Soap Vs. Cream (dumb question?)

Discussion in 'Shave Soaps' started by ehehat, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. ehehat

    ehehat Member

    I'm sure this has been discussed ad nauseum but after a search brought no results I figured I'd ask.

    For some reason I really want to like soaps. No matter how easy and pleasing I find creams I keep coming back and I'm not really sure why. Can you tell me? For those "Soap Die-hards" out there, why soap? what is it that makes you prefer them to creams? Are there any real Soap Die-Hards or does pretty much everyone go back and forth? I know each product is going to be based on a YMMV basis but for those that stick to soaps exclusively...why?
  2. Regan

    Regan Well-Known Member

    Hmmm I do not stick to soaps i go back and forth. However I think soaps last longer but they need some more work to get lather. At least that is my opinion and feelings on the matter.

    I have been on a soap kick for awhile just using soaps. They are different. loaded different applied different. Or at least thats how it is for me.
  3. ChemErik

    ChemErik Mr. Personality

    I'm not exclusive to soaps, but I am ~90% such. I personally find that I can make just about any soap work, where creams are more hit and miss. Then you have my frugal nature. I don't like spending money when I don't get something in return. My favorite creams are rather expensive and I get what I feel is an equal experience using my favorite soaps which cost far less per shave.

    I do keep a few creams around. Ingram's, The Real Shave Company, and Kiss My face are my favorite among what I consider the reasonably priced creams and use them for variety and I like cream for non-air travel (I'm even thinking of transferring cream to a smaller container for air travel).

    For me it's not about cream vs. soap, but rather what products do I like best. It just happens that the majority of those products are soaps.
  4. ehehat

    ehehat Member

    So for you it's more of a consistency and cost issue? If cost was equal would that matter? Do you just feel you get a better shave with soap?
  5. Williams Warrior

    Williams Warrior Well-Known Member

    I recently made the switch to soaps, and don't plan to buy any more creams. When I finally learned to lather them properly, the slickness I got was so much better than a cream for me.
  6. swarden43

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

    I prefer soaps, although I do use a cream every Monday. Why? Because 'round here Monday's are for menthol, and since I have C.O. Bigelow, Tom's of Maine, and KFM Cool Mint (all creams, I have three others that I add a few drops of M Bomb to)...

    Back to really why I prefer soaps...

    The ritual - it takes a little longer to whip up the lather with soap. I like that. But that's me. I get up early so I don't have to rush the shower and shave. For me, it's my "ME TIME".

    The cost - probably the biggest factor for me. As mentioned, soaps last a little longer. I feel I'm getting more for my $$.

    Which is better, slicker, more cushion? For me, I don't know, I don't care. I get very good shaves that I enjoy very much with both creams and soaps.

    Soap - just a preference. If I really sat down to seriously think about it, I have no doubt it would take some of the enjoyment out of my shave.
  7. ehehat

    ehehat Member

    And I keep wondering if that's my issue. I go to creams cuz I cant seem to get a good, consistent lather from soap but I keep coming back cuz I'm determined to figure it out. I just got one of each TSD (cream and soap) from the store. I'll see how they compare to each other and go from there.
  8. ztirf1953

    ztirf1953 Active Member

    I find myself going back and forth. Now I'm only using soaps and last year I was only using creams.

    If I may, I would like to ask a question in line of which came first, soap or cream.

    I suppose soaps were made first. When did creams start appearing and why were they created?
  9. ehehat

    ehehat Member

    Great question
  10. Williams Warrior

    Williams Warrior Well-Known Member

    For me switching to face lathering made a huge difference. With creams I can face lather but still prefer to get it started in a bowl.
  11. Bird Lives

    Bird Lives Future Root Beer King of Turkey

    Now you talking !! You got some great soap and cream to test with there...TSD soaps and creams are very much loved around here...So from my stand-point...You are doing the exact right thing...You have some GREAT soap and cream, now I want to know what you think....

    Recently I've been going through a Uber-lather phase, where I put the soap on my face and add a little cream to the brush and face lather up a bomb of lather...I know its a little over-kill, but I'm having fun in my decadence...Sometimes I envision a Chaplin movie where my bathroom door will come open and a huge cloud of lather will pour out with me sliding out on top of it...:happy102
    Try both and try the Uber-lather too...Let us know your thoughts...and check out Mantics Shave Videos about making lather...
  12. Sparafucile

    Sparafucile Member

    My .02 is that in terms of performance there is no difference - it's all your preference. Another inexpensive test for you would be to buy a tube of Proraso cream and the soap - probably under $20 for both, and you would have an enjoyable "test"...
  13. techjunkie

    techjunkie Member

    Creams were probably "invented" when a French soap maker messed up and his soap didn't harden up completely. They threw it away, and some Italian who was dumpster diving came across it and took it back to Italy.

    The Italian's could never quite figure out what it was that the French did to mess up their fine soap, and the best they could come up with was a half-hard soap that was a cross between a real cream and a soap.

    The Britts, visited both Italy, and France, came across the soft gooey Italian soaps and the nice hard triple milled French soaps, decided to copy the French, but weren't really happy with the Italian stuff and figured, "Well, if it's going to be soft, let's make it really soft and fluffy, and the modern shaving cream was invented.

    The first Britt to come up with a good lathering cream said to himself, "What's with these Italians making everything smell like almonds? We have some fine fragrances, let's use THOSE to scent our nice lathering creams with, and the modern English shave cream with a scent that didn't turn stomachs was invented.

  14. Xezmer

    Xezmer Active Member

    Everyone forgot one big thing about soaps: TALLLLLOWWWWWW. I LOOOOOVE tallow. You can find it in creams but rarely. I find shaving products with tallow really make the shave for me. A lot of the time when there's lanolin too, it's in a soap. I like the moisturizing properties of the lanolin.

    This doesn't really mean anything, but I also like soaps because you can find them triple milled (or more) and they'll last a long time. For $30, I can get a T&H and get maybe 6 months of awesome shaves or I can spend $26 and get an AOS puck and get maybe 9-12 months of equally as awesome shaves... then there's the deal breaker, Tabac, that you can buy for about $12-13 and it'll last you 13-14 months of shaves. I use these lengths as ratios so find how long they last you and then match... that's my results as per my own loading methods and techniques.

    Also, soaps keep for much longer. I've found decade old soaps by the dozen but creams seldom pop up.
  15. ChemErik

    ChemErik Mr. Personality

    If cost was equal (per shave) for the best creams and best soap, I'd like them nearly equally (MWF is my absolute favorite lathering product, so I guess ultimately soap wins even without cost). But I like an average soap much better than an average cream.
  16. NoahG

    NoahG Member

    I like 'em all and definitely agree with loyd/bird lives as far as the super lather goes. I love taking my Wilkinson stick(it has lanolin and tallow in it) rubbing it on my face and then loading up my brush with some cream. what an amazing lather I get! it has cushion and glide, and it will work with plenty of other soaps as well. swirl a lil arko or godrej cream on top of some williams and it blows up.
  17. fishcrow

    fishcrow Birdman of TSD

    At the moment I am using creme samples. I agree that lather making can be hit and miss.
    I like soaps they tend to last longer. I have really no trouble lathering soaps. I have been experiemnting with brushes to make lather. I prefer my badger, I learning that the badger I have the knot is possibly too big to effectively lather soaps without some work.
    I have been using a cheap HJM boar to lather soaps. I find the boar lathers better. I want to upgrade to a better boar to continue my experiment.
  18. Regan

    Regan Well-Known Member

    I hear you. My 404 works better with soaps than my silvertip. Well they both work well but the 404 loads faster and lathers faster. Not as luxurious but hey if i have the time i can use the silvertip.
  19. ztirf1953

    ztirf1953 Active Member

    Thanks Techjunkie for the history lesson on creams! I learned a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  20. techjunkie

    techjunkie Member

    LOL, Any time :)

    It would be interesting, however, to find out how creams did come about...

    Anyone know who did market the first cream?

    The one thing I do like about creams over soaps, is that generally speaking, creams have more scent in them than soaps do. Obviously, since you are using about 10X the amount of product, you have more latitude to add things like extra scents and such to the creams.

    On the (greatly generalized) down-side (against creams), there are almost no soaps with parabens in them, and about half or more of the creams seem to have these to prevent spoilage of the creams... Necessary, because there is a much higher water content in creams than in soaps... The only "soap" that comes to mind with parabens is Omega/Proraso, and those, in my mind, are simply half-dried creams.

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