04-14-2018, 06:27 PM
#1
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While I respect the legitimate concerns of vegans, is there a material difference in the performance of vegan vs non-vegan soaps? In particular, I am thinking about the soaps of Declaration Grooming, Wholly Kaw and Grooming Department. Is there a consistent winner in the performance department with these type soaps? Thanks.

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 04-14-2018, 08:33 PM
#2
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Majority of the soaps in my den are tallow but I do have some vegan soaps as well. My vegan soaps perform as good as tallow ones if not better. Eufros premium (vegan) outperformed some of my tallow soaps. Pannacrema, Icoloniali, SMN are some of the examples which hold true to their performance and all shaving aspects.

Now more and more of soap makers are gravitating towards tallow bases due to market response.

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 04-16-2018, 03:17 AM
#3
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I have very dry skin and for me tallow usually works better. All my top soaps are tallow based (MW, B&M, Wholly Kaw with donkey milk, Declration Grooming, Eufros, Mike's). But there are some pretty good vegans as well (Nuavia, Wickham 1912, Abbate y la Mantia and more).

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 04-16-2018, 04:06 AM
#4
  • Nero
  • ACV is my new BFF
  • le montagne
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This is the oldest question in the forums... summary: both have excellent examples (both have bad examples).  There are more people who think they prefer tallow (until they try the top vegans).

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 04-16-2018, 05:00 AM
#5
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I think what Hannah discovered during her science project was that it really depends on the amount of tallow being used.

If tallow is in a non-primary position within the formula - it’s benefits are there to a degree but not felt as they are when tallow is first or even in the top 3 ingredients used. The feedback and performance differences that over 15 testers had regarding her tallow first version and her versions where tallow was in third or fourth position in the ingredients used were drastically different. Keeping in mind that making a tallow first version of shaving soap adds significant cost to making the soap. So in our experience so far it’s not necessarily that it’s tallow versus vegan - I think it may be more about comparing performance of soaps that are primarily made of tallow versus soaps primarily made of top shelf vegan ingredients.

Just a recent obersvation that is fresh in our minds.

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 04-16-2018, 07:49 AM
#6
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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Personal preferences in soap properties notwithstanding, there's no reason to believe tallow by itself is anything special. The best non-tallow lather fuels, ABC, AdP, XPEC, SNM, I Coloniali, Castle Forbes, all perform as well as any tallow soap that I've ever tried, except Valobra-made tallow (Czech and Speake, AoS tallow) is right up there with them.

I think that it's maybe misleading to pull any one ingredient out of a list of ingredients and proclaim it necessary for making good soap - that is in fact selling short the craft of the soap maker IMO. That's why there's never a real answer to the 'tallow' question, for every good tallow soap there is a good non-tallow soap (or more).

Cheers, Steve

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 04-16-2018, 09:59 AM
#7
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Agree with you about the craft and artisan skill being a significant factor in how well a list of ingredients can perform.

But I will say that when Hannah made nearly identical formulas using the exact same set of ingredients but decided to make one with tallow as the main/primary ingredient and changed it “third” position in another version the other ingredients seemed to react/interact very differently with her tallow first soap base versus her tallow third soap base. I’m sure it’s the same with a vegan soap where shea butter/ kokum butter/ mango butter are some of the heavy hitters in the ingredients. It’s about finding that delicate mixture and balance of the ratios and what other ingredients lend their “best” attributes to the overall performance of the soap.

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 04-16-2018, 10:33 AM
#8
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I dont really notice much difference between the two.  You could argue that the lather with tallow is bit creamier but thats not always the case.

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