Shaving soap is a hard soap that’s been used to make shaving lather since at least the 1800s, although it had fallen out of fashion for quite some time. These days, it’s made a resurgence, and many modern men now enjoy the luxurious experience that comes with using one of these shave soaps. It’s become especially popular with men who currently use straight-razors or safety razors, but it can be used by anyone who shaves.
Ever since modern society rediscovered this product, it seems like a million different brands of it have hit the market. And this poses a unique problem for most men. How do you find the best barber soap among the multitude of brands currently available? You find the best products by checking out our list of the top ten models currently available, of course. Below are the ten soap brands we really like and the ones we feel give men the best shaving experience possible.
Best Shaving Soaps – Top List
10The Blades Grim Gold Luxury Soap
While this product comes in a gold tin with a drawing of the grim reaper on the lid, don’t let the packaging fool you. This product is a high-quality shave soap that’s designed to deliver exceptional results and do it without killing the shaver. Using this soap, the shaver can build up a complete lather that glides on smooth and has a very luxurious feel. It’s a lather that will protect the shaver’s skin against razor burn and bumps and will leave a lingering scent that will uplift the shaver’s senses and make him feel alive. Its scent is reminiscent of mandarin, orange peel, Venezuela tonka bean, and star anise.
9Lather & Wood Shaving Co. Sandalwood Soap
Not only does this product come in a 4.7-ounce tin that holds more soap than other leading shave soaps, but it also builds a lather that often can’t be outdone by lesser quality products. It uses a tallow-based formula that’s handcrafted in small batches to ensure product quality and is infused with shea butter to provide one of the slipperiest lathers currently available. It also has a nice sandalwood scent that is very subtle and doesn’t look to compete with the shaver’s cologne or aftershave. All of this makes this product something that’s far superior to the average drugstore shaving cream.
8Sir Hare Shaving Soap for Men
This product makes no excuses for the fact that it uses a tallow based formula. After all, why should it? Tallow-based shave soaps provide a level of lather that often can’t be surpassed by ordinary creams. This formula conditions skin better than many of its competitors and help prevent the shaver from getting nicks and cuts. And although it comes in an 8-ounce container, there are only 4-ounces of product in it. That’s not because they forget to fill it the rest of the way, however. No, it so the shaver doesn’t have to use a separate shaving bowl to work up their lather. Now that’s some good thinking.
7Colonel Conk Bay Rum 2.25-Ounce Soap
Although this product only comes in a 2.25-ounce bar of soap, it’s sold in packs of three at a price that’s far less than what most shaving soap producers charge for one bar of their soap. This means that shaves can get 6.75-ounces of soap cheaper than the price of many 4-ounce soaps. And since this product is made with a glycerin formula, it works just like it was designed to work. It builds up to a nice lather and has a tropical aroma that’s reminiscent of Jamaican rum and bay leaves. The shaver can easily build up a high-quality lather with this product and treat themselves to a very special shave.
6Williams Mug Soap
Williams Mug Shaving Soap is not only designed to be an economical way for a shaver to get the lather he needs but also is designed to provide a lather that’s very much like the ones produced by previous generations of shave soaps. This product works up to a nice lather, leaves skin feeling soft and smooth, and doesn’t dry out the user’s skin. This product is based on a formula that was first introduced during the mid-19th century and over the years have evolved to this current high-quality product. Anyone who needs a luxurious lather but doesn’t want to bust the bank to do it may want to see how this product holds up to their expectations.
5Van Der Hagen Luxury Scented Soap
This hypo-allergenic formula is ideal for any man who wants to create a luxurious body of lather but doesn’t want to use a product that contains a whole lot of harsh chemicals. This product is made using a glycerin base and protects the skin as it softens the beard during shaving. It’s designed to reduce rashes and red bumps caused by a shave and to leave skin soft and smooth. And since it’s made only with vegetable-based ingredients and is never tested on animals, this product is also ideal for anyone who wants to use a cruelty-free soap for their morning shaving needs.
4Men’s Soap Co. Himalaya
With a subtle aroma that they call Himalaya scent, this product is ready to take the average shaver on the adventure of his life. This soap has an earthy smell that smells fresh but is not flowery like many other shave soaps. It’s also a product that can be whipped into a creamy lather that offers superior razor burn protection and allows the shaver’s razor to easily pass over their facial hair. It buttery-smooth foam not only reduces shave friction but also feels nice against the skin. And since this product isn’t made with harmful chemicals such as sulfates, dyes or parabens, the shaver can use it confidently.
3Henry Cavendish Himalaya Formula
This American made soap is made from the highest-quality ingredients and is designed to give the shaver a shaving experience they will never forget. Some of the ingredients which can be found in this soap include Shea butter, coconut oil, soy, and castor oil. It also has what they call a Himalayan scent, a scent which has notes of Himalayan blue pine, Indian amber, Indian cedar, and cashmere musk. And since this product comes in a quantity that’s larger than what many of its competitors offer, it should last the average shaver approximately 3 to 6-months. That’s enough product for quite a few shaves.
2Proraso Sensitive Skin Shave Soap
Using a formula that originated in Italy in 1948, this product is ideal for anyone looking to get a superior shave lather that will protect their sensitive skin. This product contains both green tea and oatmeal, which helps to soothe and protect inflamed skin. Its formula is not only remarkable for the ingredients it contains but also for the ingredients it doesn’t contain. For example, this product is made without using artificial colors or mineral oils. Another great thing about this product is that it comes in its own bowl, so whipping up a nice lather doesn’t require buying a shaving scuttle or mug.
1Proraso Refreshing & Toning Formula Soap
Manufactured using a formulation that’s mainly composed of natural ingredients and doesn’t contain mineral oils, silicones, phthalates or artificial colors, this product is ideal for anyone looking for natural shaving soap. It has a highly refreshing and toning formula that uses the power of menthol and Eucalyptus oil to give the shaver a luxurious lather they will want to use on a daily basis. This product will leave the shaver’s skin feeling cool and refreshed as its silky smooth lather prevents razor burns and bumps. Anyone who has been searching for a high-quality shaving soap may want to give this product a test drive.
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A Guide to Shaving Soap
Now that you’ve been introduced to some of the more popular shaving soaps currently available, it’s time to take a closer look at this product and what it can provide the shaver. In this guide, we are going to briefly cover the history of this product, how it differs from shaving cream and discuss the two methods of using it. Since we have so much to cover, let’s not waste a moment of time and get right down to it.
The History of Shave Soap
While no one knows exactly when this product first began being produced, it is known that it goes back to at least the 19th century, if not earlier. Some of the first known soaps manufactured during this time were Vroom & Fowler’s Walnut Oil Military Shaving Soap, Pear’s Shaving Soap, and William’s Shaving Soap. Over the years, several different brands were developed, but during the 20th century, these products began to fall out of favor with the general public. This was mainly due to the development of more convenient shave creams and foams.
Then something miraculous happened. After decades of being generally ignored by society, these products slowly began to slowly make a comeback. This was mainly due to small companies introducing nostalgic shaving products that were warmly received by an ever increasing part of society. Nowadays, it seems like these soaps are everywhere and come in a variety of different styles.
The Difference Between Shaving Soap & Cream
Let’s be honest here, shall we? The main difference between shaving soap and cream is the amount of work that’s required to use it. If a high-quality cream is used in the first place. Shaving creams are fast and easy, which is why they became popular in the first place.
Shaving soaps, on the other hand, require a little bit of work to use. You have to assemble your shaving kit, work up a lather, and then proceed to actually shave. While this may seem like extra work to some people, it’s a benefit to the people who actually use the product. The shaving time they set apart for themselves allows them to meditate on an upcoming day and allows them to build a lather that feels good to their face. And that’s a reason to enjoy shaving soaps.
It also should be noted that when you buy creams, you are buying basically a shave soap that has water and air mixed into it. So, you’re not just paying for the soap, but these two ingredients as well. When you buy barber soap, as it’s sometimes called, you are just paying for the soap and no-added fillers.
How to Use Shave Soap
Okay, now that we’ve gone through the preliminaries and described where these products came from and the difference between them and shave cream, it’s time to turn our attention to the fun part. Actually using this product to shave. So without further ado, let’s get down to work and talk about using shave soap. When using this product, it’s important to remember that there are two different methods that can be used: Lathering on the Face and Lathering in the Bowl. We’ll cover both methods in this article.
Technique One: On-Face Lathering
This is one of the easiest ways to use shaving soap, so we’ll start with it. Before you begin, you’ll need to assemble a few tools. This includes the shave soap, a shave brush and some hot water. With those in hand, you can now begin.
- Soak the Shave Brush—Using either a shaving mug or a regular cup, soak your shave brush in hot water. Give it a chance for the natural bristles to soak up the water and soften. After a few moments, you can then take the brush out of the cup and give it a few shakes. Just make sure there’s some water left on the brush, you’re going to need it.
- Add Water Drops to Soap—Using your finger, drop a few drops of warm water on your soap. This will soften the soap enough to use it.
- Wet Your Face—Now splash some warm water on your face and make sure it’s nice and moist.
- Brush the Soap—Using a circular movement, rub the brush over the surface of the soap. You should make about 20-revolutions on the shaving soap to make sure that you’ve picked up enough to shave with.
- Apply it to Your Face—Okay, now rub the brush all over your face and pay attention to the consistency of the lather. If it’s too thin, run the brush around the soap for a few more cycles. If the lather is too thick, add a few drops of water to your brush.
- Shave—Now you can shave your face using your favorite razor.
Technique Two: In-Bowl Lathering
This technique is a little more involved, but it is the method most advanced shavers use to build their perfect lather. Make sure you have your brush, your shaving mug or shaving scuttle ready, and of course, your shaving soap.
- Soak the Shave Brush—Make sure that you add hot water to your mug or shaving scuttle and soak your brush in it. Once it’s been thoroughly soaked, give it a few shakes but leave it a little bit wet for shaving.
- Soften the Soap—Add some warm water, only a couple of drops, to the top of your soap to soften it up. You want it soft enough to work with, so don’t skip this step.
- Wet Your Face—Splash some warm water on your face and get it nice and moist.
- Empty the Mug Water—Dump out your shaving mug or scuttle, leaving just a few drops of water in it.
- Apply the Soap—Using your brush, rub the brush’s bristles on the soap in circular motions for about 20-seconds or so. This allows the brush to pick up enough soap to make a lather.
- Build the Lather—Now it’s time to build the lather. Swirl the brush around the shave mug. As you do this, you’ll notice that bubbles will begin to foam. Do not stop. Keep swirling until these bubbles turn into a lather.
- Inspect the Lather—Okay, now take a look at the lather. If it’s the consistency you want, then apply it to your face. If the lather is too thin, rub the brush on the soap for a few more times and then begin building the lather again. If it’s too thick, apply a few drops of water to the bristles of your brush.
- Time to Shave—With a properly built lather, you can now take your favorite razor and shave. If you want to complete the shaving experience, feel free to apply a warm washcloth to your face after you’ve finished shaving.