Karita's Shaving Soap review

Discussion in 'Shave Soaps' started by Shaver X, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    Karita's Shaving Soap review

    Awhile back, for no particular reason, I did a Google search to find soapmakers in Northern California. One of the soapmakers I came across was Karita's Handmade. They offer two shaving soaps, Karita's Shaving Soap and Wild Oak Shaving Soap. This review is for Karita's Shaving Soap.

    Website: www.karitashandmade.com

    From the main page, click on 'Skin Care' and then For Men Only. The direct link for the shaving soap is here.

    (The soap in the photo below had been used once. The puck as shipped did not have the badger hairs or discolored/damp base.)


    Overall: (8.3/10)

    The shave of the gods! When lathered with a boar brush, and using Nivea aftershave balm afterwards, shaves with this soap really are that good. The Nivea was not at all necessary, and does not figure in the categories below or the overall score, but was merely icing on the cake. Without the balm, the shaves were still superb - guaranteed baby bottom-smooth four pass shaves. That was each and every time for the two weeks I have been using it. Karita's Shaving Soap excels in most regards, lacking only in lather longevity. Much to my amazement, the lather issue is not much of a factor, to me at least, because the soap is so outstanding in other ways.

    Ease of lathering: (9/10)

    Karita's Shaving Soap lathers very quickly and easily using my floppy badger brush. The lather produced was generally high-quality, although very slightly on the airy side. The soap is thirsty, so I added some water to the tip of the brush as needed while lathering. Although this soap lathers very well with the badger brush, it lathers extremely well with a boar brush. The lather is even better quality than with the badger. Top marks here for Karita's! BTW - I used the badger brush the first week and the boar brush the second week.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Life span of lather: (4/10)

    Quite a few artisan soaps have lather longevity issues, and this soap is not exception. The lather starts disappearing almost immediately after I apply it to my face. When using the badger brush, I always have to reapply the lather one or two times per pass. When using the boar brush, I had to reapply lather once per pass, or sometimes not at all if I shaved quickly.

    General skincare: (10/10)

    The skincare for this soap is excellent. It is among the best of any soap or cream I have used, and second to none. It is so efficacious that no aftershave or aftershave balm is needed. Now that is good!

    Lubrication: (10/10)

    Or maybe 10,000 / 10? Seriously, this is by far the slickest shaving soap I have ever encountered. It is triple-teflon coated on wet ice slick. Wow! The extremely good lubrication makes close shaves with this soap very easy to achieve. Just to tempt fate, I tried a few shaves with a blade that was way past its prime. The seventh and eighth shaves on a normally five shave max blade were still close and without the slightest hint of tugging or pulling. Now that is an accomplishment!

    How protective: (7/10)

    The lather from Karita's soap provides a reasonable amount of protection. I got a couple of nicks while using this soap, but they were only minor. No irritation was encountered unless I used a blade that was quite overdue for replacement. Even then, the irritation was only minor, and only above my upper lip.

    Scent: (10/10)

    Karita's Shaving Soap has a wonderful, earthy scent, and I detected a tiny hint of citrus. Mmmmmmm... :) Of course, that is just my take. Opinions on scent are often highly subjective. The vendor describes the scent as being composed of eucalyptus, clove, patchouli and vetiver.

    Price: (9/10)

    The soap is $4.00 for a 3 oz puck. Given the soap's quality, this represents a fine bargain as far as I am concerned.

    Would you buy again: (8/10)

    Much to my surprise, yes. Although I am very disinclined to buy soaps with poor lather longevity, it is hard to resist one that results in such good shaves. Not to mention its other fine qualities. Sure, having to re-lather during a shaving pass is a pain. In the case of Karita's Shaving Soap, it is well worth it.

    Shaving soap ingredients:

    Taken from the label on the soap wrapper:

    Saponified olive, coconut, castor oils with eucalyptus, clove, patchouli and vetiver scent.

    Brushes used:

    Dovo 918 052 pure badger
    Omega 50014 boar travel brush

    Note that although the Dovo brush is sold as a pure badger, the brush characteristics and cost indicate that it is actually a better grade than pure.

    My water hardness:

    46 ppm as CaCO3 (soft)

    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)
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
    crackstar likes this.
  2. Magnum

    Magnum New Member

    That's got to be the most in depth soap review I've ever seen. I'll put it on my list for my next round of soap buying.
    Shaver X likes this.

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