Education, First Time Barbers, Physical Health, Wellness / Self-Care

Ever wondered “what is shaving soap?” We break it down for you

It’s not the same as bath soap.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Jul 15, 2021

Have you ever wondered whether you could simply shave with an ordinary bar of soap? Are you interested in knowing more about how shaving soap works? There are several key variations between shaving soap and conventional bath soap that you should be aware of if you want to make the proper lather for a shave. Using shaving soap is an extremely important feature of wet shaving, here we break it down for you.


So, what is the purpose of shaving soap?

To comprehend the distinctions between shaving soap and bath soap, you must first thoroughly understand what shaving soap is for. Shaving soap isn’t like regular soap in that it’s not designed to remove grime.


What to look for in shaving soap

  1. Shaving soap must be stable – when making a lather using shaving soap, you want to make sure it’s stable enough to survive the whole shave, including repeated passes. Canned foams and normal soaps frequently lather, but the lather disappears rapidly.
  2. Slickness is another advantage of shaving soap. To prevent irritation, the lather should allow the blade to glide freely over the skin.
  3. Conventional soap may be rather drying at times. Moisturizing ingredients are added to shaving soaps to help decrease this effect. These chemicals also help to soften the whiskers.
  4. Shaving soaps frequently include chemicals with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and skin-nurturing characteristics since even with a smooth, stable lather, running a sharp steel blade over your face is certain to cause some harm.


As an overview, here are some ingredients that can be found in shaving soap:

The high stearic acid content not only aids in stability, but also adds slickness to the lather. Castor oil, glycerin, kaolin (bentonite) clay, and shea butter are among other components that are known to help with glide.


Because soap has a drying impact, moisturizing chemicals should be included in your shave soap. Allantoin, aloe vera, argan oil, avocado oil, beeswax, cocoa butter, goat’s milk, jojoba oil, kokum butter, lanolin, mango seed butter, olive oil are all examples of humectants.


Many of the ingredients used for their moisturizing properties also nourish the skin. Cocoa butter, jojoba oil, kokum butter, menthol, and Vitamin E are just a few of the ingredients that have various uses. Menthol is a cooling agent that also acts as an antibacterial. Vitamin E (also known as tocopherol) is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from free radical damage.


As a result, just lathering up with a bar of your favorite bath soap will yield unsatisfactory results. It won’t give you the thick, consistent lather you’ll need for numerous passes. It won’t provide the blade any lubrication or glide, resulting in nicks, cuts, and discomfort. Because it lacks the vital moisture and nurturing that a shaving soap can give, it will be drying to your delicate skin. So, moving forward, try using shaving soap instead of your regular soap bar for all your shaves.


If you want to stick to shaving creams, we have a list of our top 5 to check out. We also have a list of the best non-electrical razors if you want to keep it old school.


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