The range of shaving soaps available to the wet shaver is vast and varied. From traditional, tallow based hard soaps such as Mitchells Wool Fat, 100% vegetable based hard soap such as Saponificio Varesino, through to soft shaving soaps from Extro Cosmesi and Cella to all-vegan soaps made from natural plant oils such as Nanny's Silly Soaps and the Executive Shaving Company Deluxe Soft Shaving Soap.
Shaving soap is a toiletry consisting of a preparation of soap and fatty acids that forms a rich lather for softening the beard before shaving and delivering a creamy base that allows the razor blade to glide over the surface of the skin. The term shaving soap typically refers to a hard type of soap that you need to whip into a lather using a shaving brush. More popular these days are soft soaps which lather faster with a shaving brush.
Shaving soaps are extremely popular amongst traditional wet shavers and they are now becoming more popular with new wet shavers due to their great value for money compared to the cans of shaving gel and foam you find in supermarkets. A good quality shaving soap can last up to 6 months daily use, sometimes longer, for example, a Martin de Candre Shaving Soap will last around a year daily use. So, you do get a lot of lather for your money!
Traditionally all shaving soaps were hard shaving soaps, that is, a round puck of solid soap. In many cases, these soap pucks had been triple-milled during manufacture to remove as much moisture from the soap as possible. These triple-milled shaving soaps are very hard, but when lathered up properly they deliver excellent razor glide and produce a thick, rich, cushioning lather to shave on.
Contrasting this is soft shaving soap, these are soaps which have more water left in them during the manufacturing process, this gives them a consistency like putty. In many instances, especially Italian soft soaps, they are more like very thick shaving creams. Recently, soft shaving soap has started to grow in popularity, primarily because it is easier and quicker to create a rich lather from a soft soap compared to a hard soap which requires a little more time and effort to create the lather.
Both hard and soft shaving soaps deliver excellent lather for shaving on. The only real differences that you would notice is a hard soap takes more time and effort to create the lather, and a soft shaving soap might not last as long as a hard shaving soap. Other than that, they both perform extremely well. Both hard and soft shaving soaps come in a huge range of scents covering all types of tastes.
Once you have lathered up your bearded area with shaving lather, using a clean, sharp razor should result in the blade gliding effortlessly across the contours of your face, ensuring a smooth, comfortable, and close shave every time. These exceptionally rich and nourishing shaving soaps deliver the ultimate shave: the closest and most comfortable results are achieved simultaneously.
You should consider using a shaving soap for the following reasons:
*Shaving soap softens and lifts the beard for a close and comfortable shave.
*Shaving soap offers extra glide, lubrication and protection to the skin from irritation and razor burn.
*A good quality shaving soap leaves the skin feeling ultra-smooth and moisturised.
*Shaving soaps offer excellent value for money (a soft shaving soap may give you 6 months use and a puck or jar of hard shaving soap in some cases can last for well over a year).
To get the best out of your hard shaving soap we recommend you ‘bloom it’ before use. Blooming a soap means you soften up the surface of the soap making it easier to lather up thus reducing stress on the brush. To bloom a soap, place your hard soap in a lathering bowl, pour a little hot water into the bowl covering the surface of the soap, cover the top of the bowl to retain heat. Leave for 5-10 minutes. When you come back the hot water will have softened the soap, making it easier to lather with your shaving brush. Use the residual soapy water as a pre-shave soap before applying the lather.
Popular brands of hard shaving soap include: Martin de Candre, Geo. F. Trumper, Fitjar Islands, Muhle, Tabac, Mitchell’s Wool Fat and Saponificio Varesino.
Popular brands of soft shaving soap include: Extro Cosmesi, Cella, Nanny’s Silly Soaps Executive Shaving and Proraso.
You can find out more in our full range of Shaving Soaps, where you can view a large range of hard shaving soaps in various fragrances. If you want to take a shaving soap with you when travelling check out the selection of Travel Soap Sticks.
If you have any queries about shaving soap and if it is the right choice for you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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