When a man shaves the traditional way, he not only puts more time into perfecting his technique, but also must make the effort to consider which products best suit his skin. From teenage years spent using aerosol based gels and foams, it can be a testing process making the transition to a more thorough approach. It doesn't start and end with choosing the right razor either, so we sought the expertise of our Shoreditch Head Barber Gwen, and Master Barber Alex to help explain the differences between Shave Cream and Shaving Soap - and how to best decide which is right for you.
Mallow, Aloe Vera and Borage are some of the key, indulgent ingredients behind our cream's remarkable ability to moisturise the skin as you shave. Gwen confirms: "I find Shave Cream easier to use on clients. So this would probably be the ideal product to start traditional shaving with. It lathers up more effortlessly than soap, doesn't dry out quickly and makes a thicker 'cushion' as such on the face for protection against a blade.” This is certainly a key attribute to consider if you're using a straight razor for the first time.
Our shave soap is a highly conditioning, moisturising formula, enriched with essential oils from sandalwood and rose for a smooth, satisfying and fragrant shave. Shaving cream with its softer, cushioned texture is certainly more instantaneous and approachable, however shaving soap is generally considered the more authentic, traditional product to use. With a good quality brush, shaving soap can be exerted straight from its wooden bowl and Alex adds that this extra effort can provide more effective results for men with combination/oily skin: "These chaps will certainly fare better with a soap as they don't require such a generous amount of lather to cover the skin. A bowl of Shaving Soap can also last much longer than a jar of cream for this reason. Clients do tend to find it more of a luxury using a soap too due to its traditional heritage."
For men with dryer skin, the lather created from shaving cream better maintains moisture, providing a more comfortable shave. The unique use of mallow extract in our cream further provides a boost in cushioning texture while the remaining ingredients contribute to keeping the skin moist as it rests on the surface of the face. The other advantage of a silkier, richer lather is the ability to reach any tricky nooks on the face. The advantages of a thicker texture also benefits men with dryer, more sensitive skin.
Shaving soaps are more widely recognised and appreciated for their traditional qualities though, and for good reason. The lather created from soap can be just as effective for the face providing that you have a suitable skin type. The finer lather also better suits straight, single blade razors, helping them to glide across skin as smoothly as possible.
Ultimately, once you have sampled both a cream and a soap you will soon gain a personal preference. Either product will leave your face feeling refreshed and revitalised after a close shave, so be sure from this point to confidently experiment with your shaving collection as you perfect your ultimate regime at home.