03-25-2017, 06:53 AM
#1
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Dear gents;

I have been reading that software don't last forever.  I instantly freaked.  Two seconds later i said:  wait!  Lets find out.  

What is the shelf life of a shaving cream?  Of a shaving soap?  Of the hard ones?

Most importantly, how long do they last?  I wouldn't know since i have kept buying new stuff.  The only one i almost finished is Shannon´s Silk Pajamas (it is so good that i almost used it exclusively for some time).  

I have about 15 soaps and 5 creams.  I intend to use them before i buy anything new.  So McD, SMN, TOBS, and a few others will have to wait.  I don't want to end up with a bunch of expired stuff.  I enjoy the scents too much to use faded software. 

Best regards,

Pepe Peña

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 03-25-2017, 07:00 AM
#2
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Soaps, they last long. I read a post from a gentleman here on the nook who claimed that he had been using some soaps as old as 50 years. I had no reason not to believe him.

Creams, they have a shelf life of 18-24 months after which they lose moisture content and tend to get hard.

Finish off your creams first please..


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 03-25-2017, 07:05 AM
#3
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(03-25-2017, 07:00 AM)Jags009 Wrote: Soaps, they last long. I read a post from a gentleman here on the nook who claimed that he had been using some soaps as old as 50 years. I had no reason not to believe him.

Creams, they have a shelf life of 18-24 months after which they lose moisture content and tend to get hard.

Finish off your creams first please..


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Thanks jags, will do that!

50 years! that is amazing.  i wonder if or how the scent transformed...

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 03-25-2017, 07:08 AM
#4
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I guess we will have to wait for that gentleman to appear again and comment on this post. As far as I remember he did not mention any degradation in the scent profile of the soap.


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 03-25-2017, 07:09 AM
#5
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Indeed. Generally, a softer (water-rich) soap will spoil more quickly.

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 03-25-2017, 09:46 AM
#6
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A properly made and stored soap will actually improve with age as long as certain conditions are met. The texture and appearance (shave soap) may change over time as more water is driven off. 

Luckily for us, bacteria/mold finds the ph level of soap not the most habitable place to form and reside. That’s not to say it can’t happen, it can, but is generally caused by other factors. Water does play a role and by it’s very nature of intended use,  shave soap handled improperly does run that risk.

The main factors for ‘spoilage’ are;

1. Unsaponified oils/butters deteriorating (rancidity)

2. Foreign matter introduced by end user

3. Improper storage

My advice is... do not purchase more soap than you can possibly use in a 12 - 24 month period. Rinse your soap after each use to remove any foreign matter that may have been introduced during use. Allow the soap to dry completely. Store soaps uncovered in a dark, cool and dry place away from areas of humidity (bathroom). 

I store all of my soaps uncovered in a dry closet outside of my bathroom. The scent can have a tendency to fade over time but in my case that’s fine as I find many soaps overly scented. If used within a 12 month period you should not expect to experience too much of a fragrance loss. It may appear that way upon initial strength from the container but scent should be noticeable upon use.

If you are planning on storing soaps for an extended period of time, be mindful when purchasing soaps comprised of oils/butters with a short shelf life, eg. sunflower, soybean, sweet almond, wheat germ, etc. Soaps made with an unusually high ‘superfat’ content have a better chance of rancidity.  Additives such as fresh herbs and purees can also increase the risk of spoilage.

For our tallow lines, PREMIUM and SELECT, we choose to leave our conditioning to stable ingredients like glycerin and lanolin, keep our superfatting to a minimum and use stable, fresh oils/butters. On our OLIVA and ORIGINAL vegetal offerings we purposefully chose oils and butters with a long shelf life, make sure they are exceptionally fresh and keep the ‘conditioning’ proportions low. We still encourage our soaps be stored correctly and used within a two year period to ensure freshness. To be on the very, very safe side, the use of any shaving soap within a years time is optimal.

Soaps containing preservatives may help in stopping bacterial growth but will not prevent rancidity. Rancid ingredients can smell bad, change color or lose effectiveness.

This is not to say those of you with an overly large soap collection are sitting on a time bomb of spoiling soaps. The key is proper storage. I have soaps that are over 4 years old and other than a change in appearance and loss of scent, show absolutley no sign of spoilage or rancidity. On the other hand I have one triple milled shave soap that does have rancidity and that was purchased within the last 6 months. Again, I go back to my strong recommendation and this is to store your soap properly and use within a 12-24 month time period.

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 03-25-2017, 09:49 AM
#7
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Wow Larry! Very informative post and a good read. Thanks.


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 03-25-2017, 11:29 AM
#8
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15 soaps and 5 creams? If the soaps are triple milled I will make you a bet that you won't finish them before changing your mind and trying a new one.

With respect to the creams, personally I haven't had one really spoil on me but I also haven't used that many for long. The worst that has happened to me is a TOBS cream dried out after about a year.

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 03-25-2017, 11:51 AM
#9
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(03-25-2017, 09:46 AM)ColdRiverSoap Wrote: A properly made and stored soap will actually improve with age as long as certain conditions are met. The texture and appearance (shave soap) may change over time as more water is driven off. 

Luckily for us, bacteria/mold finds the ph level of soap not the most habitable place to form and reside. That’s not to say it can’t happen, it can, but is generally caused by other factors. Water does play a role and by it’s very nature of intended use,  shave soap handled improperly does run that risk.

The main factors for ‘spoilage’ are;

1. Unsaponified oils/butters deteriorating (rancidity)

2. Foreign matter introduced by end user

3. Improper storage

My advice is... do not purchase more soap than you can possibly use in a 12 - 24 month period. Rinse your soap after each use to remove any foreign matter that may have been introduced during use. Allow the soap to dry completely. Store soaps uncovered in a dark, cool and dry place away from areas of humidity (bathroom). 

I store all of my soaps uncovered in a dry closet outside of my bathroom. The scent can have a tendency to fade over time but in my case that’s fine as I find many soaps overly scented. If used within a 12 month period you should not expect to experience too much of a fragrance loss. It may appear that way upon initial strength from the container but scent should be noticeable upon use.

If you are planning on storing soaps for an extended period of time, be mindful when purchasing soaps comprised of oils/butters with a short shelf life, eg. sunflower, soybean, sweet almond, wheat germ, etc. Soaps made with an unusually high ‘superfat’ content have a better chance of rancidity.  Additives such as fresh herbs and purees can also increase the risk of spoilage.

For our tallow lines, PREMIUM and SELECT, we choose to leave our conditioning to stable ingredients like glycerin and lanolin, keep our superfatting to a minimum and use stable, fresh oils/butters. On our OLIVA and ORIGINAL vegetal offerings we purposefully chose oils and butters with a long shelf life, make sure they are exceptionally fresh and keep the ‘conditioning’ proportions low. We still encourage our soaps be stored correctly and used within a two year period to ensure freshness. To be on the very, very safe side, the use of any shaving soap within a years time is optimal.

Soaps containing preservatives may help in stopping bacterial growth but will not prevent rancidity. Rancid ingredients can smell bad, change color or lose effectiveness.

This is not to say those of you with an overly large soap collection are sitting on a time bomb of spoiling soaps. The key is proper storage. I have soaps that are over 4 years old and other than a change in appearance and loss of scent, show absolutley no sign of spoilage or rancidity. On the other hand I have one triple milled shave soap that does have rancidity and that was purchased within the last 6 months. Again, I go back to my strong recommendation and this is to store your soap properly and use within a 12-24 month time period.

Great post, Larry !

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 03-25-2017, 12:01 PM
#10
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Unfortunately I'm one of the guys with 100's of soaps and creams.

I have only gotten rid of one of my products, because it looked weird, and that was a red tube of Cella, that was barely one year old.

I have several creams, that have turned hard, but they all seem to have kept their scent and I just load them like I would a croap, and they all perform very nice.

This thread reminds me, that I should stop my craze now, and just use what ever I have.
I might start buying again in 2035...........

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 03-25-2017, 12:04 PM
#11
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(03-25-2017, 12:01 PM)CHSeifert Wrote: Unfortunately I'm one of the guys with 100's of soaps and creams.

I have only gotten rid of one of my products, because it looked weird, and that was a red tube of Cella, that was barely one year old.

I have several creams, that have turned hard, but they all seem to have kept their scent and I just load them like I would a croap, and they all perform very nice.

This thread reminds me, that I should stop my craze now, and just use what ever I have.
I might start buying again in 2035...........


Ah! Dear Claus;

How much i would love to have just a little fraction of your collection...

Frustrared,

Pepon


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 03-25-2017, 01:27 PM
#12
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Thanks for the info Larry, now I know my CRSW soaps will be with me for a good long time!!

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 03-25-2017, 04:15 PM
#13
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Kind of off topic but does xpec come a bit firm from the manufacturer? I just bought a new tub and it's very much like a croap.

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 03-25-2017, 07:22 PM
#14
  • Devilanche
  • Active Member
  • Singapore (CONUS post address)
User Info
I had vintage soaps that still perform and smell great just that the initial lather takes abit more work cause it's more dried.

Didnt have vintage cream though.

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 03-25-2017, 07:26 PM
#15
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(03-25-2017, 04:15 PM)ultra~nova Wrote: Kind of off topic but does xpec come a bit firm from the manufacturer? I just bought a new tub and it's very much like a croap.


I only had a sample that Phil included with an order, but my experience is that its is not a croap. What i got was a cream, very much like bigelow, tabac or palmolive. It was incredibly good!!! :-)


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 03-25-2017, 07:29 PM
#16
  • MaxP
  • Senior Member
  • Madison, WI
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I have a tub of aged TH 1805 that dried to the considtency of a stiff croap. I us it like a croap and enjoy it more than when it was a cream.

I only recall two creams turning rancid and never an issue with a soap. My accumulation is sufficient to provide adequate opportunity for aging. Based on only two products going bad, I have no concerns for the last ngevity of the rest.

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 03-25-2017, 08:00 PM
#17
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(03-25-2017, 07:05 AM)carlospppena Wrote:
(03-25-2017, 07:00 AM)Jags009 Wrote: Soaps, they last long. I read a post from a gentleman here on the nook who claimed that he had been using some soaps as old as 50 years. I had no reason not to believe him.

Creams, they have a shelf life of 18-24 months after which they lose moisture content and tend to get hard.

Finish off your creams first please..


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Thanks jags, will do that!

50 years! that is amazing.  i wonder if or how the scent transformed...

I have a few considerably older than that...they still work great but, there is not much scent left.

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 03-25-2017, 08:30 PM
#18
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(03-25-2017, 12:01 PM)CHSeifert Wrote: Unfortunately I'm one of the guys with 100's of soaps and creams.

I have only gotten rid of one of my products, because it looked weird, and that was a red tube of Cella, that was barely one year old.

I have several creams, that have turned hard, but they all seem to have kept their scent and I just load them like I would a croap, and they all perform very nice.

This thread reminds me, that I should stop my craze now, and just use what ever I have.
I might start buying again in 2035...........


It is rather fortunate for TSN to have someone like you in the community. Your recommendations are honestly good and many of my acquisitions are inspired by your posts.

I guess you are already on the road to enlightenment when you decided to go unscented way few months back..



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 03-26-2017, 05:08 AM
#19
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(03-25-2017, 11:29 AM)scritchnscrub Wrote: The worst that has happened to me is a TOBS cream dried out after about a year.

Me as well. I bought an old TOBS and it was pretty dried out. I added some water and mashed it with a fork and it was good as new.

My omnipresent reminder that when you see that open container symbol with a number (usually 12, 18, or 24 mos) on the packaging or the container itself, that is not an expiration date. It's a Period After Opening date, a requirement for cosmetics sold in the EU. It means that the product is warranted to maintain its efficacy, performance and scent-wise, for the indicated time. It does not mean it will go bad after that time.

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 03-26-2017, 05:39 AM
#20
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(03-25-2017, 07:26 PM)carlospppena Wrote:
(03-25-2017, 04:15 PM)ultra~nova Wrote: Kind of off topic but does xpec come a bit firm from the manufacturer? I just bought a new tub and it's very much like a croap.


I only had a sample that Phil included with an order, but my experience is that its is not a croap. What i got was a cream, very much like bigelow, tabac or palmolive. It was incredibly good!!! :-)


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I thought this might be the case , I had a sample in the past as well that was very much a cream I thought perhaps there was a reform but I may have just purchased a tub that was sitting around for a bit. Performs brilliantly no issues on my end and I'm very happy with the croap lol.


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