Technique Critique and Neal's Yard Remedies 'Close Shave Soap' Review

Discussion in 'Shave School' started by Edward89, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Edward89

    Edward89 New Member

    Hi all. I'm new to wet shaving and despite having a few problems, I've really enjoyed the positive experiences I've had. In order to improve my technique I've had a go at build up some lathers when I have a spare 5-10mins. Recently I purchased some Neal's Yard Remedies (NYR) 'Close Shave Soap' (http://www.nealsyardremedies.com/close-shave-soap-boxed) and I decided to have a go building some lather. I thought I would post up some photos for you guys to critique, but I also thought I would make this into a little review, given that NYR isn't mention anywhere on the site, as far as I can tell. However, if my technique is bad, then be sceptical of my review! Excuse the photo quality I took them on my blackberry and sorry that the photos aren't better ordered I didn't know how to include them in different sections of the post). Hopefully you guys will critique my lather building technique; let me know how I can improve!

    Maybe a little explanation of NYR is in order. Created in 1981, NYR is a British based company which specialises in ethical and natural cosmetics and uses sustainable and home grown organic certified ingredients. More info here: http://www.nealsyardremedies.com/about-us

    The 'Close Shave Soap' is the only soap they do but they also make a shave cream, oil as well as an after shave balm and cologne. The 'Close Shave Soap' comes in a 50g puck (see photos below) and you can also buy it with a small wicker bowl for storage (see photos below). It is vegan friendly and it even comes with a recommendation from apetogentleman.com!

    It's ingredients are: Sodium palmate, Potassium stearate, Sodium cocoate, Sodium stearate, Aqua, Potassium cocoate, Glycerin, (organic) Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) oil, Triticum vulgare (Wheat) germ oil, Sodium chloride, Sodium citrate, Coumarin, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.

    My initial thoughts are that this stuff smells strong! Comparing it to my, albeit limited, experiences of Trumpers, Crabtree and Evenlyn, L'Occtaine CADE soap and a Kent soap, whose name escapes me, the smell is of Lavender is quite strong, but not in a bad way (unless, of course, you don't like Lavender...). Unfortunately, I can't really tell you how long the smell lasts after shaving as I have not shaved with it yet, I'll update this when I do, however.

    In order to build up a pot of lather, I submerged my brush (Vulfix 404) in warm water, put the soap in a small bowl and covered it with enough warm water just to cover it. I flicked my brush emptied the water covering the soap and loaded my brush; I could really smell the Lavender. Upon build my lather I instantly saw it starting to work and with a few drops of water I really started to build it up a nice lather. Another minute and I was more than happy with what was happening and again, you could really smell the Lavender.

    My only worry was that the lather was a bit thin; when I spread it on my hand I didn't get that slick thin layer that I have seen, and produced before, although this could be more to do with my technique than the product itself...

    Anyway, I found the product to be really easy to lather up, with a great strong smell and with a refill, albeit small, at around £3.25 it's not too expensive. As I say, I was worried that I didn't quite get the slickness that I got with other soaps, but I'm new to all this and it could just be my technique; what do you guys think?

    Attached Files:

  2. Edward89

    Edward89 New Member

    The photos aren't quite in the right order but I hope you get the idea!
  3. IAmTheJody

    IAmTheJody Gillette-i Master

    I don't have much to offer except that the lather looks perfect to me in that second pic with just the loaded brush. But that doesn't mean it'll lubricate (the slickness) well. As this soap does contain glycerin - from reading the ingredients you provided - but isn't giving you what you want in terms of lubrication, I'd say it's time to try something else - and it doesn't have to be expensive soaps like this. Some of the best lubricating soaps out there come in a tube for £1.50 and less. Another option is to add your own glycerin to your lather each shave. Many people do this.
  4. Williams Warrior

    Williams Warrior Well-Known Member

    I think the lather looked a little bit dry. I say this because of the bubbles you have you either need more product on your brush and/or you need to add a touch more water and keep mixing until those bubbles are gone.
  5. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    Your lather looks good, although it is hard to tell how well a soap will work just by looking at the lather. I noticed that you soak both the brush and the soap in bowls of water in one photo. Maybe try not soaking them? Hold the brush under a running tap to wet it, shake it once or twice to get rid of some water, and then try lathering the soap. If the lather is too thin and runny, decrease the amount of water in the brush (shake it a few more times before lathering). If the lather is too dry, try using a little more water in the brush.

    I have never used Neil's Yard soap, and so cannot comment on its efficacy. It might be worthwhile to try a different soap or cream to see if that helps.

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