Want to see the best shaving soap, read a buying guide, and learn what makes this type of product different from shaving cream or gel? Then you’re in the right place. We’ll show you all you need to know.


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7 Best Shaving Soaps

The best shaving soap on the web you can buy featuring a shaving soap and a shaving brush
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Let’s be honest, shaving isn’t exactly ‘enjoyable’ is it? It’s a frustrating experience for some people, but when done right you’re left with silky smooth skin. One of the best ways to get a good shave is to have high-quality shaving soap.

But having so many options on the market makes the task of picking the right shaving soap even more difficult. If this describes you, here’s a shortcut — our favorites:

  1. Van Der Hagen Scented Shave Soap
  2. Williams Mug Shaving Soap
  3. Viking Revolution Shaving Soap
  4. Proraso Shaving Soap In A Bowl 
  5. Henry Cavendish Himalaya Shaving Soap 
  6. Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shave Refill Soap
  7. Sir Hare Premium Shaving Soap for Men

We decided to do some research to find out the best shaving soap on the market today. We also included a comprehensive buying guide to help you pick the best shaving soap for your needs.

We graded and ranked the shaving soaps based on four criteria: performance, latherability, longevity, scent. Whatever your skin type, or whether you have a particular hair type, we’ve got you covered.

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Best Overall: Van Der Hagen Scented Shave Soap

Van Der Hagen Scented Shave Soap - 3 Pack (3.5oz)
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The scent is a critical factor to consider when choosing your next shaving soap. It has some bearing as to how great you feel and smell after the shave. However, there are other important factors to consider.

Lather and lubrication are two important components to look out for. The Van Der Hagen Scented Shave Soap is one such soap that provides a thick and rich lather, has great lubrication, and smells terrific.

It is certainly worth a good look, and these factors will provide you with the best wet shaving experience. And it’s hard to come across quality shaving soap like this at this low of a price point.

The Van Der Hagen Shave Soap is made from a combination of mango butter, cocoa butter, and shea butter. It’s a perfect combination of shea butter, mango butter, and cocoa butter.

These three main ingredients produce an appealing quality fragrance that users love. In addition, it is worth noting that this shave soap has glycerin as one of the ingredients.

Although glycerin doesn’t improve the lather or scent of the soap, it plays a major role in ensuring that the soap provides a smooth, lubricated, and moisturizing shave.

If you have dry skin, then it is safe to say that this shaving soap is a perfect choice. It’s also worth noting that it is one of the best hypoallergenic soaps available.

It doesn’t stop there for the Van Der Hagen Shave Soap and what it has to offer – there is more. Upon using this soap, you will notice that it is easy to work up a thick and rich lather.

Within a few seconds, your shaving brush will be ready to take on the toughest hair. The lather produced by this soap lasts longer compared to other budget soaps available on the market today. 

And speaking of budget, you will be pleased to hear that you can get this shaving soap for under $15 on Amazon. For all that this soap offers, it is truly a bargain.

Second Best: Williams Mug Shaving Soap

Williams Mug Shaving Soap, 3 Count
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Its been over 180 years that James B. Williams manufactured the first shaving soap for use in shaving mugs. Over the years, it has grown into a popular and reputable brand manufacturing quality shaving soaps since it first started in 1840.

Today, Williams Mug Shaving Soap is a highly rated shaving soap for two reasons: it lathers quickly and lasts longer. There are very few if any, shaving soap alternatives that can match how long this soap can last and how quickly it lathers.

Williams Mug Shaving Soap is perfect for dry skin because it has a long-lasting lather that does not dry on your face and leaves it smooth and moisturized.

This shaving soap comes with essential oils which work to soften the beard and the skin as well as provide perfect lubrication. It has a soft and consistent feel that most shaving soaps and creams cannot match up to.

Other soaps are thin, however, Williams Mug Shaving Soap has a thick and long-lasting foam that provides a good foundation for the blade to glide over your skin smoothly.

Just like the other shaving soaps on this list, the Williams Mug Shaving Soap also has Glycerin which is an important ingredient of shaving creams.

It’s a natural sugar that plays a major role in ensuring that the shaving soap provides a smooth, lubricated, and moisturizing shave. In combination, it’s also made from palm oil, which makes it superior to other shaving soaps.

If you have dry skin, then glycerin will help provide a smooth and clean shave. At first glance notice, you will notice the circular shape that fits easily into your shaving cup.

Simply pop it into your cup, pour some hot water, and you’re ready to shave. Just like the Van fragrance refreshing fragrance r Hagen Scented Shave Soap, this soap is also a bargain for its price point.

You should note that its low price does not mean low quality. You can expect a high-quality soap with a lather that lasts longer than most regular shaving soaps. A small amount will provide you with all the lather you need.

Third Best: Viking Revolution Shaving Soap

Shaving Soap for Men - Shave Soap for Use with Shaving Brush and Bowl
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For more than two centuries, the Viking Revolution brand has provided men with quality grooming products. And because it is so old,  through their experience in the industry, they have learned a thing or two about what men want in grooming products.

The entire Viking Revolution team is wholeheartedly committed to making sure that each and every product they offer is of the highest quality.

If you’re looking for the best products for your beard, then Viking Revolution Shaving Soap is the way to go. The Viking Revolution Shaving Soap has a lot of features going right for it.

Aside from the product itself, it has one of the best packaging around. It comes in wooden packaging, and while other manufacturers shy away from wooden packaging, Viking Revolution readily embraced it.

The results are phenomenal.

It gives off an elegant and classy feel that a lot of beard enthusiasts will appreciate. Being such an old product, you’d expect it to have an old man smell. Well, it doesn’t.

On the contrary, you have four different oceanic and fresh scents straight out of the box. The scents are mild and don’t linger for long. Though the smells are mild and simple, they are unforgettable.

Now, when using the Viking Revolution Shaving Soap for the first time, there’s one small issue. Users claim that it’s a bit hard and because of that the soap requires extra loading than other shaving soaps do.

However, warm water and a strong brush should do the trick. Overall, the soap lathers very well and forms a thick foam that lasts a long time.

With the hardness of the soap, can expect it to take long to lather approximately 45 seconds. After a few seconds, you’d impressed with more than enough yield lather enough for two razor passes.

This shaving soap is ideal for all skin types and can be used for wet shaving. It prevents ingrown hairs and prevents razor burns. Using this soap, you’ll yield a smooth shave with minimal nicks and cuts. 

Fourth Best: Proraso Shaving Soap In A Bowl 

Proraso Shaving Soap In A Bowl - Refresh, 5.2 Oz
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Shaving can be a boring process. So much so that men go for months without shaving, letting their beards grow thick and wild. However, for those who use the right gear and products, shaving is actually an enjoyable and luxurious process.

You, need to have the best tools in hand which mean getting the best shaving soap. Proraso, the company, is located in Italy and has been producing premium shaving products since 1948.

It has grown to be one of the leading brands available. Products from this company include all-natural ingredients such as natural oils and botanical extracts which work well to prevent skin irritation.

Proraso Shaving Soap In A Bowl is a refreshing and toning beard soap that’s is developed for any beard type on any man. Its made from Eucalyptus oil, which tones and purifies your facial hair and skin.

Menthol, another key ingredient, helps refresh and revitalize your skin. Proraso Shaving Soap In A Bowl is made following a rigorous, ‘hot soap’-making process, during which it’s left to mature for 10 days in small batches when much of the moisture evaporates.

This results in a more concentrated, richer soap that produces an amazing lather. You’ll notice that this shaving soap may take a bit more water than you’re used to, to achieve the ideal lather.

That’s one of the biggest points of difference from other shaving soaps and what makes Proraso Shaving Soap In A Bowl so special.

Because it has a much lower moisture content than other shave soaps, you’ll need more water on your shaving brush, and a bit more patience at first, to achieve that signature Proraso lather.

What you can expect is a dense, rich, and elastic lather that won’t dry out on your skin. Once you try out Proraso Shaving Soap In A Bowl, you’ll a refreshing fragrance the difference and become a devoted follower of this brand.

It is also worth noting that the products are paraben-free. This, in the shaving industry, is a huge plus. Additionally, it is free of SLS and mineral oils, which gradually leech natural oils from the skin.

A lot of men have commented about the scent of this soap. It has a hint of apple and lime which is manly and attractive a well. Unlike other soaps, it is not overpowering and neither is it too citrusy.

Fifth  Best: Henry Cavendish Himalaya Shaving Soap 

Henry Cavendish Himalaya Shaving Soap with Shea Butter & Coconut Oil
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Henry Cavendish Himalaya Shaving Soap is another excellent shaving soap with a brand name that has an old feel to it. If you are a firm believer in high-quality soap, then Henry Cavendish’s Classic shave soap is an excellent choice for you.

The quality of this product is made possible by the list of ingredients it contains. At the very top of the list of its ingredients is glycerin. As earlier pointed out, glycerin is present in moisturizing creams, as well as Shea butter.

It works to replenish, revitalize and moisturize the skin. This shaving soap gives your skin a smooth feel after every shave. The manufacturers of this product even insist that one uses a bowl and shaving brush to land the desired results when using this soap.

With the Henry Cavendish Himalaya Shaving Soap, not only are you going to get a smooth shave, but you also will work up a thick, rich, and creamy lather.

This will help to soften your coarse beard and help to ensure that the razor glides over the skin smoothly. If you love scented shaving, you will fall in love with this shaving soap.

It features a natural oil with a fragrance that’s refreshing and light. It does not overpower those close to you or overpower other scents around you.

The Henry Cavendish shaving soap comes highly concentrated and is bound to last longer in comparison to most other shaving soaps in the market. The natural ingredients that it sports make it a great choice for sensitive skin. 

Sixth Best: Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shave Refill Soap

Mitchell's Wool Fat Shave Refill Soap
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Mitchell’s Wool Fat Soap was first produced in the early 1930s by British chemist Fred Mitchell, and over 90 years later, it’s still one of the leading soap brands in the world.

Mitchell’s Wool Fat Soap is still made to his original formula, based on a recipe incorporating lanolin from the wool fat as the key ingredient. 

He realized that the natural lanolin content of wool fat kept the hands of local sheep shearers and wool sorters so exceptionally soft, and that’s how Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shave Refill Soap was born.

If you’re willing to pay a few extra dollars than what you normally would for hand soap, then we firmly believe this is one of the best shaving soaps you can find on the market.

It comes in a simple but elegant container with a ceramic that looks like it’s a Victorian original. As a tallow-based shaving soap it is incredibly smooth on the skin and softens any beard bristles nicely.

The Scottish soap creates a slick lather that’s not so thick but very lubricating. Mitchell’s shave soap is a very creamy soap that leaves your skin feeling beautifully soft after and offers a lot of lubricating protection when shaving.

The only downside is that It takes a lot of practice to get the right lathering technique and plenty of shavers dismiss it too early, but once you get used to it, you will absolutely love this soap. 

Seventh Best: Sir Hare Premium Shaving Soap for Men

Premium Shaving Soap for Men by Sir Hare
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The Sir Hare line of Shaving Soap is some of the Best Shave Soap on the market today. It gives one of the thickest and protective lathers you will experience with shaving soap.

Shaving is a chore, but this will no longer be the case with Sir Hare Premium Shaving Soap for Men. If you’re looking for a bar of luxurious shaving soap, this is it right here. Each soap is handcrafted and packed in a beautiful recyclable container with waterproof labels.

The highest quality ingredients are selected to create a shaving soap that provides a smooth shave with any razor and also leaves you feeling refreshed and clean. If you have dry or sensitive skin, then this product will work for you.

If you also get razor bumps and irritated skin after shaving, Sir Hare shaving soaps also include natural ingredients to moisturize and protect your skin while shaving.

They also help fight common skin conditions that a lot of users experience while shaving. Tallow-based shaving soap creates protective and cushy leather and lubricates any razor for a smooth and irritation-free shave. 

Best Shaving Soap Buyer’s Guide

We all want to find the best shaving soap out there, because that is what will give us the closest shave and leave our faces feeling the smoothest possible.

We gave you our recommendations for the best shaving soaps on the market. Now, we will go through important factors to consider before purchasing shaving soap.

This will give you insights into the types of shaving soaps available, how they work, and more. We will also look at how they perform with lather and how long they last based on the ingredients they contain.

What Is Shaving Soap?

Image of the best shaving soap alongside a number of other shaving items
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The term shaving soap refers to a hard type of soap that you need to whip into a lather using a shaving brush. More popular these days are soft soaps which lather faster with a shaving brush.

Shaving soap consists of a combination of soap and fatty acids that help form a rich lather.

These two ingredients together with glycerin help soften the beard before shaving and provide a creamy base that allows the razor blade to glide over the surface of the skin.

Benefits of Shaving Soap

Shaving soaps are extremely popular amongst new shavers and they are now becoming more popular with traditional shavers due to their great value for money compared to the cans of shaving gel and foam you find in supermarkets.

A good quality shaving soap can last up to 6 months daily use, and sometimes longer. Here a few more reasons to consider shaving soaps:

Comfortable shave

Shaving soaps contain help remove natural oils on your face which helps water to penetrate your whiskers better. This softens them which results in a cleaner cut, a closer finish, and a more comfortable shave.

Increased hydration

Shaving soaps create a richer, deeper lather and deliver increased hydration when compared to other shave prep products, such as foams, creams, and oils.

Environmentally friendly

As they are not dispensed from aerosol shaving soaps also more environmentally friendly than their counterparts.

Shaving Soap vs Shaving Cream

Image of shaving cream vs shaving foam for a piece on the best shaving soaps
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If you’re new to shaving, you may be wondering what the difference between shaving soap and shaving cream is. Shaving soap is a hard type of soap that you need to whip into a lather using a shaving brush.

Shaving soaps are extremely popular  due to their great value for money compared to the cans of shaving cream. A good quality shaving soap can last up to 6 months daily use, and sometimes even longer.

Soaps are harder in texture and require a bit of work to pick up on the brush, but they provide a more robust lubricating layer than creams. Shaving creams on the other hand are slightly different.

The first thing to note is a difference in time to lather. Shaving cream is infused with moisture, comes up on the brush immediately, and takes to any brush easily – providing a quick lather. The trick with shaving cream is to not use too much.

A common error with people new to wet shaving is packing the brush with cream and using a very thick lather. You don’t need a lot to make a great deal of lather – a few circles with the brush tip on the cream will load plenty. 

Shaving Soap vs Shaving Foam

Image of shaving cream vs shaving soap with foam in a hand
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As we discussed earlier, shaving soaps are harder in texture and require a bit of work to pick up on the brush, but they provide a more robust lubricating layer than foams.

Since shaving soap produces thick lather and typically contains better ingredients, it allows for these ingredients to penetrate the hair follicles instead of sitting on top.

This will leave your skin feeling naturally moisturized while helping to keep debris from clogging up hair follicles. If you are looking for a more convenient route to your shaving routine, shaving foam might be a better solution.

However, using traditional shaving soap will reduce the amount of razor burn you get as well as help to prevent skin irritation. 

Types of Shaving Soap

There are several different types of shaving soap to choose from. By types, we refer to the process that manufacturers use to produce the shaving soaps.

Triple-milled

The tripe-milled process involves grating the final soap product. The grating is followed by melting and then pressing it into a bar or puck. Triple-milling is fast and this process mainly produces a hard shaving soap which tends to last way longer than soft shaving soaps do.

Semi-hard

As its name suggests, the shaving soap is slightly softer than triple-milled soaps but is still harder than croap which when compared to semi-hard shaving soaps, does not last long.

Croap

This is a soft, even creamy soap. The term ‘croap’ is a combination of creamy and soap. It is the softest of all shaving soaps as it contains a lot of moisture compared to other soap types.

Components of a Good Shave Soap

Image of a great shaving soap sitting in a wooden dish
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Before you invest your hard-earned cash in any product, you must pay close attention to the various ingredients used in shaving soaps. For the most part, soaps are oil, glycerin, or tallow-based.

Tallow-based

These shaving soaps are more traditional and are favored by old-school shavers. Tallow is cheap, makes a hard soap, These soaps are animal fat-based. Over the years, individuals thought of tallow shaving soaps as being superior in quality to other soaps. But slowly, this notion is changing.

Oil-based

These soaps have been made using oils including palm, argan, coconut, and olive oil. These oils and therefore the shaving soaps are vegan-friendly. They are the perfect solid alternative to tallow-based soaps.

Glycerin based

Glycerin-based soaps have been gaining popularity over the years. Glycerin plays a major role in ensuring that the soap provides a smooth, lubricated, and moisturizing shave. They are considered to be gentle on the skin compared to oil and tallow-based shaving soaps. 

Important Factors to Consider When Purchasing Shaving Soap

Image of great shaving soap next to a straight razor
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So before you proceed to the store, here are some factors to consider when purchasing shaving soap, you should be aware of to get the best shaving result.

Ease of Use

With regards to ease of use, there are several factors that you ought to consider. These factors include the ease of loading the soap onto the shaving brush and just how fast the soap lathers and still provides excellent moisture and slickness required to ensure a good close shave.

While you can use your hand to lather the soap, it is better to use a brush to make the application. Additionally, you will find it easier to create the lather in a shaving bowl.

Another merit of using a brush for the application process is the fact that the brush will tend to lift the hair off the face and help in facilitating a clean and close shave. The brush also lubricates the skin and softens the facial hair.

Scent

Some individuals love scented shaving soaps while others prefer their soap with no fragrance. The smell is, for the most part, a personal preference. Most of the shaving soaps available, however, are unscented.

And those that are scented are only mildly fragranced such that the aroma does not last through the day. Most manufacturers derive their fragrance from natural essential oils.

There are however some synthetic shaving soaps that feature alcohol. If you have irritable or sensitive skin, you will want to stay away from alcohol-based smells.

Price

Regardless of what you are planning on buying, the price will always be a factor to consider when choosing the best shaving soaps. Generally, most shaving soaps range between $5 and $25.

You can expect your soap to last several months regardless of the price. The cost of the soap is not as significant as other products necessary for a clean and close shave, but all the same, it is an important factor. 

How to Use Shaving Soap

Shaving soap sitting next to a safety razor on a lay flat image
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Shaving soap requires the use of a good shaving brush to create lather. If you’re used to shaving foam out of a can have only just switched to using a safety razor then you may be a little confused about how shaving soap works. Here are a few simple steps to follow:

Soak Your Shaving Brush

To use shaving soap, you should first soak your shaving brush in hot water to soften the hairs. You can do this at the same time you prepare your face for shaving with a hot towel.

You want to leave the brush in hot water for at least a minute but preferably longer. If you have a synthetic brush you can now run it under some water and get it wet.  Give it a gentle squeeze to get rid of some of the excess water but do it very gently. 

Bloom Hard Shaving Soap

Next, you want to make sure the soap can load onto the brush.  To do this you are going to “Bloom” the soap.  This consists of placing a layer of warm water on the soap and letting it soak in.

This accomplishes three things. It softens the soap and allows it to be loaded onto the shaving brush easier.  Many soaps can be picky about how much water is added when creating a lather.

This problem is greatly reduced if you start out with a “wetter” soap and need to add less during the lather building process. Once the soap and brush have had enough time to get all of the benefits they can get from a good soak it’s time to load your brush.

Using the Shaving Soap with a Brush

Take your shaving brush out of its container and discard the soaking water.  Hold your brush over the sink and give the bristles one good squeeze to get rid of excess moisture.

So, What’s the Best Shaving Soap?

The shaving soap next to a shaving brush on a rough wooden table
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Shopping for shaving soap can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. What are the shaving soaps? How do you use shaving soap? If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, then hopefully this guide answered these questions.

 
Author: Andrew Helling

Andrew Helling is the founder and editor of You Probably Need a Haircut. He graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha where he obtained a Finance and Banking degree. Andrew puts his creative mind to work by making platforms that make your life easier.