05-31-2012, 05:59 PM
#1
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I don't really get the appeal of creams and can't help but view them as watered down shaving soaps. The only shaving creams I foresee buying in the future are ones, such as JM Fraser's, which don't have shaving soap equivalents.

From what I gather, their main advantage over soaps is that they lather much easier which means they probably cater only to:

People who have really soft badger brushes that don't make ideal "soap eaters"
People who're lazy and don't want to spend that extra time whipping up a proper lather from shaving soap
People who have really hard water and find it nearly impossible to whip up lather from soap

So: If you have a good soap-eating brush, don't have hard water and aren't lazy, is there any reason for buying shaving creams?

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 05-31-2012, 06:01 PM
#2
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Creams also are generally more strongly scented, which I happen to like.

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 05-31-2012, 06:03 PM
#3
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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They are frequently different formulas than their soap equivalents, so "watered down soaps" isn't always accurate. It seems that scents are generally stronger for creams, too.

Personally, I mostly like soaps, but I have a couple of very nicely performing creams.

Also, I think referring to people who have no urge to load from the puck as "lazy" is inaccurate and probably rude.

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 05-31-2012, 06:06 PM
#4
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Another claim, which I don't have enough experience or sensitivity to make, is that while soaps seem to provide better glide (lubrication) than creams, creams make for a better cushion than soaps.

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 05-31-2012, 06:14 PM
#5
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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IMO creams can be more hydrating and less drying on the skin.

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 05-31-2012, 06:34 PM
#6
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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I've tended to gravitate more to creams rather than soaps or to meet in the middle ground with "croaps". I enjoy MWF and Mikes Naturals, but I'm really looking forward to getting DR Harris Arlington in the mail.

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 05-31-2012, 06:47 PM
#7
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I tend to use mostly soaps, but Bigelow is only available as a cream as is KMF, so I have those on hand.

I also have one Bulgarian cream. As far as I know they aren't available as soaps either.

I don't find the more cushion difference. But if it exists it only requires more soap to be used. Brian SharpSpine and I have been experimenting with what we call ultralather and what it is is lather with more soap solids, but not dry lather. It's super easy to achieve with a cream, and I believe that's because one easily incorporates higher levels of soap solids into the lather. What that does is increase the cushion and lubricity. But the same sort of ultralather can be made with a soap. One just needs to load the brush more and not try to make the pint of lather that amount of soap would normally make.

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 05-31-2012, 06:50 PM
#8
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Creams have ease of lather, superior glide, stronger complex scents and are moisturizing. Mainly they are composed of an emulsion of fatty acids. Glycerin and water. Not the salts of fatty acids like soap.

I use them very little but I would not call people who use them lazy. Different strokes different folks. I use them when my face is tender or chapped from the wind and sun. They do provide an awesome shave.

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 05-31-2012, 07:22 PM
#9
  • tgutc
  • Senior Member
  • Michigan
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I agree with Ben...creams leave my face moisturized where some soaps dry my face out.

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 05-31-2012, 07:25 PM
#10
  • GreekGuy
  • Not saving money yet....
  • La Jolla, CA
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Easier to lather
More Moisturizing
More Slick

This is, of course, assuming you're talking about a good cream. Say AOS cream compared to AOS soap

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 05-31-2012, 07:42 PM
#11
  • Andrew
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX
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Once lathered properly, creams and soaps are still different, so the laziness/lack of lathering skill assumption is incorrect. Yes, creams are easier to lather. But, take for instance my Floris 89 products. I love the Floris 89 scent. The latest iteration of the soap is not very good. I can whip up a very nice lather with it, but it still doesn't provide a very good shave. And the soap has a milder scent. The cream, however, explodes with that fantastic scent, and it always provides me with an outstanding shave. The decision here for me is easy, and it has nothing to do with ease of lathering. The cream is just better than the soap. The same is true for Penhaligons Blenheim Bouquet (in my experience). I don't find that to be true with Trumpers products, though. With these, I fInd the soap gives me a better shave, and some of the creams actually irritate my skin because of the additional fragrance elements.

Bottom line, don't approach the creams vs soap debate from an ease of use perspective. Soaps and creams are just different. Try each and decide which you like based on the shave, not the effort put into lathering them.

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 05-31-2012, 07:43 PM
#12
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I have to agree that creams have more intense scents.

At one time all I used was creams, but have since transitioned to using only soaps, as they seam to work best with my skin. However, I am still a big fan of Nancy Boy Signature Scent cream.

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 05-31-2012, 08:23 PM
#13
  • syngent
  • Senior Member
  • Oshawa, Canada
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I dont keep many creams around any more, but the ones i do ill keep around for some time, i prefer products i like, then any specific criteria, I prefer soaps in the sense that if you were to add up the number of soaps i keep compared to the creams i keep, but i wouldnt give my CF creams up for anything

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 05-31-2012, 10:40 PM
#14
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(05-31-2012, 07:25 PM)GreekGuy Wrote: Easier to lather
More Moisturizing
More Slick

This is, of course, assuming you're talking about a good cream. Say AOS cream compared to AOS soap

IMO AOS soaps are superior to the creams, the creams have a stronger scent but that's it.

That tallowy goodness can't be beat, IMO

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 06-01-2012, 01:01 AM
#15
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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(05-31-2012, 06:01 PM)churchilllafemme Wrote: Creams also are generally more strongly scented, which I happen to like.

Yes,very true and thats basically all to me.

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 06-01-2012, 04:17 AM
#16
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Insulting people or asking a question in the form of an attack isn't a good way of gathering opinions, it only displays an obvious bias and your insincerity.

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 06-01-2012, 05:44 AM
#17
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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I just don't think it's possible to say "soaps are better at x, creams are better at y" and have it be accurate. Every product is different, and each has things it's good at and not as good at.
  • Personally, my best slickness is probably from my RazoRock products, but GreekGuy gets his best slickness from creams.
  • Some people get their best skincare from soaps, but I don't have any soap that can out-do Spencer & Devon cream. (Though a few that match it.)
  • Creams are generally more expensive per shave than soaps in the same line of products, but there are plenty of good creams that are very good values.

The time saved by not having to load the brush really isn't much, and isn't a terribly good basis from which to think about the differences.

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 06-01-2012, 06:30 AM
#18
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I don't see the point in breaking into camps on any of these differences. I've heard people claim that if you like MWF you don't like Tabac, and vice versa. I enjoy good products. There is such a difference between the many varieties of creams and soaps that you can't really make very many categorical statements about either form. Some hard soaps are better than other hard soaps, and the same can be said of creams. Trying to judge between soaps and creams is just about as useful as judging between blade varieties. The only beneficiary is likely yourself, as your experience may differ from everyone else's who you compare with. If you like a product, enjoy it and hoard it and don't feel the need to defend your use of it. Then, if you feel like it, share your discovery with the experimentally minded in this forum. I'll be in Hungary in August, and I'll definitely be bringing home a small cache of good creams.

That said, a tube of cream in the 75ml size, i.e. Speick, is at least as good a travel companion as a shave stick, IMO. It takes up very little space in a Dopp kit and is not terribly sensitive to regional differences in water hardness.

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 06-01-2012, 06:34 AM
#19
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Until finding the existence of shaving forums last year, I'd been using creams only and face lathering. Then I discovered the shaving soaps which I prefer now. I bowl lather soaps. But it still makes sense to me to use creams for face lathering, when in a hurry, or on a trip.

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 06-01-2012, 07:47 AM
#20
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One of the enjoyments of this 'hobby' is the variety of products, and the different methods of using those products. Some days I want a cream ... some days I want a soap. Some days I want to bowl lather ... some days I want to face lather. It's all good.

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