Shave Soap Great Article on "Best Shave Soaps"

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Professor Bernardo

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Again... the website THE SHARPOLOGIST has another good article about shave soaps.

This time entitled:
What Is The Best Shave Soap For 2021?

It is quite an extensive article, at least for that website it is. Covers a lot of the facets of shave soaps and the different types, compositions, etc. It starts off with the old "classic" soaps that have been around for decades or longer. It covers the lesser known inexpensive brands too. It covers the basic formulations and processes.

For me I found the read rather interesting and has piqued my curiosity to take maybe a deeper dive down that proverbial Rabbit Hole of shave soaps!

images.jpg


Just to get the ball rollin', here's an Ingredient List from Ariana & Evans Shaving Soap (which is ranked #1 BTW):
Stearic Acid, Beef Tallow, Aqua, Goats Milk, Potassium Hydroxide, Kokum Butter, Shea Butter, Castor Oil, Cocoa Butter, Sodium Hydroxide, Glycerin, Manteca, Aloe Juice, Avocado Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Apricot Kernel Seed Oil, Lanolin, Agave, Slippery Elm, Sodium Lactate, Xanthan Gum, Silk Amino Acid, Tussah Silk, Marshmallow Root

It's interesting that they use the Spanish word for lard i.e. manteca instead of stating lard. Gotta love those marketing people!
This soap has TWENTY FOUR ingredients and sells for $24.95 for a 4 oz. tin. They're laughing all the way to the bank

From some of the product's description on the Amazon page: This soap is a tallow-based offering using goat’s milk, pig fat, and lanolin. It whips up an incredibly rich, thick, dense lather – the consistency of Greek yogurt. And it is slick. It will protect and cushion your face and allow the blade smooth passage. But the post-shave it where it really shines. With the inclusion of butters, oils, and beeswax, this will leave your face feeling nourished long after the shave is done.
 
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SoapDaddy70

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😁 :thumbs: :thumbs: I've looong thought about how to describe "lard" in my list of ingredients. "Manteca" works for me! That's actually the brand I use.
That is a great idea. My wife is willing to put my soaps in her break room at her school (she is a teacher) for people to sample for free but she wants me to list ingredients and be professional about it. I think I will use "manteca" as well in my ingredient list.

I am a follicly challenged individual and shave my head every few days in the shower. I use Prorasso in the tube. I was thinking about looking into making my own shave soap. @Professor Bernardo - Are there people out there formulating specifically for head shavers? It seems most shave soap discussions are all about facial hair. Not sure if I want to dive into the shave soap rabbit hole because I love my Prorasso but might be a fun endeavor to try once or twice.
 

Zany_in_CO

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I use Prorasso in the tube.
Prorasso in the tube - Ingredients: Aqua, stearic acid, coconut oil, potassium hydroxide, glycerin, lactic acid, sodium hydroxide, menthol, camphor.

This looks doable if you're willing to learn to make "Cream Soap". It's a dual-lye soap that cures during a process called "rotting". I've never made it but there is a tutorial about how to do it by a highly regarded, long-ago member, @Lindy. All the ingredients are readily available except for lactic acid. Not sure where you can find it. The "menthol, camphor" blend should be easy enough to duplicate, I reckon, after a bit of research here or online. :thumbs:

I think I will use "manteca" as well in my ingredient list.
The ingredient list above and SoapCalc shows "lard" as Manteca with a capital M. If you want to disguise the "lard" in your ingredient list, I suggest you use the INCI Name. (Who knew?!)

Recipe %Common NameINCI Name
100 %Lard, Pig Tallow (Manteca)Adeps Suillus
 

earlene

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Why disguise any of your ingredients? As a vegetarian, I would be very angry if I were to be deceived into purchasing a product that went against my personal use principles. And if your products are going to be consumed by people with allergies, it is irresponsible to start the practice of deceiving potential customers. Besides, if asked, you'd still have to answer honestly when someone inquires about the meaning of a particular ingredient.

Now I am not saying that using the word "Manteca" instead of lard or pig tallow or Adeps Suillus is wrong. But just so you know, some people don't seem to know that "Manteca" translates as "Lard, Pig Tallow". I found this out quite by accident a year or two ago in conversation with someone who thought Manteca brand lard was a vegetable shortening packaged as a lard substitute.

Now, I don't know if anyone here (up to now) on this thread is anywhere else except in the US, since I don't know where The Oort Cloud... happens to be, but for the sake of discussion, I'll stick to labeling as it pertains to the United States, and let those elsewhere refer to their own country's labeling regulations as they differ.

I'd like to point out that it's not entirely proper etiquette to mix & match the way we list the ingredients in our products. The public expects listings to follow the national norm, and that's what they look for when they read the ingredients list. IF you intend to label your soaps, which I believe we all should do, it's best to choose one method (what goes into the pot OR what comes out of the pot) and stick with that. INCI names are fine, but to mix INCI names for some items and common names for others, seems a bit confusing for the average consumer.

This is my point of view on the subject and you all can take or leave it as you wish, of course. But I felt it had to be said.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Well said, @earlene. :thumbs:

Be assured, I've never used anything but "lard" on my soap labels, but I'm tempted to use "Manteca". SOME people don't know what a wonderful soap ingredient lard is and they recoil, saying, "Ewww, lard!" when they read the list of ingredients. MOST people don't care or even bother to read ingredients. They MOSTLY like the scent and that's what they go for. Or, at least, that's been my experience. :)
 

Professor Bernardo

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I am a follicly challenged individual and shave my head every few days in the shower. I use Prorasso in the tube. I was thinking about looking into making my own shave soap. @Professor Bernardo - Are there people out there formulating specifically for head shavers? It seems most shave soap discussions are all about facial hair. Not sure if I want to dive into the shave soap rabbit hole because I love my Prorasso but might be a fun endeavor to try once or twice.
Do you use Proraso in the tube because of it's convenience or the consistency of the lather? When I first started shaving back in March with the classic DE razors, I first used Proraso, but it was too thin for my liking. In addition, it's expensive, about $10 a tube right? For what you spend on one tube of Proraso, you could make yourself about 10 to 12 pucks of shave soap, depending on how thick you cut or mold them.

Here's an offer for you... PM me with your address and I will send you a puck of one of my shave soaps. Your choice of either "Classic Barber Shop" scent, "Alpine Forest" or "Tobacco Bay" scents. I'll pay the shipping too. Let me know.

I know that a lot of head shavers use the puck variety of shave soap. Some load the brush and then lather on the head while others load the brush and than lather in a separate lathering bowl. (That's what I do.)

since I don't know where The Oort Cloud... happens to be,
LOL! :secret:
Google.it_.png

While the planets of our solar system orbit in a flat plane, the Oort Cloud is believed to be a giant spherical shell surrounding the Sun, planets and Kuiper Belt Objects. It's like a big, thick bubble around our solar system, made of icy, comet-like objects. That is where it is believed that the majority of comets originated when the Solar System formed!
 

Johnez

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Why disguise any of your ingredients? As a vegetarian, I would be very angry if I were to be deceived into purchasing a product that went against my personal use principles. And if your products are going to be consumed by people with allergies, it is irresponsible to start the practice of deceiving potential customers. Besides, if asked, you'd still have to answer honestly when someone inquires about the meaning of a particular ingredient.

Now I am not saying that using the word "Manteca" instead of lard or pig tallow or Adeps Suillus is wrong. But just so you know, some people don't seem to know that "Manteca" translates as "Lard, Pig Tallow". I found this out quite by accident a year or two ago in conversation with someone who thought Manteca brand lard was a vegetable shortening packaged as a lard substitute.

Now, I don't know if anyone here (up to now) on this thread is anywhere else except in the US, since I don't know where The Oort Cloud... happens to be, but for the sake of discussion, I'll stick to labeling as it pertains to the United States, and let those elsewhere refer to their own country's labeling regulations as they differ. I still am buying if for nothing else to educate myself on what's out there.

I'd like to point out that it's not entirely proper etiquette to mix & match the way we list the ingredients in our products. The public expects listings to follow the national norm, and that's what they look for when they read the ingredients list. IF you intend to label your soaps, which I believe we all should do, it's best to choose one method (what goes into the pot OR what comes out of the pot) and stick with that. INCI names are fine, but to mix INCI names for some items and common names for others, seems a bit confusing for the average consumer.

This is my point of view on the subject and you all can take or leave it as you wish, of course. But I felt it had to be said.
I happen to agree with you regarding using "Manteca" instead of lard, however they do list tallow so there's no vegans being hoodwinked here. I'd caution any vegan to be wary about any ingredients that they themselves don't source, after all what is a farm but a displaced habitat (often with animals killed in the process)? That soybean field was probably once a buffalo's stomping ground. I get it though, reducing the impact. It's near and dear to my heart as well to reduce impact, I refuse palm oil and any derivatives-even the "RSPO" certified ones. They after have a waiting period to be deemed "certified." Cut that forest down, sell to industrial users who don't care, wait five or ten years- you're now certified. Being against palm has its own issues, as those plantations provide jobs to support families...so I'm not a anti-palm zealot and understand the complexities, I just choose what's "right" for me right now, which is a luxury if I really wanna examine it.

Ok, I'm ramblin'... I almost forgot to mention that their ingredient listing is not following the regulations being all ingredients must be in English. Shaving soap is a cosmetic item. They are not the only ones not following regulations either, I know of another popular shave soap that does not list the lye. Unlike soap, which has all sorts of leeway, cosmetics have to list everything, so it kind of irritates me and causes a bit of mistrust. Years ago another shave soap company masked their ingredient list as well and we're suspected of being melt and pour. Are they preserving a competitive edge? Are they hiding anything else? Either way, it's simply dishonest. I have enough of an issue with "natural flavor" in the ingredients list of food products, this kind of crap really annoys me though.

Anyway, to OP's point I find it hilarious that shaving soap can cost $20, $25, even in the $60 dollar range (though though MdC is double most soaps quantity [I believe that's the case still] and does provide a nice glass container!). It's an interesting scene I must say, precariously balanced between "releases" which are nothing but simple scent variations and actual boundary pushing ideas. I mean of it weren't for artisans, where else would we find donkey milk in a shaving soap?!

Regarding A&E, I'm again with you PB-its over priced. It's a scene and many are attracted to the new, the exciting, and "better" (emphasis on the air quotes.) It is however an excellent soap and worth studying. What is the number one ingredient? The same as many very popular shave soaps. What is the core? The same as many other shave soaps. The pattern is visible for anyone curious really. Do you want to know an excellent shave soap that is roughly half the cost and gives almost 50% more in the tub? Stirling. Check out their ingredients. There is nothing gimmicky about their soaps but they worth a study. If for nothing else, how one can achieve a wonderful product without the fluff. No marshmallow root nor "Manteca" to be found. It is fairly simple to reverse engineer their recipe if you happen to be handy with a soap calc and can juggle some variables. That is a soap I'm going to duplicate, not in rebellion but in admiration. Anyway, there are soaps even cheaper and as high quality in terms of removing whiskers-Cella, La Toja, Arko, and Speik come to mind. Proraso used to be a standard but may to be falling by the wayside in terms of "cachet," I have a feeling they are, or will be suffering soon. Wetshaving is an intentional choice to go against the grain these days where the standard is Mach 8 or Fusion 36 (did I get the blade count right?) and some foam from a can. Wetshavers (IMO) tend to be more aware of what's out there...and as this post might show-a bit opinionated.

Anyway you got me all riled up Professor. Back to sipping my paloma and perusing the article. A quick note on the top 12, 3 of the 12 have engaged in dishonest labelling by my count. The fact that Stirling is not there is a shame IMO. If they doubled their cost and added elderberry root extract maybe they'd stir more intrigue from lists like this. They seem to be doing well though, they often occupy 1/4 of a popular Reddit shave sub's top 20 threads.
 
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Professor Bernardo

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Anyway you got me all riled up Professor. Back to sipping my paloma and perusing the article.
I was not my intention to get anyone riled up by any stretch of the imagination. Least of all you, since you were kind enough several months ago to give me your personal feedback regarding my first batch of shave soap that I sent to you. That list mentioned above is what that reviewer feels is the "Top 12". It certainly isn't based on any type of sales figures and such. A&E's marketing approach appears to be... "let's just throw in everything that sounds good, even it is just 2% of the total formula. Ya know people are easily led astray by "EYE CANDY" ingredients."

I thought of the article as food for thought. For me, the SHARPOLOGIST is not the definitive person to make a final decision based on strictly one person's review aka opinion. As we all know, opinions are like chins... we all have one. However the website is a treasure trove of information and dozens of product reviews for razors, blades, shave soaps, shave cream, etc.

@Johnez Again, my most humble and sincere apologies for getting you riled up aka annoyed, perturbed and so forth. To think you had to resort to sipping Paloma wine to calm down enough to read the remainder of the article. Was it the Merlot or the Cabernet Sauvignon?
Paloma-Vineyards-Napa-Valley-2.jpg
 

Íbera

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The first time I heard the word manteca while in the US, I got surprised you use this Spanish word to refer to lard (which is otherwise the correct translation). Here in Spain when we say manteca, we take for granted it is manteca de cerdo (pig lard), while when we refer to shea butter we say manteca de karité and cocoa butter is manteca de cacao.
I don´t use it in my soaps, but when I´ve read INCIs including manteca (right ones following the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) "Adeps suillus" was used, and not manteca nor another word.
Edit to say I remember seeing it also as sodium lardate (or potassium lardate, depending the case)

To be clear and to avoid confusion I completly agree with this:

INCI names are fine, but to mix INCI names for some items and common names for others, seems a bit confusing for the average consumer.

This is my point of view on the subject and you all can take or leave it as you wish, of course. But I felt it had to be said.
 
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Professor Bernardo

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@Íbera said:
To be clear and to avoid confusion I completly agree with this:

earlene said:
INCI names are fine, but to mix INCI names for some items and common names for others, seems a bit confusing for the average consumer.

This is my point of view on the subject and you all can take or leave it as you wish, of course. But I felt it had to be said.
Thank you for your clear and insightful post! It is much appreciated! Buena Salud! :thumbs:
 

earlene

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Do you use Proraso in the tube because of it's convenience or the consistency of the lather? When I first started shaving back in March with the classic DE razors, I first used Proraso, but it was too thin for my liking. In addition, it's expensive, about $10 a tube right? For what you spend on one tube of Proraso, you could make yourself about 10 to 12 pucks of shave soap, depending on how thick you cut or mold them.

Here's an offer for you... PM me with your address and I will send you a puck of one of my shave soaps. Your choice of either "Classic Barber Shop" scent, "Alpine Forest" or "Tobacco Bay" scents. I'll pay the shipping too. Let me know.

I know that a lot of head shavers use the puck variety of shave soap. Some load the brush and then lather on the head while others load the brush and than lather in a separate lathering bowl. (That's what I do.)



LOL! :secret:
View attachment 62127
While the planets of our solar system orbit in a flat plane, the Oort Cloud is believed to be a giant spherical shell surrounding the Sun, planets and Kuiper Belt Objects. It's like a big, thick bubble around our solar system, made of icy, comet-like objects. That is where it is believed that the majority of comets originated when the Solar System formed!
So outside the US, then?

The first time I heard the word manteca while in the US, I got surprised you use this Spanish word to refer to lard (which is otherwise the correct translation). Here in Spain when we say manteca, we take for granted it is manteca de cerdo (pig lard), while when we refer to shea butter we say manteca de karité and cocoa butter is manteca de cacao.
Thank you for this. I seemed to recall having seen that, but had forgotten. So what manteca means to you is what butter means to us as in Cocoa Butter or Mango Butter, etc. Perhaps that would somewhat explain, the misunderstanding I referred to about the person who believed Manteca (brand of lard available here in the US and Mexico) was really a vegetable substitute for actual lard. I don't know if it does, but it would make some sense.
 
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Professor Bernardo

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So outside the US, then?
I am being facetious to be honest with you. Actually I am located in Texas... unfortunately.

From an article entitled: THE LONG HISTORY OF BUTTER IN SPAIN
In modern Spanish, 'manteca' is lard and 'mantequilla' is butter, but we now know not only that they are two very different things, but that the versions used then were completely unlike the ones we have today. When we use the word lard we are referring to pig fat, but in the past the word was used to describe fat from all types of animal, including sheep, goats or cows. So what we know as butter today used to be called lard, and the word butter was first used to describe cream, cream cheese or even pomade, until in 1734 the Royal Academy officially defined it as "a paste made with fat from a cow, beaten smooth, with sugar".
The long history of 'butter' in Spain
 

earlene

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I am being facetious to be honest with you. Actually I am located in Texas... unfortunately.
Texas isn't so bad. My son, DIL & granddaughter live in Texas. Granddaughter & I shared a tiny house in San Antonio for a wonderful few months just prior to & during part of the pandemic. We both particularly love that time and place, especially because this Texas cat, Kitty Baby adopted us while we lived there.

 

Johnez

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I was not my intention to get anyone riled up by any stretch of the imagination. Least of all you, since you were kind enough several months ago to give me your personal feedback regarding my first batch of shave soap that I sent to you. That list mentioned above is what that reviewer feels is the "Top 12". It certainly isn't based on any type of sales figures and such. A&E's marketing approach appears to be... "let's just throw in everything that sounds good, even it is just 2% of the total formula. Ya know people are easily led astray by "EYE CANDY" ingredients."

I thought of the article as food for thought. For me, the SHARPOLOGIST is not the definitive person to make a final decision based on strictly one person's review aka opinion. As we all know, opinions are like chins... we all have one. However the website is a treasure trove of information and dozens of product reviews for razors, blades, shave soaps, shave cream, etc.

@Johnez Again, my most humble and sincere apologies for getting you riled up aka annoyed, perturbed and so forth. To think you had to resort to sipping Paloma wine to calm down enough to read the remainder of the article. Was it the Merlot or the Cabernet Sauvignon?
View attachment 62143
I only kid Prof, I probably should have said "wound up" heh. The paloma was the Mexican variety consisting of tequila, grapefruit soda, and lime. Nice occasionally, especially on hot days and such an interesting profile I'd like to recreate it in soap.

Regarding the "eye candy" ingredients, in their defense *some* ingredients work exceptionally in small or even tiny amounts. Lanolin for one, many believe MWF contains 1% or less of lanolin. But 24 ingredients, you're right seems a bit excessive. I'm curious about the marshmallow root, agave, and slippery elm. If you want a shocker, go check out Grooming Department's ingredients list. There's at least 35 ingredients, half of them after the fragrance listing. 35 ingredients and no lye. I'm curious if it's a soap even.

Regarding Sharpologist, mantic59 is partly the reason I got into wetshaving, he's been around forever. I don't have issue with them really, and love them as a source of info for products.
 

earlene

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I'm curious about the marshmallow root, agave, and slippery elm.
Marshmallow root would be for a soothing effect on the skin. Slippery elm contains mucilage, so is probably used to provide a protective film, although it is more often used internally, in my experience. Agave is probably for preventing skin irritation.
 
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