For almost a century, people have used a variety of products to make shaving better and easier. Colgate introduced the first shaving creams in 1918, and shortly after, other companies followed suit and started providing their own formulas to sell to the public.
As technological advancements in chemistry progressed, companies created other types of shaving soaps that provided a better shaving experience.
What is shaving soap?
Shaving soap is a product lathered onto the face with a shaving brush before you shave to provide protection and lubrication.
Shaving soaps can be made from a variety of fats, oils, and other chemicals that are formulated to create the perfect balance between creaminess, protection, and lather.
The best shaving soaps are made from natural ingredients, often containing palm oil, coconut oil, or fat as their base, with essential oils used for scenting purposes.
How does shaving soap work?
Shaving soaps usually come in the form of a solid or puck-like bar, which can be lathered up with either your fingers or with the use of a shaving brush.
When you add water to the puck of soap, the fatty acids in the soap come out and mix with the water creating a rich, foamy lather that is ideal for shaving the many contours of the face with a double edge safety razor.
What makes the best shaving soap?
With so many types of shaving soaps on the market now that classic and vintage shaving soaps have come back into the mainstream, it can be difficult to find a shaving soap that works for your skin and style of shaving.
Fortunately, that difficulty doesn’t have to get in the way of an excellent shaving experience when you follow this guide on things to consider before buying a shaving soap.
Things you don’t want in your shaving soap
The best shaving soaps are free from harmful chemicals and preservatives that can dry out the skin or cause an allergic reaction. These chemicals are often added to low-grade shaving soaps to help with the chemical processing of the soap and increase shelf life.
Good examples of chemicals you want to avoid in low-grade shaving soaps are:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
By reading the label to ensure none of these products are in the shaving soap you want to purchase, you have taken the first and most crucial step to finding a shaving soap that will work for you.
Things you do want in your shaving soap
Every skin type is different, and therefore not everyone will want to have the same kind of ingredients in their shaving soap. However, by keeping an eye out for the following when looking for the best shaving soap, you can ensure that you have a shaving soap that is the right type for your skin.
Glycerin & Fat
Glycerin and fat make up the primary components of any great shaving soap. The concentrations of glycerin and fat in a shaving soap will determine how well it lathers and how well it provides lubrication to the skin. Some soaps have more glycerin than fat, and others vice versa.
Shaving soaps formulated with higher concentrations of glycerine and fat will create a dense, rich lather that is very easy to whip up by anyone using either their fingers or a shave brush.
These types of shaving soaps are best for people with oily skin types because they are known to moisturize the skin while providing a protective barrier between a razor blade and the face.
If you have drier skin, consider using a shaving soap with lower concentrations of glycerin and fat to ensure your skin isn’t over moisturized. This type of soap is still very protective but does not provide as much moisture like other types due to its higher viscosity.
Scent profiles are also an important thing to consider before buying a shaving soap. The best shaving soaps are scented with essential oils and natural ingredients to provide a wonderful smell before shaving and after.
Using soaps scented with essential oils will not only give you a great smell after you finish shaving, but it will also provide protection for your skin all day long. Essential oils such as rose oil and lavender oil are highly beneficial to the health of your skin after shaving.
If you aren’t a fan of essential oils but do like the idea of scented shaving soap, consider finding a soap that is fragranced with spices like cinnamon or vanilla. Cinnamon is a wonderful natural antibacterial and will work wonders in creating a stimulating and protective shaving experience.
Finally, price is an important aspect to consider before buying a shaving soap. While you should always be searching for deals and discounts on what you buy, never sacrifice quality by purchasing a cheaply made shaving soap just because it was inexpensive.
Cheap shaving soaps are often made with harmful chemicals and synthetic ingredients that do more harm than good. This harm could be in the form of skin irritation caused by added chemicals, or it could simply be that you are left unsatisfied with the shaving soap not providing enough lather for your needs.
The best shaving soaps range between $10-$30 and will last you anywhere from 2-6 months, depending on how often you shave and if you use a shaving brush or your fingers to create the lather.
Get a great shave with the best shaving soap
Shaving soaps can best be chosen based on the chemicals they contain. By knowing what to look for, you can select the right type of shaving soap that won’t irritate your skin or dry up before you finish shaving.
Remember to read all of the ingredients before purchasing so that you can make sure a soap contains the right fats, oils, and natural ingredients that will provide you with a close, protective shave every time you go to shave.
You may need to try more than one shaving soap before settling on the one that best suits your needs.