Poll: Tallow Vs. Vegan
 11-02-2016, 03:21 AM
#1
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I've seen discussion of different types of tallow being brought up such as Bison. Is the Tallow vs Vegan debate really about using a 100% non animal based product or is it one can do slickness better?

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 11-02-2016, 04:19 AM
#2
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I'd say primarily it is a performance comparison, though there are vegan shavers out there.

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 11-02-2016, 05:16 AM
#3
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I could definitely see this topic turn in to a can of worms. So I'll vote and leave it be.

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 11-02-2016, 05:22 AM
#4
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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I think in the majority of cases, the underlying debate is regarding performance. Many swear by tallow soaps because for them they perform better than vegan formulas -- typical comments are higher quality and creamier lather, and better skin conditioning. Years ago, tallow was a standard ingredient and tended to yield higher quality soap compared to the non-tallow formulas at the time. Several manufacturers have gone through reformulations from tallow to non-tallow and the result was an inferior quality product, which helped solidify that concept. However, in recent years, non-tallow formulas have come a LONG way and some are absolutely outstanding performers and many will say superior to tallow formulas.

For me, I do think there is a slight difference between MOST tallow and vegan formulas, but I don't feel like one is superior to the other. I enjoy both tremendously. While I do study the ingredients, just because one contains tallow does not register it in my mind as superior...and vice versa with non-tallow soaps.

Regarding the different types of tallow found in recent formulas (bison, duck fat, etc...), from my experience it does seem that these soaps are a little different but that doesn't necessarily mean it's due to the tallow--it could be simply due to other ingredients and how they all work together.

Our artisan shaving soap market is quite saturated, and I speculate on some levels some new artisans are introducing unique ingredients to separate themselves from the pack. Whether there is a real difference in what type of tallow is used, or if it is just nonsense is tough to call as a soap's performance depends on various other factors such as other ingredients and ratios of each in the overall formula.

I enjoy trying new soaps regardless of base ingredients, and there have been winners and losers on both sides.

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 11-02-2016, 05:26 AM
#5
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Very succinct and compelling analysis, Giorgio!

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 11-02-2016, 05:39 AM
#6
  • Tonality
  • Attempted Soap Sabbatical
  • Boston
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When I first started wet shaving, my impression was that tallow based soaps were simply superior, and that everything else was essentially good enough. I got caught up in buying and trying dozens of brands of soaps to the point that I didn't even know what I really liked and what I didn't.

It took taking a step away from reading everyone's opinions and quietly evaluating for myself which soaps I enjoyed using and give me the best results:

In the end, I found myself using almost exclusively tallow-free soaps, with the one or two soaps in my collection with tallow essentially never being used. None of this was based on moral ideals, simply what I found to work, and I think that should be how it works for everyone.


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 11-02-2016, 05:53 AM
#7
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I enjoy both vegan and tallow as well. If it performs well, then I like it

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 11-02-2016, 05:56 AM
#8
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Nice analysis indeed Giorgio. I use both vegan and tallow based and like you said there has been an explosion of artisans on the scene and noticed many were changing it up with unique scents and other approaches.

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 11-02-2016, 06:02 AM
#9
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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I find little difference between a quality tallow vs. a quality vegan soap.

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 11-02-2016, 06:20 AM
#10
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(11-02-2016, 06:02 AM)evnpar Wrote: I find little difference between a quality tallow vs. a quality vegan soap.


Bingo.

Couldn't have said it any better.

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 11-02-2016, 06:31 AM
#11
  • beamon
  • Active Member
  • Greenville, SC USA
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(11-02-2016, 05:39 AM)Tonality Wrote: It took taking a step away from reading everyone's opinions and quietly evaluating for myself which soaps I enjoyed using and give me the best results:
Always the best path to follow, Anthony. With YMMV being so firmly entrenched in this hobby/interest, your evaluation is the only one that matters.

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 11-02-2016, 07:14 AM
#12
  • JRRIII
  • Blossoming Addict
  • East Coast
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I enjoy using both; I don't really pay it much mind when I am looking at a new quality soap. While I have never looked into the debates on which one is better or whatever the other arguments are, I have found that good soap is good soap regardless as long as it smells good and performs well. Full disclosure: I voted for tallow because I use/have more tallow than vegan; but it just happened that way organically.

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 11-02-2016, 07:15 AM
#13
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I prefer tallow put find equal performance in vegan. I think a lot of it is lore. In days gone by tallow was a more sourceable fat than palm or coconut. People see all the old soaps were made with tallow so they must be better. This was more by necessity than superiority.

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 11-02-2016, 07:29 AM
#14
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I prefer tallow-based soaps for the thicker and creamier lather that they generate. Other than this, if they are a well-made soap, they both perform equally well.

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 11-02-2016, 07:39 AM
#15
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I have found good soaps as well as not so good of soaps in both. I used to be a tallow person, but now I don't care. I few more drops of water help the slickness if the soap seems to be  dry.

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 11-02-2016, 08:05 AM
#16
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Tallow for sure. Much creamier, denser, less drying and more moisturizing. Veg soaps are good but tallow is my preference by a large margin.

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 11-02-2016, 08:11 AM
#17
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(11-02-2016, 06:20 AM)Skinny Rogers Wrote:
(11-02-2016, 06:02 AM)evnpar Wrote: I find little difference between a quality tallow vs. a quality vegan soap.


Bingo.

Couldn't have said it any better.


+2    Sisi

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 11-02-2016, 12:19 PM
#18
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I voted tallow.  I have a subjective perception that tallow soaps yield a thicker, creamier lather.  However, I can't really say the shave is any better than with a vegan soap.

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 11-02-2016, 12:25 PM
#19
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I prefer tallow especially when lanolin and shea butter are included. As others have said it does have a more creamy and thicker lather. I find tallow soaps to be noticeably slicker and offer better cushion.

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 11-02-2016, 12:51 PM
#20
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I find that I prefer the face feel and looks (as if that really matters for shaving...) of the lather from tallow soaps, but often find -- although I refuse to admit it, so please don't quote me on this Wink -- that the lighter vegan lather often performs just as well or even better. I'd still go with tallow though, just for the feel of it. Some razors are admittedly better performers with lighter lather.

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