03-02-2017, 11:50 AM
#1
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What are the fundamental differences between a shaving soap and a shaving cream anyway?
Thank you

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 03-02-2017, 12:16 PM
#2
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I want to know as well!


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 03-02-2017, 12:37 PM
#3
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A soap cake is solid. Creams are more liquid. It can take more work to get a lather from a cake of soap then a cream. I normally use a stiff brush like a horse or boar for soaps and badger for creams. Not sure if that helps or not.

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 03-02-2017, 12:50 PM
#4
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Water. 

Water content in hard soap is ~15%, and cream, ~45%.

Soap: Product of fat + alkali. 

Shave cream: a thick liquid or very soft solid, which typically contains soap and/or detergent.

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 03-02-2017, 01:09 PM
#5
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(03-02-2017, 12:37 PM)wchnu Wrote: A soap cake is solid. Creams are more liquid. It can take more work to get a lather from a cake of soap then a cream. I normally use a stiff brush like a horse or boar for soaps and badger for creams. Not sure if that helps or not.

Yes, a little bit. But every bit helps.

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 03-02-2017, 03:45 PM
#6
  • Mouser
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  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
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another point is shelf life. A soaps' shelf life is virtually indefinite, creams 6-10 months. Generally.

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 03-02-2017, 05:02 PM
#7
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I have tried three creams - Omega Eucalyptus, Pacific Shave Caffeinated, and Edwin Jagger. All three are more difficult to lather than my soaps or croaps.

Now for an interesting fact. All three creams create a sticky film on the heads of my chromed razors. Soaps/croaps do not do this. However, this sticky film is very light on my nickel plated Gillette slim. It's almost as if the chrome allows for this film to develop.


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 03-02-2017, 05:06 PM
#8
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This brings up another question I've had on my mind. What are the fundamental differences between shaving soap and ordinary washing soap?..... say for example like bar soap used for hand washing or showering and bathing vs. a shaving soap cake patty...

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 03-02-2017, 05:34 PM
#9
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The shaving soap had things in it to make it slick and lather good.

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 03-03-2017, 07:49 AM
#10
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Like wchnu said, there are different purposes for body soap and shaving soap.  Body soap is designed mainly to clean your skin.  Shaving soap is designed mainly to comfortably shave your face.  Obviously there are different ingredients and characteristics between them.  You can certainly try to use body soap for shaving and in a pinch it will get you about 60% of the way there.  But it does not provide slickness, glide, or cushioning, because that's not a body soap's purpose.  And I wouldn't want to use a shaving soap for a body soap because it would be waste of money, unless you bought a shaving soap that performs terribly and you just want to use it up.

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 03-03-2017, 07:58 AM
#11
  • Mouser
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One of several differences between shaving soap and bath soap is the lather stability. Bath soap lather dissipates rapidly, shaving soap lather stays, well, lathered.

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 03-03-2017, 10:06 AM
#12
  • Nero
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(03-03-2017, 07:58 AM)Mouser Wrote: One of several differences between shaving soap and bath soap is the lather stability. Bath soap lather dissipates rapidly, shaving soap lather stays, well, lathered.

For me this is the only across-the-board difference between bath soap and shave soap. The volume and look.

One looks like dense foam (or other similar) when lathered, and one doesn't (is just thin bubbles and water).

Their ingredients don't necessarily even need to be different.

And to complicate matters: Just because a shave soap makes a good-looking shaving lather does not mean it's performance is such.

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 03-03-2017, 10:40 AM
#13
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(03-03-2017, 07:49 AM)jpakstis Wrote: Like wchnu said, there are different purposes for body soap and shaving soap.  Body soap is designed mainly to clean your skin.  Shaving soap is designed mainly to comfortably shave your face.  Obviously there are different ingredients and characteristics between them.  You can certainly try to use body soap for shaving and in a pinch it will get you about 60% of the way there.  But it does not provide slickness, glide, or cushioning, because that's not a body soap's purpose.  And I wouldn't want to use a shaving soap for a body soap because it would be waste of money, unless you bought a shaving soap that performs terribly and you just want to use it up.

I have done that; used a crummy puck of shaving soap in the shower. Mild fragrance, and the great part is that it seems to last longer than a bar of Lever. More expensive, certainly. However, better than having it wasted or pawn it off on someone else!

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 03-03-2017, 10:48 AM
#14
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Bath soaps are more cleaning and tend to form larger bubbles, making a foam that would not be protective enough for good shaving.  

Shave soaps are formulated to be less cleansing (therefore, less drying) and to have a more stable lather with much smaller bubbles.  


these differences are achieved by utilizing different oils in different proportions.  Many shave soaps have a lot of saponified stearic acid, which makes for a stable, creamy lather.  Saponified stearic acid is seldom used in bath soaps.

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 03-03-2017, 11:02 AM
#15
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One way I like to view soap and cream is that a good cream is like ready-made proto lather: it's already got water in it and it can be quickly whipped into a lather with minimal technique.  Because of this, cream is less economical than soap because it's easy to use more product than you need.  Kind of like using these new age shower gels instead of good old dial soap.

The upside of creams is that they are kind of like "training wheels" for the beginning wetshaver.  

The downside is that they can lack some of the superfats and other good ingredients which premium soaps have, and also using a soap allows an experienced shaver to load with greater precision.

After a few years of wetshaving, I use soaps most of the time, but I love some creams.  Proraso Red was my first, and I still get great shaves from it!

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 03-03-2017, 12:53 PM
#16
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(03-03-2017, 10:06 AM)Nero Wrote: Their ingredients don't necessarily even need to be different.
Thumbsup

(03-03-2017, 10:06 AM)Nero Wrote: And to complicate matters: Just because a shave soap makes a good-looking shaving lather does not mean it's performance is such.
And to complicate them even more, just because a product is marketed as a proper shaving soap, doesn't necessarily make it so. Don't mean to be overly harsh — I really like their creams — but, think Trumper! (Likely largely due to Sodium Palmate being the first ingredient.)

(03-03-2017, 10:48 AM)kingfisher Wrote: Shave soaps are formulated to be less cleansing (therefore, less drying) and to have a more stable lather with much smaller bubbles.  
Indeed. Just for our (especially novice) fellow members, saponified coconut oil is less creamy, and more drying (compared to saponified stearic/tallowic and palmitic acids).

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 03-03-2017, 01:49 PM
#17
  • Mouser
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When i first began wet shaving i remember reading, on shaving101 o believe, that creams were supposed to be generally stronger svented and have more cushion, while soaps last longer and are slicker.

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 03-03-2017, 03:13 PM
#18
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(03-03-2017, 11:02 AM)surfshaver Wrote: One way I like to view soap and cream is that a good cream is like ready-made proto lather: it's already got water in it and it can be quickly whipped into a lather with minimal technique.  Because of this, cream is less economical than soap because it's easy to use more product than you need.  Kind of like using these new age shower gels instead of good old dial soap.

+1, good description.

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 03-03-2017, 03:27 PM
#19
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(03-02-2017, 03:45 PM)Mouser Wrote: another point is shelf life. A soaps' shelf life is virtually indefinite, creams 6-10 months. Generally.

Hope you are not right in this assumption, but if you are right, my entire cream collection of 150+ creams are rancid/ruined by now, since I haven't bought a cream in 6 months time, and my oldest creams are from 2011 and stil 90% full.

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 03-03-2017, 03:28 PM
#20
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(03-03-2017, 07:58 AM)Mouser Wrote: One of several differences between shaving soap and bath soap is the lather stability. Bath soap lather dissipates rapidly, shaving soap lather stays, well, lathered.

Unless we're talking about MWF and Lea Classic shaving soap, I totally agree  Biggrin

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