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What is the most slippery cream/soap around?

What is your opinion on fine shaving creams and hard soaps? Do you like Trumpers, Coates, Taylors, Truefitt & Hill? Post your reviews and opinions here!

What is the most slippery cream/soap around?

Postby actuary32174 » Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:31 pm

I have been wet shaving now for a couple of months and have used:

1. Proraso (Green Tube)
2. Trumper's Limes
3. Tabac
4. Kiss My Face
5. Nancyboy (1st time last night)

I found all of them (maybe not Kiss my face so much) gave me a very close shave. I suppose that they are all "slippery" to some degree on my face, but, I really have no basis for comparison. I have heard that Mama Bear's and QED's soaps are slippery, I have also heard that putting glycerin soap between passes makes for a slippery shave.

What is the opinion on which soaps/creams make the face the most slippery? I know that this is not the only factor for a good BBS shave, but, it helps. I was going to try my new Merkur Slant Bar this weekend and didn't want to cut my throat if possible. I figure the more slippery the mixture (everything else being equal), the more likely I can get a good, minimally bloody shave.

Any opinions will be appreciated.

Rick
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Postby bernards66 » Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:53 pm

Rick, I find the word "slippery" to be problematic. Could you be more specific? A lack of cushion, and lubrication are very different things, really.
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Postby Bob » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:04 pm

Rick, I'm not sure if your presumption is correct: a "slicker" cream or soap may not produce the least bloody shave. Frankly, good technique with the razor is what will improve your shave the most, not the creams and soaps.

To answer your question, though, the slickest creams are usually the brushless creams. They are not favored by the true "shavegeeks', though (including myself, if I can be presumptuous enough to call myself a "shavegeek").

If you are set on trying slick creams, I would recommend creams by Tom's of Maine, Caswell-Massey, or even Palmolive. Soaps will usually give you an even slicker shaving surface than creams. You might want to start with Truefitt & Hill's shave soap.

As I said though, you will get better results by concentrating on your shaving technique than you will by changing your cream or soap.
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Postby DEF » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:12 pm

Try QED soap for slickness. I wouldn't bother with applying extra glycerine.

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Doug
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Postby bernards66 » Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:44 pm

Doug, Well, the QED soap is a good case in point. It has little cushion, little lubrication, so it cuts very 'fast'. Something like Cremo Cream, or even Nancy Boy has a lot of lubrication and cushion, and cuts much 'slower'. So, which is more "slippery"? It depends on one's definition. If one is prone to nicking one's self, due to under developed technique, I certainly wouldn't recommend a 'fast' cutting lather, personally.
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Gordon
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Postby DEF » Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:12 pm

Gordon,

As you suggest, I was equating "slippery" with "fast cutting." I've been using the triple-milled soaps for the past several months, but broke out the QED Bergamot the other day because it's such a good complement to the Blenheim EDT that I planned to wear. I was struck with how slick/fast it was -- certainly the fastest lather among my... er... 19 soaps. :oops:

For someone trying to get their technique down, I'd recommend something like the Merkur HD with good old US Personna blades and T&H soap. That would be a fairly forgiving yet effective setup. A Merkur slant with a glycerine soap like QED would best be attempted by someone with a light touch and developed technique. I suppose I simply answered Rick's question superficially without addressing the deeper issue.

Regards,
Doug

PS: This is a bit OT, but I just procured one of Pauldog's Feather Portable DE razors. That little dude is surprisingly aggressive and, loaded with a Feather blade, will let you know in a hurry if you're being ham-handed.
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Postby bernards66 » Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:37 pm

Doug, 19 soaps?! Tsk, tsk....getting as bad as Mo, I'm sorry to say ( chuckle ). Yeah, that would be a good combination for the newer shaver. My personal recommendation is usually something like a SS or Gillette Adjustable or Progress dialed down low, an IP blade, and a 'heavier' English cream, say like Taylors. But definately not fast cutting soaps, razors with a lot of blade exposure, or Feather blades ( or even Swedes, probably ). Yeah, I've heard that that little Feather razor is pretty aggressive. Well, that Pakistani made TTO Feather is pretty aggressive too, I thought, so I'm not surprised.
Regards,
Gordon
Last edited by bernards66 on Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby notthesharpest » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:04 pm

Regarding your real wish, which is for safety when using a new razor:
Now that you have some experience, use something that always works for you, so that you have one less thing to worry about.
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Postby MOSES » Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:17 am

bernards66 wrote:Doug, 19 soaps?! Tsk, tsk....getting as bad as Mo, I'm sorry to say ( chuckle ).


Um er... who? Me? No.....

On B&B I answered by naming the things that make the razor, or your finger, or whatever, slide across the skin with the least resistance. The onces where it is hard to stretch the skin because it just slides under your fingers anywhere the lather has touched, even after the razor has shaved it off. That's my definition of slippery. Which means Honeybee soap, or Cremo Cream.

But really, I suppose, as you point out with greater perception of the real issue, the gentleman is most concerned with protecting his face while he works on his technique. Which is not exactly the same thing. While it happens that I would actually recommend either of the above products for being protective (Honeybee is the most protective soap I have used, with the possible exception of Tabac), your suggestion of a basic english cream really can't be beat. A tub of Taylor is also very protective, and there is nothing easier to lather which is important. After all, there are some products I've tried that are fantastic if lathered right, but easy to lather in a way that they are not so good. Which is clearly not what our chap needs.

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Postby rustyblade » Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:50 am

I also think that "slipperyness" means nothing really. Yes, certain creams/soaps are slick. J.M. Fraser's comes to mind. Then you have the other end... I don't find Mitchell's Wool Fat slick/slippery at all, but it is possibly the best shave lather you can brush onto your face. When I use Mitchell's with a DE there is much more drag than using J.M. Fraser's for example. Mitchell's offers great protection and cushion when made correctly. Just an aside, I find slip does not matter in the least when using a straight, DE's need more slip because of all the metal touching your skin.

I think many newbies associate slipperyness in a shave cream/soap to be a good thing and rate them on that alone. You rarely hear veteran shavers talk about slickness in a shave cream or soap. I can make a super slick lather with J.M. Fraser's shave cream, but it will not yield a comfortable shave with my Feather AC.
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Postby jvan » Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:04 am

I moved your thread into the Cream/Soap forum figuring that you would receive more responses.

John
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Postby Brett G » Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:23 am

This is one of those questions that can be interpreted a lot of different ways. Some guys think it is all about slickness, and for many gents that may be correct. I actually think it is a little more complex than that. You will see the term "cushion" thrown around here quite a bit. Most members use that word in the context of how much protection a lather offers, not necessarily how slick it is.

IMO, a great shave is like walking a tightrope. You want a lather that protects your skin but is still thin enough to allow the blade to get adequate traction. My issue with mass produced gels and many brushless products is that they are too heavy and downright slimy in some instances. These products actually keep the blade too far off your face and allow it to skid right over short stubble. They force you into a fight if you want the BBS shave that is the standard around these parts. One of the reasons why I think the high quality wet shaving products that are consistently mentioned on this board work so well is that they toe that line better than anything else.

As a general rule I believe slickness and cushion are related. A great example is a bargain soap like Williams. Lather from those kinds of soaps are neither particularly slick nor offer a ton of cushion. Like Gordon mentioned they tend to cut very fast. A heavy lathering cream like Trumper’s is going to have a lot more cushion and thus have a somewhat slicker feel, or at least the razor will move with less drag. Keep in mind that there is no gospel and there are exceptions to every rule. Glycerin soaps (like QED) are quite slick but don't have as much cushion as triple milled soaps and creams. As such they cut quite fast but glide pretty well, just the ticket for some guys.

The bottom line is that you have to experiment and find what works best for your skin/beard situation. That includes finding the right razor/blade combo. And then, to top it all off, there is absolutely no substitute for good technique. It is the great equalizer.
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Postby actuary32174 » Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:48 am

What I was really trying to get at was a recommendation for a cream/soap that would significantly reduce drag so that I could avoid razor burn. This occurs every so often on thge my neck. Notwithstanding my shaving technique, I was also hoping to get some suggestions on what to put on my burn to alleviate it as much and as soon as possible.

Thanks for the help
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Postby rustyblade » Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:30 am

actuary32174 wrote:What I was really trying to get at was a recommendation for a cream/soap that would significantly reduce drag so that I could avoid razor burn. This occurs every so often on thge my neck. Notwithstanding my shaving technique, I was also hoping to get some suggestions on what to put on my burn to alleviate it as much and as soon as possible.

Thanks for the help


Concentrate on making a denser lather with what you have. This is what protects your skin from the razor, not the slickness.
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Postby wrath186 » Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:39 am

As you can see you've sparked some debate. My personal preference is for creams, but I have a selection of soaps that I do use from time to time as well.

Trumpers, Taylors and Truefitt are pretty much the gold standard for comfort, lather and scent. Some will argue, but they seem to offer the best all around shave. From there I can reccomend Nancy Boy and AOS. They provide me with great shaves, but you need to watch technique a little more with them.

As far as soaps are concerned it can be a little more complicated. IMHO, tallow based soaps, such as Mitchell's Woolfat, offer a "slicker" creamier lather than vegetable based soaps. There is a small company called Miss Jenny's soaps and they make a very slick cinnamon shave soap. It offers a very nice slick surface, but I must warn you it does take a little getting use to. Here's a link to my review of it.

http://www.shavemyface.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16626&highlight=

Lastly, for bad razor burn aloe or witch hazel seem to perform the best for easing pain. The latter is better used for astringent purposes rather than burn, but I read that it can work well. Be careful of other products like skin food and shave balms. If your skin is sensitive these can block pores and cause more problems than the burn.

Hope this helps.
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Postby MOSES » Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:59 am

Honestly, for what you want in a soap, I would seriously look at Honeybee soaps.

Also, think about technique, and how it might be impacting this. That is an easy place to let your blade drift to a slightly different angle. In addition, have you really looked at the direction your hair grows here? On my neck, it grow down from my chin, gradually fading to growing out toward the sides, as you move away from the center. Except the last faction of an inch at the very bottom, where it flips and grows up. Very very easy to get razor burn down there. I have to be very careful of the direction I hit it.

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Postby bernards66 » Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:03 am

Well, basically, Richard is right; you have some very good products, and especially the Trumpers Lime cream or the Nancy Boy offers a good deal of protection or cushion if the lather is made correctly. Nancy Boy used brushless would provide even more. But, if you're getting a significent amount of razor burn, even with these products, then it's time to look at your technique. If you're using a DE, you want to consider your blade to skin angle, and the amount of pressure you are applying. If you're using a multi-blade cartridge, then perhaps, you shouldn't.

The best stuff for razor burn that I've ever used was the old D R Harris's Aftershave Milk. Unfortunately, it's not being made anymore...not in that formula, anyway. Clinique Post Shave Healer ( the original formula ) isn't bad. For more severe razor burn, it's time for the Cotizone cream. But, if you're having to use that regularly, then something is wrong with what you're doing.
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Postby letterk » Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:38 am

rustyblade wrote:I also think that "slipperyness" means nothing really. Yes, certain creams/soaps are slick. J.M. Fraser's comes to mind. Then you have the other end... I don't find Mitchell's Wool Fat slick/slippery at all, but it is possibly the best shave lather you can brush onto your face. When I use Mitchell's with a DE there is much more drag than using J.M. Fraser's for example. Mitchell's offers great protection and cushion when made correctly. Just an aside, I find slip does not matter in the least when using a straight, DE's need more slip because of all the metal touching your skin.

I think many newbies associate slipperyness in a shave cream/soap to be a good thing and rate them on that alone. You rarely hear veteran shavers talk about slickness in a shave cream or soap. I can make a super slick lather with J.M. Fraser's shave cream, but it will not yield a comfortable shave with my Feather AC.


I'm going to have to disagree with Richard on slipperyness not being important. If fact for me, it's one of THE most important aspects of a cream or soap. Slipperyness is absolutely integral for a "comfortable" shave. I'll agree it's less so with a straight, but still important. Sure, it's not the only thing, but it certainly can't be discounted. If a soap/cream isn't slippery, I'll get a terrible shave, both in comfort during the shave and the resulting quality of the shave. Luckily, there's not much to worry about with the major high-end brands. However, water quality can have a big affect. For instance, I have very hard water and find Salter's to be insufficient in slickness at home. Great stuff with normal water though.
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Postby actuary32174 » Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:44 am

I live in Florida and my water is very hard.
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Postby jaradus » Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:41 pm

I've tried a fair number of different creams (Trumpers Coconut/Rose, Taylors Sandalwood, T&H Lavender, C&E Almond/Sienna, Floris JF/Sandal to name a few) and oddly enough I've found one shaving gel that's amazingly--albeit slightly disturbingly--smooth and cushioning.

Now, I know that it's a rather dangerous statement for a "shavegeek" to make, but you can find the gel at your local CVS. It's King of Shaves AlphaGel shaving gel. Comes in a dark navy blue tube and the gel itself is iridescent blue with small white and clear bubbles in it. Smells a little odd yes (tea tree/mint), but for the sake of science I would give it a shot. I prefer wetshaving, but I'll have to admit that it gave me BBS with a Mach3 (I don't like to mix my DEs with gels) after three passes (S-N-W). It's roughly $5.
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