Dove shaving soap review

Discussion in 'Shave Soaps' started by Shaver X, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    OK, so it is not sold as a shaving soap, but Dove is reputed to cut the mustard as well as the whiskers when it comes to shaving.

    Overall: (7/10)

    Dove bath soap makes a surprisingly good shave soap, and is as good or better than some shave soaps costing much more. It is not my first choice for shaving because it smells bad, but still a good option. The overall score would be 8/10 for the unscented Dove soap. Both scores are unusually high for a bath soap.

    Ease of lathering: (9/10)

    Dove is quite easy to lather with the Dovo badger brush, and fills the brush after a few seconds. This soap does not make a super fluffy, meringue-y lather like most shaving soaps. The lather in the brush is quite dense, however. With the Omega boar brush, the lather is also quite dense. The boar brush does a better job of lathering the soap, and creates a larger volume of creamy lather.

    Life span of lather: (7/10)

    The lather, although relatively dense, goes on a little thin. It is not a very fluffy lather, as noted above. While it does not disappear quickly, the lather is also not particularly long lasting. One does not need to rush through the shave, however.

    General skincare: (8/10)

    Skincare with Dove is quite good, as expected. This soap left my face feeling pretty darned good after shaving.

    Lubrication: (8/10)

    Dove soap is quite slick, and the razor easily glides across my face. Will it make one exclaim "Wow, this soap is so amazingly slick"? No, but it does the job and does it well.

    How protective: (8/10)

    This soap is less protective than the top end shave soaps, but fully the equal of many others in this regard. I did not get any nicks or cuts, and only slight irritation. To be fair, the blade being used was on its last legs and was probably used a couple of shaves too many. A new blade fared much better, and the Dove proved to have a good level of protection.

    Scent: (2/10)

    The scent is a cloying, sickeningly sweet scent that reminds me of a convalescent home. Phew! Even just sitting in the shower, it stinks up the place. Rose seems to be one component of the scent. Unscented Dove, on the other hand, just smells like soap. Too bad it is not more widely sold. To me, the unscented variety would be 7/10 - it doesn't smell good, it doesn't not smell bad, it is simply neutral. There are also Dove soaps with masculine scents. I have never used those, and so cannot comment on their efficacy or scent. They are an option worth investigating if you don't like regular or fragrance-free Dove. Caveat: Scent is subjective. What is written here is my personal opinion of the regular Dove aroma.

    Price: (7/10)

    A 3.17 oz. / 90 g cake was $2 at Walgreens. That would be a reasonably good deal if not for the scent.

    Would you buy again: (6/10)

    No, but that is only because I don't like the smell and the unscented version is hard to find. For the fragrance-free version, the score would be 8/10. There are better shave soaps that cost only a little more, and hence are a better value. One example is Van Der Hagen Deluxe, which is only 70 cents to $1 more per cake. Dove has the advantage in that it is widely available in brick-and-mortar stores worldwide.

    Brushes used:

    Dovo pure badger
    Omega boar

    My water hardness:

    57 ppm as CaCO3 (soft)

    Soap ingredients:

    Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate or Sodium Palmitate, Lauryic Acid, Sodium Isethionate, Water, Sodium Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoate or Sodium Palm Kernelate, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Titanium Dioxide

    Manufacturer's website:


    Shaves with Dove are a little less smooth than with the very best shave soaps, but not by much. This is quite remarkable given that it is a bath soap. Claims that Dove works well as a shave soap are indeed accurate. I won't use it as a ahave soap except in a pinch because I dislike the scent, but others may find it more agreeable. Dove also sells an unscented soap, which is truly fragrance-free. Dove soap is certainly a viable option and better than canned goo. Dove would be a good choice as a mainstay for those who like to shave in the shower. It is a high quality, cost effective bath soap that will do double duty as a shave soap.

    The ingredients list was taken from the box containing the soap.

    The water hardness was taken from my utility's latest water quality annual report. The scale below was used to correlate water ppm to the soft/hard rating, and is from the US Geological Survey website.

    Water hardness scale (as CaCO3):

    0-60 mg/l: Soft
    61-120 mg/l: Moderately hard
    121-180 mg/l: Hard
    Over 180 mg/l: Very hard

    mg/l is milligrams per liter
    Some utilities give water hardness in parts per million (ppm)
    1 mg/l = 1 ppm (not exactly, but very, very close)
  2. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    A good review, but I have to wonder, why would anyone shave with a bath soap when creams and soaps designed for shaving are so readily available, even locally?

    You said, "There are better shave soaps that cost only a little more, and hence are a better value. One example is Van Der Hagen Deluxe, which is only 70 cents to $1 more per cake." $1.50 at WalMart, 50 cents less than the $2 paid for the Dove.
  3. crackstar

    crackstar Israeli Ambassador to TSD

    I've used it so many times as a shaving soap with very good results.
  4. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    I used the Dove for Men as an experiment about 3 years ago and had good results with it.
    If you are traveling and forget (forbid) some shaving soap or stick it can be found easily for emergency use.
  5. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    Dove is less expensive than most shaving soaps and available nearly everywhere, at least in the US. Mom and Pop markets, supermarkets, drug stores all carry it. Even Van Der Hagen and Williams are not as widely distributed. Want a shave soap at low cost now? Just run on down to the nearest market or drugstore and there it is. It is the virtually guaranteed easy and immediate acquisition that makes Dove an attractive option.
  6. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    I'll give it a try. I shower with the unscented Dove. My dermatologist swears by it.
  7. srpavko

    srpavko Fastrak Super Duty Hustler

    Intrigued and since my wife uses solely sensitive skin dove, I gave lathering a go. I lathered it two ways. First was my normal bowl lathering with a puck technique. This didn't really produce a lather I'd like to shave with due to, I think, the amount of water in my brush while loading. So I tried it with a drier brush, like as dry as when I put it up after shaving. No water in brush, but damp. This loaded the boar hair much more thickly as you'd expect. Then I palm lathered. This built a very very nice lather that I would attempt to shave with. I lathered up one cheek and let it sit for 15-20 seconds and it didn't dry up.

    One day soon I'll put a blade to it and see how it does but for now I think it would make a pretty good emergency, out of soap til payday, SWMBO is gonna punch me if I buy another tube of ARKO, travel soap.
    BamaT likes this.
  8. Weeper Warrior

    Weeper Warrior Well-Known Member

    Great job, Gents. Now I have to try and lather my dove for men.
    srpavko likes this.
  9. Lexicon Devil

    Lexicon Devil the Liberace of shaving

    Now to try my Irish Spring :scared011:
    feeltheburn, BamaT and srpavko like this.
  10. Williams Warrior

    Williams Warrior Well-Known Member

    I've used the regular scented Dove before and it does a fine job with cartridges, but not something I'd care to use with a straight. I like the scent, it smells like baby powder.
  11. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    I just had my first unscented Dove shave. It lathered up pretty good, and I had lots left over after two passes and touch ups. I may use this for travel. I probably would not use it anymore at home unless I ran out of everything else. That will hardly happen. So, I guess I will keep using it just for showers. It was an interesting experiment though.
  12. Tallships

    Tallships Well-Known Member

    I have been using a mix of William's and Dove in cucumber and shea butter scents in rotation with my other 2 soaps for the past year and have gotten fantastic lathers. I have even used Dove alone and have gotten great leather. My method is to puck lather, soak a boar brush, give a shake and work up a nice lather right on the puck, adding water as needed.
    Ijustmissedthe50s and brit like this.
  13. MR41

    MR41 Well-Known Member

    Good Review. Dial anti-bacterial soap is also a solid stand in for shave soap.
    Ijustmissedthe50s and brit like this.
  14. Daywalker

    Daywalker Member

    Dove is a so called combo soap btw - part soap, part syndet.
  15. Tallships

    Tallships Well-Known Member

    On Wednesday I shaved and pressed a 1/2 bar of Cucumber Dove that I had leftover into one of my shave bowls and lathered with it Thur. Fri. and this morning. As always building my lather right on the puck, I've been getting fantastic lathers, just as good as I do with Arko (bowl pressed) only with a cucumber scent
    Shaver X likes this.

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