If you are interested in getting a close, comfortable shave, you need to pay close attention to the products you use. Not only do you need to find the best razor, you will require a quality shaving brush and the best shaving soaps.
The difference between a decent shave and a great shave often comes down to the type of shaving soap you use. If the idea of using soap as a part of your shaving ritual is new to you then you should take the time to learn more about this essential shaving item.
Our Top Shaving Soap: Taylor of Old Bond Street!
Out of the 10 shaving soaps, Taylor bond was my favorite to use as it has a nice thick cream, I like the smell of it and it softened the skin enough that I could get a smooth shave with it.
Shaving soap/lotion is very different to ordinary soap and was first created in the 1800’s. Various moisturizing ingredients are added to shaving soaps these days, softening the hair and exfoliating the skin before you shave making it far more comfortable and creating a protective cushion against the blade, protecting the skin.
The end result being a smoother close shave. They are best used with a good quality shaving brush to get a creamy lather. Ordinary soap strips the skin of moisture and thus leaving it dehydrated and feeling tight.
Best Shaving Soap for Men Table Comparison
Col. Conk Bay Rum
D.R.Harris & Co Marlborough Mahogany
Henry Cavendish Himalaya Shaving Soap
Men's Shave Soap With Shea Butter and Coconut Oil
Mitchell's Wool Fat Shave Refill Soap
Proraso Pot Sandlwood Soap - Red
Proraso Shaving Soap in a Bowl, Refreshing and Toning, 5.2 oz (150 ml)
Proraso Shaving Soap, Sensitive Skin
Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood
Top 10 Best Shaving Soap Comparison
Shave Soap with Coconut Oil and Shea Butter
A large 3.8 oz of shaving soap made purely out of natural ingredients. This soap gives you a thick and creamy lather in seconds. Due to the natural high quality ingredients that this contains, it is possible to shave every day without irritation. The formula of this soap enables it to create a thick lather cushioning the skin from razor burn and irritation. Contains Shea Butter renown for it’s moisturizing properties and coconut oil that acts as an emollient.
You can read the full review on men’s shaving soap below.
Van Der Hagen Men’s Luxury Scented Soap
Van Der Hagen Men’s Luxury Scented Soap is a glycerin based soap that lathers quickly to form a protective cushion over your bears for a smooth shave. Its scent is mildly masculine and it’s made up of coco butter, shea butter, and mango butter. These products make this soap one of the slickest shaving soap.
- Over 10% glycerin
- Softens the skin and beards
- Weighs 3.5 oz.
This has a really great smell to it as well. It’s not strong but refreshing. You can expect a puck to last a good 3 months.
Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap
Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap is a semi-hard soap. It only contains natural ingredients, including its primary ingredient – lanolin. Lanolin is a form of animal fat that is a by product of removing the wool from sheep. Some noticed how the local sheep farmers hands were always so soft and realized it was from the wool fat so they thought why not put this into a soap form and use it to shave so you have a soft smooth face after your shave.
You get the benefits of a tallow-based soap in an easy to apply soap. It creates a rich, lubricating lather. Best of all, this soap typically is one of the cheapest. This makes it one of the most affordable options.
The smell is similar to baby powder and is really pleasant to use.
D.R. Harris Marlborough Shaving Soap
D.R. Harris Marlborough soap comes in a mahogany wooden bowl which can be reused by buying new refills. The soap itself is triple milled out of England for a luxurious lather and smooth shave. One of the best scents they have is Marlborough which is an earthy wood type smell and very masculine.
The lather generated is a nice thin layer and customers have reported that theirs bowl has lasted up to 4 months of use. What they really like about it is the ability to buy new shaving soap refills.
Proraso Shave Soap, Sensitive
For normal skin. This natural soap/cream contains oatmeal extract which will moisturize, smooth and not effect the skins natural PH. It also contains green tea which is a natural anti-oxidant. Created in Italy in 1948 it has a clean, fresh scent and leaves the skin feeling cool. Contains no artificial colors, parabens, silicones or mineral oils. A natural soap that offers to maintain the balance in the skin. Read our full review for proraso sensitive skin soap below.
RazoRock XXX Artisan Shaving Soap
RazoRock XXX Artisan shaving soap is made in Italy and would fall into the category of croaps. It is soft, yet still offers a solid lather compared to other soft soaps. As an added benefit, RazoRock also provides more lubrication than some of the other best shaving soaps. The new XXX version has a sweeter and soapier smell than the old one so you will have a more protective shave with the later being thicker.
Now what really makes this unique is the smell. It is very similar to the smell of Acqua Di Parma Colonia cologne. There are lots of positive comments about the smell so if that is important to you, this is a great one to start with. You can use a regular badger brush with this as well and it doesn’t have to be hard bristle brush which you need with some of the soaps.
Col.Conk Worlds Famous Shaving Soap, Bay Rum
This soap is Glycerine based so you need to use a good amount to get a good lather. It is noted to have the scent of an old barber shop. Also contains Avocado oil and Vitamin E. Glycerine is good for moisturizing the skin. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant protecting cell membranes and helps to maintain healthy skin. Avocado oil can provide the skin with deep moisture. Quite a basic shaving soap that has stood the test of time. See our full review on the Col Conk Soap below.
Proraso New Shaving Soap Pot Sandalwood
Proraso have been providing shaving products for over 50 years. This soap is described as either a hard cream or a soft bar. This lathers up very easily to create a rich and smooth consistency enabling a close and comfortable shave. It lasts a long time and the sandalwood scent is not overpowering and does last a few hours complimenting most after shaves. It’s more of an earthy smell and is an alternative for people who do not like the menthol version.
You can read the full review of the pot sandlewood proraso shaving soap here.
Truefitt & Hill 1805 Luxury Shaving Soap with Bowl
The best shaving soaps tend to come from England. This is true of Truefitt & Hill 1805. This luxury shaving soap is actually the official brand endorsed by the British Royal Family. It does have a bit of an old man smell, but the scent does not linger. The main advantage is that this luxury soap is very reasonably priced.
Proraso Shaving Soap, Eucalyptus & Menthol
Yet another great soap from Proraso. A mixture between a hard cream and a soft bar which is perfect for generating a rich smooth lather to obtain excellent results from your shave. A new formula with questionable chemicals removed making it now a ‘natural’ product. The menthol and eucalyptus oil have a lovely cooling effect on the skin leaving it feeling clean and refreshed. Whips up to a nice lather when using warm water and a shaving brush.
Check Out our full review on the proaraso Menthol shaving soap here.
Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Soap with Bowl
Rounding out this list of the best shaving soaps is Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Soap. Another soap from England, Taylor of Old Bond Street is one of the most recognized brands in shaving soaps.
The soap contains a small amount of glycerin, along with palm oil, to help lubricate your skin. It is also relatively affordable for a shaving bowl of soap that can be reused. The bowl itself is pretty sweet as it makes it really easy to lather up the brush.
Now what this shaving cream actually does have a nice scent to it. It has a woody sandalwood and cedar smell to it. They mixed in a bit of rosemary, jasmine, rose and lavender to make the smell unique and refreshing.
You will get a nice think texture from this cream on your face where as something like the Proraso soaps are really thin. I personally prefer the thick type of cream my self. I think it helps the razor slide over my face better but that’s my take on it from using both brands.
Different types of shaving soaps
There are three different types of shaving soaps you can use today though they haven’t changed much from the ones that were used during the World War 1 years. They include:
Hard shaving soap
Hard shaving soaps normally come in either a tin, mug or tub. Traditionally, most of them are made from tallow and contain either sodium hydroxide (lye) or potassium hydroxide (potash).
Soft shaving soap
Mostly referred to as Italian or French soaps, they are softer than mine run hard soaps. They lather easily and are easier to another shaving bowl.
Probably the darling amongst many seasoned shavers, shaving creams lather up quickly and last longer giving you a chance to make as many passes as you want.
Why Should You Purchase Quality Shaving Soap?
First, why is shaving soap so important? As with all your shaving gear, the soap that you select can have a major impact on your shave. When combined with a quality shaving brush, the best shaving soaps will prep your skin for the razor.
The soap will help hydrate your skin. It does so by removing oil from your whiskers so that water can reach your stubble. This results in a closer shave. You are less likely to experience irritation, cutting down on the occurrences of razor burns, ingrown hairs, and razor bumps.
What Should You Look for in the Best Shaving Soaps?
Shaving soaps are typically sold in a small tin or canister in the shape of a puck. They may come with or without a bowl for preparing the shaving lather. Others may use a mug. Though, there is more to look for in the best shaving soaps. There are two main factors to consider when shopping for soaps:
- Design and Size
- Easy of Use
Deciding on a Hardness for Your Soap
Shaving soaps vary in hardness. The harder the soap the longer it will take to prepare the shaving lather. If you tend to shave in a hurry, then you will want a softer soap. There are several cream-soaps that do not require soaking. These are often referred to as “croaps”, as the soap is closer in consistency to a thick cream.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have triple-milled shaving soaps. These soaps are among the hardest of shaving soaps and tend to provide the best lather. You will also pay a little more for triple-milled shaving soaps. Though, they also last longer than semi-hard shaving soaps or croaps.
In the middle is semi-hard shaving soaps. These soaps offer a compromise between triple-milled soaps and croaps.
Considering the Ingredients in the Shaving Soap
Along with the hardness or softness of the soap, you will need to think about the ingredients that are used. Traditionally, shaving soaps were made from tallow. This is a form of rendered animal fat and provides the most consistently comfortable shave. Your other options include various oil-based soaps and glycerin.
While tallow is the traditional choice, there are still many quality oil-based soaps. Oils such as coconut, palm, and olive oil are often used. Some of these high-end shaving soaps rival the best shaving soaps made from tallow.
The third option is glycerin based soaps. Generally, most men will agree that glycerin is an inferior choice. It is rare that you will come across a high-quality shaving soap made from glycerin. Though, there are a few exceptions.
Before you buy men’s soap, ensure you know your financial strength. Some brands sell costly products while others sell cheaper products. This does not necessarily mean cheaper soaps are of low quality; they might actually work just as fine as the costlier ones.
Some of are allergic to a particular perfume, some like it, while other prefer soaps with a manly (masculine) scent. Whatever you go for, make sure it makes your shaving ritual a better one.
Design and size
Soaps are many in several different designs. Some come a handle while some don’t. Those with handles makes it easy to hold them during a wet shaving. Additionally, make sure to check whether the soap is for shaving only or multipurpose. When it comes to size, you can buy a big soap if you shave a lot. A smaller one will be better when travelling.
Ease of use
There is no point in buying a soap that doesn’t lather easily. The best shaving soap should form lather quickly after several swirls in the shaving bowl. It should also be easy to load on the brush.
You should also consider the slickness and cushioning of the soap. These factors may appear trivial but they prevent the razor from digging deeper into your skin.
How to use shaving soaps
The traditional shaving ritual demands that you use a shaving soap for the best outcome. Using shaving soaps is not complicated. All you have to do is ensure the soap forms lather quickly before spreading it on your face. Here are steps to forming a good lather.
- Wet your shaving brush for about a minute- both hot and cold water can do.
- Put the shaving soap in a bowl, mug, or a deep dish and swirl it until all the bubbles disappear. This should take about 25 seconds to achieve a thick, warm lather.
- Apply the lather on your face through swirling motions severally. The longer you massage your face with it, the smoother your skin becomes. All the hairs will be raised for a clean cut as well.
- To avoid using much of your soap, sprinkle some hot water on your face to make the soap re-lather for a second or third pass.
- Rid the container of the excess water and put it in an open space to dry.
Build Your Own Collection for a Comfortable Shave
If you want a comfortable shave, you will need to invest in quality products. There is more to shaving than simply choosing a razor. You also need to consider the type of soap and shaving brush that you will use.
Choosing the right soap can go a long way towards improving the comfort of your shave. It can help to minimize razor burn, bumps, ingrown hairs, and redness.
Consider purchasing any of the best shaving soaps for men discussed. These are all great options for getting a closer shave. You might also want to ready our article on best double edge razor blades, best safety razors or best shaving brushes as well.