shaving soap and cream v.s the gel stuff you get in a spray can

Discussion in 'Shaving Soaps' started by infernobutterfly, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I have a noob-ish question regarding the shaving soap and cream. I am new to DE shaving and have always been using the disposiable razors and the gel/foam stuff that comes in a spray can.

    How is the shaving soap any different from the stuff that comes in the can? They look the same :biggrin:. Like is the purpose of the soap for the scent/mositurizing alone? Does the soap last longer (in terms of cost when all else are equal)?

    I don't know because I have not used the soap. I know the gel stuff I use in a spray can seems to be fine so far. :-D.

    Anyone experienced with the gel stuff, soap or both can offer any insights?
  2. htownmmm

    htownmmm Moderator Emeritus

    1. It's different in that it is made naturally as compared to twenty ingredients you cannot pronounce.

    2. It's purpose is to provide a close shave while softening your beard-the scent is definitely a benefit.

    3. Depending on usage and type(triple milled vs glycerine), a shave soap can last anywhere from 3- 6 months.

    4. for comparison purposes, pick up a VDH shave soap from cvs, target, or walmart; lather up, shave, and then tell us what you think/have discovered.

    5. keep the questions coming!

  3. Am planning to do exactly this. :) Just thought I would ask ahead of time tho.
  4. Huy


    You can also go to the mall and get samples from Art of Shaving, L'Occitane and Crabtree & Evelyn. You will never go back to the canned stuff again.
  5. TimmyBoston

    TimmyBoston Moderator Emeritus

    I find the quality of soaps and creams to be vastly superior to anything available in a can (ie Edge, Gilette Gel/Foam, etc).
  6. I'm in the completely opposite camp here. I think the gels are fine, so long as you get enough water on your face.

    I started using soaps about 10 years or so ago, because I was getting TOO CLOSE a shave with an M3 and a gel. Now, I get an excellent shave with gels, but I don't use them except once in a blue moon, like travel when I choose not to bring a brush. Habits are hard to change
  7. seriously, I don't think the twenty chemicals are that big of a deal.

    Scent is why I switched. I was tired of Gillette foamy smelling like my deoderant being applied to my face. Some MSNBC article said you could get shave soap that smelled like Lillac, Lavendar, rose, etc. I knew I had to try it.
  8. there are some gels/shaving cream in a tube/can that are decent. i really like the edge active care line. the king of shaves shaving gels are pretty good. and people on here have said good things about the aveno stuff.

    that being said. i prefer the shaving soaps and creams. they offer a better shave and don't leave my skin feeling all tight afterwards.
  9. I used gel and cream in a can for years.

    The non-canned cream is much better but takes a bit more work because you have to whip it into a lather (with proper consistency) using a shaving brush (ideally a badger hair brush according to the forum). It takes a bit of practice to get right. When you do get it right, you'll see how much better it is compared to the canned stuff.

    Soap I just tried for the first time today. They take a little more skill to lather than cream but seem to work fine if you do it right - assuming you have a decent soap. One thing about soap is that it doesn't seem to provide as much "cushion" as cream.

    If you want to try non-canned cream, look for free samples. Art of Shaving, Truefitt and Hill, and the Body Shop will give you free samples of cream if you ask.
  10. It's a big deal if you're allergic to any of them (or their unintentional in-can compounds)...
  11. I'm WAY more allergic to some floral EO's than anything they could ever put into the can.

    I'm just sayin'.
  12. Creams and soaps are far superior to anything from a can though the Nivea canned stuff is of a good quality.
  13. I think after puberty hit and I started shaving, I started off with the foam under pressure in a can, then switched to soft soap and shaving brush, once I discoved hard shaving soap there is no going back.
  14. Ok, to answer my own question. I went and bought a VDH soap and compared it to the aveno gel stuff that I had before.

    Aveon Gel stuff: Has all these fanacy stuff in it that makes it smell pleasant, smoothing actually. It does not really hydrates my skin tho. In terms of lather, its pretty decent. In terms of cost, its about $4 for a can, and if you use about a almond size gel each time (barely enough for the face, barely), it should last about a few months.

    The VDH: First time use. Its like soap.! Well, it is soap, except it lathers thicker. Like soap it makes my skin slippery. I did cut myself on my first use. But I blame it on the lather being too thin. The blade just stuck on my skin, and using the straight razor, I cut myself . :( Its a minor cut tho. In term of cost, I see the soap lasting longer.

    Thoughts: the gel is easier to use for noobies. But the soap does wash away better, and leaves my skin in ok condition afterwards. (the gel does not really hydrate, nor does it de-hydrate). The soap, in theory, says it hydrates the skin. I do like the soap because I can get a lot of lather from a relative small sample of soap. But I will not like the soap if the blade keeps on sinking into my skin. Again, this maybe a noobie learning curve problem.

    Regardless, nothing (the gel or the soap) beats wetting ur face and getting the skin soft and such, ie: after a shower. I find that I shave best after showers.

    BTW: I ran a test experiment and used dove soap bar and try to lather it. It lathers, not thick tho. Very thin actually. Becareful.
  15. More thoughts. After a few test, i think i was doing it all wrong. I was supposed to lather up the brush on the soap bar itself, instead of trying to just get teh soap onto the brush and then lather it on my hand. For some reason, pre-lathering the soap bar itself and then lathering it a little more on my hand gave me a thicker lather. VERY little water was used to get the thick lather from the soap. Now, my soap lather is as thick or thicker than the lather I was getting from the aveno gel.

    what do you guys think? Am I doing it wrong?
  16. since you're just starting out here's what i did/would do (you know since i have more posts then you can by law of fourms on the 'net boss you around!)

    1. run the brush under some hot water and then leave it to soak in a mug.
    2. put some hot water on top of your soap and let that sit.
    3. kill a few minutes.
    4. dump out the water from the mug and the soap. give the brush a decent flick.
    5. work the brush on the soap for a minute. really work in the bristles you're trying to get some soap to "stick" to your brush.
    6. swirl the brush in the mug like crazy go nuts for a minute or 2.

    i've found that's the best way to lather VDH or any soap (works for me at least). good luck.
  17. Soap does require more technique than cream. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one to get totally the wrong idea about things (tho I didn't quite do the lather on the hand then transfer mistake). It's just better to use soap or cream because they are superior products. The 20 chemicals thing does worry me hugely-there's only one reason they're there and that's to boost profit. As to the scent, I find it strange that so much keytime is spent to this aspect of them cos as long as I dont find it offensive i really do not care at all what it smells like....its the shave that counts for me
  18. Suzuki

    Suzuki Moderator Emeritus

    The key is to use what works best for you.

    That being said, I would never go back to using the goo in a can (but I do have a can of Nivea gel and Proraso foam that get used once in a blue moon, but that just makes me realize why I switched in the first place).

    I think the gels work fine for cartridges, as most of them have a lube strip and they don't shave as close as a DE or straight. However, my view is that a DE or straight work better with a good soap or cream, as they do lubricate better.

    Also, the act of using a brush with soap or cream helps set the whiskers up and exfoliates (especially if you face lather), which improves the shave.

    In terms of using a soap, I don't think you need to wet the soap before loading, but it certainly does help, especially with hard soaps.

    The key is using enough soap (check out the tutorials in the newby forum) and I initially didn't get good results with soaps. The turning point for me was when I used a shave stick and got a great lather - this got me thinking about how much soap I was loading and I started loading the brush more heavily - voila - much better results.

    So, for anyone having problems with soaps, my first suggestion is to make sure you're getting enough soap on the brush.
  19. WARNING : The following post may contain opinions that are offensive to mainstream shavers. Readers beware and proceed at your own risk.

    I think almost all of us came from where you are. Just starting to step out of the only shaving world we have known... plastic razors and the shaving cream in a can. Most people will agree that the traditional shaving soap and cream is far better than the canned variety. We all have different favorites but they don't come in a can. There are a few who swear that the canned foam is the same or better.. sure sure, let's just agree to disagree.

    On the note of razors... the same happens. I prefer a DE and a SE type razor to a cartridge / disposable razor. I feel I get better shaves and less goes into a landfill. The worst thing about old style shaving is it is addictive. You start out with one soap or cream and a aftershave or two... the next thing you know, you have a cabinet full of goodies. Soaps, creams, toners... splashes, balms... razors, brushes and blades oh my! It goes on and on.

    You do not have to spend lots of $, on an extensive collection of products ,to get a great shave. Make no mistake, it is all about technique and patience if you have decent prep, soap and razor. Read some posts, watch a few mantic videos, take your time and enjoy the shave... I think that is the most important thing. Everyone on here enjoys his or her, { can't forget our lady members }, shaving ritual. It makes them feel better and starts or finishes their day. Sorry for the long winded post. I'm high on sugar from the ice cream ( that I shouldn't be eating ) and the consuming mass quantities of juice. :jump::badger::jump:

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