Turning a soap into a cream- here's how

Discussion in 'Shaving Creams' started by scottish steve, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. As you know, good shaving gear is non-existent in mainland China and I've been experimenting with different bathroom soaps for 16 months now, eventually settling on Dove Beauty Cream Bar as an acceptable alternative to real soap. I also found that adding glycerine after giving the soap a good soak, made a big difference. But last week I got more creative.
    I got 3 cakes of DBCB and put them in a big traditional Chinese earthenware mug that has a lid, then poured about 50ml of glycerine over them, to cover and let soak overnight. As the days have progressed, I've avoided using water in the mug, instead topping up the glycerine after rinsing out the lather at the end of the shave, so the soap is always covered and marinating in it. Over time, the soap has become more and more cream-like; softening as it has been soaking in the glycerine and is now producing oodles of high quality lather. The moisture from a flicked brush is almost enough by itself but a tiny dip or 3 once the emulsion is getting going, really makes a moisturising, creamy leather with good slickness and cushion. More importantly, it holds for more than long enough to concentrate on your shave.
    For any of you hitting a country that doesn't do real shaving, this is my suggestion.

    In fact the water here is so hard that my MWF was lacklustre while it lasted. Anyone willing to give this method a go and report back?
  2. If you are that desperate, I could send you a soap or two.
  3. perhaps you could try grating the dove soap and then mixing with glycerin to facilitate the process of "dissolving".

  4. Hi Arghblech. Thanks very much for the offer, but then I'd probably only miss real stuff more....or maybe I wouldn't? This new method really works. Try it out!
    As for grating, that might be an option, but would take more experimentation to get the proportions right. Hhhm. Maybe something for a slow Sunday?
  5. You are so close to Korea and Japan as well as others. Shave stuff has got to be nearby. I disagree with no shave gear in China however. Maybe no cosmetic items but gear is all over the place I bet.
  6. Cosmetics abound. Almost every Toiletries store and supermarket has about a million moisturisers, skin-whiteners, anti-oil washes and the like, but no decent shaving gear apart from 3 or 4 types of blade which would fall into the "emergency use" category for almost everyone here.
    Hong Kong is no problem for real shaving gear, but I'm not there. I've looked in every shop, asked everyone I know, went on a 2 hour shopping trip round Suzhou with a Chinese colleague, asked a few people to look on Taobao and Baidu. You can get The Body Shop Macca cream which was ok, but only with a Chinese card and only if you can read chinese.
    If you can point me to the right store in Suzhou, Wuxi or Shanghai please do.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  7. I live in Shanghai China, and have lived here for 5+ years. You are correct, you aren't going to find anything. There are some old, cheap Gillette DE safety razors and as you said, some blades that most people wouldn't want to use (at least, after the first time I tried them didn't want to). But as far as creams, soaps, etc. it is better to just order online and have it shipped to you or make your own. I have had stuff arrive from the US in about 1 1/2 weeks.

    The majority of Chinese men just don't need to shave that often so there isn't quite the market for it that other countries have. When and if they do decide to shave they just go with the typical cartridge and canned cream.
  8. The offer still stands if you need it :001_smile
  9. A few sticks of Arko would be less than $20 shipped to you which would be enough for a year or better.
  10. Steve, Nathan, and anyone else close by: there is an outfit in Hong Kong that carries a very wide range of soaps, creams, and aftershaves and has FREE SHIPPING and frequent buyer discounts. Try http://hken.strawberrynet.com/main.aspx?region=HKEN

    Not long ago they did a Groupon promotion and i got two tubes of Art of Shaving cream for US$13, delivered to Shenzhen. They may not have exactly what you want, but they have a lot.
  11. "If you have a (shaving) problem, if no-one else can help and if you can...er...think of a username and password....."

    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  12. Congrats !! Sounds like you got it down to a science.
    Glycerine is a lot like bacon, it just makes everything better.

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