For straight-razor shavers, the process of working a shaving soap into a rich lather is essential to their shaving rituals. The best shave soap for straight razor will prepare the skin for the shave and provides a medium for a great blade’s glide.
However, you can be overwhelmed by a wide range of shaving soaps available, all of which claim to provide the best possible shaving experience.
So worry not, check out our detailed buying guide and top 5 products to figure out the best soaps to add to your rotation.
- 1 Buying Guide: What To Consider When Choosing A Shave Soap For Straight Razor?
- 2 5 Best Shave Soaps For Straight Razor (In-Depth Reviews)
- 3 Conclusion
Buying Guide: What To Consider When Choosing A Shave Soap For Straight Razor?
2 common ingredients that are used as a base for shaving soap are: tallow and vegetable oil.
Tallow-based soaps use cattle-derived fatty acids to provide a rich and creamy lather.
On the other hand, vegetable-based soap primarily contains stearic acid derived from different sources such as mango butter, palm oil, or cocoa butter.
Tallow is generally a cheaper ingredient than vegetable oil, and contains plenty of fatty acids that can generate a good and moisture lather different from any non-tallow shaving soaps’ do.
However, if you cannot get past the fact that tallow is derived from animals, vegetable-based is a vegan-friendly alternative to consider.
Another ingredient that should be considered in a shaving soap is glycerin. Although many people assume that glycerin is also a base for shaving soap, it is not true.
On the other hand, Glycerin is technically a byproduct of the soft-making process, and it contributes to a smooth, lubricated and moisturized shave. Therefore, most soaps with glycerin are proven to be more gentle with sensitive skin.
- Hard shaving soap
All traditional shaving soaps are hard soaps. These soap pucks have been gone through a stainless steel roller at least 3 times to squeeze out more moisture and air.
Fragrances, colors, and extra ingredients are added right off the bat to be well mixed through the soap after the milling. Hard shaving soaps take more time and effort to whip up into a lather using a shaving brush.
- Soft shaving soap
These soaps contain more water with a putty-like consistency.
In general, they make it easier to create a rich lather with a shaving brush. However, they might not last as long as hard soaps.
Cushion and slickness
What separates a good shave soap from a mediocre one is the lather slickness and cushioning. Slickness indicates the ability of the soap to let the blade glide across the skin smoothly.
The higher the slickness is, the better the blade just glides like a skate across ice. In contrast, you will have a hard time pulling and stopping with poor slickness.
The main ingredients that give the slickness to the lather are stearic acid, glycerin, castor oil, and shea butter.
Meanwhile, cushioning means a buffer between the blade and skin that prevents razor burn, nicks, and cuts. Therefore, the more lather is created, the better protection for your skin.
A good cushion means that the blade runs across the skin just to cut off the hair, while insufficient cushion cannot prevent the blade from scraping the skin during the shave.
The choice for scent all comes down to personal preference. Most shaving soaps available are scented yet quite mildly and do not hang around through the day.
One of the popular scents is sandalwood – the vintage barbershop scent of the good old days. Whatever you choose, it is advisable to steer clear of alcohol-based scents as they might irritate your skin.
5 Best Shave Soaps For Straight Razor (In-Depth Reviews)
To make things easier on your part, we’ve compiled the top 5 best shave soaps for shaving with straight razors in 2021.
Tabac Original By Maurer & Wirtz – Best Overall
Tacbac has long been considered a staple in the wet shaving community for its unmatched performance. It’s one of the hardest pucks of soap we came across yet incredibly easy to lather with a brush.
Unlike some other shaving soaps, which require a slight learning curve to get the proper density, Tacbac is user-friendly, and virtually anyone can whip up a great lather.
Indeed, the rich, silky, and slick lather produced by the soap is what makes it a real winner. This lather provides excellent cushioning protection for the razor, effortlessly gliding across the skin without tugging or irritation.
Followed by this pleasant shaving experience is soft, healthy-looking skin without any feeling of dryness.
The soap comes in a nice ceramic bowl that keeps it firmly in place and looks nice on the sink. Despite the high price, a little goes a long way, and it should last a long time.
While Tabac shaving soap is specifically made for safety razor, it is also popular among straight razor users. The soap lathers excellently and remains stable throughout the prolonged shave associated with straight razor.
It’s worth noting that people perceive the scent in different ways. While some people associated it with several unpleasant aromas, most users agreed the scent is fine or pleasant to them.
- Great cushioning and slickness
- Moisturizes the skin
- Easy to lather
- Ceramic bowl included
- Polarizing smell
- Cannot apply to broken or inflamed skin
Col. Conk Shaving Soap – Best For Scent
The blend of tropical bay tree leaves and Jamaican rum gives this Col Ichabod Conk a vintage barbershop feel right when you open it.
One of the key ingredients in the soap is glycerin, a humectant that retains moisture to make the soap a slick lubricant and keep razor irritation at a minimum.
After the shave, the soap leaves the skin incredibly smooth, and the rum scent still hangs on for quite a while.
Another nice perk is the added avocado oil and vitamin E in the formula. These ingredients provide the skin with extra moisture and nourishment.
On the flip side, you may want to reapply lather if you make multiple passes since the lather does not leave enough residual slickness after the first pass with your straight razor.
- Masculine bay rum scent
- Above-average slickness
- Easy to work up a thick, creamy lather
- Requires reapplying after the first pass
Proraso Shaving Soap – Best For Cooling Effects
This soft shaving soap is super easy to foam up and quick to form a creamy lather. This lather lubricates and cushions nicely when the blade meets the skin for a closer, irritation-free shave.
The eucalyptus essential oil has a purifying property to make your skin clear and brighter. Its scent is from eucalyptus and menthol, which is pleasant to most people and does not overpower any aftershave or cologne.
The menthol also manifests itself when the lather sits on your face for a while and soaks into your whiskers, giving you a refreshing, cooling tingle.
One tub holds a healthy amount of soap (5.2 ounces), which is sure to last a long time, and when considering its price, it’s a bargain!
Also, as there are no animal-based ingredients, this shaving soap is an excellent choice for vegan wet shavers.
Unfortunately, some people consider the lather to be relatively thin and prefer it to be thicker.
- Refreshing smell
- Provides great cushion and lubrication
- Cool, tingling sensation
- The lid fits on securely
- Over 95% natural without animal-originated components
- The lather could be thicker
Sir Hare Shaving Soap – Best For Natural Ingredients
This tallow-based shaving soap provides an excellent medium for a smooth shave. Thanks to the layer of slick and protective lubricant, you can achieve a closer shave without the risk of razor burn.
What stands out about this soap is the thoughtful design of the container.
While most containers are filled quite close to the top, the maker uses an 8-ounce container for 4 ounces of shaving soap. The design makes it easy for you to lather in the container without ending up with a mess.
The best thing about this product is that the natural ingredients, including shea and mango butter, help moisturize and protect your skin during the shave from razor bumps. As a result, Sir Hare can work well with dry or sensitive skin.
In addition, you can expect a refreshing post-shaving smell with hints of bergamot, oakmoss, cedarwood, and sandalwood.
And by “hints,” we meant it’s just a light scent that some people might consider rather weak.
- Superior lubrication
- Natural components to keep skin moisturized
- Easy to lather without leaving a mess behind
- Clean, refreshing scent
- The fragrance might be too light for some people
Van Der Hagen Scented Shave Soap – Best For Budget
Van Der Hagen comes in a pack of 3 pucks at a lower price than many single puck shaving soaps. Yet, price and quality are not always correlated in the shaving world, and this soap is a fine example.
Van Der Hagen also hits the mark in terms of the aftershave feel. It leaves the skin feeling moist yet not greasy throughout the day with a mild smell.
Unlike some shaving soaps, we found no complaints about the scent, and some people describe it as neutral or light and noted that it does not clash with aftershave products.
In terms of slickness, it is a relatively slick soap and provides the necessary lubrication for the blade to glide comfortably without nicking your skin. In addition, the mango, cocoa butter, and shea in the formula add to the shave comfort by moisturizing and nourishing the skin.
- Produces a good lather
- Lasts a long time
- Moisturizes and nourishes the skin
- Only available with one scent
Have you found the best shave soap for straight razor after reading this article?
Keep in mind that the high price is not synonymous with quality for shaving products, and you can enjoy a smooth, irritation-free shaving experience at an affordable price.
If you’re looking at other products or brands, refer to our buying guide to make a better decision. Feel free to drop your questions in the comment section below!