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Top 5 recommendations for soap beginners

1. DR Harris Arlington
2. Saponificio Varesino Cubebe
3. Mitchell’s Wool Fat
4. Mikes Naturals Barbershop
5. Meißner Tremonia Dark Limes

Honourable mention
Tabac
Speick Stick
Klar Seifen
Haslinger
 
I'd say Proraso white tub for a cheaper soap, and any SV range for a very nice hardsoap.
Most soaps and creams lather easily. Maybe best to ask what to AVOID and I'd say any shavers say they can't lather. Top those to avoid is G trumpers hard soap pucks. Their creams are great, but their hard soaps are awful.
 
I started a similar thread with the same question:


That being said, my first soap is Mitchell's Wool Fat. I got it about 3 weeks ago and I'm 100% loving it.
 
For a beginner that was looking for a variety of experiences I would recommend:
-Tabac
-Stirling (one of the less "out there" scents for the first try, sheep base if it can be found)
-Arko stick
-Speick stick
-Canada Shaving Soap

If they subsequently asked me which ones I like the most, I would sub out Arko for Saponificio Varesino Tundra Artica.
 
I started a year ago with wet shaving.

The first soap you should get should be FREE. Muhle offers free soap with some orders. Hard soap. Learn to lather. Williams if you can still find it, and some wet shaving friend should just give you a round of it.

Second soap is Barber-approved. Sir Hare. If you don't like it, then return it for a money-back guarantee. It has a container you can lather in, no need for a bowl.

Third soap is CELLA. It's always in my top 3 permanently for life. EASY to make a confident lather, plenty of thick lather.

Fourth Soap Stirling. It is slick.

Fifth Soap WSP. It is a tallow soap, cushion.

Sixth soap. Why a sixth, because the first soap is free, you need to buy your 5th. Martin. It is good soap. Builds value.
 
I only own 9 soaps now... and I know I can't use one of them. It burns my skin.

I know I can use these 4 safely. None of them affect my skin, but as always, your skin might react differently.

1. Canada Shaving Soap
2. Baume.be Cream
3. Acca Kappa Barbershop
4. ESC Citrus Kiss

I'll wait to try the rest of them until I find a way to get my skin under control. It is getting better.
 
Lots of great recommendations. I would just add Seaforth. It’s one of the easiest to lather and among all my soaps, I reach for it more. I have the sea spice lime.

When I switched to soaps, I got a bunch but just wound up using Tabac until it ran out. Using one soap really helped refine my technique.
 
DR Harris (Classic)

Stirling (Extensive catalog)

RazoRock/Proraso (Italian finest)

Martin de Candre (Long lasting value)

Mitchells Wool Fat (Tallow & Lanolin)

At another time, Tabac would have been on my list but only Tallow Tabac; I'm not buying the new formulation in protest ( plus, I have a supply of tallow pucks).

marty
 
Two affordable soaps that I like are Proraso (red tub)
and Stirling.

For more expensive soap, Martin de Candre. I never thought I would consider buying a $50-60 jar of soap, but after trying some small sample jars I am amazed at the amount of lather I get from a very small amount of soap, and it performs and smells great...so I bought two 200g jars.

Other than that I also use TOBS cream.

One thing all of the above have in common for me is that they all lather easily in a bowl, which is my preferred method. With soaps, I scrape some out of the tub or jar and press it into the bottom of my bowl and whip it with a damp brush, adding water sparingly as needed.
 
Two affordable soaps that I like are Proraso (red tub)
and Stirling.

For more expensive soap, Martin de Candre. I never thought I would consider buying a $50-60 jar of soap, but after trying some small sample jars I am amazed at the amount of lather I get from a very small amount of soap, and it performs and smells great...so I bought two 200g jars.

Other than that I also use TOBS cream.

One thing all of the above have in common for me is that they all lather easily in a bowl, which is my preferred method. With soaps, I scrape some out of the tub or jar and press it into the bottom of my bowl and whip it with a damp brush, adding water sparingly as needed.
It's probably that neat freak in me but it's much easier for me to clean up a lathering bowl that a container with soap running over the sides. And.... you only have little scoop marks in the soap so if you do want to give it away, it's still pristine.

I use your lathering technique as well. Bowl lathering just works for me.... I still use the brush like I'm face lathering... I don't just paint on the lather so I get the enjoyment of the various brush textures, etc.
 
It's probably that neat freak in me but it's much easier for me to clean up a lathering bowl that a container with soap running over the sides. And.... you only have little scoop marks in the soap so if you do want to give it away, it's still pristine.

I use your lathering technique as well. Bowl lathering just works for me.... I still use the brush like I'm face lathering... I don't just paint on the lather so I get the enjoyment of the various brush textures, etc.
Me too. I lather in the bowl, then scrub my face a bit before the final "paint" job. Sometimes I'll leave the lather in the bowl a bit thick, scrub my face, then dip the brush tips into hot water for the final scrub and paint, just 'cause the warmth feels good.
 
Noble Otter
Declaration Grooming
Murphy and McNeil
Proraso
If you’re a true noob, Cremo. Spend the first month working on shaving technique, not trying to make a lather. Too many variables will get you frustrated.
One razor, one blade, one shave cream, one after shave for the first 30 days. Then start experimenting.
 
Humphrey's Handmade Glycerine Shaving Soap (I bought the Sandalwood/Patchouli fragrance). On Esty at $5.50 + shipping per puck isn't cheap, but it makes my face really slick and helps me avoid razor burn.

The way it performs makes the price inconsequential. If you buy this American-made soap, you'll make your face very happy!
 
I’ve been happily wet shaving for 10 years (with a little break in the middle when I was afraid of my toddlers grabbing the gear) with nothing but a Merkur, Astra blades, and AoS Sandalwood cream.

Recently I’ve been expanding my cream usage and just recently tried my first soap (which I don’t care for a ton at this point). Since it’s kind of hard to get your hands on lots of this stuff without blind ordering online, and since the choices are massively overwhelming, what are the top 5 soaps you recommend for folks new to shaving soaps? It can be brands/artisans or a specific soap from said brand. I know everyone is different and people will enjoy different stuff. But what are just some solid soaps that new folks should have on their radar when starting out?
My recommendations, to give you an overview of the shaving soap universe, that would help you settle on your preferences include:

  • Arko, top performer and a budget soap at roughly $2 per stick.
  • Van Der Hagen Luxury, Good performer available in many grocery and drug stores for $4-$5.
  • Razorock What the Puck triple milled soap, get the 4 pack often on sale for $10-$12. Excellent performer, same or similar formulation to many more expensive soaps (including AoS hard pucks) that range up to $30+.
  • Mitchell's Wool Fat, best example of a really hard triple milled soap for $13-$15 - best with a boar brush.
  • Stirling Sampler Pack - (based on other's experiences, do not own this myself) 5 one ounce sample pucks for under $20 as a great first exposure to artisan soaps.
The above should cost roughly $60 - $70 (depending on shipping) and provide a nice introduction to the soap universe. For readers on a tight budget the soaps are listed in priority order from a cost perspective. For those with preferences more in the direction of higher end and/or artisan soaps (JunkerJorge see you use AoS cream) start with the bottom three on the list.
 
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