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Discussion in 'Shaving Soaps' started by naughtilus, May 7, 2019.
Thank you sir. I don't watch shave videos, so a bit out of the loop...
Something ain't right. MdC I have and never had a bad lather or shave for that matter. Expensive, yes. Mythical, no. Scent of the Rose to me is worth it. It will last me years. I shaved my head with Arko today and it done fine. Not as slick or as good of post shave as the MdC. Arko dries me out. Nice shave though just had to use postshave products.
Did someone say they were sticking around to see the most expensive soap. It can be found at Italian Barber. It says proceeds go to charity. Even if I happen to win the lottery I still really can't say I would buy it. I do hope they sell it one day although I think I have seen it listed for at least two years.
I voted under 30 bucks, but with a caveat. Mass produced soaps have to be in the less than 20 buck range, with anything over 15 bucks only purchased after much scrutiny.
Artisan soaps are another story. Sure, it's nice to pick up soaps as cheaply as possible, but I really don't mind paying more for small artisan soaps. Especially if they're really top quality. Unfortunately, there are a few artisans that have really gone overboard on their prices while producing products that I wouldn't purchase at any price level. I'm not gonna name-and-shame, as I expect the market will correct itself soon enough.
Wait, P160 sold at $2.500? Who would have thought! That was one of the most used and cheap soaps, used by italian barbers in the 70s and 80s. It went out of production eventually (probably Proraso and Vitos killed it over time). The 2.500$ price can only be explained because now it's a museum relic, since the soap is impossible to find even in Italy. Also, that brick is known to go bad. I wouldn't bet $10 that it's still fine, let alone $2500.
It's a charity event. Like when they auction something cheap and iconic at very high price to gather money for charity.
Doesn't count as first $100+ soap unless it meets these criteria:
$100+ street price
Basic disposable container
Not Limited Edition
With the YouTube shaving guys that do the videos I have to think about what their agenda is and adjust accordingly. What is it that they are after? Attention, free products, or maybe all of the above? Whatever it may be they do have something to gain.
Let's be honest here, I've tried just about everything out there, well over 600 soaps. I've done testing for several soap makers in the development of their new formulas and I can't even properly assess a soap from one shave so I'm confident that they can't either. What I'll do it take a week to ten days to set my face at a baseline by using an average soap that doesn't have exceptional post shave abilities. Something like Tabac for example. After this reset I'll begin testing the soap for about three weeks, noting how my skin changes with repeated use, comparing it to my favorite soaps with some side by side shaves and learning how to get the very best performance from it. Only after this testing am I able to confidently say how the soap compares to the very best stuff out there.
I completely gave up on the YouTube reviewers a long time ago. Often times every product they review is excellent because they got it for free and don't want to disappoint the maker who's giving them free stuff. Why would they as they won't continue to get more free stuff. Who doesn't like free stuff right? In addition, their rankings always leave me scratching my head wondering what they're thinking. I've seen several give high weight to a soaps performance based on the price of the soap and whether or not they liked the scent. Why would you do this? Think about it, if I bought a new Corvette would it perform better if I got a better deal on it. Would it be faster if it was blue and not red? It makes no sense to me at all. Performance is based on performance attributes like slickness, residual slickness and post shave. At this point they are paid shills in my opinion and I just don't believe what they say.
I'd much rather look to people that I trust. People that I know like the same things that I like in a soap. I've had much better luck in finding products that I'm truly happy with this way.
Anyway, just my thoughts and likely worth what you paid for them.
I’d second this. Personally never had an issue with MdC. (Maca root fwiw was good for me too but I prefer MdC to just about anything)
Great post, and I agree. I too judge shave soaps after several weeks of testing, and during the test, shaving with my top soaps for comparison. Also, I'm starting to think that the only true way for one to test a soap is with a maker's unscented base, in case there is a hidden fragrance or EO that may tilt the results of an otherwise perfectly good base.
I also hold that any review, thoughts, or recommendation is only based on the users personal opinion. His/her skin type, beard type, sensitivities, allergies, water quality, shave hardware, etc. all matter. What is "the best" for me may be only fair to middlin' for someone else, and vice versa.
The acronym YMMV get's used a lot on B&B, for good reason.
I bought several samples, following recommendations from shavers on here, and for the most part was very disappointed. I was getting up to 20 consecutive shaves with them, so I'm pretty certain I gave them a fair chance. They just didn't give me any significant benefit over the cheap soaps I'm used to, and in some cases I got a poorer shave.
I'm currently finishing off a bowlful of one of the incredible disappearing lather craft soaps, and am getting shaves as good as anything the samples gave me, and without any of the adverse issues like brush burn, knot clogging, or lack of slickness when fully hydrated, which some of the samples failed on.
In comparison to most members here, I have tried very few soaps, and will probably stay that way. While I might get an occasional sample just for the sake of using something different, I'm not going on any quests. Chasing other people's great shaves, just led me away from my own great shaves, and I'm now working through the few soaps I've accumulated that won't be replaced, so I can settle back in with my favourites.
If there's one thing I've learned since signing up here, it's that whatever anyone else likes is totally irrelevant to my shave. They're not using my razor, technique, tap water, or face, so their recommendations are essentially meaningless to me. Sounds harsh, I know, but trying to pursue other people's shaves, just ruins mine, and wastes money.
I voted under $20 but my limit is actually $2/oz or $15. I just can’t justify paying over that for any shave soap. I mean, in the end it’s something that just gets washed down the drain. I don’t even pay for body wash because I get it at work where’s it’s made.
To me, there’s a reason why the majority of bath products are cheap. They are disposable to the nth degree. They just need to accomplish one task and as long as they do that, there’s no worries.
I have found plenty of shave soaps that perform great for me under $10. If its over that, even in the $15 range, it would be a soap that would last me at least over half the year with daily shaves. I like my Williams just as much as some of the artisan soaps I have and a couple drops of glycerin on top before I lather, which I get free from work as well, just makes it that much better.
Scents don’t matter to me either. Most are gone when the shave is done and that’s fine by me.
People are free to spend what they want or can afford on anything and I can not take anything away from those people. I can’t fault them at all. I’m just one of them.
AoM; B.O.S.S.;Knight of the Veg Table;MFR2019
I'm now retired, so I'm a cranky old toot! Income about 40% of what I thought it would be, so I voted "as cheap as possible." But in reality, I've always been generous toward others and cheap with myself. A lovely gentleman here on B&B gifted me 2 sticks of Arko not long ago, and I fell in love. I doubt I will buy anything but Arko, but I will be entering PIF's, lol, as my mother may have raised some homely children, but she didn't raise any dummies!
Hello. I am fresh retiree here too (early retirement) and our pensions aren't stellar either. Small tip to boost any cheap soap, as long as you don't use it as stick: 1) You can add 2 drops of glycerine to your brush or, 2) "taint" your soap with a runny, glycerine hand cream. In the italian wetshaving forum, most members who tried it, preferred it over Proraso preshave, me included. They are very cheap and work on more fronts than the simple preshave. They have glycerine which helps glide and they have many emollients, that make the skin softer both during the shave and in the post shave. Just apply some on your face just before lathering (don't rinse it off) and lather over it. Creams that have "aqua" as first ingredient and glycerine within the first 4 ingredients, should do the trick.
Just avoid those that are very dense. You want "soft", runny creams. To be able to still use Arko with such technique though, you will have to put Arko in a bowl. Because if you try to use Arko as stick, the cream will have made your face too slippery to effectively transfer soap to it and your lather will have trouble. I do not know what brands of creams you have in the US, but i am sure you have Nivea Soft hand cream and that one certainly works. But you can do it even with the cheapest of hand creams you have in the US, as long as it's not dense and it has high enough glycerine. In the italian forum people have discovered this unexpected success with EUR 1.50-2 creams that are sold in the supermarket. These are even cheaper than Proraso preshave and work even better...
In this way, you can use more cheap soaps or creams, rather than being limited to Arko. Variety helps with shave. I am not familiar with prices in the US, but i can tell you, that by using this odd preshave routine, you can try without hesitation cheap creams like Lea, La Toja, Nivea, Arko, with surprisingly good results. Probably your own american Williams Mug soap, which i know is very cheap, would be boosted by this. Right now, performance wise, i am having a hard time distinguishing the glide between Haslinger (which several members here rank in their first 3 soaps) and Lea cream. I can see the difference in consistency, but the performance is very similar. And the secret is in the preshave cream that "taints" the lather, for the better.
The technical term is oil-in-water (think light runny moisturizers). The thick greasy heavy creams are called water-in-oil emulsification (think Nivea classic cream in navy blue tin). I tried the thick creams and they make things worse. But all the runny stuff, even post shave balms, all improve slickness if that's what you need added to your shaving.
Too technical for me, i am afraid Naughtilus! I leave the honour of such information to you. Yes, Nivea classic in the blue tin, is definitely the example of cream that you want to AVOID. That's too dense.
Sometimes there's nothing to read in the bathroom except the labels on shampoos and creams. Very educational.
I do that sometimes too! But i haven't arrived to the same scientific depths as you! I have figured out though, that "aqua" as first ingredient, is distilled water and in my case, having very hard water, this is very useful on its own account in building lather, despite being just...water! And i can't believe that ANY soap has more emollients than a dedicated hand cream! Of course, you don't have the priviledge of paying EUR 25 of the soap with the emollients, but i can live with that!
Nivea 'educated' me on their packaging to buy not one, but two creams. The thick for evenings and soft for mornings.
I don't like the thick one. Both because of the consistency and the scent. The soft one is totally different story though.