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The New Guys Guide to Inexpensive Soaps and Creams

Introduction


This page was created from the following thread[1]. Special thanks to Eagle for the information. This page intend to list inexpensive shaving soaps and shaving creams for a new wet shaver.
  • Please note: This is not meant to be a product review as there is an extensive reviews section within B&B.

Why this guide?


Many of us have been wet shaving for many years before finding Badger & Blade and up until that time had been using whatever cheap soap one could find at the mall or online. It doesn't always occur to us that all the myriad of products available to the mug and brush shaver.

After finding B&B, the selection and knowledge on what's available becomes a bit overwhelming. Most notably, any new wet shaver is concerned about how much it cost and how much is all going to cost? One reads words like luxurious, imported and essential ingredients you believe it is going to cost you plenty. As you continue the investigation you start wondering is there any way the cheap puck or tube can possibly measure up to the big players? Therein lies my purpose; to assure the new wet shaver you do not have to spend great sums of money in acquiring effective soaps and creams.

By now you've lurked around awhile, you've read the sticky thread, you've watched the You Tube tutorials and you've gotten a hint what it's all about. After trying numerous soaps and creams at both ends of the price spectrum, it is possible to claim that the same holds true for them. The cheaper products can and do provide close, comfortable and in many cases superior shaves than their more expensive cousins.

For this page, consider "cheaper" to mean anything under $15 though many cost far less. This seems counter intuitive as we've been brought up believing the maxims "you get what you pay for" or "cheap means junk". Fortunately in this case that is simply not true. In offering the following, the assumption can be made that you understand many factors are at play attaining the perfect shave. Proper beard preparation, the right razor and blade, angles and correct water ratios are a few that come to mind. Also by now you've seen the acronym YMMV which means "Your Mileage May Vary" or in other words, results vary and to each his own.

Keep in mind that the products listed here are represented if bought locally. Depending where you live, as B&B is a very international community, you might find treasures right on the shelve at your local chemist. You could always consult the Shopping by Country page if you doubt that you have any locally made products.

What are you looking for?


All this in mind there are only a couple bottom line characteristics we care about in a soap or cream.
  • Does it provide a good cushion on which the razor and blade will glide?
  • Does it provide a slippery surface to prevent the blade from skipping and pulling?
  • Does the face feel hydrated and moisturized during and after the shave?
  • That's it.

Details such as scent, richness, lather-ability and so on are of secondary concern to these core qualities. Qualities that I assure you are available in some very economical products. There exists one very easy process that tests all three characteristics at once. Most shavers make more than one pass with the razor. In between passes if you rinse the face with warm water in preparation for re-lathering it should feel almost satin like, smooth and slippery. I am reminded of a recently caught fish that slips and slides through the hands. This tactile feedback provides us information regarding the slickness and hydrating qualities we are looking for in a painless shave. You will immediately know when a product doesn't meet these standards. The face will feel dull, and the hands will not easily skate over the cheeks and neck. A small amount of friction or resistance will be noted, and you will almost certainly feel a dreaded pulling and skipping of the blade as you shave. It was noted at the beginning this is not a product review. This list is certainly not all inclusive and as mentioned results will vary. Simply put, they are but a few of the cheaper products available that may offer you outstanding results. At the very least if you do not like them, you will not feel cheated in discarding them as they are that cheap. If you take anything away from this at all, I would like it to be that you need not feel sheepish or ashamed in purchasing and using dirt cheap products. Quite honestly, they offer the closest and most comfortable shaves that one could have. Prices listed are a rough average and only the most basic of ingredients are shown.

Shaving Soap

Arko Shaving Stick


  • Shave stick can be used for face lathering.
  • Partly tallow based soap
  • Strong artificial "lemony" scent
  • Average price: $1.50
  • Availability: Distributed Worldwide


Cella

View attachment 525896
  • Partly tallow based soft soap
  • Almond/cherry scent
  • Available in 150 ml and 1 kg sizes
  • Average price: $10 (3 EUR in Italy)
  • Availability: Common in Italy, widely available online


Col. Ichabod Conk


  • Glycerin based soap puck.
  • Contains avocado oil and vitamin E.
  • Variety of scents available.
  • Average price: $5
  • Availability: Distributed Worldwide


La Toja Shaving Stick


  • Vegetable based
  • Average price: $10
  • Availability: Spain - Distributed worldwide


Palmolive Euro


  • Tallow based shaving stick
  • Average price: $2
  • Availability: Europe


Tabac


  • Triple milled soap puck.
  • Contains bergamot, neroli and lavender.
  • Average price: $12
  • Availability: Distributed Worldwide


Van Der Hagen


  • Glycerin based soap puck
  • Contains vitamin E and oat extract.
  • Also comes in Deluxe version with aloe vera and lanolin.
  • Average price: $2
  • Available at most drug stores including Wal Greens and Wal Mart (North American product).


Williams Mug Shaving Soap


  • Tallow based soap puck.
  • Average price: $1.50
  • Available at many small grocery stores, drug stores, and via the internet.

Shaving Cream

The Body Shop


  • Water and glycerin based cream
  • Vitamins A, E and B5 and sesame seed oil.
  • Average price: $16 tub / $10 tube
  • Availability: Via The Body Shop / Distributed Worldwide


Palmolive Shaving Cream (Australia)


  • water and glycerin based cream
  • Average price: $2
  • Availability: Australia only


CO Bigelow/Proraso rebranded


  • Water based cream.
  • Eucalyptus and coconut oils and glycerin.
  • Average price: $10 large tube, $5 small tube
  • Availability: Bath & Body Works (North America - Bigelow). Distributed Worldwide under Proraso in most places.


Kiss My Face


  • Water based cream.
  • Contains olive oil, aloe vera and Golden seal antiseptic.
  • Variety of scents available.
  • Average price: $8
  • Availability: Natural food locations (Sprouts, Whole Foods) - Mostly North American.


Taylor of Old Bond Street


  • Water and glycerin based cream.
  • Contains Aloe Barbadensis and Allantoin.
  • Variety of scents
  • Moisturizing effects vary by scent and formula; see product reviews first
  • Average price: $15
  • Availability: Distributed Worldwide

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