09-27-2016, 04:58 PM
#1
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I make my own shaving soap for personal use.  I like my soap for its very thick, lotion lather.  I also really like my cream for its easier prep, more lather, and ability to face lather.  I usually use the soap, but the cream is great for traveling.

Why do you guys prefer a soap or a cream and what do you look for in each?

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 09-27-2016, 06:06 PM
#2
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
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With a rather large rotation of software I've developed a preference for harder soaps as opposed to creams and croaps. While most soft products are very good, the fact that they seem to be ready quicker can often be their downfall. Despite appearing ready almost immediately, I find creams (et al) can lack the cushion I associate with hard soaps. This is not to say one is better than the other, just that creams can fool you into thinking you have already made a good lather when in fact they still require more water and time. With hard soaps, I don't regularly encounter the same issue. However, the dominate consideration in relation to preference for me is actually shelf life. I enjoy variety and the hard soaps tend to last longer permitting a greater choice. I can revisit hard soaps that I've neglected without the same risk of spoiling that I've encountered with some soft products.

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 09-27-2016, 07:01 PM
#3
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(09-27-2016, 04:58 PM)asiliski Wrote: I make my own shaving soap for personal use.  I like my soap for its very thick, lotion lather.  I also really like my cream for its easier prep, more lather, and ability to face lather.  I usually use the soap, but the cream is great for traveling.

Why do you guys prefer a soap or a cream and what do you look for in each?

Hey @asiliski,

Been using shaving cream for years

Recently, ran out of shaving cream and started using Marseille soap (buy it regularly for washing because it's good soap, not full of crap ingredients and cheap), which does the job. I find it [soap] dries out fast, so you either have to be efficient and/or fast, or one can add olive oil (another household ingredient) to prolong foaming.

"Go without, and see what you really need" - Chalky White

Hope this is useful

Regards

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 09-27-2016, 07:22 PM
#4
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I prefer soaps as there is more offerings with better scents and ingredients, especially, with artisanal ones and I can just rub the soap on my face to start the lathering proces. Shy

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 09-27-2016, 08:40 PM
#5
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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I have both creams and soaps. My preference is for hard soaps mainly because I like the process involved with loading the brush and face lathering. For travel I use a shave stick.

Bob

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 09-28-2016, 01:31 AM
#6
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(09-27-2016, 06:06 PM)ben74 Wrote: With a rather large rotation of software I've developed a preference for harder soaps as opposed to creams and croaps. While most soft products are very good, the fact that they seem to be ready quicker can often be their downfall. Despite appearing ready almost immediately, I find creams (et al) can lack the cushion I associate with hard soaps. This is not to say one is better than the other, just that creams can fool you into thinking you have already made a good lather when in fact they still require more water and time. With hard soaps, I don't regularly encounter the same issue. However, the dominate consideration in relation to preference for me is actually shelf life. I enjoy variety and the hard soaps tend to last longer permitting a greater choice. I can revisit hard soaps that I've neglected without the same risk of spoiling that I've encountered with some soft products.

Ben said it all. I totally agree 110% with his entire post.

I have 300-350 soaps and creams in my collection, and most of my creams turns rock hard because I only use them twice a year perhaps and I have to treat them like a croap, when I load them.

Because of that I focus mainly on soaps these days.

I do have to say, that there are some fantastic creams, that will ALWAYS, as long as they are made, be part of my collection:

Castle Forbes
St. James
Esbjerg
Antica Barbieria Colla
Alvarez Gomez
Penhaligon
Floris 89
Acqua di Parma
Santa Maria Novella
Speick
Baume.Be
Xpec

All these creams mentioned above are not only stellar performers, they are FANTASTIC performers and gives me great cushion and post shave feel.

As ben states, some creams are more thirsty than others.
A good example is Castle Forbes. It can almost take as much water as a soap to build on your face. I think this is why it's not more propular.
If people knew how to build the real Castle Forbes lather, the really hydrated Castle Forbes lather, Castle Forbes would be on most peoples Top 5 products overall list.

I usually spend 5-8  minutes to build the Castle Forbes lather on my face, even though it looks about ready after 1-2 minutes.
Spend the extra time hydrating the lather properply and you are rewarded with one of the best cushions and protections and post shave feel there are in the entire soap/cream business.

Incidentally I own the ENTIRE cream collection line from TOBS, DR Harris, TrueFitt & Hill, Geo F. Trumper, Esbjerg, Penhaligon, Castle Forbes and St. James. You name one product, I own it from these brands.
(Minus the hard soaps from GFT and TF&H ( because they quite frankly suck), but own all the hard soaps from TOBS and DR Harris too)

What will I repurchase is perhaps 2-3 TF&H, 2 GFT, 2-3 TOBS, 2 DR Harris - but I will always own the entire Esbjerg, Castle Forbes, St. James and Penholigon line of creams, because they are just that step above the others.

When it comes to soaps, I seem to have accepted and embraced the artisans now. I used to be very much against the artisans, because I felt the presentation was lacking and the whole idea of kitchen made soaps was just not my thing.
But I have evolved and realized (after several people telling me to give them an extra chance) I was missing out.

Now I focus on the artisans, that makes the best qulity soap, that comes in what I would call an acceptable presentation pot with a proper label (preferably water proof, if you know what I mean)
But I still buy soaps from the etablished old time brands, but the artisans are slowly taking over my collection now.

Creams are almost always better for beginners, because they lather very quickly.
Soaps take some work to make them lather, unless you speak about Barrister & Mann and Caties Bubbles, soaps that lather almost just from touching them.

So do soaps perform better than creams in general ?

I don't think so - but it seem that artisans are more likely to make soaps, than creams, because it's easier for them to sell soaps at a good price pr. ounce and because they can stock them longer than creams and still feel they sell a 'fresh' product to the vendor/buyer. Creams will tend to dry out and harden faster, thus the artisan can not stock them for a long time.
I think this is the reason you see more soaps sold among the artisans. A puck of soaps can also last several months of daily shaving, while a cream perhaps can be used up in a matter of 4-5 weeks of daily shaves.

My advice to new wet shavers are always to start out with creams, then try croaps (a harder cream/softer soap), then finally start using soaps.
You can also start using a super lather. A mix of a cream and a soap, and get great lather almost instantly.

But there are no general rule of advice. Use what ever you like and prefer.

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 09-28-2016, 07:15 AM
#7
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Mix them up  Thumbsup

Why don't you share with us your soap making method?

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 09-28-2016, 07:33 AM
#8
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I prefer soaps over creams for mentioned reasons; storage, travel, and vast variety with great quality. Not that I won't use creams, I just prefer soaps.

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 09-28-2016, 10:27 AM
#9
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I started using creams exclusively, then about two years ago I transitioned to soaps.  Now I use soaps exclusively, except that I always keep one tub of a cream for those occasions when I'm in a hurry.  I currently prefer soaps for the reasons Ben states, as well as some others:

1.  I enjoy the process of crating lather from soap.

2.  There is a greater selection of scents in soaps than creams.

3.  I like to support artisans and there are more of them making soaps than creams. 

4.  Soaps seem to be made from fewer, and more natural, ingredients.

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 09-28-2016, 12:12 PM
#10
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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I generally prefer soaps. However, when I infrequently do use a cream, I'm often surprised at how well it performs, and wonder why I don't use creams more often. I think a high quality cream is every bit as good as a high quality soap. If quality creams had the same range of scents as soaps, I probably would use them more often. My Sunday morning or going out to dinner shaves usually do involve a cream, Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet or  Alvarez Gomez, my wife's favorite shaving scents.

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 09-28-2016, 03:13 PM
#11
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I prefer triple milled soaps for longevity , tallow as most soaps are , and loading preference.

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 09-28-2016, 07:09 PM
#12
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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A quick review of my personal favorites; MWF, Brutalt Bra, Savonerrie du la Moulin and Dusy Kabinette are all soaps without cream options.

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 09-29-2016, 03:21 PM
#13
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To my personal preference i use soap mostly for straight shaving, i found that i get better results whit soap. There's few creams that could gave me good results to like Proraso, RSC(real shaving company), Maca Root(Body Work) Palmolive cream and Noxema. I also found that soap Will last you longer VS creams, but it's only my prefference.

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 09-30-2016, 12:32 PM
#14
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I go back and forth from soaps to creams and although they have different characteristics, they all perform well for me.  My introduction to wet shaving started with soaps, and then to artisans who's products still occupy the bulk of the space in my den.  But as mentioned here there are those creams that are a cut above that will always have a place in the den, and will always be in the rotation somewhere. 

Alvarez Gomez
Baume.be
Esbjerg
Penhaligons
I Coloniali (for now)
SJOL

I love the variety in both soaps and creams, and within those groups additional variety.  The only consistency to my den is its inconsistency.  I like different products for different reasons, and when two or more products are similar, something has to go : )

Vive la difference

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 10-03-2016, 08:28 PM
#15
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Lately I prefer creams. I find that I can consistently load my brush with the same amount of product easier with cream than with a soap.

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 10-03-2016, 08:47 PM
#16
  • SCOV
  • Active Member
  • Minnesota
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Soaps have far more varieties, many local artisan options,  easier to make and thus seem lower cost, etc.

I face lather and cream is easier for me with better results.  I do have the urge to try soaps again.

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 10-04-2016, 12:22 PM
#17
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Double post

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