After deciding to resort to classic shaving methods, a man faces another decision – the choice between a shaving cream and shaving soap.
Shaving creams appeared relatively not so long ago in terms of the history of cosmetic product development. This is all one can tell about the appearance of the first shaving cream. As you understand, nowadays any manufacturer having long history can claim that it was their company which produced the first cream. It is downright difficult to ascertain the truth.
The main difference is the fact that during the shaving cream manufacturing there are more opportunities to add or combine different components. All the same, the majority of creams still do have soap base. The exception is soapless (non-foaming) creams creating a special protective layer, ensures the blade will slide smoothly. Another important difference is that the cream can be used without a shaving brush; however, in this case, there will be no full-fledged foam.
Not only are some shaving creams on a par with soap, but also sometimes they even surpass it in quality and properties. That is why some lovers of a classic shaving are pleased to use soap as well as creams without bringing up an issue of a choice between these products. At the same time, the main determining factors for creams are the manufacturer, ingredients and product properties.
The disadvantage of all the creams is their economical consumption compared to soaps also if the product base contains natural components; its shelf life is less again.
The issues related to a shaving soap were covered at length in the last issue of the magazine; therefore, now I will not go into much detail. It is worth mentioning only that soap is the classic option among the products used in a traditional ritual; from my point of view, there is nothing better than this as it allows experiencing a classical wet shaving to the fullest.
These products can be soft, creamy and in bars. Consequently, the softer the soap is, the more its consumption is, and the formula can contain a bigger amount of different components. The shelf life depends not only on its ingredients but also on its hardness and size; the bigger it is the longer shelf life the product has.
Sometimes the lovers of a classic approach blur the boundaries between a cream soap and a shaving cream. I cannot claim how right they are, but, in my opinion, these are different products and they should not be grouped into one category.
Soap is rather efficient, in a number of cases; one bar of soap is enough for six months or more. But still, the shelf life depends on the degree of hardness and, undoubtedly, on the type of a brush being used. If your brush has a big bristle load, it will consume more of the product as well.
Regardless of the hardness, soap is a product for a home ritual of the classical technique. While it is still possible to take it on a business trip, in field conditions, it is not so suitable. Furthermore, guided by various hygiene standards, national barbershops use creams.
Nevertheless, there is an alternative for hiking lovers – a soap stick. The sticks are rather compact and do not need preliminary soaking.
The use of soap has its peculiarities. The first is that it is a necessity to apply with a shaving brush. Without it, you will not manage to get the foam to the right consistency. The second indispensable component is a shaving mug, as not all soap is sold in the original mugs-containers.
First of all, one should pay attention that there are as little harmful components as possible in the product formula. Therefore, you will have to study a lot of information related to this topic; but still you will not get an unambiguous answer. The thing is that our manufacturers have their own standards of cosmetic manufacturing, whereas the European and American ones are different. Plus, these standards are constantly changing. That is why the simplest decision, but not the cheapest one, will be to purchase the products based on natural ingredients. On our market, such a production is made by the company “Zdravyi obraz” and private manufacturers: Inna Kopanitsa, Svetlana Deko, and Sergei Leva. The manufacturer’s recommendations are not less important. Some creams should be applied directly on the brush rather than be whipped in a mug since in this very case foam appears to be thick and dense. Moreover, there are hard kinds, which need to be pre-soaked in the water before using them; and if you disregard that, chances are that you will not be able to get the right foam.
Even though it is difficult for me to decide, since I always test new products, still I prefer a shaving soap and opt for creams when I am travelling and having a vacation at my summer house.
I hope that you will be able to make up your mind as well. But even if you do not manage to do it, the lovers of a classic shaving will understand you, because this issue is still topical for the majority of them.