Best Shaving Soap for Straight Razor (2022 Buyers Guide)
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For straight razor wet shavers, making a rich lather from shaving soap is crucial to the shaving process. A good shave soap for a straight razor forms a rich lather and prepares the skin for a close shave, and ensures the blade glides easily over the skin.
Unfortunately, with the huge number of shaving soaps available on the market, choosing the best for your specific, individual, and personal needs can be an extreme sport. We understand the hassle involved and have taken the liberty of preparing a comprehensive buying guide with the best shaving soap for the straight razor to help you in shopping.
Best Shaving Soap for Straight Razor (Summary)
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Soap for Straight Razor Shaving
When preparing this list, we focused on several elements of shave soap. Knowing what you want from these elements will help you choose the best soap for straight razor shaving that matches your specific needs.
The most common ingredients used in shaving soap manufacture are vegetable oil and tallow. Shaving soaps made from tallow oil contain cattle-derived fatty acids that provide a rich, creamy lather. On the flip side, those made from vegetable oil have stearic acid extracted from palm oil, cocoa butter, or mango butter.
In comparison, tallow is cheaper than vegetable oil and comes with loads of fatty acids that create a moist lather that stands out from non-tallow straight razor shave soaps. But if the fact that tallow is derived from animals doesn’t sit well with you, vegetable oil shaving soaps are a perfect alternative.
Aside from these two, you should consider the presence of glycerin in the shaving soap. Many people assume glycerin is a shaving soap base, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Glycerin is a byproduct of soap production which helps to deliver a moisturized, lubricated, and smooth shave.
Because of this, many shaving soaps contain glycerin and are gentle on sensitive skin.
The two types of shaving soaps for straight razors include:
- Hard shaving soap
- Soft shaving soap
Generally, traditional straight razor shaving soaps are hard soaps. Hard soap pucks go through stainless steel rollers thrice to remove air and moisture. Colors, fragrances, and other ingredients are added from the start to ensure they mix properly. These soaps require more effort and time to work into a lather when using a shaving brush.
On the flip side, soft shaving soaps have more water and dough-like consistency. Though they are easy to work into a lather using a shaving brush, they don’t last as long as hard soaps.
Slickness and Cushion
You can tell apart a good quality shaving soap from a mediocre shaving soap by the cushioning and slickness of the lather. Slickness refers to the soap’s ability to allow the blade to glide across the skin smoothly. High slickness is better since the blade will glide on the skin like skates on ice, while soap with poor slickness will have you stopping and pulling during your shaving session.
The ingredients that contribute to high lather slickness include glycerin, stearic acid, shea butter, and castor oil.
Lather cushioning refers to the buffer between the skin and blade, which helps to prevent razor burns, cuts, and nicks. The more lather a soap generates, the more it protects your skin.
The scent you choose depends on your personal preference. Today, most shaving soaps are mildly scented and don’t last throughout the day. But this doesn’t matter too much since your other shaving products can be scented.
The scent is the most popular as it mimics the scent of vintage barbershops. While you can choose any scent you prefer, it’s best to avoid alcohol-based scents as they can irritate your skin.
The Best Shave Soaps for Straight Razors – Reviews
1. The Art of Shaving Soap Set (Lavender) – Best Shaving Soap for Straight Razor
The Art of Shaving has built a solid reputation for itself over the years. So much so that people associate it with quality shaving products – and boy do they deliver. The Art of shaving Soap Set is not any different. It delivers a traditional wet shaving experience and generates a rich, foamy lather that improves a blade’s glide over the skin, prevents skin irritation, and leaves your face feeling smooth.
It also contains coconut oil and glycerin, which work together to hydrate the skin, and essential oils and extracts which deliver a lovely lavender scent.
Even better, the Art of Shaving Soap Set comes in a wooden teak bowl that withstands wet environments and offers a secure grip generating a lather. Note: Also available as a refill pack.
2. Tabac Original by Maurer & Wirtz – Dermatologist Approved
Like the Art of Shaving brand, Maurer & Wirtz has created a loyal wet shaving community that swears by the quality and performance of its products. While hard shaving soaps are difficult to lather with a brush, the Tabac Original is surprisingly easy to lather. It doesn’t have a steep learning curve to achieve the proper lather density and consistency, unlike other soaps.
The slick, silky, and rich lather the soap generates provides great razor protection and reduces tugging and irritation. This hard soap also softens beard hair which makes wet shaving a breeze.
The Tabac Original is delivered in a ceramic bowl that looks nice and protects the soap from the wet environment. Despite its costly price tag, a little soap goes a long way, so it lasts long.
3. Col. Conk Shaving Soap – Classic Bay Rum Scent
Col. Conk has a blend of Jamaican rum and tropical bay tree leaves, which fill the room once you lift the lid. It contains some great ingredients, including glycerin which helps to retain moisture, gives the soap lubricating capabilities, and helps to reduce skin irritation.
After wet shaving, the Col. Conk Shaving Soap leaves the skin feeling smooth, and the scent hangs around for a while after shaving. Other ingredients added to the soap’s formula include Vitamin E and avocado oil. Altogether, these ingredients nourish and moisturize the skin.
However, you’ll need to reapply the lather after each pass since the lather doesn’t leave enough slickness to protect your skin after the first pass.
4. Proraso Shaving Soap – Classic Italian Shaving Soap
This is a soft shaving soap that foams and lathers fast. The lather lubricates the skin and cushions the blade for an irritation-free shave.
It contains eucalyptus essential oil, which has to purify properties that work to make the skin brighter and clearer. The menthol and eucalyptus scent is pleasant and doesn’t overpower colognes or aftershaves.
The menthol is noticeable after a while and soaks into the skin and whiskers and leaving you with a cooling and refreshing sensation. The tub carries 5.2 ounces of soap which will last you a long while.
If you are a vegan, you’ll also love that it doesn’t have animal-based ingredients. Unfortunately, some men prefer the lather to be slightly thicker.
5. Sir Hare Shaving Soap – Superior Lubrication
This is a tallow-based shaving soap that creates the foundation for a good shave. Because of its lick and protective layer of lather, the soap helps you achieve a closer shave without sustaining razor burns or irritations.
Once the delivery is made, you’ll first notice the beautiful and thoughtful design of the container. While most manufacturers fill their containers to the brim, this manufacturer puts 4 ounces of shaving soap in an eight-ounce container. This makes it easier to lather the soap with a shaving brush without creating a mess.
The great thing about this shaving soap is that it’s made from natural ingredients, including mango and shea butter which moisturize and protect the skin from razor bumps. Because of this, Sire Hare shaving soap works well with sensitive skin.
The icing on the cake is the scent with hints of oakmoss, bergamot, sandalwood, and cedarwood. Overall, the scent is light which is great, but some people might consider it weak.
6. Van Der Hagen Scented Shave Soap – Budget-friendly
Van Der Hagen Luxury Scented Soap comes in a pack of three and at a price lower than what most single shave soaps fetch. Despite the low price, the quality of the shaving soap is great, thus it deserves its place among the best shaving soap for a straight-edge razor.
Van Der Hagen has a great aftershave feel and moisturizes the skin without making it greasy. Usually, most shaving soaps attract a host of complaints about the fragrance, but there are no complaints with this soap. The scent is light, neutral, and doesn’t clash with other shaving products.
As for slickness, the soap is relatively slick and offers enough lubrication to prevent nicks and cuts. Moreover, the cocoa butter, mango butter, and shea in the soap nourish and moisturize the skin. This soap is included in one of the best straight razor kits available on the market.
And there you have it, a list of the best shaving soap for straight razors. As you decide on the shave soap to buy, remember that high price isn’t always synonymous with quality. You can still get a smooth and irritation-free wet shaving experience with your straight razor at an affordable price.
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