How to Select the Best Hard Shaving Soap
In the world of beauty and skincare today, bar soaps are gradually taking the back seat and that’s such a shame because the major difference between the two is that liquid soaps have water, some extra chemicals, and stabilizers. The same is true in the world of shaving.
Classic shaving soap has gradually been replaced by its more convenient siblings – shaving creams and gels even though they’re not actually better than it. In fact, depending on the product you buy, the cream or gel can actually be worse than the soap.
In this article, we’ll share the tips to select the types of shaving soaps, tips to select the best hard shaving soap on the market, and how to use it. Without further ado, let’s get started!
What are Shaving Soaps?
Shaving soaps can be dated back to the 14 century. They were the only option for men when it came to shaving until World War I when shaving creams penetrated the market and became widely available.
Till today, a lot of people still use soap in their wet shaving routine to savour the traditional experience or gain more control over one of the products used for shaving. They also have the advantage of being as easy to use and long-lasting as their canned counterparts.
Why Use Shaving Soap?
Traditional shaving soaps can be more beneficial than modern shaving gels, creams, and foams. The ingredients are usually of the traditional kind and they are perfect for softening up the beard before shaving occurs. By softening the hair, shaving comes easier and you can even get a closer shave.
By working the soap onto the shaving area, you can get a lather the razor can easily glide over. In addition to these things, shaving soaps come in a variety of scents, many of which are available in matching colognes and aftershave balms.
This can make the shaving routine a very pleasant experience indeed. Financial, traditional shaving soaps can be used for a longer period of time than shaving creams and gels which makes them more economical than the modern options.
What to Consider When Buying Shaving Soap
The main function of shaving soap is to serve as a source of lubrication between the sharp blade and your skin so you don’t cause too many abrasions or cut yourself in the process. In combination with water and heat, they can also soften your facial hair and make shaving a breeze.
When you want to buy a shaving soap, there are certain things you should take into account:
Fat and Glycerin Content
The best shaving soaps have a high level of fat i.e. tallow or vegetable and glycerin in their list of ingredients. Typically, glycerin is obtained from vegetable oil and it serves as a humectant that is capable of trapping in water and hydrating the skin.
It also works well as an emollient because it can be used to soften the beard and achieve smooth and moisturized skin as a result of its ability to create an effective barrier between the skin and the sharp blade.
The fat content on the other hand is necessary because it provides protection and lubrication for the skin while the shaving process is going on so that the blade can glide over the skin’s surface without nicking or irritating it. In most cases, the higher the fat and glycerin content of the soap, the better the lather, and as a consequence, the better the shaving is going to be.
Ideally, the fat content of a shaving soap should be around 30 to 50 percent though it may be difficult to determine this from the ingredients list alone since they don’t come with percentages and the chemical names can also be quite confusing. In short, experimenting is the best way to determine the fat content of shaving soap.
Your best bet at knowing whether there’s enough glycerin and fat in a shaving soap is that it can produce a rich lather that can coat the skin perfectly and lubricate well without applying too much pressure.
It should also leave your skin feeling soft and moisturized after shaving, not dry and tight. Milling several times is also a sign of good quality soaps. Triple-milled soaps for instance are capable of producing much lather and very cream foam.
Many people believe that the price of something determines its quality but that’s not always so in the shaving soap world. However, the price can still be an indicator of quality especially if it’s on the lower end.
Bargain bin brands don’t cost a lot because they’re usually bath soaps in the guise of shaving soaps. They don’t offer much protection and can leave your skin feeling irritated after shaving. That said, good quality soap can last half a year which will definitely make up for its price.
Watch out for soaps from reputable brands. Of course, this does not mean flashy drugstore brands like Gillette. There are many reputable brands for shaving soaps that have been around for a very long time.
Lastly, before you buy a shaving soap, make sure to read reviews on the performance of the product. That should give you a great insight into how well the soap might be suitable for you.
For many who want to buy a hard shaving soap, the scent is important. There are popular scents like eucalyptus, almond, cedar, sandalwood, mint, rose, lemon, and lavender. You should try to avoid scented soaps as much as possible if you have sensitive skin because they can cause irritation.
You don’t have to worry that the scent of the soap will last for a long time. Since the soap will be washed off after shaving, the scent is only meant to make your shaving routine more enjoyable.
What will mean by this is how easily you can load the soap onto the brush to create ample lather for shaving. It also refers to how long you can use the shaving soap. Depending on how many times you shave and the thickness of your beard, you can use your soap for a period ranging from 2 months to half a year.