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Why are soaps more popular than creams here?

I am curious to know why soaps are more popular than creams? A decade ago when I was also here, interest was more or less evenly split. Now it seems like the idea of lathering with soap is the default. Yet if you go to alot of countries where traditional shaving products are still widespread , the preference is clearly for shaving cream over soap.
 
Is it the old horses for courses as I have used both soaps and creams but just find the whole process of using soap and lathering it up more pleasurable than putting a splog of cream in a bowl and off you go . also some creams can only be stored for a set time once opend due to some of the oils used yet hard soap can still be used 40 years later .

I may be wrong and often am .
 
I have used both, but prefer soaos due to their longevity. I can get the same end result from either.

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As a new wet shaver (only a year and a half) I prefer to use soaps because I have more options for scents currently with the soaps. However I really do like a nice cream every now and then. In fact I started with Art of Shaving Sandalwood Cream and this is still one of my favorites. I also really love Art of Shaving Olibanum and Pepper. Proraso Creams are also a staple in my line up (Blue and Green right now) as well as Palmolive Cream.

Recently though I have bought a ton of soaps and I will be getting into them once I use up more of the Williams Mug Shaving Soap that I have finally learned to lather really well.

Finally, I like that I have had to develop a better lathering technique with soaps. My cream and soap lathering has benefited from the practice with soap particularly triple milled soaps.
 
Is it the old horses for courses as I have used both soaps and creams but just find the whole process of using soap and lathering it up more pleasurable than putting a splog of cream in a bowl and off you go . also some creams can only be stored for a set time once opend due to some of the oils used yet hard soap can still be used 40 years later .

I may be wrong and often am .

There's a video on youtube of a guy with the handle SinatraLennon who is shaving with a tube of Barbasol from the 1950's.




Some of those tubes are airtight and there were enough preservatives in the product that they don't undergo any real degradation.
 
I have used both, but prefer soaos due to their longevity. I can get the same end result from either.

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That seems to be the case, if you are in the US you often get more perceived value from a soap than shaving cream. Probably because so many of our shaving creams in a tube or tub are imported and we aren't paying the prices that shavers do in countries like Europe or India.

For instance, a tube of Godrej is about 7 dollars on Amazon, but I'm sure it's much cheaper in India. And as close as you get to a similar mass market cream sold in stores here is Nivea Sensitive (about $4-5), and unless you have sensitive skin, there's nothing particularly exciting about the product.
 
I am curious to know why soaps are more popular than creams? A decade ago when I was also here, interest was more or less evenly split. Now it seems like the idea of lathering with soap is the default. Yet if you go to alot of countries where traditional shaving products are still widespread , the preference is clearly for shaving cream over soap.
In the beginning, I bought Barbasol, Foamy, Cremo Lathering Shaving Cream, and Williams Mug Soap. WMS was my favorite, and it's all I use now.
 
A few reasons for me.

First off shelf life of a cream is way, way less. So if you want to do creams you will likely have maybe one to three going at a time to give you some variety. Users that use soaps might have fifty or more in a rotation. If you tried to do this with creams you'd have a lot of them going bad on you before you used them up.

Second and more importantly is that the higher end artisan soap makers are putting their efforts towards designing soaps and not creams. I've found soaps from makers like this to be way, way better than any cream I've ever tried. Even when comparing to the ultra expensive high end creams like XPEC, it's not even close.

Third, a soap seems to last longer than a cream for me making it a better value. I can get twice or more way better shaves from a tub of soap than I could from the very best creams.
 
A decade ago when I was also here, interest was more or less evenly split.
No true!
Been here for about 8 years now. Soaps topics/posts/active viewers/active posters have always been double the cream ones. Always!
Soaps are simply better for traditional shaving, which explains my observations.
 
If you bowl lather, maybe you like them equally..... but as a face latherer, I'd say most prefer soaps. And it seems that over the years, face lathering has become more popular.... so maybe that explains some of it.

Personally, I've not yet met a cream that doesn't leave a film all over my razor and brush, and I hate that. SO mainly for that reason, I don't use creams.
 

sarimento1

Contributor
I am curious to know why soaps are more popular than creams? ...Yet if you go to alot of countries where traditional shaving products are still widespread , the preference is clearly for shaving cream over soap.
creams tend to be cheaper than soaps, simply due to the water component.
this may explain why creams seem to be more popular.
 
I much prefer hard soaps at home; I find the ritual of preparation and lather development a cathartic and integral part of the process of shaving. I only use creams when I am travelling on business trips - Proraso green, or TOBS Jermyn Street as I can squeeze enough for five or six shaves into a small screw top container about 30mm diameter which saves room in my wash bag. I am also a face latherer and I find that creams tend to clog my razor more than soaps.
 
I settled on soft soaps, best of both worlds.
I believe my silvertip brush was made for softer soaps. I've no intention of changing my only brush, so triple milled are gone, replaced by the soft soap.
 
I face lather soaps because they just work better for me!! :thumbup1: :thumbup1:

And there are great creams, just not my preferred cup of tea!
 
I'm sure the ritual is part of the preference. Soaps take more steps and more advanced technique to use.
 
A few reasons for me.

First off shelf life of a cream is way, way less. So if you want to do creams you will likely have maybe one to three going at a time to give you some variety. Users that use soaps might have fifty or more in a rotation. If you tried to do this with creams you'd have a lot of them going bad on you before you used them up.
That's never happened to me. Most shave creams have a best by date of 3-4 years, and can last substantially longer stored in a cool place. The scent may fade some, but if it has a good preservative system, sufficiently high pH, or a low level of moisture (not all creams are runny), it will be safe to use. Some preservatives, such as formaldehyde-releasers or parabens, can last indefinitely, and are acceptable in a wash-off product like shave cream. Even old-fashioned boric acid is an adequate preservative for many shave creams.

The artisan shave soap thing is still new, and I wouldn't be surprised if spoilage isn't an issue, given the number of artisan shave soaps that have no preservatives. Given the right conditions (like humidity or oxygen), soaps will spoil without preservatives. For instance, I had a bar of soap that developed blue veins in it from mold, just sitting around on a kitchen sink.

Second and more importantly is that the higher end artisan soap makers are putting their efforts towards designing soaps and not creams. I've found soaps from makers like this to be way, way better than any cream I've ever tried. Even when comparing to the ultra expensive high end creams like XPEC, it's not even close.
How broad of a sample base are we talking about here?

In my experience, most shaving enthusiasts have very conservative tastes: being redolent of a 1920's barbershop, liquor, or Victoriana is the overriding factor in a product even being looked at. That excludes many potential shave products aimed at a broader market. And it seems like the trend has only gotten worse in the past decade or so.
 
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1. I usually find that I like the lather better when I use a good soap. Denser and slicker and creamier.... Usually.
2. But I just like variety and so I have lots of soap in my inventory and with that much on hand, I'm sure that creams are going to go bad quicker than I could use them.
3. not to mention the better value : you'll usually get a lot more shaves per ounce from a hard and a croap rather than a cream

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I prefer soaps for many reasons. First and foremost skin irritation issues. Soaps give me less or none at all. I do enjoy a good cream every now and then though but can't use one for more than a few shaves. It's a glycerin allergy for me combined with scent sensitivity.

I used to be an avid cream fan before my skin irritation issues showed up. Since then though having had to spend more time on soaps and I find the traditional hard soaps do indeed make a better lather for me.

I've deduced this from my shaves firstly and from when a pinch my brush for some lather to clean my straight after a shave. I have thought on many or most occasions that the lather can be slicker yet more protective from a soap, even if only slightly more than traditional creams. As I rub the lather between my thumb and forefinger I can feel this more succinctly. And I have hard water so that may be a factor, but I always thought creams were engineered to be better in any kind of water but that may not be true.

I am not sure that creams go bad per se. Most of my creams are over ten years old now, if not all of them. I even have some Coates in tubs and they are seemingly as supple and moist as the day I got them.

I find my Truefitt and Hill creams to be hardening though. Why I don't know. They're stored in the same place and manner as the others. It is of no consequence though as I lather them just like the others by dipping my wet brush in them and swirling. They work quite well this way.

I think in the end it's a preference. You've got to find what works for you and just enjoy it.

Chris
 
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