08-09-2016, 06:36 PM
#1
  • NJDJ
  • Active Member
  • New Jersey
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Just wanted to say this, because i am so susurprised how true it is: soaps impact the shave almost as much as the razor and blade.  As a newbie, i would never have guessed the degree to which the soap contributes to a bbs/dfs.

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 08-09-2016, 07:06 PM
#2
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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There is no little irony in your observation. In my 8 years we've collectively gone from razors to be had for two low figures to three. Brushes are enjoying a Rennaissance and truly worth every penny. A shaver can comfortably match quality product to any level. And then we have soaps that fall into two categories; well established European brands and the phenomenon of Artisan with enough scent choices and fancifull names and ephemera to satisfy a Pop Art collector and his aromatherapist mistress. I have heard the growing din of ' x artisan soap is better than the imports and x dollars less'. I've watched more than one established soap quietly discontinued or discounted never to return. I have no prejudice against artisan efforts. But people need to rotate one artisan and one triple milled Import for the life of each; crunch the numbers and factor in shipping ( works agasint shavers both ways) and any other qualitative difference and perhaps be just a little more appreciative of what we have, and could easilly lose.

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 08-09-2016, 07:48 PM
#3
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While I agree with the OP's statement, I would argue that it's the quality of the lather that impacts the shave more than the soap itself. This is why so many veterans can get great shaves with tallow & non-tallow soaps alike. That said, I have a special place for a couple of artisans who's offerings treat me right every single shave.

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 08-10-2016, 02:53 AM
#4
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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Yes, I think it is the ability to create the right kind of lather from the soap you are using that contributes immensely to having a good shave. Soap is definitely a step up from canned goo.

Bob

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 08-10-2016, 04:46 AM
#5
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Soap quality is certainly an important factor in a good shave, but technique is more so. 

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 08-10-2016, 05:03 AM
#6
  • Steelman
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  • Delaware
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Congratulations to the OP!

This is my own personal opinion, but speaking from my own experience I really didn't notice the difference in soaps until I got my technique honed. If the OP is finally able to differentiate among soaps, that means the technique is pretty much solid. Congrats!

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 08-10-2016, 05:25 AM
#7
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I have a philosophy that says I can shave with anything slick. Cushion means nothing to me anymore and a bar of dove soap can provide the same result as xpec in my den. I do understand what gents describe in performance of product but for me I enjoy all products for individual characteristics.

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 08-10-2016, 06:29 AM
#8
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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I have used Ivory soap to shave with and it doesn't hold a candle to Arko. Doable yes in a pinch but not the most pleasant experience.

Bob

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 08-10-2016, 06:39 AM
#9
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I forgot to congratulate OP it's all about finding the good shave! Awesome  Smile

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 08-10-2016, 06:40 AM
#10
  • kav
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 08-10-2016, 09:53 AM
#11
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(08-10-2016, 06:40 AM)UI kav Wrote: WD 40

Lol , not sure about that one.

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 08-10-2016, 10:06 AM
#12
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I've found that technique and a quality soap go hand in hand! Congrats on your findings!

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 08-10-2016, 10:06 AM
#13
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Brillo & Wisk

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 08-10-2016, 10:31 AM
#14
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Oui, oui. La technique

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 08-10-2016, 10:55 AM
#15
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(08-10-2016, 10:31 AM)lloydrm Wrote: Oui, oui. La technique


  As with most things in life, technique is critical.  The Olympic commentators for women's soccer were discussing the 3 things needed to play at that level.

Technique
Athleticism
Mental state. 

Thank goodness shaving only requires one of the three or we'd all be in RIo. :-)

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 08-10-2016, 03:54 PM
#16
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Although I'm in the technique trumps all camp, when I think back to when I was learning to wet shave, how exciting it was to whip up a wonderful, thick, slick lather from something that looked like a round shaped bath soap.  I was amazed at how wonderful it smelt and how easily it let the blade glide across my skin so that I hardly felt the blade as it removed a pass of whiskers.  

So the OP is right, shaving soap is a pretty amazing thing. Heart

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 08-10-2016, 05:36 PM
#17
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The right hardware paired with technique are first and foremost in my opinion when getting a great shave. In my few years of wet shaving I've found that the right soap can make a big difference too. It really just depends on the person.  Obviously some people get a great shave with just about anything. Others swear by the most expensive artisans while others lie somewhere in between. I've noticed that what works for someone doesn't always work for someone else. There are also "fads" and "trends" when it comes to soap. There always seems to be an "it" artisan everyone is talking about. Kav is right. We need to support the companies that support us. There are already great soap makers that have shut their doors after a very short time in the business. While I have my favorite artisans it's hard to beat the well established imports like tabac or SV. A good rotation is always a good thing in my opinion.  Congrats to the OP on discovering one of my favorite parts of shaving.

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 08-10-2016, 05:52 PM
#18
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Soaps, soaps and more soaps.... Where to begin? 
A good rotation keeps me going. On a daily basis I find myself defining a new favorite. I am lucky to have quite a selection and this allows a consistently happy face. 
I cannot bring myself to trying a dove bar but with a honed technique, a good selection of 'imports' and the artisans, my opinion is that any wet shaver will have more to smile about.

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 08-11-2016, 02:47 AM
#19
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If you really want to get to know a soap and just how it performs then use it exclusively. I always thought I had Haslinger Scahfmilch dialed in and was getting pretty good shaves with it. I've been using it almost daily being out of town for work and have been forced to tinker with my water ratios due to my synthetic brush I'm traveling with. Never took the time before with it like I have this week. Have to say that this morning I feel like I have a new soap in front of me. Best lather I have ever gotten from it! Great slickness, glide, and post shave feel. Has given me a new found respect for this soap.

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 08-11-2016, 06:27 AM
#20
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I agree, for me the lather accounts for the difference between a great shave and a near perfect shave.  While I agree that technique is king, for someone who has technique nailed dialing in a spectacular lather is the next frontier.

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