My Ultimate Minimalist Shave

Thoughts and input on anything related to wet shaving or men's grooming.
User avatar
Blue As A Jewel
Posts: 3837
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 8:14 am
Location: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Post by Blue As A Jewel »

I like McBarf burgers.... I like a pastrami and beer at my local deli... I don't like artificial insemination...
- Ravi -

You can mistrust me less than you can mistrust him. Trust me.
JimT
Posts: 315
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:39 pm
Location: CA

Post by JimT »

Jack,

The ingredients for all VDH products, Williams, and Basis Sensitive Skin bar soap are listed below. VDH soaps are detergent based products whereas Willams and Basis are both just plain soap. Also, two of the VDH products contain dyes which I avoided (except titanium dioxide) due to skin compatibility concerns. I have never used VDH soaps preferring to stay with non-detergent based products (actually, I have tried Dove for shaving but I much prefer soap). I hope this helps.

JimT

Ingredient Lists for van der Hagen Shave Soaps originally posted by me on SMF April 13, 2008 per an e-mail sent to me by the Van der Hagen company.

Select Shave Soap: Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol, Water, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Myristate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide, Triethanolamine.

Glycerin Shave Soap: Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol, Water, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Myristate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Glycerin, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Avena Sativa Kernal Extract (and) Phenoxyethanol (Oat Extract), Fragrance, Triethanolamine, FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Blue #1, D&C Red #33.

Deluxe Shave Soap: Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol, Water, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Myristate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Vera), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide, Triethanolamine, FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Red #40.

Basis Senstive Skin Bar Soap ingredients from www.drugstore.com: Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Cocoate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Water (Triple Purified), Glycerin, Petrolatum, Almond Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Thiosulfate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Extract, Cyclopentadecanolide, Pentasodium Pentetate, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Lanolin Alcohol, Beeswax (Apis Mellifera)

Williams Mug Shaving Soap ingredients from www.drugstore.com: Sodium Tallowate, Potassium Stearate, Sodium Cocoate, Water, Glycerin, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Pentasodium Pentetate, Fragrance (Parfum), Titanium Dioxide
The Riehle Axiom - "One test is worth a thousand expert opinions"
JimT
Posts: 315
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:39 pm
Location: CA

Post by JimT »

Murray,

It is evident to me in your posts and especially in your reply to Gordon that you really understand what I was trying to convey with this post. Thank you. My primary focus was a close and comfortable shave with readily available items - cost was not the primary issue. You also hit another nail on the head - I like buying the only American made double edge blade. My focus was not a study in mediocrity but a study of the real synergy and technique between a soap and a double edge razor shave. Technique trumps all products. I have shaved with many bath soaps not really suited for the purpose mostly as a learning experience (oh no, a new disorder?), such as Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap (likely the ultimate challenge and not one I wish to repeat often - shave only with the grain and use a very light touch and a sharp blade), and I have learned how to modify my shave technique slightly based on the soap limitations. I am of the opinion that a shave with a double edge razor and the most basic shave soap (Williams for me) is a veritable luxury compared to cartridge razors and aerosol gels and I acquired that perspective from the SMF site. Today, I am still as thrilled to use my double edge razor as when I was first learning.

I purchase only three items at Walmart because I know I can find them there - US Personna double edge razor blades, Basis Sensitive Skin Bar soap, and Tom's of Maine shower/bath soaps (no longer available). Costco and Target have not elected to carry these items even though I have made repeated requests.

Lastly, like all of us, I also suffered from acquisition disorders - mostly shave creams and soaps and I also have an unused gold Merkur slant bar razor which I have no desire to use. I am not new to the SMF forum so the history of my AD's is available in past posts. I have long since recovered but the quest for the ultimate shave remains.

My disappointment with Taylor of Old Bond Street Rose shaving cream was huge. To have a skin compatibility issue when the shave and the scent were wonderful still disappoints me.

Thanks again Murray.


JimT
The Riehle Axiom - "One test is worth a thousand expert opinions"
User avatar
drumana
Posts: 5051
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:02 pm

Post by drumana »

JimT - It's great that you've found a shave kit that works for you on a daily basis and can be found locally and inexpensively. That's kind of a gold mine - the Holy Grail.

I'm on board with the 'basic kit' idea, although my basic kit consists of higher end shave stuffs - so it's 'expensive' (arguable, considering...) and for the most part not available locally. I enjoy my Simpsons and Rooney brushes and I love my DR Harris and Cella...

But I'm a firm believer in the ability to gain increasing satisfaction out of a smaller sized shave kit as opposed to the extreme variety of tools and products some gents have and use... To each his own, really. I like to go narrow and deep rather than broad and shallow.
-Andrew-
User avatar
paperpundit
Posts: 2260
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:34 am
Location: Brandon, FL

Post by paperpundit »

Well, Jim, you hit it on the head for me. Thank you for your time and your effort.

Oh, and I'm glad to see that someone else has played with bath soaps as shave soaps. I was worried I might be the only one... :lol:
Jack

"All you need is love, love...love is all you need."
notthesharpest
Assistant Dean SMFU
Posts: 9449
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:32 am
Location: Vancouver, BC

Post by notthesharpest »

paperpundit wrote:Well, Jim, you hit it on the head for me. Thank you for your time and your effort.

Oh, and I'm glad to see that someone else has played with bath soaps as shave soaps. I was worried I might be the only one... :lol:
I think that before fancy shave soap was widely known & available, and before there was canned foam at the drugstore, many men simply used whatever soap was in the house.

I also think "whatever soap was in the house" was more likely back then to have been a reasonable, normal soap, and therefore more likely to give half-decent shaving performance, unlike the congealed-detergent bars often found now.

With any decent 'real' bath soap, while the shave may not be as beautiful as with the top-line soaps or creams, it's usually not bad at least.
User avatar
paperpundit
Posts: 2260
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:34 am
Location: Brandon, FL

Post by paperpundit »

My grandfather was an Ivory soap man -- shave and shower.

Mind you, back then, it actually floated.
Jack

"All you need is love, love...love is all you need."
Lou
Posts: 255
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:02 am

Post by Lou »

I share that fondness for locally available, reasonably priced products. I've never had a problem with Williams and consider it my basic shave soap if only because I can buy it for around a dollar at most drugstores and department stores. I was overjoyed to find how much I liked the inexpensive and widely available Aqua Velva Musk.

I chose to spend more on the hardware, because I prefer tools that perform well, are a pleasure to use, and last for a long time. My Superspeed and Vulfix were a great value in terms of what I want from them. I can get by with Personna and even some generic DE blades, but ordering Crystals in bulk once a year is another great value when considering how comfortable my shaves are with them.

Cologne is the one item in which I indulge. I don't buy a lot, but the right scent can pop open my wallet far beyond what many people would consider reasonable.
merkri
Posts: 360
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 8:40 pm

Post by merkri »

To me, "minimalist" would imply no brush or aftershave/toner.

Just a razor, blade, soap, and water.

That's different from cost/availability, though.
notthesharpest
Assistant Dean SMFU
Posts: 9449
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:32 am
Location: Vancouver, BC

Post by notthesharpest »

paperpundit wrote:My grandfather was an Ivory soap man -- shave and shower.

Mind you, back then, it actually floated.
And you could count on it to actually BE soap. :(
User avatar
gil3591
Posts: 3044
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:36 am
Location: ohio

Post by gil3591 »

my minimalist kit would be: merkur progress, iridium blades, tabac, proraso, pinaud special reserve a/s and a balm.silvertip badger brush, sorry but that's as minimalist as i care or need to go. why suffer? :lol:
Gil
futur/EJ357/ gillette redtip
iridium ,blue IP
thater, shavemac.anchorset/tgn,sr3226
dirty bird
and a prayer
User avatar
Pauldog
Never Shave a Husky
Posts: 6274
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:39 pm

Post by Pauldog »

KAV wrote:chopping frozen water with his bayonet in a M1 ball ammo can preparing to shave.
That's where the French pull-cord rotary razor comes in real handy!
Post Reply