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Hand Soap for Shaving?

I'm not into sophisticated or expensive shaving soaps, though I'm not against them. I wonder how you guys feel about using certain inexpensive hand soaps for shaving? For several months I've used hand soap that I grate on a vegetable grater and compress into my shaving mugs. The results seem ok. It's inexpensive.

I've used Dove, and I've used Sappo Hill which is available at stores that are "health oriented." (Sappo Hill is round and it fits perfectly in one of my Old Spice mugs.) When I was a boy during WW2 I vaguely remember my father putting worn-down slivers of Ivory soap in a coffee mug.

Any experiences (pro or con) on shaving with hand soap to share?

Sappo Hill Soap-Natural, Fragrance Free 1 Bar - VitaminLife
 
You can shave with Arko, 3P and other Italian ‘bricks’, and Pre de Provence (especially if you catch a sale or discount) for around $1 a month. What’s wrong with that? And 3P and PdP are excellent shave soaps.
 
I've been shaving with ordinary bath soap for 10 years with better results than brushing shaving soaps or creams with thick lather.

The regular bar soaps are comparable for cushion and sickness but the better shaves are the result of hand lathering.

Come to think of it I've never tried hand lathering a shave soap but I've never felt the need to and I don't like the scent of them. Plus, I'm too minimalist to bother.

Anyway, there's no law that states one must shave with certain équipage. So just do it your way, according to what works for you, in harmony with your budget and preferences.
 
I've never tried a hand/bath soap before. I am awfully tempted to try Kirk's castile soap though. It lathers like a demon when I bathe. My grandfather used regular old Dial soap.

I imagine Arko is cheaper than Dove, so that's what I would go for if price was the main consideration.
 
You will not likely get the slickness or cushion you would with a dedicated shaving soap, but that doesn't mean it won't work. There was a hand soap that was part of the amenities at Hampton Inn for several years that worked reasonably well in a pinch, but they moved away from that brand. For a few years I was a shower shaver and at that time Safeguard was slick enough and worked well enough as long as there was lots of steamy water.

These days I enjoy a nice brush and a good shaving soap enough that I'm not likely to move back to shower shaving.
 
The OP has been wet shaving since 1951 and I suspect is well aware of the low cost of Arko and other budget shave soaps. I have tried several bar soaps for shaving and gotten acceptable results but I found them to be very drying, oddly much more so than the same soap used on the rest of my body. Traditional, less perfumed brands may work better; some were originally marketed as being for dual use, i.e. washing and shaving. Conversely, every shave soap I have relegated to use as bath soap has worked wonderfully.
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
I'm not into sophisticated or expensive shaving soaps, though I'm not against them. I wonder how you guys feel about using certain inexpensive hand soaps for shaving? For several months I've used hand soap that I grate on a vegetable grater and compress into my shaving mugs. The results seem ok. It's inexpensive.

I've used Dove, and I've used Sappo Hill which is available at stores that are "health oriented." (Sappo Hill is round and it fits perfectly in one of my Old Spice mugs.) When I was a boy during WW2 I vaguely remember my father putting worn-down slivers of Ivory soap in a coffee mug.

Any experiences (pro or con) on shaving with hand soap to share?

Sappo Hill Soap-Natural, Fragrance Free 1 Bar - VitaminLife
I am going to look into that soap you linked!

I put a bar of Brut deodorant (?) soap in the shower a LONG time ago, like 8 months ago, and it's only about half gone! I have other soaps I use though.

It's funny. This AM I was having a hard time breathing. So I did what I have done too much lately: shaved in the shower. I used Brut underneath Barbasol foam, and a Bic Metal single blade. Delightful, smooth, one pass shave!

I enjoyed being able to smell so much that I used the Brut as a shampoo bar! But I did a second shampoo with a tea tree oil shampoo.

Whatever works best for you my friend! Any port in a storm. Or something like that!
 
Hand soaps work well on top of oil. Yesterday I used sunflower oil (which is non-comedogenic) lathered with sandalwood body bar soap using the minimum of water. Today I shave with olive oil (which is comedogenic) using Dr Bronners eucalyptus castile liquid soap, finishing with a facial scrub rinse to prevent any poor clogging that could arise using olive oil. I felt that the castile liquid soap was marginally better for softening the whiskers

'Rules are meant to be broken. -They are for the protection of fools and to give guidance to the wise.' Lord Kitchener
 
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According to an Instagram ad I partially watched recently, most soaps you’d find at a department store/grocery store are actually classified by the Food & Drug Administration as “Detergents”. 😊
So many chemicals!

I’m actually moving in the opposite direction. My bath/hand soaps are getting more expensive and natural and my armpits and groin are happier for it.
I’d forgotten what it was like to use tallow based soap (in the shower). We were weaned off it so gradually.
 
i think that if you shave during a shower you can get away with using plain bath soap. The water running down your face helps the razor glide. Outside of the shower, it's generally a really bad idea.
 

cryhavoc

Contributor
I've used Ivory in a pinch in the past and it worked, it was drying but a little AV took care of it.
I also tried Yardley Lavender because it is a tallow soap and I really like the scent. Again this worked but not something I would want to do everyday. I have found I can shave with just about anything as long as it is slick, but at this point I choose to shave with soaps that I enjoy. If you enjoy using hand soap then by all means keep using it and save money!
 
I imagine Arko is cheaper than Dove, so that's what I would go for if price was the main consideration.
Arko actually costs a tiny bit more than Dove, but given the thousands of dollars worth of shave gear I've accumulated, I'm not too worried about fractional cents/g. I've been experimenting Dove Mens+ bar soap, and I've been shocked at how well it's performed for me. The lather is comparable to Arko, but the post shave feel is just a notch below Stirling. I say this as someone who loves both Arko and Stirling.

I've tried Dove bar soap hand lathering and brush lathering and it's a shockingly good performer both ways. It was more than capable of an 8 pass shave. Excellent residual slickness. As a caveat, the longest shave I've done with it lasted around 7 minutes, so I have no idea if it the lather holds up during 20-30 minutes shaves. I've also only used it for face lathering, so I have no idea how it is when loaded out of a mug. Lastly, I like prize slickness above all else (especially residual slickness) and I like thin & wet lathers. I have no idea if Dove creates the foamy Instagram lathers people post pictures of; this may well be where traditional shave soaps leave it behind.

Just my 2 cents. YMMV.
 
I my journey of exploration of various soaps for shaving, I have used a few soap bars as well. The only one that I have found that gives better results than some soaps sold for shaving is Yardley of London Extra Moisturizing bath bar with Cocoa Butter. They have been making soap since 1770, longer than any shaving soap company I know about. Thus, Yardley knows a few things about soapmaking.

The ingredients are: Sodium Tallowate, Water (Aqua), Sodium Palm Kernelate or Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glycerin, Fragrance (Parfum), Tallow Acid, Coconut Acid, Petrolatum, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter Extract, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Sodium Chloride, Titanium Dioxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Pentasodium Pentetate, Iron Oxide, Yellow 5, Red33

There are a number of things included in the soap that are found in many excellent shaving soaps, particularly the tallow, glycerin, Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter and Vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate). You can purchase the soaps for about $1 per bar which is quite a bargain for those on a budget.

Since this is a soap designed for use in the bath rather than shaving, the lather produced is not as stable as most shaving soaps. However, it is very slick, has good residual slickness and provides a good post shave feel due to the Shea butter and Cocoa butter. I would much rather shave with this soap than either Williams Mug Soap or Van de Hagen Luxury shave soap.

I do consider Arko to be a better overall shave soap for most people. However, it leaves my face tight and dry such that I cannot use it personally. I also prefer the fragrance of Yardley to that of Arko.

Thus, for those who want to use a bath soap for shaving, consider picking up a few bars of Yardley. There are other Yardley varieties that might work for shaving as well. I picked the Extra Moisturizing as I like soaps with Shea butter and Cocoa butter.
 
i think that if you shave during a shower you can get away with using plain bath soap. The water running down your face helps the razor glide. Outside of the shower, it's generally a really bad idea.
This is my observation as well. It's actually what convinced me that foamy, yogurt-like lather that looks great in photos is actually terrible lather. When I gave up on lather looking pretty, and gave it so much water that it's nearly translucent when applied, the slickness of my lather went off the charts. I've never looked back. Bar soaps are perfectly capable of making a stupidly slick lather when super hydrated.

The only occasion where Instagram lather is preferable is if each shaving pass takes you more than 60 seconds (actual razor-to-skin time). In this case, you need a foamy lather that protects against drying out. You basically sacrifice slickness in favor of duration. Put differently, Instagram lather is mediocre lather that becomes terrible very slowly.

Truly slick lather is watery and thin and goes on more like a film. It barely has any bubbles whatsoever, so it dries out pretty quick. Here is a helpful graph from the National Academy of Tonsorial Lubrication showing the tradeoff between slickness and time comparing Instagram lather vs super hydrated lather:

 
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