What's new
  • Welcome back Guest!
    If you have been away from our site you may have to request a new password. Simply click on the link for "lost" password in the log in page.
    Thank you.
  • Guest
    The BST is now open, please note the changes in our guidelines to address the recent fraudulent activity. Ensure you read the guidelines prior to creating a sale thread in the Buy-Sell-Trade forum with special attention to the new photo and payment requirements.
    Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Tallow makes shaves worse?

@RayClem there you have it. A majority of two believes you should open a Library of Congress soap journal. How about it?
I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I am not interested in fame.

I have evaluated over 200 soaps. Based on my background as a chemical engineer, I tend to be analytical. Thus, I set up a system for evaluating soaps. I keep all of my evaluations in a Microsoft Access database that I developed specifically for that purpose. In that database, I also keep notes on scent notes and soap ingredients. That database allows me to pull together information quickly.

Thus, I can quickly tell you which soaps work well for me and which do not. There are plenty of people who like the same things that I like in a soap, but I also recognize that not everyone has those same needs and preferences. I also realize that some people are on a budget and might not want to spend money on luxury soaps that I love. I also realize that we have forum members in various countries all around the world. Some of the soaps I love might not be available.

Thus, I am glad to share what I have learned, but I do not claim to have all the answers. Even though I have evaluated more soaps that most shavers, there are still hundreds of soaps I have not tried.

If you find my comments useful, then I am delighted to be of assistance. If my comments do not apply to you, then I hope you find someone else who can help you find the soaps that meet your needs and preferences.

As always YMMV!
 
Last edited:
I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I am not interested in fame.

I have evaluated over 200 soaps. Based on my background as a chemical engineer, I tend to be analytical. Thus, I set up a system for evaluating soaps. I keep all of my evaluations in a Microsoft Access database that I developed specifically for that purpose. In that database, I also keep notes on scent notes and soap ingredients. That database allows me to pull together information quickly.

Thus, I can quickly tell you which soaps work well for me and which do not. There are plenty of people who like the same things that I like in a soap, but I also recognize that not everyone has those same needs and preferences. I also realize that some people are on a budget and might not want to spend money on luxury soaps that I love. I also realize that we have forum members in various countries all around the world. Some of the soaps I love might not be available.

Thus, I am glad to share what I have learned, but I do not claim to have all the answers. Even though I have evaluated more soaps that most shavers, there are still hundreds of soaps I have not tried.

If you find my comments useful, then I am delighted to be of assistance. If my comments do not apply to you, then I hope you find someone else who can help you find the soaps that meet your needs and preferences.

As always YMMV!
I think that @DaveHStone and I have the soaps we are looking for, but there are plenty of others still searching. You are by far the most authoritative source than any other we know of.
 
It sounds to me that you have just discovered a business opportunity down under. It sounds to me like some of you Australian gentlemen should band together and create your own shaving soap company. And I know this will sound mocking but you could even try Kangaroo tallow or some such. Maybe Emu tallow. Here in the states companies use buffalo, bear and duck tallows in their soaps. If you make it I will try it. You could possibly even get WCS and Maggard's to carry it. Who knows how big it could get?
Haha, unfortunately I'm not interested at all. I like using not making. Too busy with normal work! Most native Australian game are extremely lean. There wouldn't be much tallow and if there was, it would next to useless.
 

South Dakota Guy

Contributor
Haha, unfortunately I'm not interested at all. I like using not making. Too busy with normal work! Most native Australian game are extremely lean. There wouldn't be much tallow and if there was, it would next to useless.
Well if your not interested I can’t blame you but I still think the idea is sound. I know Australia doesn’t lack for cattle and sheep so tallow and lanolin should be readily available. Australia must have some plants with healing properties like eucalyptus etc. Outback Soap Co.with a kangaroo or koala logo, we yanks would queue up to buy it. Makes me wish I lived there.
 
Cost.
Post shave.
Lather.
No beef scent.
No breakouts from animal fats.
They don't spoil.
Less harsh on natural hair brushes.
What non-tallow soap or cream are you using that provides these attributes? What are the specifics ingredients used in the soap?

Which tallow based soaps are you comparing it to?

As someone who has used a lot of different soaps, both tallow and non-tallow. I find your statements to be false.

Cost- Both types of soaps can be found over a broad range of costs. One of the most expensive soaps in my collection is a vegan soap costing $32 per 4 ounce tub. There are also some very inexpensive tallow soaps.

Post shave- The post shave depends upon the formulation, not whether it is tallow or not. I have both type of soaps that provide a wonderful post shave and both types that fail miserably.

Lather- Once again, there are soaps in both groups that lather beautifully and those that do not. However, I will admit that some hard tallow soaps like Williams are very difficult to lather. However, I have numerous tallow soaps that lather easily.

Beef scent- A properly rendered beef tallow does not smell like beef. However, I have used soaps containing bison tallow that did have a gamey scent. You can also get soaps made from duck fat.

No breakouts from animal fats: Both tallow and non-tallow soaps contain the same fatty acids: stearic acid, palmitic acid, myristic acid, oleic acid, etc. The difference is whether the fatty acids from from animal sources or plant sources. Your skin will react to the fatty acid esters (soaps) in the same way independent of the source.

They do not spoil-. I have a tallow soap that is 25 years old. It has lost some of its scent, but it has not spoiled and is not likely to do so in another 25 years. Tallow soap contains primarily saturated fatty acids like stearic and palmitic acid which are quite stable. They also contain the monosaturated oleic fatty acid, which will spoil slowly. A soap made from polyunsaturated fatty acids like those found in the vegetable oils like soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, and corn oil will oxidize quickly causing the soap to go rancid.

What evidence do you have that tallow soaps are harder on natural hair brushes? Since tallow and non-tallow soaps contain similar fatty acid esters, the effect on brushes is going to be similar.

Perhaps your non-tallow soap is not really a soap at all. Many less expensive, non-tallow "soaps" are not really soaps, but are detergent based. I have one shave cream that contains Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, which is a synthetic detergent produced from coconut oil and a form of sulfonic acid called isethionic acid.


I understand that their are people who want to avoid animal based products based on political, religious, or philosophical positions. If that is the case, I respect your position. Just do not try to justify your position or force it upon others through misinformation. If you want to use a non-tallow shaving soap, I suggest you pick up a tub of Grooming Dept Nai and find out what a truly good vegan soap is all about.
 
What non-tallow soap or cream are you using that provides these attributes? What are the specifics ingredients used in the soap?

Which tallow based soaps are you comparing it to?

As someone who has used a lot of different soaps, both tallow and non-tallow. I find your statements to be false.

Cost- Both types of soaps can be found over a broad range of costs. One of the most expensive soaps in my collection is a vegan soap costing $32 per 4 ounce tub. There are also some very inexpensive tallow soaps.

Post shave- The post shave depends upon the formulation, not whether it is tallow or not. I have both type of soaps that provide a wonderful post shave and both types that fail miserably.

Lather- Once again, there are soaps in both groups that lather beautifully and those that do not. However, I will admit that some hard tallow soaps like Williams are very difficult to lather. However, I have numerous tallow soaps that lather easily.

Beef scent- A properly rendered beef tallow does not smell like beef. However, I have used soaps containing bison tallow that did have a gamey scent. You can also get soaps made from duck fat.

No breakouts from animal fats: Both tallow and non-tallow soaps contain the same fatty acids: stearic acid, palmitic acid, myristic acid, oleic acid, etc. The difference is whether the fatty acids from from animal sources or plant sources. Your skin will react to the fatty acid esters (soaps) in the same way independent of the source.

They do not spoil-. I have a tallow soap that is 25 years old. It has lost some of its scent, but it has not spoiled and is not likely to do so in another 25 years. Tallow soap contains primarily saturated fatty acids like stearic and palmitic acid which are quite stable. They also contain the monosaturated oleic fatty acid, which will spoil slowly. A soap made from polyunsaturated fatty acids like those found in the vegetable oils like soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, and corn oil will oxidize quickly causing the soap to go rancid.

What evidence do you have that tallow soaps are harder on natural hair brushes? Since tallow and non-tallow soaps contain similar fatty acid esters, the effect on brushes is going to be similar.

Perhaps your non-tallow soap is not really a soap at all. Many less expensive, non-tallow "soaps" are not really soaps, but are detergent based. I have one shave cream that contains Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, which is a synthetic detergent produced from coconut oil and a form of sulfonic acid called isethionic acid.


I understand that their are people who want to avoid animal based products based on political, religious, or philosophical positions. If that is the case, I respect your position. Just do not try to justify your position or force it upon others through misinformation. If you want to use a non-tallow shaving soap, I suggest you pick up a tub of Grooming Dept Nai and find out what a truly good vegan soap is all about.
You seem to have all the answers. Why then, do you inquire of me? What knowledge could you possibly obtain from all the "false" [subjective] opinions of us underlings? Seems more like mental masturbation. We can disagree without all the puff and fluff. You certainly aren't going to change my mind.
 
You seem to have all the answers. Why then, do you inquire of me? What knowledge could you possibly obtain from all the "false" [subjective] opinions of us underlings? Seems more like mental masturbation. We can disagree without all the puff and fluff. You certainly aren't going to change my mind.
I have no desire to change your mind. You are welcome to hold any opinion you wish.

Your opinions were stated as if there were facts, but you provided no supporting evidence. In order to prevent others from being misled, I provided evidence to support my position, which sometimes contradicted yours. That is called debate. In a court of law, the attorneys for the prosecution and defense present their cases and let the jury decide.
 
I have no desire to change your mind. You are welcome to hold any opinion you wish.

Your opinions were stated as if there were facts, but you provided no supporting evidence. In order to prevent others from being misled, I provided evidence to support my position, which sometimes contradicted yours. That is called debate. In a court of law, the attorneys for the prosecution and defense present their cases and let the jury decide.
You can't mislead people who already have their own opinions and experiences. They asked. You asked. We answered. If you already have an opinion, why ask someone theirs, only to tell them their opinion is false? lol
 
You can't mislead people who already have their own opinions and experiences. They asked. You asked. We answered. If you already have an opinion, why ask someone theirs, only to tell them their opinion is false? lol
@Hachet, FWIW I'm with @RayClem on this one. Opinions are not facts.

You are entitled to yours by all means, but your claims are simply baseless. And that is not just MY opinion, that's a fact.

See, that's the difference and it's not YMMV 😉
 
@Hachet, FWIW I'm with @RayClem on this one. Opinions are not facts.

You are entitled to yours by all means, but your claims are simply baseless. And that is not just MY opinion, that's a fact.

See, that's the difference and it's not YMMV 😉
"Claims"
I guess everyone should just stop posting their "claims" here on B&B. The police are out. Only scientists are allowed to speak and provide input now. If you all don't want answers, don't ask. If you just want to tell everyone how "false" their opinions are then by all means, carry on in your echo chamber. Lots of parallels to real life here.
 
You can't mislead people who already have their own opinions and experiences. They asked. You asked. We answered. If you already have an opinion, why ask someone theirs, only to tell them their opinion is false? lol
I never asked for your opinion. It was @numerounoo who asked the question. You had already stated your overall opinion that non-tallow soaps were superior in every way. He was asking for clarification.

numerounoo said:
How are non-tallow soaps superior ?

I just want to make sure he was not misled by your opinion by providing evidence to support mine.

@numerounoo can make up his own mind after hearing both sides of the story. If he decides to go with non-tallow soaps, I have no problem with that.
 
I never asked for your opinion. It was @numerounoo who asked the question. You had already stated your overall opinion that non-tallow soaps were superior in every way. He was asking for clarification.

numerounoo said:
How are non-tallow soaps superior ?

I just want to make sure he was not misled by your opinion by providing evidence to support mine.

@numerounoo can make up his own mind after hearing both sides of the story. If he decides to go with non-tallow soaps, I have no problem with that.
I respect this.
 
How are non-tallow soaps superior ?
I think it is better to ask the question slightly differently: "Are vegetable-based soaps inferior?"

Quite a lot of people on B&B have a bias towards tallow soaps (they assume vegetable-based soaps are inferior). In my experience, good soaps can be made either way. I find better vegetable-based hard milled soaps such as Klar Seifen or Golddachs, for example, work just as well as Tabac.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
I don't even bother looking whether a soap has tallow or not, most of the time. A soap either works for me, or it doesn't, and there are both veg and tallow soaps that are worth my money, and also both types which are not.

Menthol is out, overly strong scents are out, some other compositions irritate my skin, and some don't seem to work well with my tap water, but having a veg or tallow base seems to be of little significance to me.
 
I can say with scientifik certainty that the best performing soaps in my den are both types, tallow and veg.

Absolutely!. There are wonderful tallow soaps and their are wonderful vegetable based soaps. The very best soaps often contain both animal fats (beef tallow, lamb tallow, duck fat, etc. ) combined with plant based fats (Shea butter, Cocoa butter, Mango butter, Avocado butter, etc.)

A sufficiently talented soapmaker can use plant based fats to produce a wonderful soap, but based upon the number of tallow and non-tallow soaps I have evaluated, it seems it is easier for a soapmaker to get the job done with animal fats included. For those who do want non-tallow options, there are some good choices.

Unfortunately, there are inferior tallow soaps and non-tallow soaps as well. Thus, it really is impossible to state that tallow soaps are better than non-tallow, or vice versa. You have to compare specific examples.
 
I've actually revisited PAA's CK6 based soap not too long ago and found it to be WAY better than I remembered to the point it made me finally decide to ditch tallow soaps, as amazing as Stirling and Murphy & McNeil's are I'm getting a bit fed up with some of the residue it leaves behind in the sink, on my razors and on my brushes, plus a small bit likes to stick around here and there more in my Pereira shave bowl that I have to scrub out. Bought a couple of CK6 soaps and I'm also going to give the Arianna and Evans "Wood and Lavender Shave Butter" soap a try having never tried any of their products before but hearing good things
 
Top Bottom