Soap vs Cream. Why one over the other? Your opinions please...

Discussion in 'Shaving Soaps' started by Rez90, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. I'm new to DE shaving and everything that goes with it. Currently i have a tub of AOS Lavender shave cream and a bowl of DR Harris Arlington Soap.

    I'm just wondering what the pro's and cons are regarding soaps and creams?

    why one vs the other?

    All opinions are welcome!

  2. It is a big YMMV thing. I prefer soaps I think they provide more slickness. On the other hand creams have more cushion (generally, IMO) and a stronger scent. Creams are usually easier to lather, soaps (especially tallow-based ones) will last longer. Try both, or use them together as super-lather for the best of both worlds.

    Edit: I guess the YMMV thing is wrong it should be "personal preference"
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  3. it's all personal preference. I use both but there was a time when I thought creams were superior. this opinion quickly went out the door once I discovered Palmolive shave sticks.
  4. You will get many different opinions on this. Basically, it comes down to preference. I like using soaps because I find them to be generally slicker, longer lasting, and more fun to use than creams. However, I still keep a few creams around. Creams are generally what I would call "par-lathered", requiring less work than soaps. They can occasionally provide more cushion than soaps, but they don't last as long and aren't always as fun to use. But that's just me. Loading my brush with soap from my clay mug is a big part of the shaving experience for me.

    My go-to soap is Tabac, and my go-to cream is Nancy Boy Signature. They are two very different products, but I find them both to be superlative performers. It just depends on my mood and the season. You have also chosen two of the most highly regarded products out there, so now it comes down to your own personal preference. Alternate between the two and note the differences.

    Welcome to the wonderful, potentially wallet-emptying world of wet shaving. :thumbup:
  5. Those are both really fine products. It would be hard to go wrong with either. I suggest that you try them both for a while and see which one you like better.

    There is a bit of a learning curve involved in building good lather with either soap or cream. There are excellent tutorials available on B&B for how to do it. A good place to start is by reading the "Sticky" posts at the top of the Shaving Soaps and Shaving Creams forums.

    Don't give up on either shaving soaps or shaving creams until you have gone through the tutorials.

    Good luck, and whatever you decide, enjoy the process! :biggrin1:
  6. I use and love both and I can't really find an advantage to one over the other.

    Creams may be a bit easier to lather than soaps and require a little less water to get right.
    Some straight users say soaps work better for straights.

    I'll use creams for a while, then use soaps exclusively for a couple months. its really a personal preference thing.

    YMMV and all that.
  7. In my view, it is not one over the other. They are both fine products, just different. I use both and enjoy both in my rotation. I wouldn't consider taking either one out of my rotation. I enjoy TOBS creams and I have Castle Forbes as well. I have a wide variety of soaps and l enjoy them very much.

    It certainly is a YMMV, but not at the exclusivity of one over the other in my view. I think that you will enjoy them both.

    Enjoy your shaves,

  8. Hex



    I like them both and usually set out 2 creams and 2 soaps for the next weeks shaves.
  9. Use mostly soaps but I do use quite a few creams in my rotation. One thing that I appreciate is that you can store them for a long time. There are certain soaps that I don't use often but it is nice to use them from time to time, and this way they can last many years in a way that a cream cannot.
  10. It's all about trying them all and finding what you like.
  11. For me with cream I usually produce to much lather and prefer to use creams when I go longer without a shave. Soaps I use more because making the right amount of lather isn't a problem.
  12. I like to use soaps when I plan on doing more than 2 passes as I feel that I get better protection from soaps (I stick to MWF). Creams are used when I need to shave quickly (one or two passes) as I can get a nice lather very quickly (I stick to Musgo Real and CO Bigelow, but probably wonÂ’t replace the Bigelow).

    I feel that, as long as you use quality products, you should be able to get a great lather and a great shave. What works best for you might not work at all for me (i.e. Tabac).
  13. Creams were much easier for me to get working at first (Proraso and KMF) as I was making my lather in a bowl when I started, but lately I go to soaps more and more as the experience is much more enjoyable (I am strictly a face latherer now).

    I like loading my brush and working the soap all over my beard till I have good coverage of a really thick coating before slowly adding water and watching the volume build.

    With creams, they foam way too quick, so I don't get to really work them around as much as I like. Although maybe I just have too much water in my brush.

    I go to creams if I am in a hurry, but the rest of the time I love the experience of my soaps.
  14. It doesn't matter whether you use soap or cream because you can get great shaves from either one; find a product you like and go to town. I think the choice usually comes down to other concerns: I find soap to be less messy to use, a better value, and far easier to travel with than creams, so I generally stick with soaps.

    EDIT: I should also mention that I'm a face latherer, which I find much easier to do with soap; I can never get the mix right when I use creams for some reason.
  15. maxman

    maxman Moderator Emeritus

    I find that when I'm bowl/scuttle lathering I prefer to use creams.
    They seem to whip up quicker and thicker for me.
    the only problem is I tend to use more product, not that that's a big deal.
    I face lather soaps, but have been known to whip them up in the scuttle.
    They seem to last longer in storage, and cheaper than creams too.
  16. When looking at forums , soaps seem to always have a lot more viewers at any given time than creams . Must mean something:001_rolle
  17. I've been a soap snob for a while. I have a hand full of creams, but use them rarely. Lately I've been thinking there isnt really much of a difference besides lifespan.

    I've been thinking about going for some creams, Trumpers Coconut has crossed my mind lately. I have found in the end, it doesnt matter. You can get a great shave using either.
  18. I actually had AOS sandalwood as my first soap :w00t: it really is all personal pref though. I loved creams in the beginning because of their easy ability to lather. Soon after I started wet shaving I got Tabac which is also a great soap.

    Some soaps require a bit more attention when lathering (Mitchell's) but can yield great results. Don't be afraid to branch out and try soaps/creams people talk about, that's how I found all my beloved soaps and creams hah. If you're having trouble too the stickys/members are excellent resources! Best of luck to you and don't be afraid to try new things!
  19. Soaps simply perform better for me.
  20. When I use a cream (which is not very often) I usually find that I get a good lather and a good shave.

    But I reach for a soap almost every day. I practically have to force myself to pull out a cream. I'm afraid my tub of GFT Lime is going to rot before I can finish it because I keep reaching for my soaps.

    It is clear that I greatly prefer soaps. I'm not really sure why. I don't think it is because of the quality of the shave; rather, I think it's the enjoyment of making the lather.

    I'll have to pull the Trumper's cream out tomorrow morning, and I'll have to remember to pull it out occasionally over the next few months so I can use it up. Once that is gone, I doubt I will ever buy another shaving cream.

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