08-07-2019, 01:47 AM
#1
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Hello! I'm quite new, so I hope this is on topic and well-received. So to start out, I started with the whole DE razor, brush and soap thing quite a few years ago. Then pretty much gave up. I never considered myself a shaving hobbyist. I envy those who actually enjoy it, but my skin is sensitive, my beard is thick and I bump up easily. Electric shavers got the job done. Sure, my face would always look like it was stuck in a hornet's nest the next day from the ingrown hairs, but if I needed to go beardless for a day or two, it was always viable. Any sort of wet shaving required me to put some soap, cream or (Heaven forbid) canned stuff on my face. And if it doesn't burn my skin (like most fragrances and sodium lauryl sulfate) then it burns my sinuses (Like other fragrances.) There was no point.

Then I got a deep laceration from my ear to just a few inches from my trachea. And thank God I didn't have a beard when that happened. Stubble stings the scar, electric shavers burn it. And there's no going back to cartridges. So I had nothing left to do but try DE shaving again and do it right this time. So for the last three years, it's been Cella and my Omega boar brush. Not exactly bliss, since I have a contact allergy to almond oil, but not as bad as the chemical burns I get from anything with SLS. So in desperation, I just recently got my hands on Da Fat. I knew a thing or two about The Beast right off the bat: That it's a pain to get a decent lather out of it, that it has hardly any fragrance (yay!) and that it hates hard water. My water may be a bit harder than my water company is letting on, and I'm no lathering expert, but I took the plunge.

Well, so far the fragrance is way stronger than I was lead to believe, but at least it doesn't burn my skin and I don't get a full-blown sinus infection from it! The lather isn't as thick and protective as Cella sadly, but I'd rather have a couple nicks every time I shave (or use less aggressive blades) and not have my face swell up and burn. It's a game changer.

That said, if any of you guys know of an unscented soft soap that performs about as like Cella but doesn't have any almond oil, perhaps you can point me in the right direction? Or if you managed to get Da Fat to actually get that cushion-y lather I miss so much, perhaps share your secrets with me? The closest I can get is by using a brush that's been drip-dried (not shaken or wrung) before loading for at least a minute and really mashing the brush into my face, using the splay to incorporate the water into the soap properly. That gets me so close, yet still so far.

Well, thanks for reading. I look forward to any comments, suggestions and what not!

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 08-07-2019, 02:37 AM
#2
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Welcome to TSN and I am sure you will get some good suggestions here at this forum. You can get a much better lather from MWF if you take the extra time (whilst showering) to "bloom" it, or, in case you have an aversion to that controversial term, allow some water to sit on the puck to soften up the top layer of soap. Now, I can get a decent lather from a boar or badger brush, but I have had the most success with a synthetic. You can really "dig in" to the softened soap and get a copious amount onto the "bristles". Work the lather into your beard area, but don't add too much water yet. First, get the product (and it will be sticky) distributed all over. Then, little by little, start dipping the brush tips into the water and continue to lather. Repeat as often as necessary, until the lather is no longer sticky and takes on a consistency of yogurt. Alternate scrubbing and paintbrush strokes. Don't be afraid to really "slap" those paintbrush strokes back and forth. MWF (and most soaps) love water, but don't want it added too quickly.
Synthetic brushes have come a long way and are available at very reasonable prices. Think about it and good luck.

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 08-07-2019, 02:40 AM
#3
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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I'd just stay away from MWF, since you have skin reactions.

Try products like the Speick cream. They have much better and bio ingredients. And they perform as good, if not better!

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 08-07-2019, 02:51 AM
#4
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(08-07-2019, 02:37 AM)primotenore Wrote: Welcome to TSN and I am sure you will get some good suggestions here at this forum. You can get a much better lather from MWF if you take the extra time (whilst showering) to "bloom" it, or, in case you have an aversion to that controversial term, allow some water to sit on the puck to soften up the top layer of soap. Now, I can get a decent lather from a boar or badger brush, but I have had the most success with a synthetic. You can really "dig in" to the softened soap and get a copious amount onto the "bristles". Work the lather into your beard area, but don't add too much water yet. First, get the product (and it will be sticky) distributed all over. Then, little by little, start dipping the brush tips into the water and continue to lather. Repeat as often as necessary, until the lather is no longer sticky and takes on a consistency of yogurt. Alternate scrubbing and paintbrush strokes. Don't be afraid to really "slap" those paintbrush strokes back and forth. MWF (and most soaps) love water, but don't want it added too quickly.
Synthetic brushes have come a long way and are available at very reasonable prices. Think about it and good luck.

Thank you! I did actually try "blooming," and that did improve my lather by leaps and bounds! Should have mentioned that. I like the term "blooming" because it reminds me of the off-gas stage of coffee brewing, especially as it applies to pourover. What I haven't tried was using my synthetic. It's likely not the best synthetic in the world, my boar definitely served me better when I was burning my face off with Cella. But I'll actually be quite thrilled if I can put that synthetic back to work. I'm excited to try it. If nothing else, I'll feel a lot better about really slapping on those painting motions with the synthetic, because it really doesn't shed its bristles as easily as the boar.

As for slowly applying water, that makes sense. I think I've been applying a bit too much water too early. When I first got it, I started with a much more dry brush, got that sticky paste you described, added water slowly and. . . it dried right on my face. I either wasn't patient enough or I didn't use enough of those scrubbing motions to incorporate the water I did add sufficiently. Maybe both?

In any case, thank you again. I will give all your suggestions another try for my next shave and if you like, I'll report back here.

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 08-07-2019, 03:07 AM
#5
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(08-07-2019, 02:40 AM)nikos.a Wrote: I'd just stay away from MWF, since you have skin reactions.

Try products like the Speick cream. They have much better and bio ingredients. And they perform as good, if not better!

Sorry for the double-post! I just saw this and wanted to address it.

So far, my reactions to MWF have been mostly respiratory -- I suspect there's some lavender or violet in that fragrance. But even that is something I'm sick of tolerating. I looked up Speick though and the price is right. Do they have an unscented version? If so, that might just be my next purchase. Thanks for the suggestion!

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 08-07-2019, 03:09 AM
#6
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(08-07-2019, 02:51 AM)Scar Face Wrote:
(08-07-2019, 02:37 AM)primotenore Wrote: Welcome to TSN and I am sure you will get some good suggestions here at this forum. You can get a much better lather from MWF if you take the extra time (whilst showering) to "bloom" it, or, in case you have an aversion to that controversial term, allow some water to sit on the puck to soften up the top layer of soap. Now, I can get a decent lather from a boar or badger brush, but I have had the most success with a synthetic. You can really "dig in" to the softened soap and get a copious amount onto the "bristles". Work the lather into your beard area, but don't add too much water yet. First, get the product (and it will be sticky) distributed all over. Then, little by little, start dipping the brush tips into the water and continue to lather. Repeat as often as necessary, until the lather is no longer sticky and takes on a consistency of yogurt. Alternate scrubbing and paintbrush strokes. Don't be afraid to really "slap" those paintbrush strokes back and forth. MWF (and most soaps) love water, but don't want it added too quickly.
Synthetic brushes have come a long way and are available at very reasonable prices. Think about it and good luck.

Thank you! I did actually try "blooming," and that did improve my lather by leaps and bounds! Should have mentioned that. I like the term "blooming" because it reminds me of the off-gas stage of coffee brewing, especially as it applies to pourover. What I haven't tried was using my synthetic. It's likely not the best synthetic in the world, my boar definitely served me better when I was burning my face off with Cella. But I'll actually be quite thrilled if I can put that synthetic back to work. I'm excited to try it. If nothing else, I'll feel a lot better about really slapping on those painting motions with the synthetic, because it really doesn't shed its bristles as easily as the boar.

As for slowly applying water, that makes sense. I think I've been applying a bit too much water too early. When I first got it, I started with a much more dry brush, got that sticky paste you described, added water slowly and. . . it dried right on my face. I either wasn't patient enough or I didn't use enough of those scrubbing motions to incorporate the water I did add sufficiently. Maybe both?

In any case, thank you again. I will give all your suggestions another try for my next shave and if you like, I'll report back here.
Thumbsup

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 08-07-2019, 04:07 AM
#7
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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(08-07-2019, 03:07 AM)Scar Face Wrote:
(08-07-2019, 02:40 AM)nikos.a Wrote: I'd just stay away from MWF, since you have skin reactions.

Try products like the Speick cream. They have much better and bio ingredients. And they perform as good, if not better!

Sorry for the double-post! I just saw this and wanted to address it.

So far, my reactions to MWF have been mostly respiratory -- I suspect there's some lavender or violet in that fragrance. But even that is something I'm sick of tolerating. I looked up Speick though and the price is right. Do they have an unscented version? If so, that might just be my next purchase. Thanks for the suggestion!
They do not have any unscented product as far as I know, the classic is a no for you (spicy lavender) and the active line has a citrus scent. All products are excellent though.

Meissner Tremonia is another great company that uses bio ingredients.

I suggested you to stay away from the MWF because the ingredients list is not that innocent and I never understood why it is considered ideal for gents with sensitive skin. I know people with sensitive skin who experienced skin/allergic reactions because of this product. The fact that it contains lanolin does not necessarily mean that it is suitable for any skin type, let alone if you have sensitive skin.

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 08-07-2019, 04:25 AM
#8
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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You might try Martin de Candre unscented - it’s high but lasts forever. Another option might be XPEC unscented cream, it looks expensive but really isn’t so much, it’s a 250ml tub. Connaught has it at a good price point.

Good luck on your quest.

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 08-07-2019, 04:38 AM
#9
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(08-07-2019, 04:07 AM)nikos.a Wrote:
(08-07-2019, 03:07 AM)Scar Face Wrote:
(08-07-2019, 02:40 AM)nikos.a Wrote: I'd just stay away from MWF, since you have skin reactions.

Try products like the Speick cream. They have much better and bio ingredients. And they perform as good, if not better!

Sorry for the double-post! I just saw this and wanted to address it.

So far, my reactions to MWF have been mostly respiratory -- I suspect there's some lavender or violet in that fragrance. But even that is something I'm sick of tolerating. I looked up Speick though and the price is right. Do they have an unscented version? If so, that might just be my next purchase. Thanks for the suggestion!
They do not have any unscented product as far as I know, the classic is a no for you (spicy lavender) and the active line has a citrus scent. All products are excellent though.

Meissner Tremonia is another great company that uses bio ingredients.

I suggested you to stay away from the MWF because the ingredients list is not that innocent and I never understood why it is considered ideal for gents with sensitive skin. I know people with sensitive skin who experienced skin/allergic reactions because of this product. The fact that it contains lanolin does not necessarily mean that it is suitable for any skin type, let alone if you have sensitive skin. 

Huh. I'll be really careful with Mitchell's, thanks for the warning. First sign of skin irritation and I'm going to redo that crook of the elbow test. Not going to shave with something that ever burns the crook of my elbow, I learned that lesson the hard way with Cella. 
Thanks for warning me about Speick having lavender. You saved me twelve bucks and a potential sinus infection, depending on how strong the lavender is! Now that Meißner Tremonia shaving soap looks pretty promising. They even have an unscented one that looks pretty gentle and uses argan oil. I've had great luck using argan oil as a pre-shave. I'm liking the odds.

Also, not to leave out Steve:
Quote:You might try Martin de Candre unscented - it’s high but lasts forever. Another option might be XPEC unscented cream, it looks expensive but really isn’t so much, it’s a 250ml tub. Connaught has it at a good price point.


Good luck on your quest.


Those do look like very, very premium prices, but considering the total weight, that could actually save a little money over all. If I have to save up a little, so be it if it ends up paying for itself in the long run. Thanks for your kind wishes and helpful suggestions.

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 08-07-2019, 05:50 AM
#10
  • Smudge
  • Junior Member
  • Hertfordshire UK
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Have a look at De Vergulde Hand.

It a completely hypoallergenic shaving soap from Amsterdam.

Might help you.

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 08-07-2019, 06:19 AM
#11
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Do I dare mention Williams? I am a big fan of the original, tallow version, but there are shavers who swear by the modern formula.

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 08-07-2019, 07:18 AM
#12
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(08-07-2019, 05:50 AM)Smudge Wrote: Have a look at De Vergulde Hand.

It a completely hypoallergenic shaving soap from Amsterdam.

Might help you.

Thanks! Hypoallergenic is good for me. The price looks pretty reasonable too. 

(08-07-2019, 06:19 AM)primotenore Wrote: Do I dare mention Williams? I am a big fan of the original, tallow version, but there are shavers who swear by the modern formula.

I don't know, do you dare mention it? Seems as though you might be courting some controversy here. Seems a little bit like mentioning pineapple on pizza. Not to worry, I like pineapple on my pizza, I don't shy away from controversy and I can get Williams mug for a very reasonable price at my local Walgreens. I should give it a try! As always, thank you for your helpful suggestions.

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 08-07-2019, 07:49 AM
#13
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(08-07-2019, 07:18 AM)Scar Face Wrote:
(08-07-2019, 05:50 AM)Smudge Wrote: Have a look at De Vergulde Hand.

It a completely hypoallergenic shaving soap from Amsterdam.

Might help you.

Thanks! Hypoallergenic is good for me. The price looks pretty reasonable too. 


(08-07-2019, 06:19 AM)primotenore Wrote: Do I dare mention Williams? I am a big fan of the original, tallow version, but there are shavers who swear by the modern formula.

I don't know, do you dare mention it? Seems as though you might be courting some controversy here. Seems a little bit like mentioning pineapple on pizza. Not to worry, I like pineapple on my pizza, I don't shy away from controversy and I can get Williams mug for a very reasonable price at my local Walgreens. I should give it a try! As always, thank you for your helpful suggestions.
You're welcome. I hope you can find what works best for you.

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 08-07-2019, 09:18 AM
#14
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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Scar face, I don’t know the ingredients off the top of my head, but they should be easily found with little effort. These currently produced unscented soaps are in my current rotation (in no particular order); Shannon’s, Mike’s, Valobra, CRSW. I’ve also used Mystic Water and Soapy Science which are also currently producing unscented soaps. All are excellent.

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 08-07-2019, 10:31 AM
#15
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(08-07-2019, 07:49 AM)primotenore Wrote:
(08-07-2019, 07:18 AM)Scar Face Wrote:
(08-07-2019, 05:50 AM)Smudge Wrote: Have a look at De Vergulde Hand.

It a completely hypoallergenic shaving soap from Amsterdam.

Might help you.

Thanks! Hypoallergenic is good for me. The price looks pretty reasonable too. 



(08-07-2019, 06:19 AM)primotenore Wrote: Do I dare mention Williams? I am a big fan of the original, tallow version, but there are shavers who swear by the modern formula.

I don't know, do you dare mention it? Seems as though you might be courting some controversy here. Seems a little bit like mentioning pineapple on pizza. Not to worry, I like pineapple on my pizza, I don't shy away from controversy and I can get Williams mug for a very reasonable price at my local Walgreens. I should give it a try! As always, thank you for your helpful suggestions.
You're welcome. I hope you can find what works best for you.

Appreciate it! It's interesting how there are so many different confounding variables in skin and beards, so few soaps, yet somehow there still seems to be something for everyone. That's what I've learned lurking here.

(08-07-2019, 09:18 AM)chazt Wrote: Scar face, I don’t know the ingredients off the top of my head, but they should be easily found with little effort. These currently produced unscented soaps are in my current rotation (in no particular order); Shannon’s, Mike’s, Valobra, CRSW. I’ve also used Mystic Water and Soapy Science which are also currently producing unscented soaps. All are excellent.

I won't lie, they all look awesome. It seems as though the ones that don't contain almond oil are well worth keeping a close eye out for. And the ones that do contain it make me wish almond oil didn't light my skin up. Thanks for the suggestions! Mike's and Valobra look like a whole new kind of awesome in particular.

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 08-07-2019, 10:52 AM
#16
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(08-07-2019, 09:18 AM)chazt Wrote: Scar face, I don’t know the ingredients off the top of my head, but they should be easily found with little effort. These currently produced unscented soaps are in my current rotation (in no particular order); Shannon’s, Mike’s, Valobra, CRSW. I’ve also used Mystic Water and Soapy Science which are also currently producing unscented soaps. All are excellent.

Scar Face, all of Charlie's suggested unscented soaps are excellent choices.  The only qualifier I would add is that some users report having difficulty lathering Mystic Water in hard water.  You mentioned having problems lathering MFW in hard water, and may have the same issue with Mystic Water.

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 08-07-2019, 12:21 PM
#17
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(08-07-2019, 10:52 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote:
(08-07-2019, 09:18 AM)chazt Wrote: Scar face, I don’t know the ingredients off the top of my head, but they should be easily found with little effort. These currently produced unscented soaps are in my current rotation (in no particular order); Shannon’s, Mike’s, Valobra, CRSW. I’ve also used Mystic Water and Soapy Science which are also currently producing unscented soaps. All are excellent.

Scar Face, all of Charlie's suggested unscented soaps are excellent choices.  The only qualifier I would add is that some users report having difficulty lathering Mystic Water in hard water.  You mentioned having problems lathering MFW in hard water, and may have the same issue with Mystic Water.

I appreciate the heads up. So far, every suggestion in this entire thread has had enough merit to warrant full consideration, and that information helps. But at the end of the day, all I can do is throw those recommendations against the wall one by one until something finally sticks. Or maybe, worst case scenario, I'll be down a rabbit hole of collecting and subsequently rotating different shaving soaps and creams that don't contain things that make me break out or wheeze. Well, if I end up going down that rabbit hole, at least I know I'll be in good company.

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 08-07-2019, 01:03 PM
#18
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You've mentioned that you have issues with almond oil, lavender and violet.  It seems you need to really determine what you can't tolerate in terms of topically applied to your face as well as from a respiratory perspective.  Then only go after those that don't have the dreaded ingredients.  An allergist could be a good place to start and might save you a lot of time.  And the costs of the allergies could be a wash if you just bought a whole bunch of stuff that don't end up working for you.  But you'll get where you want to be quicker without all the trial and error.  Good luck in your search.  

I'm not sure I'm obsessed about coffee but I've taken to educating myself on how to make a good cup of french press.  Always trying to tweak the process a bit here and there.  It's just as easy to get drawn in with coffee as it is with shaving.

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 08-07-2019, 03:18 PM
#19
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I’d take a look at wholly kaw bare naked, and chat with Larry at cold river soap works (CRSW) about unscented select or glide.

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 08-07-2019, 04:41 PM
#20
  • norton
  • Member
  • The Alien Nation
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MdC Nature (unscented) for the 50G size is about 40 dollars shipped from giftsandcare.  

Le Pere Lucien Nature - specifically says hypoallergenic, no essential oils - BullGoose carries the 200G size, but a 98g size is available as well.  I'm a fan of the Vetiver, but LPL makes some good soap.   Check the reviews on this site. Used the Vetiver every day this week so far. 

Sampsons All Natural - similar in consistency and ingredients to MdC - much less expensive - the 'original' has a mild set of ingredients (including sweet almond and lavender) but they say they can make it unscented and to contact them if you want that.  Google sampsonsallnatural.  The balm they sell is quite good as well - available in uncented - I have the original soap and balm and together they are excellent in dry winter months. 

WetShavingProducts also makes a similar stearic acid based soap for around 15 bucks - all natural.  WSP soaps both tallow and non-tallow get good reviews here, though I haven't tried them personally. 

If you must have tallow (none of the above have it) and are OK with Lanolin (against some recommendations here) Mikes Naturals Unscented. 

If I had to rec a soft tallow soap - it's Boellis Panama 1924, but that does have some almond oil in it.  By my nose not much almond at all, and not that sweet, marzipan almond like Cella - I can't abide that marizpan scent.

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