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Are Artisan Products Better Than Drugstore Ones?

Sorry if this has been discussed already, but artisan products are all the rage in the wet shaving community ( atleast going by what i see on social media ). It’s almost like more people use them instead of drugstore products, which i’m sure isn’t actually true, but it just goes on to show the market size and impact of artisan products.

I prefer using drugstore products personally, because they’re cheaper in most cases, tend to be more easily available and lastly and perhaps most importantly, there isn’t a huge difference in quality from what i’ve noticed. The only thing that they appear to beat drugstore products consistently on is packaging, which is very impressive to say the least. The fact that drugstore products have been around longer and carry much more nostalgic value for me is also something that makes me pick them.

Do you guys feel or the same way? Or do you feel that artisan products really do offer superior quality, justifying their higher prices?


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There maybe some artisan products that some feel are better than the name brand products but not to me. I am absolutely happy with the old time tried and true products I use and that give me great shaves.
 

Owen Bawn

"Ask me about a fluffernutter"
There are drugstores and there are drugstores... a US drugstore might have 2 pucks of Williams, Aqua Velva, and Old Spice, but if the drugstore is a farmacia in Milan or even a chemist's on a typical British High Street the choices are going to be different and better. I tend to like established brands that are neither drugstore nor are they artisans, so I'm with @sarimento1 above.
 
Where I live, drug stores have canned products and shave butters. I can order Palmolive Cream online for $8, or a stick of Arko for $5 (gets cheaper the more you get).

Williams Mug Soap and Van Der Hagen Deluxe are available from a national chain with free ship to store, but I can't just drive and pick some up. I have to order it online first and then wait for it.

I've head that Europeans still know the proper way to shave, so drugstores have shave sticks and creams. I would love if that were the case here.

So to answer the question, yes, artisan products are 10x better than drug store brands.
 
I think the availability of what at one time where thought of as drugstore brands through the internet has shifted the the definition of what is traditional vs artisan . I perceive Williams, Cella, Tabac, Arko and Palmolive as traditional.
 
I have found that while the mass-market drugstore soaps and creams might not be the absolute best you can get, the quality is consistent and predictable, which is what I build my routine around. It's one less variable to deal with while shaving.
 

JCarr

Contributor
Drugstores in Upstate New York seem to be carrying less and less these days. You might be lucky enough to find Pinaud Clubman aftershave in some Walgreens, but any appreciable selection...not so much. Cremo, Kiss My Face, Nivea, Jack Black...maybe some Aqua Velva...that's what I generally see in the local drugstores in my neck of the woods. Canned shave cream is common, Barbasol mostly.
 

sarimento1

Contributor
There are drugstores and there are drugstores... a US drugstore might have 2 pucks of Williams, Aqua Velva, and Old Spice, but if the drugstore is a farmacia in Milan or even a chemist's on a typical British High Street the choices are going to be different and better. I tend to like established brands that are neither drugstore nor are they artisans, so I'm with @sarimento1 above.

Thanks!!!
 

SharpieB

Contributor
I love the artisan stuff like B&M, DG, Stirling and many others but have been using more of the traditional soaps lately... Cremo, Proraso, Nivea, Arko, Williams Mug, Pre de Provence, St James of London, etc.

There is a place for both IMO but I have no problem finding excellent products at Walmart or Shoppers Drug Mart (Canada).
 
Lucky for me that the old school after shave splashes I use are at most of my local drugstores. Not so much with my preferred soaps. Tabac is the exception which has appeared in the “specialty” grooming of one drugstore. Otherwise there’s little to be found where I live.
 
In my opinion the artisan products have fewer chemicals/ better natural ingredients than drugstore fare. Therein is where the price difference lies, but its worth it to me.
Could not agree more.

I have seen and tried a lot of what is available "over the counter" in my area. Based on those experiences I'm more than happy to throw my money to the people running businesses like Stirling Soap Co.
 
I love the artisan stuff like B&M, DG, Stirling and many others but have been using more of the traditional soaps lately... Cremo, Proraso, Nivea, Arko, Williams Mug, Pre de Provence, St James of London, etc.

There is a place for both IMO but I have no problem finding excellent products at Walmart or Shoppers Drug Mart (Canada).
Not sure I would call Cremo a traditional product. Hasn't been around long enough for that designation, imo.
 
Nope, quite the contrary as far as I’m concerned. For Italian, German, and Spanish drugstores that is. The American ones, not so much, specialty shops aside of course.
 
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