither can hold a candle to properly prepared lather from a soap or cream. Using a brush to apply lather itself has advantages - it lifts hairs and helps soap get underneath thus improving your shave. Plus, it feels lovely and is exfoliating.
    d. Tallow has its fans. Some people claim it breaks them out. Most soaps contain tallow or glycerine.
    f. Hard, i.e. triple-milled soap does indeed last a long time and is thus economical.
    Last edited by gandhajala; 23rd April 2012 at 05:21 PM.

  4. #4
    Renato's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    Although when I was younger I used shaving soap with a brush, I now exclusively use foams which have worked fine for me. Will continue to do so.
    If they work fine and your skin is adapted to them, there is little reason to change that I can see.
    Regards,
    Renato

  5. #5
    Renato's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Quote Originally Posted by gandhajala View Post
    Strictly a soap and badger-brush man.
    Personally, I don't get on terribly well with creams, but to each their own.
    Badger & Blade website is the Basenotes of wet-shaving. Maybe check them out if you are interested to learn more.

    With regards to some of the points raised:

    b. Badger hair retains water better than boar, and is softer too.
    c. Gels and foams typically contain chemicals that actually displace water when shaving. Neither can hold a candle to properly prepared lather from a soap or cream. Using a brush to apply lather itself has advantages - it lifts hairs and helps soap get underneath thus improving your shave. Plus, it feels lovely and is exfoliating.
    d. Tallow has its fans. Some people claim it breaks them out. Most soaps contain tallow or glycerine.
    f. Hard, i.e. triple-milled soap does indeed last a long time and is thus economical.
    Thanks for that, and for your obvious expertise on the matter.

    Interesting that you don't get on with creams. While I'm a fan of the Trumper cream, I did try Dr. Lewinn's cream. I seemed to have to use about three times as much as the Trumper one, and didn't get as good a glide as I got from Trumpers.

    What soap or soaps have you found best?
    Regards,
    Renato

  6. #6

    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Hi Renato,

    The absolute best shaving soap I've come across is Czech & Speake's Oxford & Cambridge. It produces incredibly thick, creamy, lubricating, moisturising lather. Plus, I'm a big fan of the scent, so that's a bonus. The downside is the price - about twice as much as many other high-end soaps (£20, if I recall correctly). The puck does last a long time though, so you have to decide whether you feel the price is justified. Other soaps I have found work well are those from D.R.Harris and Geo F Trumpers. Factors such as water hardness do play a large part in how well a soap will lather, so, as the saying goes, 'your mileage may vary'.
    Mitchell's Wool Fat shaving soap has many fans, and Fitjar soaps and creams are also spoken of highly, though I've not tried them personally.

    For general wet-shaving information, I'd also recommend checking out Mantic59's videos on YouTube: Truly the guru of shaving, with many great tips and tricks.

    Hope that helps somewhat. In the end, much of it (soap vs. cream etc) comes down to personal preference. Only way to know what works well for you is to try out the different options. Good luck and have fun!

  7. #7
    Renato's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Double Post

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Quote Originally Posted by gandhajala View Post
    Hi Renato,

    The absolute best shaving soap I've come across is Czech & Speake's Oxford & Cambridge. It produces incredibly thick, creamy, lubricating, moisturising lather. Plus, I'm a big fan of the scent, so that's a bonus. The downside is the price - about twice as much as many other high-end soaps (£20, if I recall correctly). The puck does last a long time though, so you have to decide whether you feel the price is justified. Other soaps I have found work well are those from D.R.Harris and Geo F Trumpers. Factors such as water hardness do play a large part in how well a soap will lather, so, as the saying goes, 'your mileage may vary'.
    Mitchell's Wool Fat shaving soap has many fans, and Fitjar soaps and creams are also spoken of highly, though I've not tried them personally.

    For general wet-shaving information, I'd also recommend checking out Mantic59's videos on YouTube: Truly the guru of shaving, with many great tips and tricks.

    Hope that helps somewhat. In the end, much of it (soap vs. cream etc) comes down to personal preference. Only way to know what works well for you is to try out the different options. Good luck and have fun!
    Thanks very much for that. Czech & Speake soap doesn't seem to be available in on-line stores down here, but D.R. Harris is, for about the same price as Trumpers. Mitchells Woolfat is also readily available, but Fitjar isn't.

    Anyhow, I've ordered a few more soaps to test out, and have just bought a badger brush - and a boar brush as well. It will be interesting to experiment.

    I've been wondering how to account for day to day, occasion to occasion variation in testing out these soaps (i.e. I may not wet my face as well, use water of different temperatures, humid vs non humid days etc). It occurs to me that the best way to do it is to set Trumpers as my standard of good quality, and compare all others against it - that is, put Trumpers on one side of my face, and the new test soap on the other, and use the same blade.
    Cheers,
    Renato

  9. #9

    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    That sounds like a very scientific approach to testing - I like it!
    It is good to try and keep as many variables as possible constant for a fair comparison.
    After a while, you should notice that each soap will lather best under slightly different conditions - some require you to 'load' your brush more heavily than others, some require a tad more water, some work better if you create the lather in bowl first, others can work well for face-lathering, etc.
    You can then simply compare the best lather achievable from one soap with another.
    Do bear in mind also (if you weren't aware) that soaps typically take a little while to break-in. The first few attempts at lathering from a brand new puck may not produce a wonderful result (technique aside).

    Have fun experimenting !

  10. #10

    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Renato,

    I suspect Bruce is correct; as is Gandhajala.

    My trajectory is the opposite of Hednic - I started with foams, went to gels, and have now been using cream for a little less than a year. I won't be going back.

    As a vegetarian I chose an animal free brush from The Body Shop (and the experts will tell me it isn't good enough, but that's okay).

    For a cheap cream that I've been using, look in your supermarket for one called, simply, "Shave". It's in a brown box, the cream is in a tube.

  11. #11
    Renato's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Quote Originally Posted by gandhajala View Post
    That sounds like a very scientific approach to testing - I like it!
    It is good to try and keep as many variables as possible constant for a fair comparison.
    After a while, you should notice that each soap will lather best under slightly different conditions - some require you to 'load' your brush more heavily than others, some require a tad more water, some work better if you create the lather in bowl first, others can work well for face-lathering, etc.
    You can then simply compare the best lather achievable from one soap with another.
    Do bear in mind also (if you weren't aware) that soaps typically take a little while to break-in. The first few attempts at lathering from a brand new puck may not produce a wonderful result (technique aside).

    Have fun experimenting !
    Thanks for the advice on soaping.
    I tried the badger brush yesterday for the first time, and my experiment for the day was comparing Gillette Fusion cartridgess to 5 blade cartridges I got from Aldi's called Prince. I shaved half my face with one, and the other half with the other. I couldn't tell the difference - I wonder if one lasts longer than the other long term.

    Price difference was $25 for a Fusion 4-pack vs $8 for a Prince 4-pack.
    Regards,
    Renato

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Rudi View Post
    Renato,

    I suspect Bruce is correct; as is Gandhajala.

    My trajectory is the opposite of Hednic - I started with foams, went to gels, and have now been using cream for a little less than a year. I won't be going back.

    As a vegetarian I chose an animal free brush from The Body Shop (and the experts will tell me it isn't good enough, but that's okay).

    For a cheap cream that I've been using, look in your supermarket for one called, simply, "Shave". It's in a brown box, the cream is in a tube.
    Funny you should mention "Shave" - I bought it the other day, but haven't tried it yet.

    Amazing isn't it - you are finding a $2.50 tube of cream to be heaps better than the foams and gels which cost heaps more.

    Interestingly, I tried the Palmolive $2 shave stick they sell in all the supermarkets. It wasn't as good as my Trumpers cream, but I thought it better than Dr. Lewinns shaving cream, which costs heaps more at chemists.

    I wouldn't worry too much about a supposedly less good brush. While the badger brush I tried yesterday was nice and soft, I was thinking how much I used to enjoy pummelling my face with my old cheap hard brush.

    I've ordered a few of the shave sticks discussed by Bruce from the Shave Shed and Menbiz here in Melbourne. Some can be found on Ebay from the UK where the postage isn't so great. I like the idea of shave sticks as opposed to bowls - I was put off bowls when I read that you have to let them dry out before covering them again.
    Regards,
    Renato
    Last edited by Renato; 26th April 2012 at 02:32 AM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    I have been interested in possibly exploring this world for a little while now and am happy to report that I took the plunge and am anxiously awaiting delivery of my Merkur Progress adjustable safety razor, pure badger brush and tube of Proraso shave cream.

    I recently started using Jack Black's Beard Lube with my Fusion and I really like the lube much better than the foams I have always used. I look forward to the new obsession..... or the new scars. One of the two.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Quote Originally Posted by chili_willi View Post
    I have been interested in possibly exploring this world for a little while now and am happy to report that I took the plunge and am anxiously awaiting delivery of my Merkur Progress adjustable safety razor, pure badger brush and tube of Proraso shave cream.

    I recently started using Jack Black's Beard Lube with my Fusion and I really like the lube much better than the foams I have always used. I look forward to the new obsession..... or the new scars. One of the two.
    Interesting. There seems to be a mixed reaction to Jack Black Beard Lube over at Badger and Blade, good to see it has worked for you. Please let me know how you get on with the Merkur razor, particularly how it compares to Fusion. The crowd at Badger and Blade seem to be heavily into the Double Edged (DE) shaving experience, for logical reasons - one blade shouldn't cause as much aggravation as 5 blades - but that just doesn't seem to be the case with me or with my brother. I'm trying to condition my skin so that one day I can actually use my old Gillette razor again.

    Don't forget to have your after shave balm handy after your first DE experience. I've noticed lately that for the occasional nick, a dab of Mennen Skin Bracer followed up with balm on top of it fixes things up quite nicely.
    Regards,
    Renato
    Last edited by Renato; 26th April 2012 at 08:02 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Let's face it....for most of us, shaving is a real chore!

    I think that shaving creams, gels, foams, oils etc, along with single, double, triple blade razors etc, have evolved over time as the need for convenience and speed (to name but two), has increased. (As well as marketing techniques).

    For me, it's been a process of chopping and changing over the years, until I've arrived at something I'm happy with.

    I'm currently using a Gillette Fusion razor, with Korres Absinthe shaving cream (lovely stuff!) and I'm well pleased with the results.

    That doesn't mean I won't be tempted into trying a different razor or cream in the future. Never say never.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Quote Originally Posted by HDD8 View Post
    Let's face it....for most of us, shaving is a real chore!

    I think that shaving creams, gels, foams, oils etc, along with single, double, triple blade razors etc, have evolved over time as the need for convenience and speed (to name but two), has increased. (As well as marketing techniques).

    For me, it's been a process of chopping and changing over the years, until I've arrived at something I'm happy with.

    I'm currently using a Gillette Fusion razor, with Korres Absinthe shaving cream (lovely stuff!) and I'm well pleased with the results.

    That doesn't mean I won't be tempted into trying a different razor or cream in the future. Never say never.
    Shaving can definitely be a chore if one is in a hurry. For me it was also a bit of a nightmare till 11 years ago when I finally figured out how to get a decent electric shave - it's no fun never knowing whether you are going to look okay after a shave, or have that red, raw look on parts of your face or throat that also sting. Shaving twice a day - in the evening before going out - was something I had to avoid at all costs.

    Anyhow, it's good to see you have the matter well in hand, and have plainly settled on a shave cream beyond standard supermarket fare.
    Regards,
    Renato

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    i use a straight razor, and i've just updated from one with disposable blades to an old and beautiful real blade (and a strop to sharpen it).

    if i shaved clean i would certainly go for a wonderfully scented soap and a badge-hair brush; maybe even warm, wet towels, and after shave. but i don't. i have a beard, and shave only two very small patches. so the whole soaping-in procedure is a bit lost here. i use a clear, colourless transparent gel, because i need to see what i am doing.
    Last edited by gido; 26th April 2012 at 08:37 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Quote Originally Posted by gido View Post
    i use a straight razor, and i've just updated from one with disposable blades to an old and beautiful real blade (and a strop to sharpen it).

    if i shaved clean i would certainly go for a wonderfully scented soap and a badge-hair brush; maybe even warm, wet towels, and after shave. but i don't. i have a beard, and shave only two very small patches. so the whole soaping-in procedure is a bit lost here. i use a clear, colourless transparent gel, because i need to see what i am doing.
    A straight razor! You have my admiration- way too scary for me.
    Cheers,
    Renato

  19. #19
    Super Member Erok32's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    I like Trumpers Almond or Coconut oil cream in a jar along with a badger hair brush. Start out shaving with the grain only at first. Going against the grain under the chin can be a little irritating at first. Also, try using a medium sharp blade when starting out. I use Shark Super Chrome. An extremely sharp blade like Feathers can nick you pretty good if not experienced.

  20. #20
    Super Member Erok32's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    Interesting. There seems to be a mixed reaction to Jack Black Beard Lube over at Badger and Blade, good to see it has worked for you. Please let me know how you get on with the Merkur razor, particularly how it compares to Fusion. The crowd at Badger and Blade seem to be heavily into the Double Edged (DE) shaving experience, for logical reasons - one blade shouldn't cause as much aggravation as 5 blades - but that just doesn't seem to be the case with me or with my brother. I'm trying to condition my skin so that one day I can actually use my old Gillette razor again.

    Don't forget to have your after shave balm handy after your first DE experience. I've noticed lately that for the occasional nick, a dab of Mennen Skin Bracer followed up with balm on top of it fixes things up quite nicely.
    Regards,
    Renato
    I used Anthony Logistics shave cream or Jack Black with my Fusion Pro Glide, but when shaving with a DE razor they are a little too thick and can cause the blade to clog rather quickly. But if it works, go for it.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Quote Originally Posted by Erok32 View Post
    I like Trumpers Almond or Coconut oil cream in a jar along with a badger hair brush. Start out shaving with the grain only at first. Going against the grain under the chin can be a little irritating at first. Also, try using a medium sharp blade when starting out. I use Shark Super Chrome. An extremely sharp blade like Feathers can nick you pretty good if not experienced.
    Thanks for that.

    I'm staying away from DE blades for now, but hope to work my way back to them. You're right about medium sharp blades. When I used to use DE blades before going electric decades ago, I used to hate having to wear in new ones because of all the nicks and cuts. After a weeks use they became okay.

    I used and still have Wilkinson Sword blades. No one seems to talk about them much. They seem fantastic at nicking to me.

    Shaving against the grain is something I have never done, as for me it's tough enough shaving with the grain.
    Cheers,
    Renato

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Quote Originally Posted by Erok32 View Post
    I used Anthony Logistics shave cream or Jack Black with my Fusion Pro Glide, but when shaving with a DE razor they are a little too thick and can cause the blade to clog rather quickly. But if it works, go for it.
    I've just ordered Jack Black and bought a Fusion Pro Glide. I'm looking forward to testing them.
    Regards,
    Renato

  23. #23
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    Default Tallow Wasn't My Friend After All.

    Contrary to what was I wrote in the opening post, Tallow turned out not to be too friendly to me after all. I related the sad story of my first experience with a Tallow soap at the Blade and Badger site.
    http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthr...02#post4073702

    Plenty of old hands there have chimed in with encouragement, suggesting I hang in there, as the result will be worthwhile.
    Cheers,
    Renato

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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    i should add to my previous post, that the gel i'm using is not that great.

    to go into detail: it does keep the skin longer moist, and it makes the slope more slippery (the blade glides better.) it doesn't seem to make the hair any more brittle than it is already when wet. it does have some surfactant qualities, but it's not that good in this respect. it moisturises the skin as well (i think that's the aloe vera, there's a lot of aloe vera extract in this gel) which feels nice and soothing after a shave, it works great to protect against rashes.

    i would only recommend this stuff when you need a clear gel, so you can see what you are doing, when you only need to shave partially. it's good against rashes, too.

    and, renato, a straight razor is not scary. i virtually never cut myself. it's just a simple technique you need to learn. just don't practice on your face the first couple of times!

    the reason i went for the straight razor is the same reason i went for the clear gel, i need to make precision cuts. but if i ever decide to lose the beard, i will certainly continue with the straight razor.
    Last edited by gido; 27th April 2012 at 02:24 PM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Renato - I enjoyed reading the responses to your post over at B&B.
    I'd agree that it is worth giving the tallow soap a proper chance. In the end though, it comes down to personal preference and what works best for you.
    I find glycerine based soaps provide good slickness, but the lather tends to be quite light and 'thin'. Some people even add an extra couple of drops of glycerine to their lather to produce so-called 'Über Lather'.
    By contrast, tallow soaps tend to produce a much richer, denser, creamier lather that offers great cushioning. I also find tallow quite moisturising. For these reasons, I prefer tallow.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Quote Originally Posted by gido View Post
    i should add to my previous post, that the gel i'm using is not that great.

    to go into detail: it does keep the skin longer moist, and it makes the slope more slippery (the blade glides better.) it doesn't seem to make the hair any more brittle than it is already when wet. it does have some surfactant qualities, but it's not that good in this respect. it moisturises the skin as well (i think that's the aloe vera, there's a lot of aloe vera extract in this gel) which feels nice and soothing after a shave, it works great to protect against rashes.

    i would only recommend this stuff when you need a clear gel, so you can see what you are doing, when you only need to shave partially. it's good against rashes, too.

    and, renato, a straight razor is not scary. i virtually never cut myself. it's just a simple technique you need to learn. just don't practice on your face the first couple of times!

    the reason i went for the straight razor is the same reason i went for the clear gel, i need to make precision cuts. but if i ever decide to lose the beard, i will certainly continue with the straight razor.
    Thanks for that perspective on straight razors.
    If one doesn't practice on a face to start off with - well - where does one do it?

    You have to remember, I am using SAFETY razors - and I'm still cutting myself up.
    I just can't see myself faring all that well with a non-safety razor. But I must admit, I've always found them intriguing when a barber uses them on me.
    Cheers,
    Renato

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Quote Originally Posted by gandhajala View Post
    Renato - I enjoyed reading the responses to your post over at B&B.
    I'd agree that it is worth giving the tallow soap a proper chance. In the end though, it comes down to personal preference and what works best for you.
    I find glycerine based soaps provide good slickness, but the lather tends to be quite light and 'thin'. Some people even add an extra couple of drops of glycerine to their lather to produce so-called 'Über Lather'.
    By contrast, tallow soaps tend to produce a much richer, denser, creamier lather that offers great cushioning. I also find tallow quite moisturising. For these reasons, I prefer tallow.
    Thanks for that. They've been very helpful over there, and the comments keep coming.

    You now have me very intrigued. Uber Lather - I have a bottle of glycerine in the cupboard which I have no idea what I got it for, but which now suddenly has a reason for being.
    I wonder if glycerine and tallow soap would go well together? This is a world of more variables than I'd thought was the case.
    Cheers,
    Renato

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    If one doesn't practice on a face to start off with - well - where does one do it?
    i've heard people do start on peaches, but to me that seems rather difficult for starters. the back of the hand (on the edge of the arm) would be good. the skin is a fair bit tougher, the hair cuts easier, and a cut isn't so bad. it's not that difficult, it's all in holding the blade at the right angle, and applying next to no pressure at all. real blades tend to be less sharp than a fresh disposable blade, and (contrary of what some might think now) that's why you should learn it with the latter. it's much easier!

    another tip for wet shaving in general, it takes a while for hair to soak up water. it can take a minute or two, or even longer if the hair is rather oily/fatty. soaked hair is more brittle and much easier to cut. if your cream/soap/whatever works well as a surfactant this is less important, but if that's not the case it might be a good idea to wait until the hair has absorbed enough water.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Originally Posted by Renato
    If one doesn't practice on a face to start off with - well - where does one do it?

    Try a balloon!

    Inflate and tie off a balloon. Apply cream, foam, gel, soap or whatever over the surface of the balloon and then off you go.....

    Have fun!!

  30. #30
    Renato's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shave Soap vs Shave Cream, Shave Foam, Shave Gel

    Quote Originally Posted by gido View Post
    i've heard people do start on peaches, but to me that seems rather difficult for starters. the back of the hand (on the edge of the arm) would be good. the skin is a fair bit tougher, the hair cuts easier, and a cut isn't so bad. it's not that difficult, it's all in holding the blade at the right angle, and applying next to no pressure at all. real blades tend to be less sharp than a fresh disposable blade, and (contrary of what some might think now) that's why you should learn it with the latter. it's much easier!

    another tip for wet shaving in general, it takes a while for hair to soak up water. it can take a minute or two, or even longer if the hair is rather oily/fatty. soaked hair is more brittle and much easier to cut. if your cream/soap/whatever works well as a surfactant this is less important, but if that's not the case it might be a good idea to wait until the hair has absorbed enough water.
    Thanks for that information. You've inspired me - I just ordered a shavette and 10 blades fom Ebay Hong Kong for $9, to practice with. They were also selling straight edge razors for between 7 and 10 dollars, and strops for $20, but somehow I didn't think the quality would be there given the typical prices of straight edge razors.

    The tip on wetting the face/keeping lather on it for several minutes I found several weeks ago, and must admit that in my early days I probably didn't do that.
    Cheers,
    Renato

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