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Tallow makes shaves worse?

I've finished off my Arko stick at long last and am using some KoS gel and GPure in the meantime. Whilst none of these lather up as densely as Arko, I'm getting much better shaves with them. They are hardly poor performers and my face is much smoother and much less irritated. Its also less greasy to boot and my skin is back to being blemish free. This means much less cuts (at least for me, its back down to 0). I also much preferred TOBS and DRH but I chalked it up to those products being way more expensive than Arko. But KoS and GP are cheap. Not quite as cheap but definitely not expensive by comparison. The scent doesn't irritate me at all, in fact by halfway through the stick I'd be able to argue that it was unscented. It seems to be the tallow (which is basically the only ingredient in the stick along some preservatives etc). What are your thoughts? Are expensive tallow products better or is my skin just preferring non-tallow? I'm not vegan or anything so I don't care much about the ethics though it is nice to not use animal products when I don't have to.
 

Owen Bawn

"Ask me about a fluffernutter"
I've finished off my Arko stick at long last and am using some KoS gel and GPure in the meantime. Whilst none of these lather up as densely as Arko, I'm getting much better shaves with them. They are hardly poor performers and my face is much smoother and much less irritated. Its also less greasy to boot and my skin is back to being blemish free. This means much less cuts (at least for me, its back down to 0). I also much preferred TOBS and DRH but I chalked it up to those products being way more expensive than Arko. But KoS and GP are cheap. Not quite as cheap but definitely not expensive by comparison. The scent doesn't irritate me at all, in fact by halfway through the stick I'd be able to argue that it was unscented. It seems to be the tallow (which is basically the only ingredient in the stick along some preservatives etc). What are your thoughts? Are expensive tallow products better or is my skin just preferring non-tallow? I'm not vegan or anything so I don't care much about the ethics though it is nice to not use animal products when I don't have to.
Some men have gone so far as to suggest that the scent of Arko might even put them off a little bit.

TOBS and DRH are excellent products. Arko isn't for everyone, or in some cases it isn't for everyone all the time. Step away from it now if it bothers you. Perhaps revisit it in a year or two and see if you have a different experience.
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
@SydneyShaver : I love Arko, but I will be the first to admit it can be drying. I don't THINK it's the tallow, at least not by itself.

I'd be more inclined to think it's the citronella smelling stuff in it. LOTS of folks on here have trouble with Arko drying out their face. I DEFINITELY get better results using Arko in the more humid months.
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
Some men have gone so far as to suggest that the scent of Arko might even put them off a little bit.

TOBS and DRH are excellent products. Arko isn't for everyone, or in some cases it isn't for everyone all the time. Step away from it now if it bothers you. Perhaps revisit it in a year or two and see if you have a different experience.
I think you were reading over my shoulder!
 
@SydneyShaver : I love Arko, but I will be the first to admit it can be drying. I don't THINK it's the tallow, at least not by itself.

I'd be more inclined to think it's the citronella smelling stuff in it. LOTS of folks on here have trouble with Arko drying out their face. I DEFINITELY get better results using Arko in the more humid months.
My problem isn’t really dryness though. Tbh, I couldn’t tell you exactly what it is. I don’t get fragrance burn or anything and the scent has never been intrusive. I don’t love it but I certainly don’t hate it. I figured it was the tallow because that’s the main difference between the product types but maybe you’re right.
 
Some men have gone so far as to suggest that the scent of Arko might even put them off a little bit.

TOBS and DRH are excellent products. Arko isn't for everyone, or in some cases it isn't for everyone all the time. Step away from it now if it bothers you. Perhaps revisit it in a year or two and see if you have a different experience.
Maybe it’s the consistent use, I’m not too sure. I’m not going to get another stick though, there are too many other products to try and while good it’s not going out of production anytime soon so if I feel like it later I’ll just pick it up then. I honestly didn’t mind the scent, again I hardly loved it but it was enjoyable enough.
 
I've finished off my Arko stick at long last and am using some KoS gel and GPure in the meantime...my face is much smoother and much less irritated. Its also less greasy to boot and my skin is back to being blemish free...It seems to be the tallow (which is basically the only ingredient in the stick along some preservatives etc). What are your thoughts? Are expensive tallow products better or is my skin just preferring non-tallow?...
You're not really shaving with tallow. The tallow is a source of fatty acids that have been saponified to make tallowate, a soap. You might be reacting to one or more of the other Arko ingredients. Arko has glycerin and cosmetic grade mineral oil. But, so do many other products like lip balm, hand lotion, etc. Still, that might give you a greasy feeling on the skin.

Arko is a low-cost industrial product with fairly standard ingredients for a tallow shaving soap, except the mineral oil. There are chelating agents to deal with hard water. Synthetic fragrance chemicals. Titanium dioxide for white color. I would just try another product that works better for you, there are lots to choose from.

Ingredients: Potassium Tallowate, Stearic Acid, PotassiumCocoate, Aqua, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Glycerin, Parfum, Paraffinum Liquidium, Cl 77891, Tetrasodium EDTA, Etidronic Acid, Disodium Distrylbiphenyl Disulfonate, Amyl Cinnamal, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool​
 
You're not really shaving with tallow. The tallow is a source of fatty acids that have been saponified to make tallowate, a soap. You might be reacting to one or more of the other Arko ingredients. Arko has glycerin and cosmetic grade mineral oil. But, so do many other products like lip balm, hand lotion, etc. Still, that might give you a greasy feeling on the skin.

Arko is a low-cost industrial product with fairly standard ingredients for a tallow shaving soap, except the mineral oil. There are chelating agents to deal with hard water. Synthetic fragrance chemicals. Titanium dioxide for white color. I would just try another product that works better for you, there are lots to choose from.

Ingredients: Potassium Tallowate, Stearic Acid, PotassiumCocoate, Aqua, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Glycerin, Parfum, Paraffinum Liquidium, Cl 77891, Tetrasodium EDTA, Etidronic Acid, Disodium Distrylbiphenyl Disulfonate, Amyl Cinnamal, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool​
I mean fair enough, it is cheap and all. The performance and post aren’t actually bad but for some reason my skin just doesn’t tolerate it as well. I doubt it’s the other ingredients I’ve shaved with enough canned gel and foam to know that my face is actually not that sensitive (except to wood scents). My concern was whether or not it was the tallow base. Non-tallow seems to work a lot better for me but I haven’t used expensive tallow based soaps to know the difference.
 
I mean fair enough, it is cheap and all. The performance and post aren’t actually bad but for some reason my skin just doesn’t tolerate it as well. I doubt it’s the other ingredients I’ve shaved with enough canned gel and foam to know that my face is actually not that sensitive (except to wood scents). My concern was whether or not it was the tallow base. Non-tallow seems to work a lot better for me but I haven’t used expensive tallow based soaps to know the difference.
I think you probably can tolerate tallow soap well, most people do. You might try DR Harris, it's a pretty good shaving soap with a tallow base. It can be expensive, but it does last a long time. I'm not sure what all is available in Australia. Cyril R Slater makes a lavender shaving soap in 100g size that is almost the same as DR Harris but much cheaper. Another one is Wilkinson Sword stick (not the bowl, though). Kind of a bath soap fragrance that I'm not too fond of, but a great performer. Tabac, a real love-it-or-hate-it scent, but performance is wonderful. Or for a soft soap, try Cella.

Many vegetable based shave soaps these days are really good. I would recommend Haslinger's most recent soaps as excellent. Also, La Toja stick is a great performer. Ach. Brito Mogno or Musgo soaps I have not tried, but supposed to be great and not expensive.
 
After reading these posts......Arko is a very poor quality shaving soap in the big picture of shaving.Why don't you guys spend a couple of bucks and buy some better shaving soaps instead of Arko and Williams....they are both really really mediocre.I post this knowing it my opinion against many .You guys should try to make your own soaps from scratch they would be better.

Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk
 
After reading these posts......Arko is a very poor quality shaving soap in the big picture of shaving.Why don't you guys spend a couple of bucks and buy some better shaving soaps instead of Arko and Williams....they are both really really mediocre.I post this knowing it my opinion against many .You guys should try to make your own soaps from scratch they would be better.

Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk
'Artisanal' shave soap costs way too much in Australia. The mass produced creams are much better value (by a long margin). I was just wondering if it was the tallow in the soap since I've used products with the other ingredients and haven't had any issues. More a query of interest than an exclamation. I agree that Arko is low quality, but it is priced accordingly.
 
After reading these posts......Arko is a very poor quality shaving soap in the big picture of shaving.Why don't you guys spend a couple of bucks and buy some better shaving soaps instead of Arko and Williams....they are both really really mediocre.I post this knowing it my opinion against many .You guys should try to make your own soaps from scratch they would be better.

Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk
This. There is little to none unsaponified tallow in Arko. How can you judge real tallow soaps from it? It’s a cheap throwaway product in the grand scheme of things - yet perfectly fine, I use it when traveling with bicycle / backpack.

But it’s a $2 mass of chemicals, of course the performance is unoptimal.
 
It's a preference. I prefer hard quad milled vegetable soaps and glycerin soaps, not tallow. But tallow soaps are popular on B&B. It's fun to try a bunch of different stuff and see what works best for you. Pre de Provence veggie soaps are a good value on Amazon and a few other vendors because they last a long time. Taconic Shave makes good veggie glycerin sticks if you're on the buy American plan.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
What are your thoughts? Are expensive tallow products better or is my skin just preferring non-tallow?
Tallow can provide a very rich, dense, "protective" lather.

Rich, dense, "protective" lathers ruin my shaves.

However, loaded lighter, sufficiently hydrated so a slicker and lighter consistency, and applied thinner prior to shaving, tallow based soaps can give me some truly excellent shaves. To put this in some kind of context, a hard tallow soap can give me four shaves per gram. I haven't used Arko. I have heeded the warnings about the stench, and the idea of something with a citronella scent on my face really does not appeal. However, if I did, then I would be looking to get 300 shaves from a 75g stick. If I was getting less than that, the shave quality would probably not be as good as it should be.

The fewer the shaves yielded, the richer the lather, the poorer the shave.

Obviously, that's just my own perspective. Some people prefer to lather like they're icing a cake, and good luck to them. However, you sound like you may (as I do) benefit from thining the lather right down, both in terms of density, and thickness of application layer.
 

shavefan

I’m not a fan
I would say that tallow does not make shaves worse. And if you are using Arko as a basis for that judgment I would look to its other ingredients to find the culprit of your irritation.

I tried Arko once and it left my face dry and slightly irritated. I have used many other tallow soaps that leave my face feeling wonderful.
 
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