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Hand Soap for Shaving?

BigJ

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Tough to beat Arko or the Cella ‘brick’ on cost/shave!

By the time I can calculate cost/shave based on actual use for my Cella brick, I will be too old to care!! :a21: :a21:
 
It might be best to define instagram lather. In my mind, if it can maintain a soft peak on the brush then it's not the best lather for shaving. I feel my lather is sufficiently hydrated when it starts to fall of the brush and get all over the counter top and blobs of it fall into the sink.
 
An 8 pass shave?

Was that a typo by any chance?
No, it's an 8 pass shave. I don't do any buffing and I minimize stroke overlap as much as possible though, so it's not as bad as it sounds. I call it the Konami Code Challenge; it's named after the eponymous code used by an old NES game developer. The shave pass progression is: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, followed by a Bar of Alum to test for irritation. I only use it for testing soaps for residual slickness. Lather is hand lathered on the face, no additional soap from the bar/stick is added between passes, only the soap left on the hands from initial lathering and water to reactivate the lather. Razor is an R45 loaded with a brand new Feather, which is a lot more demanding than my daily driver (RazoRock GC .68 with a Perma Sharp Super). It's the most demanding gauge of residual slickness that I've come up with. Not all soaps are up for it obviously.

This thread actually inspired me to test out Dove vs Arko in a split face shave test earlier this morning (one side lathered with Arko, the other side lathered with Dove Mens+. The Dove bar performed admirably. No nicks, weepers or razor burn whatsoever. Both sides are honest to god BBS, but the Dove side feels superbly hydrated. I guess that "1/4 moisturizing cream" claim isn't just marketing fluff. :)

Here is a link describing the methodology in more detail using Arko & Mogno:

 
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It might be best to define instagram lather. In my mind, if it can maintain a soft peak on the brush then it's not the best lather for shaving. I feel my lather is sufficiently hydrated when it starts to fall of the brush and get all over the counter top and blobs of it fall into the sink.
Fair enough. I'm sure there are folks that post pics of really hydrated lather too. What I call "Instagram lather" is the stuff that can stand up on it's own and looks like homemade whipped cream (which it essentially is given that both are more or less aerated emulsions of fat). I'm from the, "if it ain't drippin, it ain't slick" school of latherology. 😋

Not all bar soaps work well for shaving even with this level of hydration, but in my experience even poor performers do their best work at this level of hydration. Kirk soap was a fail for me (to harsh on the skin), and Ivory soap left a sticky film that didn't suit me. Dove has been a winner so far though. I'm keen to do a split face shave-off between Dove and Stirling to compare slickness and post shave feel (one side lathered with Dove Mens+ and one side lathered with Stirling).
 
No, it's an 8 pass shave. I don't do any buffing and I minimize stroke overlap as much as possible though, so it's not as bad as it sounds. I call it the Konami Code Challenge; it's named after the eponymous code used by an old NES game developer. It's Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left Right, followed by a Bar of Alum to test for irritation. I use it for testing soaps for residual slickness. Lather is hand lathered on the face, no additional soap from the bar/stick is added between passes, only the soap left on the hands from initial lathering and water to reactivate the lather. Razor is an R45 loaded with a brand new Feather. It's the most demanding gauge of residual slickness that I've come up with. Not all soaps are up for it obviously.

This thread actually inspired me to test out Dove vs Arko in a split face shave test earlier this morning (one side lathered with Arko, the other side lathered with Dove Mens+. The Dove bar performed admirably. No nicks, weepers or razor burn whatsoever. Both sides are honest to god BBS, but the Dove side feels superbly hydrated. I guess that "1/4 moisturizing cream" claim isn't just marketing fluff. :)

Here is a link describing the methodology in more detail using Arko & Mogno:

Well... whatever works for you. YMMV 😀
 
I should specify that we always use pretty nice soap for bath and hand bars. Like Yardley, as was mentioned. And other bars that are usually around $5 or so. French ones my wife buys, Greek olive oil ones, nice but not artisan or anything like that. But definitely not industrial detergents or whatever, with the occasional Ivory just because it brings me back to my childhood.

I have always used a DE while bathing, which does keep things wetter and slicker. If I were standing in front of a sink and mirror using a DE I'm not sure what I'd do. On the occasion I use a straight razor I am standing in front of a sink and mirror and do use my brush and a shave soap or cream. With a straight à bit of cushion and the visual cues help. But for me with a DE that hinders the shave.

I use a DE for convenience. Part of my criteria, to me, is the flexibility to use whatever is at hand regarding slickness. So a DE works great for me in this regard.

I have nothing against shaving soaps and creams except that I find them superfluous to my purposes, at least as far as DE shaving goes. And I prefer absence of scent.

I'm not convinced I'm hammering a screw, rather I think I'm hand screwing it in rather than relying on a brutish power tool that doesn't serve the purpose anyway.

My antique table was hand made, paintings are hand painted, and my face gets hand lathered! Therefore most anything will do.

But most of all, pursue and develop what works for you! Personally, it suits my nature to be as basic and uncomplicated as possible.

Ask not what your shave can do for you, but what you can do for your shave.
 
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.
I've been surprised and impressed by Dove's soap bar performance, but I don't like that it's first ingredient is Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, which is a detergent. Granted the next two ingredients are tallow based (Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate), but even so, I'm not excited about detergents in bar soap irrespective of performance.

Yardley looks like an interesting alternative with a way better tallow based ingredients list. I was surprised to see that my local Walmart stocks two types of Yardley tallow based soaps for about a $1 per 120g bar. They don't stock the cocoa butter unfortunately, but they do have "Oatmeal and Almond", which seems pleasant enough.

Are there other Yardley soaps apart from the cocoa butter that you've tried and would recommend?
 
I wonder how you guys feel about using certain inexpensive hand soaps for shaving?
Besides loosing a bet, or an occasional "stunt" shave solely for the purpose of introducing a challenge to improve technique, I can't think of any reason why I would want to risk the possibility of a sub par shave by using anything less than the best possible soap available.

If I was interested in an inexpensive shave soap, I would consider expense based on cost per shave, and use Martin de Candre.
 
You should use whatever works best for you. If that's using bath/hand soaps, then it's using bath/hand soaps. If it's using shaving soaps, then it's using shaving soaps. The person who had to live with your decisions is you. If you save money and get great shaves, wonderful! If you save money and get passable shaves, that's good, too. If you spend money and get great shaves, that's fantastic! If you spend money and get passable shaves, that's equally fine.

We all know that shaving is highly individualized. Not only do each of us have different skin types, beard types, and chemical sensitivities, but we also have different preferences. Heck, no one is in the least bit surprised when someone says he hates a certain popular razor blade but loves an unpopular one. Why should it be different when it comes to preferring bath soap over shaving soap?

As for me, I have found a number of shave soaps that I really enjoy. I have also tried some I don't enjoy quite as much. I don't think of the money I spent on these latter as wasted. Instead, I consider it as money well-spent on learning more about what works for me. Of course, not everyone will agree with this perspective. That's okay. If we were all the same, life would be boring.
 
I've been surprised and impressed by Dove's soap bar performance, but I don't like that it's first ingredient is Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, which is a detergent. Granted the next two ingredients are tallow based (Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate), but even so, I'm not excited about detergents in bar soap irrespective of performance.

Yardley looks like an interesting alternative with a way better tallow based ingredients list. I was surprised to see that my local Walmart stocks two types of Yardley tallow based soaps for about a $1 per 120g bar. They don't stock the cocoa butter unfortunately, but they do have "Oatmeal and Almond", which seems pleasant enough.

Are there other Yardley soaps apart from the cocoa butter that you've tried and would recommend?
No, the Cocoa Buitter is the only one I have used as I liked the ingredient list. However, when you can get the bars for $1, there is little risk to trying one. If it does not work for shaving, it will still work for bathing.
 
No, the Cocoa Buitter is the only one I have used as I liked the ingredient list. However, when you can get the bars for $1, there is little risk to trying one. If it does not work for shaving, it will still work for bathing.
I picked up some Yardley Shea Buttermilk at my local grocery store for $1.50/bar. I gave it a try this morning and I was quite impressed. It's really, really slick stuff. The residual slickness in particular is superb. I'm not sure it's because I loaded more than usual (I used it as a shave stick), but I had to spend more time rinsing after the shave than normal, and my skin still had a bit of slickness. I hand lathered it today, and tomorrow I'm going to see how it does with a brush. It's definitely made a good first impression.

Thanks for the recommendation!


Here is a video I found on youtube by a guy who experimented with bar soap before moving on to the classics (Proraso, Cella, etc). Like you, his conclusion was that Yardley was the only bar soap that lathered on par with dedicated shave soaps.

 
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Pears can produce a surprisingly good lather. I'd happily use it for head shaves. For face-shaving I like my shaving soaps too much.

I've only tried the orange Pears. Not a brilliant scent. But if you were on holiday, or if there was a zombie apocalypse and this is all you could find, you could definitely shave with it.
 
I picked up some Yardley Shea Buttermilk at my local grocery store for $1.50/bar. I gave it a try this morning and I was quite impressed. It's really, really slick stuff. The residual slickness in particular is superb. I'm not sure it's because I loaded more than usual (I used it as a shave stick), but I had to spend more time rinsing after the shave than normal, and my skin still had a bit of slickness. I hand lathered it today, and tomorrow I'm going to see how it does with a brush. It's definitely made a good first impression.

Thanks for the recommendation!


Here is a video I found on youtube by a guy who experimented with bar soap before moving on to the classics (Proraso, Cella, etc). Like you, his conclusion was that Yardley was the only bar soap that lathered on par with dedicated shave soaps.


Unless you have oily skin, it is not necessary to remove all of the soap from your skin. I find that those soaps with superb residual slickness also provide a wonderful post-shave feel. The soapy components are water soluble, so they will rinse away leaving skin friendly ingredients behind. Oatmeal is supposed to have antioxidant and anti-inflamatory properties that are good for the skin.
 
As far as hand soap, I've used Ivory Palmolive, Zest, Dial to name a few for use in a pinch but Dove semms to do best. For good ole shave soap tho, it's Cella Kilo, Vito's Red kilo, Arko bowl pressed, VDH melted to a bowl. There are many great inexpensive soaps that are under $3.
 
I find this topic very interesting and read through this thread twice. I saw the OP mention the results "seem ok" and a few posts that mention hand soaps that are "really, really slick."

Maybe I missed it, but how do these hand soaps compare to the popular shave soaps?

I'm all for trying new things, and I would use hand soap for shaving, but only if it outperformed the shave soaps I already have in both slickness *and* scent.

I'm genuinely curious. Is there a hand soap that provides a better shave experience than something like Saponificio Varesino or Southern Witchcrafts? I'm probably in the minority but I really dislike the scent of most hand/body soaps like dove, dial, ivory, and zest.
 
I find this topic very interesting and read through this thread twice. I saw the OP mention the results "seem ok" and a few posts that mention hand soaps that are "really, really slick."

Maybe I missed it, but how do these hand soaps compare to the popular shave soaps?

I'm all for trying new things, and I would use hand soap for shaving, but only if it outperformed the shave soaps I already have in both slickness *and* scent.

I'm genuinely curious. Is there a hand soap that provides a better shave experience than something like Saponificio Varesino or Southern Witchcrafts? I'm probably in the minority but I really dislike the scent of most hand/body soaps like dove, dial, ivory, and zest.
You might want to read my post #17 in this thread. Hand/bath soaps do tend to be very slick. However, most do not produce a stable lather like a good shaving soap. Thus, the level of protection is often lacking. Depending on the specific composition of the soap, it may or may not leave the post shave feel you desire. If you want to try a bath soap for shaving, I recommend Yardley of London. It is better than several shave soaps I have used, but most will provide a better overall experience and some will provide a much better experience.
 
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