Cream versus Soap?

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!
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drmoss_ca
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Cream versus Soap?

Post by drmoss_ca »

I think I have always preferred soap, because they are cheaper and available in so many more varieties. It was once said that soaps gave a closer shave, whereas the thicker cushion of creams prevented ultimate closeness.

And now I disagree, with all that and with myself. I don't have any modern creams or soaps to play with, but using my old stocks of ancient Trumper creams and tallow-based Tabac, I'm getting closer shaves with the cream. I'm trying to do everything the same—hot water, pre-soak, lather thickness, razors, technique and whatever I can think of. And yet, the cream still wins. Does it soften the bristles more? I don't know. I've got several lifetimes worth of both, but I guess I should be concentrating on using the creams up first.

Chris
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Brutus
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Re: Cream versus Soap?

Post by Brutus »

Interesting theory…

I never had the impression that lather from shaving soaps made for a closer shave. I do have the impression, however, that lather from shaving stick tends to be inferior to lather from the shaving soap of the same brand (e.g. Tabac) even if the list of ingredients should be the same. Go figure…

Generally, I prefer shaving soaps over creams as the more compact soaps are easier to store at home and carry along when on a flight, which used to be an important consideration before I retired from my active flying career. Of course, some products are only available in one form, in which case the choice is already made for us.

As for using up my supply of creams first, I still have a few tubes of Musgo Real from the days when that cream was cheap (Remember the C$11/tube days?) and it seems they can be stored forever without any negative effect.


The odd shaving cream for me is Nivea. I like Nivea; have been using Nivea body and face creams for as long as I can remember. Nivea products tend to be reasonably priced, widely available, dermatologically tested quality products that do whatever they are supposed to do. In case of the shaving creams, I can’t find anything wrong with either of the two shaving creams available in Canada, they do produce a nice thick lather with good lubrication, but somehow they never seem to get anywhere close to my regular rotation.
It could be that I have been brainwashed by comments about the Dimethicone, a type of silicone, that these creams contain and which purportedly sticks to the fibres of shaving brushes and is difficult to remove.
I tried again a fresh tube just last week and after a two or three shaves it again went to the far corner of my bathroom cabinet.

Be that as it may, I have enough shaving soaps and creams not to worry about this too much…


B.
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.

Bertrand Russell
Gene
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Re: Cream versus Soap?

Post by Gene »

I never had that impression either - but I think some experimentation is now in order. I don't have any tubs of shave cream, but I do have some tubes:

Prorasso red tube (sandalwood) - Nice all around ... scent and performance.
Trumper Spanish Leather ... fair scent, good performance.
Nivea Shave Cream (bought in Canada years ago) ... medicinal scent but good performance.

For soaps I have:

Woods of Windsor (tallow)
Art of Shaving Sandalwood
DR Harris Lavender

I will use the same razor (General aluminum) and brush (Simpson Colonel X2L) for consistency. Sounds fun!
Gene

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CMur12
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Re: Cream versus Soap?

Post by CMur12 »

I've hardly ever used creams, as I have always simply preferred soaps in concept.

I'm mystified, Chris, that you are getting closer shaves with the more cushiony creams. I have always made my lather slick, with minimal cushion, because that gave me a closer shave (and still with minimal irritation). Cushion was something I had to battle with to get the blade to the surface, and I was more likely to harm myself in that battle.

At the same time, I have always used mild razors. It's possible they just work better with thinner lather. Of course, an open blade is another paradigm, so I can't speak to that.

- Murray
Gene
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Re: Cream versus Soap?

Post by Gene »

Murray - How do you control slick/cushion? What helps make it more of one or the other? The amount of water in the mix?
Gene

"It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress."
Mark Twain

"People shouldn't be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people."
Alan Moore
CMur12
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Re: Cream versus Soap?

Post by CMur12 »

Gene wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2023 4:21 am Murray - How do you control slick/cushion? What helps make it more of one or the other? The amount of water in the mix?
Hi Gene -

Yes, I make a wetter lather. I'm not sure if I work it any longer than others, but I need to work it and keep a certain amount of water in it while I do.

- Murray
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