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Good Shaving cream/soap?

Discussion in 'Razors, Scissors, & Personal Grooming' started by JD Spydo, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. JD Spydo

    JD Spydo Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2004
    Here lately I've been sharpening and actually using my Straight Razor ( Theirs Issard) and learning more about it. I've learned how to sharpen it pretty good on my Spyderco Ultra-Fine 302 Benchstone. I need to know of a good brand of that soap or shave cream that you mix manually with a boar hair brush. They have a brand of it at my local WalGreens drug store called "Williams". But I'm willing to pay for some good quality stuff and that Williams stuff seems pretty cheap to me:rolleyes:. So which shave soap/cream do most of you straight razor using guys shave with? And where do you get it? They have more than one brand of that shave soap/cream at WalGreen drugstore but I'm not looking for a Rip-Mart bargain as much as I am looking for a really good quality shaving soap/cream to shave with. Any help or information would be highly appreciated because I want to learn about this stuff the right way and use the better stuff.
  2. oldtymer

    oldtymer Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    I have tried several over the years & have been using Edwin Jagger Aloe Vera exclusively for about 4 years now.
    Whips up to a nice creamy lather & protects from razor rash pretty well
    Check out Abovethetie.com good selection & reasonable prices.
  3. eKretz


    Aug 30, 2009
    I like Cella and Seifenglatt Vetiver (think the Seifenglatt changed names to "Soap Smooth" or something like that). Cella is a little tricky to lather well but Seifenglatt is easy. Both give a nice shave and good glide with a straight.
  4. fonedork

    fonedork Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Mike's natural soap, google it and you'll find his site, he sells direct. For what it's worth I've been using my Thiers Issard for nearly two years and haven't even honed it, let alone sharpened it, just smooth leather.
  5. JacksonKnives


    Sep 26, 2006
    I did pretty much the same thing (bought a straight, started honing on the spyderco UF, bought some williams) about 15 years ago. It's a fun hobby.

    Cremo has pretty good protective/lubricating peoperties for me, though quite a few people claim they "can't get it to work." It isn't traditional at all, but I still like it for every type of shaving I've tried.

    The other drugstore pick for me is VanDerHagen. They have an unscented puck for a few bucks that lasts a good while, and works better for me than Williams.

    Proraso is a popular pick, but TBH I wasn't that impressed when I tried it. Kiss My Face was better.

    Taylor of old Bond Street cream (not as much the hard soap) is good stuff, but not as expensive as the super-premium stuff like Castle Forbes. The ToOBS Jermyn scent is unique and has enough buttery fats to work as a beard conditioner.

    My recent soap acquisition have been Barrister & Mann and Sterling Soapworks. They're pricey, but the scents are really great.

    Haven't tried it myself, but Fine Accoutrements has a line of soaps that are scented like high-end aftershave, but with a very similar soap formula to the infamous great-lather-weird-floral-scent soap from Tabac. Fine's "Platinum" scent is one of my favorites, based on the Creed "Aventus" cologne.
  6. JD Spydo

    JD Spydo Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2004
    Whoa!!! Holy Cow!! you guys have given me so many recommendations that I don't even know where to start. But I will look up all of them and see if my local stores have any of them on the shelf so I don't have to fool with buying them on line. We have 3 major drug chains here where I live and all them have 3 to 4 selections of different shaving soaps/creams that you use with straight razors. Apparently they are getting really popular again.

    Apparently at least in this area ( Kansas City, MO USA) we have two major retailers for premium shaving equipment. We have one store on the Country Club Plaza ( a really elite shopping district) and they have a store there called "The Art Of Shaving" and they have a lot of German made straight razors ($300 plus) as well as many other very expensive shaving items as well. But they are higher than a woodpecker hole on everything they sell but one of the sales ladies there told me that they just renewed their lease and business couldn't be better.

    I'm wondering if that isn't a national trend that's getting off to a big start because of the conventional shaving gear now costing just outright ridiculous prices. And when you think about it once you get all your straight razor gear then you are pretty well set to go other than buying the shaving cream from time to time. But these disposable razors are starting to cost so much that if you didn't know better you would think they are made from precious metals. thanks a million guys for all the great recommendations I'll get started today checking them all out and hope I can buy one of them at a local retailer.
    GABaus likes this.
  7. number9


    Mar 5, 2017
    I stopped into that Art of Shaving store the last time I was in KC. The prices kept me using aerosol cream for a while. I finally got back into brush and soap when I picked up a VanDerHagen set. I've since replaced the boar brush with a badger. I remember the soap being OK. A year or so ago I got a 4 puck variety kit of Colonel Conk's soap. I purchased it on Amazon. Four different scents for (I think) about twelve bucks. I thought they all worked pretty well, but didn't care much for the Almond scent. (Lime and Bay Rum were my favorites.) I'm currently using a puck of The Herban Cowboy soap. It smells great, but the lather breaks down fast. It still lubricates fine, but the suds go away. A little disappointing. I'd like to try another, and will watch this thread; but Col Conk is my recommendation so far.
  8. JacksonKnives


    Sep 26, 2006
    Art of Shaving knows their segment well; it's luxury service, just like a high-end salon. Gillette (P&G) bought them to edge their new razors into the luxury market, it's so bizarre seeing the Merkur and TI stuff beside the five-blade monstrosities and electric brushes Gillette is trying to peddle.

    Still, most of the stuff in AoS is actually pretty good. The jar of cream is IMO better than Proraso, as good as other high-end stuff like Taylor or RazoRock. The new bourbon scent (was a movie tie-in last year) is good, too.

    The "subscription service" aspect is pretty funny, though. They want you to buy a set of cream, aftershave balm and "pre-shave oil" every month. Seems like dollar shave club has everyone nervous.
    Low_rez likes this.
  9. JD Spydo

    JD Spydo Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2004
    Holy Cow!! I would have never guessed that!! What's funny is I can remember when Warren Buffet literally saved the Gilette Company from going into the toilet about 25 years ago. The Luxury Shaving segment of the market must be taking off better than I thought for Gilette to enter the game. But the times I've been in that "Art Of Shaving Store" on the Country Club Plaza ( Kansas City, Missouri USA) I've been impressed with their selection but Holy Moses you could spend a $1000 in that place in under two minutes just buying your basics. The Vendors that the guys over at "Straight Razor Place" made me aware of>> do have most of the stuff that is comparable to everything I seen at "Art Of Shaving" store at about one third of the price. Truly a guy just has to shop around for this stuff. But the major drug store chains are starting to carry a wider selection of the shave soaps/cremes and I'm hoping to find out which ones of those are acceptable.

    One guy I got to know from Arkansas years ago who I bought a razor strop from told me that he had a recipe to make his own soap/creme out of coconut oil. I'm sure if you had the ingredients I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to make.
  10. JacksonKnives


    Sep 26, 2006
    Some of the best soaps on the market right now are from guys who started experimenting with basic recipes in a home kitchen and posting about it on forums/reddit/etc. It's an exciting time be get into the hobby. :)
    GABaus likes this.
  11. PeterS84

    PeterS84 Sharpening addict, collector of "super steels" Gold Member

    May 9, 2018
    I'm a big fan of the Proraso creams and soaps. I have the sandalwood and the menthol/eucalyptus varieties. They both lather very well. I've tried them with boar's hair and silvertip badger. I also have a tub of the Taylor of Old Bond Street sandalwood coming from West Coast Shaving. Check out the reviews -- a lot of folks like these quite well. Happy shaving!
  12. domiro


    Sep 10, 2018
    My personal favorite is the Baume.be. It provides a nice glide and lubrication.
  13. Chris Still

    Chris Still Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 5, 2018
    I have tried many, many and have a few favorites that I pretty much use exclusively now.

    RazoRock XXX. All of the razorock soaps are supposed to be good but this is my favorite scent. Its a good spring/summer scent and its one of the few that the scent actually stays around a little. I dont smell it until I get warm or maybe a little sweat breaks out. Then I faintly smell it. Most soap scents are only around while you shave.

    Taylor of Bond Street. A good "croap", which is to say a semi firm cream. I have tried several scents and most are good. The best thing is the shave experience itself is the same regardless of the scent i have tried. that seems like a given but it hasnt been true with all I have tried. Also, they sell it in a lot of specialty stores so its one of the few you can sometimes find locally in a pinch.

    L'Occitane soap. This is my go-to if I need one in a hurry. subtle scents and a good shave. Soap lasts forever too. The one I picked has a pit of evergreen scent so I use it in the fall/winter.

    C.O. Bigelow cream - this is my favorite travel cream as it is available in small TSA friendly tubes and can be hand or face lathered so I dont HAVE to have a brush if I dont want to. Its a little wasteful but its a good shave. Also, its from Bath and Bodyworks so you can get it in any mall across america pretty much.

    I have also used Sterling soap and Proraso cream and croaps with good success.
  14. Prester John

    Prester John Gold Member Gold Member

    May 20, 2018
    There are many good choices available (some ridiculously expensive), but there's nothing wrong with Barbasol.
  15. H0kieengineer

    H0kieengineer Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 24, 2017
    Google Mama Bear Soaps. I buy my soaps from her and love them. Shipping is fast and you have every scent in the work to choose from. They lather well for me and my face feels awesome afterward.
  16. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    I don't know that I'd be willing to use anything out of a can with a straight, let alone a DE. I use mostly taylors of old bond street for my face, and head-slick for my skull. though prorasso has worked well for both as well. The "hipster shaving" market has matured over the last 10 years, and so while you have your companies that are still around from the 1800s, there are plenty of really decent small companies, and home brewers that are doing quite well. 10 years ago it wasn't the same, there were a lot of guys selling "soap" that wasn't fit to wash with. let alone shave, but I think that in general its far better than it was. Given that DEs are holding their own in the marketplace, and even the cartridge shavers are moving away from the canned goop (or so the grocery store shelves would suggest) its worth giving stuff a try. Odds are good that most soaps available now are at least DE suitable, you still might need to be a bit more picky if you use a straight, but even then there is certainly more choice a lot cheaper available now.
    Prester John likes this.
  17. Dogdrawz

    Dogdrawz Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 15, 2016
    I have my grand pa-pa's 1958 Gillette safety razor & the only cream it sees is, well...my own.

    A little coconut oil, a spash of shea butta, a drop or two of essential oils & voilla! Heavenly cream for hellacious face bush!

    Also for aftershave use a splash of straight alcohol following it with that blue sunburn aloe vera gel stuff. Cools the skin, moisturizes & it's cheap.

    P.S. A pack of 100 blades is $12. It cost more for electricity & running water per year than the gear I use.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
    Prester John likes this.
  18. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    You might want to double check on your sunburn gel, I read a consumer report not long ago that most don't actually contain any aloe, so it might not really be doing anything for you.
    I can recommend Thayers witchhazel stuff, its all I use as an aftershave on my face, unless I'm say out on the beach fishing for the week, then I go for a heavier moisturizer due the windburn, but for a normal day, the thayers is enough. I also don't have particularly dry or oily skin, so that might be worth noting. Everyone is different so certainly use what works for you.
  19. Dogdrawz

    Dogdrawz Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 15, 2016
    That would explain the second head growing out the side of my neck!
  20. willc

    willc Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 13, 2013
    I have been using Stirling shave soap the past few years.
    The price is good and the product is excellent.
    Their bath soaps are really good too.

    In the past I used Arko and that is an excellent soap also.

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