Best recipe for Shaving Soap?

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Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2013
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I have been requested to make a shaving soap. And since I have never made any such thing, does anyone have a great recipe? Any tips are welcome as well :)
It is a LONG read! I keep thinking I will make shave as my next soap, but I keep putting it off. Maybe I will join you and re read the thread and make it next!
Ditto! If you read songwind's post on shaving soap and LBussy's tutorial you should be good to go. Anything above and beyond those 2 sources would be tweaking recipes to your personal preference.
Agreed - those two sources will put you in good stead for adjusting it to suit you, especially the songwind thread which goes more in to the theory back-and-forth. It is long and meandering and not all is on topic, but it is very good on the whole
I made MANY MANY shaving recipes before I came up with something that I really liked and it came from an accident while making bar soap. What I would do if I were you is not try to copy what others have done and instead ask yourself what YOU need from the soap. What is the main purpose of shave soap?

There is one thing I never really understood about shaving cream or high lather shave soap that you use a brush to work up the lather. How much of the foam really gets used vs just wiped off with the razor. Does the foam really help a lot? Does it NEED to be foamy?

Reading some of the results of peoples regular recipes may help you find the qualities you are looking for from a specific recipe.

All I can say is I found a very simple recipe that is better than all of the more complex recipes that call for more complicated processing steps.

I'm in the process of looking for some place to distribute the product so I can't share the recipe and there is a chance it is totally opposite of what you are looking for as this stuff won't work well to work up a stiff lather.
And as for going way off of the beaten track, bear in mind that if you're making this for a chap who uses a brush to lather up, he is likely to be used to the classics. There are exceptions, but they are less universally liked than those that stay within certain guidelines.
I've started looking at it only HP? I do cp soaps.

Like Shari and the good Gent said, you can make a good one via CP, something along the line of the classic Williams hard puck, which is what my hubby used to use before he started using mine (which I made via CP).

For what it's worth, hubby happily used my CP shave soap for 6 years and would often rave about it to me because he never got a nick or a cut with it like he would with his Williams shave soap and it never dried his face out.

What happened after those 6 years, you ask? Well, that was when our forum got invaded by a bunch of "crazy wet-shaving dudes" (their words, not mine ;) ) from Badger and Blade, who really expanded my formulating horizons as they related to shave soap, and I now make an even better shave soap because of their generous input. :)

I still use my basic formula for the most part, but I tweaked it to include a goodly amount of stearic acid, which forces me to HP it, but I found that the stearic allowed me to be able to drop the clay from my formula without any adverse repercussions happening to the performance of my soap.......and instead of only using NaOH, I now use a combo of NaOH and KOH.

My new version is much easier to lather than my CP version, it won't dull blades (because no more clay), and it performs and protects my hubby just as well as my old CP version (good glide and cushion and still no nicks or cuts).

Having said that, though, I'm going to try using all-KOH in my next batch to see if it makes for even less elbow work to get that initial lather going.

For what it's worth, to help you get started experimenting with your own formulating- the bare bones of the CP recipe that satisfied my hubby 6 years contained 60% hard fats and butters (the most of which was tallow), which gave my formula a total palmitic/stearic content of 37%. It was low on the bubbly oils (10%), and it had 30% total soft oils, the majority of which was castor. It also contained 10% of added glycerin, coconut cream as part of my water, 1 tsp. kaolin clay ppo and 1 tbsp. sugar ppo.

Regarding the clay in my old formula: I know only too well that many wet-shavers balk at the thought of anyone using clay (i.e., 'dirt') in their shave soaps, but some wet-shavers do actually like its inclusion. For example, our own Lindy makes and markets a shave soap that sells well, and it has clay in it. And my old formula actually worked much better with clay in it than it did without it. The only way I could make my formula work without the clay was to tweak my hard fats to include in lots of stearic acid.

IrishLass :)

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