04-05-2017, 12:31 PM
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(04-05-2017, 07:02 AM)hillbillyreverend Wrote: [Image: XmAx0Nf.jpg]
Courtesy of this thread's timing, I also am making a transition away from Scented soaps.    The above are what came in the mail today.

When I did my research, I wanted soaps from reputable vendors with smallest possible ingredient lists and closest to all natural.

In my research, below is the total number of ingredients listed for some of the top vendors unscented versions.

B&M:   10
Stirling Naked:   12
Stirling Beeswax:   13
MW:  17
CRSW Select:  13
Mikes:   11

Unfortunately Mike's doesnt produce regularly or on special request their unscented version.  This would have been one I would like to have kept in my den but appear wont be an option.

Let the testing begin!


Very interesting.

You have chosen 3 top soaps I also would rank at the very top of my list of unscented artisan shaving soaps.

Very interested in hearing your thoughts.

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 04-05-2017, 03:46 PM
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I'm mystified at the recent and seemingly new concern with how many ingredients are in a soap. Can someone please explain to me why, in their opinion, fewer ingredients = better?  I understand wanting to be rid of synthetic detergents, phthalates, some preservatives, or even EDTA: the kinds of things that are often described as "unnecessary chemicals".   Of course, honest and accurate labeling is important because customers need to be aware of possible allergens (lanolin, coconut, nut oils, etc.).  Restricting the number of ingredients to a bare minimum would certainly make it possible for the manufacturer to produce soap more economically (and increase profits), and it would be easier for ordering and keeping track of inventory, but why would herbal extracts (aloe vera, calendula, sea buckthorn) or natural additives like silk, citric acid and allantoin be considered a negative by the consumer (unless they have a specific allergy)?  Speaking for myself, if I didn't think they added a positive benefit, I wouldn't bother to include them (I agree to disagree about the ever-controversial bentonite, because I happen to like it...) but seriously, for the newbies who are forming their opinions about these things, when and why did this preoccupation with the number of ingredients start?

It kind of reminds me of Italians dissing the French on the subject of food:  "If they used good ingredients, they wouldn't need all those sauces!"  Which is nonsense, of course.  Good raw ingredients can be used in simple or elaborate preparations, but good food is good food. 

Thanks, and not intending to ruffle feathers, just curious (and sticking with my 17 ingredients).

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 04-05-2017, 07:24 PM
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Great post.  

I've only found one of the handful of soaps since daring to venture beyond Williams that didn't leave my face a nasty greasy mess that takes days to recover from a single shave.  It's unscented and has 5 ingredients.  Now I know what works, for me, and what to look for in a shaving soap.  And that's the point faces are different, simple as possible works better on some faces.

So it's up to us to find what works.  Your soaps are well loved by a lot of faces and as you point out are more complex.  I won't ever begrudge someone a profit by making a shaving soap that does what it's suppose to whether it's $1 or $60, 5 ingredients or 17 doesn't matter if it works on my face.

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 04-05-2017, 08:28 PM
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And I didn't mean to imply that "more" is necessarily better either; as you pointed out, we're all different and what might be a little drying to one person is perfect for someone else.  There are lots of ways to make good soap, and there are other criteria more important (imho) than the number of ingredients.

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 04-06-2017, 01:09 AM
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I wouldnt say more or less ingredients makes any difference in which soap is better at performance.   Speaking only for myself, I am a minimalist at heart and prefer to have a small inventory of everything in my life.

For me personally, I just dont feel the need to have an extra list of ingredients beyond the basics required to make a soap.  Not even the ingredients which sound nice and probably are beneficial when referring specifically to the extra 3-7 ingredients I discovered when comparing MW to the others.

In reviewing all soaps on my list(who all have a mostly overwhelming positive reputation across all forums I have been to), they all use very similar(if not exactly the same) base ingredients and only vary if at all from their use of lanolin and which type of base oil they use(from Avocado to Argon to Almond, Coconut or perhaps the addition of Castor Oil).

I only chose a variety of different reputable soaps so I could get a better feel of each one to see which mftr my skin and technique preferred more than others.

It is always good to understand where people get their ideas/preference, but truly shaving is probably the broadest YMMV experience on earth.  Those of us minimalist are probably an absolute minority in that regard.  

I certainly look forward to trying the ones from my selection and will keep everyone updated of my experience.

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 04-06-2017, 03:08 AM
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(04-05-2017, 03:46 PM)Mystic Water Wrote: I'm mystified at the recent and seemingly new concern with how many ingredients are in a soap. Can someone please explain to me why, in their opinion, fewer ingredients = better?  I understand wanting to be rid of synthetic detergents, phthalates, some preservatives, or even EDTA: the kinds of things that are often described as "unnecessary chemicals".   Of course, honest and accurate labeling is important because customers need to be aware of possible allergens (lanolin, coconut, nut oils, etc.).  Restricting the number of ingredients to a bare minimum would certainly make it possible for the manufacturer to produce soap more economically (and increase profits), and it would be easier for ordering and keeping track of inventory, but why would herbal extracts (aloe vera, calendula, sea buckthorn) or natural additives like silk, citric acid and allantoin be considered a negative by the consumer (unless they have a specific allergy)?  Speaking for myself, if I didn't think they added a positive benefit, I wouldn't bother to include them (I agree to disagree about the ever-controversial bentonite, because I happen to like it...) but seriously, for the newbies who are forming their opinions about these things, when and why did this preoccupation with the number of ingredients start?

It kind of reminds me of Italians dissing the French on the subject of food:  "If they used good ingredients, they wouldn't need all those sauces!"  Which is nonsense, of course.  Good raw ingredients can be used in simple or elaborate preparations, but good food is good food. 

Thanks, and not intending to ruffle feathers, just curious (and sticking with my 17 ingredients).

Good post Michelle.

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 04-06-2017, 07:59 AM
  • chazt
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  • Bayside, NY
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I've avoided posting in this thread because I haven't decided on which is "best" (that's the title, right?) for me. I'm essentially an 'unscented shaver' and have used a number of unscented soaps. I've found that the softer tallow soaps pretty much perform equally for me. Shannon's, MW, B&M, Strop Shoppe; not a bad soap in the bunch! Haven't yet tried the Latha unscented... Harder tallow soaps such as AoS and Valobra are essentially the same for me, too. Same mfr., so that makes sense. I've only tried two unscented vegan soaps, and they are less similar. I prefer the post-shave feel from LPL compared to Tim's.

As I've said in the past, my primary reason for going sans perfum is not so much due to my personal taste, but moreso to my bride's heightened sense of olfaction. She prefers little to no scent. I've grown to view this as a positive. The only scented soaps I continue to use and will continue to buy are B&M Oceana, MWF, and my all-time favorite scented line of shaving products, Proraso sandalwood. I simply LOVE P-Red!

It seems that people are developing greater interest in unscented soaps recently. Maybe more soap makers and sellers will respond in kind.

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 04-06-2017, 10:27 AM
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In fact, the Sensitive Skin unscented soap was the first shaving soap that I ever made, for a customer who requested a coconut and lanolin free soap many years ago.  I've always had a variety of unscented products including several kinds of unscented soap (Avocado Castile, Black Goat, Simple Soap, Unscented 20% Shea), so I know that there has always been a market for unscented body care products and more people request them all the time.  But most people that I see every day are attracted to the scented soaps - the unscented crowd are usually, but not always, there because of allergies.

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 04-06-2017, 04:00 PM
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(04-06-2017, 07:59 AM)chazt Wrote: It seems that people are developing greater interest in unscented soaps recently. Maybe more soap makers and sellers will respond in kind.

Interesting observation Charlie.  I don't know if there is a greater demand for unscented shaving soaps recently, or if those who like these soaps are more vocal on the forum recently.  I'm curious to know if sales figures reflect greater ongoing demand for unscented shaving soaps.

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 04-06-2017, 04:15 PM
  • chazt
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  • Bayside, NY
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(04-06-2017, 04:00 PM)TheLegalRazor Wrote:
(04-06-2017, 07:59 AM)chazt Wrote: It seems that people are developing greater interest in unscented soaps recently. Maybe more soap makers and sellers will respond in kind.

Interesting observation Charlie.  I don't know if there is a greater demand for unscented shaving soaps recently, or if those who like these soaps are more vocal on the forum recently.  I'm curious to know if sales figures reflect greater ongoing demand for unscented shaving soaps.

Ricardo, your first point reminds me of the old saying, "the squeaky wheel gets the oil." Perhaps Phil and some other vendors have a perspective to offer regarding your second point.

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 04-06-2017, 04:19 PM
  • chazt
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  • Bayside, NY
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(04-06-2017, 10:27 AM)Mystic Water Wrote: In fact, the Sensitive Skin unscented soap was the first shaving soap that I ever made, for a customer who requested a coconut and lanolin free soap many years ago.  I've always had a variety of unscented products including several kinds of unscented soap (Avocado Castile, Black Goat, Simple Soap, Unscented 20% Shea), so I know that there has always been a market for unscented body care products and more people request them all the time.  But most people that I see every day are attracted to the scented soaps - the unscented crowd are usually, but not always, there because of allergies.

The only soap to which my skin has reacted to negatively was a lavender scented, tallow based product. All other scents seem to treat me well. Fwiw, I always thought lavender was supposed to be gentle.

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 04-06-2017, 05:32 PM
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i think that you can be sensitive to just about anything.  Even something as ubiquitous as lavender, one of the most popular fragrances/fragrance components.  it's possible that there was something else in the soap that caused the reaction, but if you think that it was the lavender you should try to avoid it in blends too.

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