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Shaving successfully with Dollar Tree Pears Transparent Soap Bar

OK let's just get all this out of the way. Pears isn't shaving soap and I know it. The ingredient list isn't my favorite ( hello SLS and PEG-4 ). I have ridiculously easy water to create lather with, AND I am positive my whiskers are easy to shave and the skin on my face is robust enough that I'm comfortable shaving with less than stellar products.

Setup - I've been wet shaving for over a decade and back in the days of my initial forays into shaving there was scuttle-butt about the then current Pears soap formulation being a decent enough pre-shave product. That tidbit had stuck in my head, and at some point when I was in a Dollar Tree one day looking for Yardley's bar soap I saw they had some Pears and I purchased a few. I went home and tossed them in a bucket of random bath soaps I keep in the washroom and pretty much forgot about them. This morning I was rummaging around and saw one of the boxes and thought I'd toss it in the shower where I actually do face prep for my shave ( I keep a synthetic brush in there and usually actually lather my face with either glycerine soap or whatever shave soaps I'm just trying to get rid of ... I keep it on my face for a few minutes then rinse it off before exiting the shower and then using my actual shave product ).

So this morning I start lathering the Pears with the super-cheap no-name synthetic I keep in the shower and thick yogurty lather is just exploding out of this thing. I'm confused because I wasn't expecting that. I apply it to my face and commence with the rest of my shower. However, at this point my brain is clicking along just kind of replaying the lather creation I just observed and I scrapped my plans for using my 'real' shave product today.

So I exit the shower with my Pears, grab my presoaked Vulfix brush, and commence loading heavy. Since this is new to me I'm deciding to definitely bowl lather so I start that process. The lather is thicker than I see from a lot of non-shave products I've tried this with, but it has some of the tell-tale characteristics you see when you do ... apparent bubbles and just a notch-less 'weight' or 'thickness'. It handles all the water I add to it well which is good because I tend to load these kinds of soaps extremely wet to make sure they have plenty of slip, and because in my experience they tend to dry out faster than traditional shave products. When I'm happy with the lather I apply it to my face which is always a telling point ... some of these 'wash' soaps have lather that just falls apart on the face even if you think it looks good in the bowl. Pears held up fine though, so I began my shave.

The end results were I simply had a functionally good shave. Don't get me wrong it wasn't a life-changing experience or anything like that, but it was a shave with no hiccups or mishaps. In fairness, I have to report I was using a RR SLOC razor with a Walgreens 'German' Personna blade, and for me that is a combo I really have to do something ridiculous with to create problems. The lather performed well, and I did my typical three pass shave with touchups. I'd say the Pears provided adequately in most of the areas I look for from a shave soap without really standing out in any area. I'd lump it into the same category as a lot of low-end shave soaps that don't have some of the fancier ingredients and that lean on the SLS and glycerine content to do the heavy lifting. Slip and glide of the razor was spot on without being top tier and I may have noticed just a touch more drag while buffing than I might but it was manageable. Post shave feel was nothing to write home about, but it certainly wasn't a negative.

Will I use this again to shave with? Truthfully probably not. It doesn't do anything better than my already existing collection of products and the scent isn't nice enough to make me want to use it for that purpose. I don't particularly like using products with synthetic detergents ( SLS ) if I can help it. If I just have to shave with a $1 soap I'm probably going to reach for the Yardley's Shea Buttermilk bar and call it a day .... BUT .... if I'm ever in a place where Pears was my only option I at least know it works.

So another experiment for Shave Science has been completed. Pears does work ( at least for me ) as a viable shave soap that I wouldn't hesitate to use if needed.
 
The box:
IMG_5519.jpg
 
Last picture I promise. Lather after three passes and some touchups. I'm probably 5-6 minutes into the shave at this point and the lather still has structure and hasn't started getting 'crispy' as it loses moisture.

IMG_5523.jpg
 
I picked up a bar of Medimix Ayurvedic glycerine soap for a pre-shave and, like you, the first time I lathered with it I noticed how much the suds resembled a shave soap lather. It definitely performs as well as any comparable glycerine-based shave soap (think Col. Conk or Van der Hagen). Not like a bar soap at all.
medimix soap.jpg
 
One thing that regular bar soap (be it glycerin soap or not) lacks in is stability of the lather. I used to use Ivory soap for shaving and other bar soaps here and there. While they do work, the lather tends to dissipate quicker than a true shave soap both in the bowl and on your face.
Not as noticeable with a DE or SE razor but with a straight razor, where the shave is somewhat slower and more careful, you'll see it.

In a pinch, it's fine.
 
One thing that regular bar soap (be it glycerin soap or not) lacks in is stability of the lather. I used to use Ivory soap for shaving and other bar soaps here and there. While they do work, the lather tends to dissipate quicker than a true shave soap both in the bowl and on your face.
Not as noticeable with a DE or SE razor but with a straight razor, where the shave is somewhat slower and more careful, you'll see it.

In a pinch, it's fine.
Indeed. I was surprised how well the Pears held up in that regard versus other bar soaps I've tried this same thing with. I tend to shave quickly so Pears was plenty long-lasting for me, but could be deficient for someone who moves at a more sedate pace.

I tried an Old Spice bar soap a few weeks back and it got wispy far quicker than I'd like, but since it was a shower soap I wasn't really going to hold that against it much.
 
It's good to know that if you are in a bind and want a shave, you can use Pears and still be fine.
This information will serve someone out there well. Pears may be all they can find or afford.
 
Thanks for posting this! In my pre DE shaving life I used Pears bar soap with a cartridge razor and never had an issue. I’m glad to see I wasn’t crazy!
 

Chandu

I Waxed The Badger.
I'm using a bar of Pears in the shower these days. I like it a lot.

Glycerine shave soaps are plentiful and decent and generally low cost. If you want the very lowest cost, pick up in bulk what many scent and repackage.

 
I'm using a bar of Pears in the shower these days. I like it a lot.

Glycerine shave soaps are plentiful and decent and generally low cost. If you want the very lowest cost, pick up in bulk what many scent and repackage.

I actually did that years ago when Brambleberry had a melt-and-pour shaving base. I still have two little pucks I made in applesauce containers LOL.
 
Shaved with Pears this morning... Impressed at how stable the lather was for what is a "bath soap". And it's loaded with glycerin for a smooth glide on the blade. Just don't skimp on the water when loading the lather with your brush.
 
I spent years using a cart, and later occasionally DE/SE shaving in the shower (no mirror) with Dr. Bronner's castile soap and/or Ivory bar soap. Ivory gives about the same lather much easier than Williams with a brush at the sink. I've done an Ivory lather at the sink with straights repeatedly. now I'm using a Yardly bath soap in the shower and I bet its tallow will give a fine lather. others have said as much.

plenty of bath soaps will give a good enough lather for an irritation free shave for plenty of people, but a lot of guys are very resistant to the idea of it. I think most could get by quite easily with it if they perfected the technique to get an acceptable lather. higher quality shaving soaps tend to give a much better, more luxurious performance though, unquestionably.
 
The speed of shaving with a cart' enables shaving with any bar soap feasible. The trouble is lather from bar soap doesn't last as long as shaving soap, hence, cart's, in particular, enable shaving swiftly before the lather disappears/evaporates. In my experience lather from Pears soaps lasts longer than other bar soaps. For greater post shave comfort use an oil (sunflower, olive....etc) as a pre shave.
 
OK let's just get all this out of the way. Pears isn't shaving soap and I know it. The ingredient list isn't my favorite ( hello SLS and PEG-4 ). I have ridiculously easy water to create lather with, AND I am positive my whiskers are easy to shave and the skin on my face is robust enough that I'm comfortable shaving with less than stellar products.

Setup - I've been wet shaving for over a decade and back in the days of my initial forays into shaving there was scuttle-butt about the then current Pears soap formulation being a decent enough pre-shave product. That tidbit had stuck in my head, and at some point when I was in a Dollar Tree one day looking for Yardley's bar soap I saw they had some Pears and I purchased a few. I went home and tossed them in a bucket of random bath soaps I keep in the washroom and pretty much forgot about them. This morning I was rummaging around and saw one of the boxes and thought I'd toss it in the shower where I actually do face prep for my shave ( I keep a synthetic brush in there and usually actually lather my face with either glycerine soap or whatever shave soaps I'm just trying to get rid of ... I keep it on my face for a few minutes then rinse it off before exiting the shower and then using my actual shave product ).

So this morning I start lathering the Pears with the super-cheap no-name synthetic I keep in the shower and thick yogurty lather is just exploding out of this thing. I'm confused because I wasn't expecting that. I apply it to my face and commence with the rest of my shower. However, at this point my brain is clicking along just kind of replaying the lather creation I just observed and I scrapped my plans for using my 'real' shave product today.

So I exit the shower with my Pears, grab my presoaked Vulfix brush, and commence loading heavy. Since this is new to me I'm deciding to definitely bowl lather so I start that process. The lather is thicker than I see from a lot of non-shave products I've tried this with, but it has some of the tell-tale characteristics you see when you do ... apparent bubbles and just a notch-less 'weight' or 'thickness'. It handles all the water I add to it well which is good because I tend to load these kinds of soaps extremely wet to make sure they have plenty of slip, and because in my experience they tend to dry out faster than traditional shave products. When I'm happy with the lather I apply it to my face which is always a telling point ... some of these 'wash' soaps have lather that just falls apart on the face even if you think it looks good in the bowl. Pears held up fine though, so I began my shave.

The end results were I simply had a functionally good shave. Don't get me wrong it wasn't a life-changing experience or anything like that, but it was a shave with no hiccups or mishaps. In fairness, I have to report I was using a RR SLOC razor with a Walgreens 'German' Personna blade, and for me that is a combo I really have to do something ridiculous with to create problems. The lather performed well, and I did my typical three pass shave with touchups. I'd say the Pears provided adequately in most of the areas I look for from a shave soap without really standing out in any area. I'd lump it into the same category as a lot of low-end shave soaps that don't have some of the fancier ingredients and that lean on the SLS and glycerine content to do the heavy lifting. Slip and glide of the razor was spot on without being top tier and I may have noticed just a touch more drag while buffing than I might but it was manageable. Post shave feel was nothing to write home about, but it certainly wasn't a negative.

Will I use this again to shave with? Truthfully probably not. It doesn't do anything better than my already existing collection of products and the scent isn't nice enough to make me want to use it for that purpose. I don't particularly like using products with synthetic detergents ( SLS ) if I can help it. If I just have to shave with a $1 soap I'm probably going to reach for the Yardley's Shea Buttermilk bar and call it a day .... BUT .... if I'm ever in a place where Pears was my only option I at least know it works.

So another experiment for Shave Science has been completed. Pears does work ( at least for me ) as a viable shave soap that I wouldn't hesitate to use if needed.
Coming from a totally different perspective, but I thought I'd way in. Pre DESR, I used can foam, and then gel, and then, I just ended up using bar soap a lot of the time. This is the big difference, being a woman, I can just take the soap in the shower in one hand, razor in the other, and relather as necessary. Unless a guy was doing his face in the shower, you're sort of stuck with whatever lather you can work up while you shave at the sink. Also, in a bath, for legs, same thing, and helped considering the amount of surface (I've lathered bowl soap, or used foam, as well, but you run into the lather can fall off phenomenon. So, soap in hand, you just lather as you go. Chin a bit trickier, and not as useful, so I wandered back to proper soap. By the way, I used goat milk soap because of the slippyness, but it didn't later that well.

I tried various drugstore stuff, gels and bars, I'm over canned foam, but not exactly happy. I"m working my way through a tub of Proraso Green, and a tube of Cremo. Since they are getting a bit low, and short/bathing suit is starting to line up, I figured I'd get 'real' soap. So, not wanting to mail away for something, I've started a thread asking for recommendations on a list, as I just want to buy something in a local shop.

Anyway, if you like slippy, you might try the goat milk's soap for fun (back in the day I used olive oil soap too), but not sure you'd get enough lather. Maybe I'll try the Pears for fun, I used to use that as a teen all the time for my face, and the smell/look would be a trip down memory lane.
 
Coming from a totally different perspective, but I thought I'd way in. Pre DESR, I used can foam, and then gel, and then, I just ended up using bar soap a lot of the time. This is the big difference, being a woman, I can just take the soap in the shower in one hand, razor in the other, and relather as necessary. Unless a guy was doing his face in the shower, you're sort of stuck with whatever lather you can work up while you shave at the sink. Also, in a bath, for legs, same thing, and helped considering the amount of surface (I've lathered bowl soap, or used foam, as well, but you run into the lather can fall off phenomenon. So, soap in hand, you just lather as you go. Chin a bit trickier, and not as useful, so I wandered back to proper soap. By the way, I used goat milk soap because of the slippyness, but it didn't later that well.

I tried various drugstore stuff, gels and bars, I'm over canned foam, but not exactly happy. I"m working my way through a tub of Proraso Green, and a tube of Cremo. Since they are getting a bit low, and short/bathing suit is starting to line up, I figured I'd get 'real' soap. So, not wanting to mail away for something, I've started a thread asking for recommendations on a list, as I just want to buy something in a local shop.

Anyway, if you like slippy, you might try the goat milk's soap for fun (back in the day I used olive oil soap too), but not sure you'd get enough lather. Maybe I'll try the Pears for fun, I used to use that as a teen all the time for my face, and the smell/look would be a trip down memory lane.
I will keep an eye out for goat's milk soap to try.
 
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