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Is there REALLY any difference in shaving creams and soaps.

I know everyone has their favourite product, but wonder if thers much difference between most of what.
I'm using various mid to high priced soaps and creams and each one I think this is the best! Even humble pamolive which I've used in the past.
I now use products which I feel my skin likes.
Maybe a poor sense of smell helps by making scent nearly not an influence. Just a thought.
 
There definitely are a few grades of soaps, and the price isn't always an indicator of quality or performance. My most expensive soap (Triumph and Disaster Old Fashioned shaving soap) is the most difficult to achieve a decent lather, while the cheapest (Palmolive) is easy as pie to use. Those of us with fussy noses have an additional criteria to satisfy. Body Shop is nice to use and super slick, but I'm not in love with the scent. It isn't bad, by any standard, but it can't compare to sandalwood notes!
Conclusion: don't judge a shaving soap by its pricetag or list of ingredients!
 

EclipseRedRing

I smell like a Christmas pudding
For me the answer is yes, but the difference is not the performance of the soap or the end result of the finished shave. I use a rotation of Yardley Lavender, Yardley Black Label, Shulton Old Spice, Tabac, and Palmolive, with a few other occasional vintage soaps. For me the difference, and what I am paying for, is the fact that the soaps are vintage, often decades old, and that appeals to me for some intangible reason that makes no sense. The end result of the shave is no better than the modern soaps I have tried, and in most cases the scent has all but disappeared. I would even choose, every time, to use a poorly performing vintage soap over a modern soap that performs well. I simply prefer using old soap and that is reason enough to do it 🤣
 
There is a difference between soaps. Some are easier to lather than others, some are slicker than others, some hold their form whilst others degrade to a watery mess after a few minutes.

As @Jim in NZ said, price is not necessarily an indicator of quality. I have paid good money for bad soap, and bought some good soaps for only a few euro.

I would suggest to find a soap you like and try others with the same ingredients. Of course the mix might be different ratios so the performance might differ. I'd suggest finding something you like and keeping a few in reserve and hope it isn't reformulated or removed from the market.

My best performers include the Palmolive stick (which I paid less than €2 for 15 when they were discontinued), and a couple of not inexpensive small artisan soaps I picked up in Italy.
 

WThomas0814

Ditto, ditto
Were I to go purely by scent, I’d use nothing but canned Barbasol. I’ll not use it ever again, but, that smell…

For both performance and fragrance, classic Italian croaps (Vitos and Cella) can’t be beat. If you like almond.

For solely performance, Arko pucks.

These are just my opinions, of course. My soaps are all very inexpensive (Cella and Vitos bought in kilos), contain tallow, lather very well, and give me comfortable shaves.
 
I mean, there definitely is a difference, as can be seen by looking at the ingredients.

But generally I agree - I pick products that agree with my fussy skin, and they can range from Palmolive to £20 soaps. They all work for me and give me decent shaves. The difference between the best and worst in terms of performance is not significant enough to truly affect the outcome.
 

musicman1951

three-tu-tu, three-tu-tu
Back in the day I would get a weeper about every 6 weeks. I found that with MdC that interval was more like every 12 weeks. But today I find the difference between artisan soaps in terms of my performance is much closer. I do find MdC, SV and CSS to be the top tier, and, except for the SV, usually cheaper in use than most artisan soaps.

But some shavers cannot detect a difference, and nobody should pay for quality they don't perceive or appreciate.
 
Yes there are differences. I was able to discern this by buying samples of many of the brands you read about on this forum every day. I tried most of them multiple times. I have seen trends (no shave is ever completely the same because there are so many variables). Personally, I look for slickness and protection, since I have soft, sensitive skin. I doubt a leatherface would notice any difference between most soaps.
 
The most I ever spent on a single soap was for Tabac. But it was years ago and I was in a phase when I preferred creams like Proraso and Cremo Cream. I found building a lather with a brush to be tedious and the results too variable.

The Tabac just sat there. And when it was time to move, well...that petri dish fungus experiment had to get tossed.

Since December, I've swung to the other side and use creams pretty much only when traveling. None of my soaps in use currently--VDH Luxury, Arko, plus Black and Gold Label RazoRock, are expensive. They all work, but I still have to give the nod to Arko. Fastest and most consistent lather, very slick, and doesn't dry out.
 
The short answer is yes, but .... in my limited experience, there are soaps or creams that are better at producing a fluffy or thick lather, in the bowl or on the face. And some work best with more or with less water added. But, just about every shaving soap or cream performs the basic task of laying down a slick surface over which a razor blade can glide safely. You can try soap after soap after soap before you find one that is outstandingly better or outstandingly worse at this, and maybe you will never find one.
 
Shave sticks are nice. I love Mystic Waters soaps, they are of the newer style that has lots of healthy oils in the soap. The dense, protective lather combined with the shave stick format make it a quick and safe option when you are a little short on time. And great for travel too, they work with any water types.
 
Yes. I do believe that there is a difference in soaps, and I agree that price is not necessarily correlated with performance.

That said I can see a marked difference in quality with Saponifcio Varesino, La Pere Lucien and Valobra (sadly, no longer produced). Vintage Williams and Old Spice are top notch as well and were not expensive back in the day.
 
I'm using various mid to high priced soaps and creams and each one I think this is the best!
You are fortunate if a wide range of creams and soaps work for you. Weirdly my favourites are an expensive Exec Shaving pre-shave oil combined with cheap Nivea Gel - or just a tube of Palmolive which I use when travelling. Artisan or traditional soaps and creams usually smell lovely but don't seem to give such a good result on me.
 
I know everyone has their favourite product, but wonder if thers much difference between most of what.
I'm using various mid to high priced soaps and creams and each one I think this is the best! Even humble pamolive which I've used in the past.
I now use products which I feel my skin likes.
Maybe a poor sense of smell helps by making scent nearly not an influence. Just a thought.
There absolutely are significant differences between shaving soaps and creams.

See my thread posted yesterday on a related topic linked below. For most soaps, with the right quality ingredients, technique can be adjusted around these differences to build great lather with excellent core shaving performance (ease of lathering, slickness and stability). Additionally there are significant differences in areas such as scent and post-shave feel.

 
Yes, there are differences.

Some are slicker, some lather easier, some require more/less water or product, etc...but I have yet to find a soap or cream (or croap) that would not shave. I primarily use 3-4 brands now, and choose from those by scent.
 
Yes, there are differences.

Some are slicker, some lather easier, some require more/less water or product, etc...but I have yet to find a soap or cream (or croap) that would not shave. I primarily use 3-4 brands now, and choose from those by scent.
Pretty much this… I have come to prefer creams and croaps so no chunks of soap are stuck in my scuttle or shaving bowl.
 
Differences yes, and I certainly have my preferences .... While performace varies minimally, they are soap, they all do the same thing and provide lubrication. A comfortable shave is achieved with a razor & blade that suits your growth, some form of lubrication, and good technique.
Why I have multiple soaps/creams is merely for my personal enjoyment ... same with aftershaves for that matter
 
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