Despite the advancements in technology, obtaining an excellent shaving experience doesn't seem to be getting easier to achieve. Sure electric shavers claim to offer the latest and greatest of close shaves and while they have their place, nothing offers a smooth, clean shave as does the use of a shaving brush, shaving soap and a sharp straight razor.
Shaving soaps have existed since the early 1800's with the first being mass produced in 1840. Shaving soap is a hard soap that is whipped into a rich, thick lather using a shaving brush. It has largely been replaced with canned shaving cream in a gel or foam form, however, die-hard traditionalists will use nothing other than this age-old method.
The traditional shaving soap is typically sold and packaged as a round puck. The bottom of the puck will either be rounded for use with a shaving scuttle or with a flat bottom to be used in a mug. Higher priced products are usually sold with their own preparation dishes made of wood or ceramic that are formed to fit the puck sold. Shaving soap is also sold in the form of a stick in either a plastic tube or wrapped in paper or aluminum foil. It is rarely packaged in the shape of bar soap.
Shaving soap is used with any shaving brush preferred by the individual. The following is an outline for the steps involved when using shaving soaps:
There are many reviews on shaving soaps online that one can read when deciding which brand of soap to purchase. Keep in mind that shaving soaps are produced in a similar fashion to traditional soaps with ingredients that tend to produce a thick lather. Traditional bar soaps use only sodium hydroxide as the saponification agent, whereas, shaving soaps use both sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide.
Tallow has been traditionally used in shaving soaps, but other oils such as avocado, coconut, palm, and olive oil are gaining in popularity, although shaving soap traditionalists claim these to be inferior products. Shaving soaps with natural products such as avocado oil and Vitamin E are gentle and moisturize the skin while permitting a close shave without experiencing rashes or razor burn.
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