6 Best Shaving Soaps

6 Best Shaving Soaps

Many of you are still using standard, drug store shaving cream that is full of harsh chemicals.

And, since your skin is the largest living organ in your body and absorbs the bad stuff you expose it to, you may want to consider ditching that nasty shaving cream. Even the CDC has information on the risks of exposing the skin to chemicals.

You may be wondering, what's the big deal?

Well, if you expose your skin to shaving cream with harsh chemicals, all of that nasty stuff passes through to your bloodstream. Think about it: you are smearing a mess of toxic goop on your face every day.

Is there a better option out there?

Let us introduce you to shaving soap. Shaving soap is the healthier alternative to shaving cream without all of the harsh chemicals. Usually shaving soap comes in a little puck that requires some water, a brush, and a shaving mug or bowl. 

At Faveable, we strongly believe your skin deserves only quality ingredients. So we spent hours researching products, reading reviews, and talking to men who know the importance of a good, traditional shave. 

We promise our list includes the manliest selection for any taste.

6 Best Shaving Soaps

  • 6. Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Hard Shaving Soap
  • 5. Proraso Shaving Soap for Sensitive Skin in a Bowl
  • 4. A Wild Soap Bar Black Willow Bark Shaving Soap
  • 3. Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap with Ceramic Dish
  • 2. Proraso Shaving Soap In A Bowl
  • 1. Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Soap in a Wooden Bowl

Best Triple-Milled/Hard Shaving Soap

#6

Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Hard Shaving Soap

Best Triple-Milled/Hard Shaving Soap: Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Hard Shaving Soap
52 Bought
Ingredients
8.9
Soap hardness
8.8
Lather
9.0
Value
8.8
Overall
89%
89 % Editor Score
82 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Smells great - just like sandalwood
  • Soft on skin
  • Lasts a long time

Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Hard Shaving Soap provides a smooth shave. This soap has an extremely rich and slick lather. Contains essential oils for maximum moisturizing. 

The smell of this soap is strong, so if you don't like the smell of sandalwood, this may not be the soap for you. 

Expert Ratings

Ingredients

8.9 / 10

This soap has hints of geranium, lavender, rosemary and liquid amber supported by a heart of carnation, fern and orange blossom. It contains multiple oils providing such as cedarwood, geranium, and rosemary. The base of the soap is patchouli, sandalwood, vetivert, powdery musk, and rock rose.

Soap hardness

8.8 / 10

This is a hard soap that loads onto the brush extremely well with a little water. Once you apply to the face it becomes thick and moisturizing. 

Lather

9.0 / 10

This soap creates a rich and thick lather that will help leave your skin smooth and refreshed after a shave. 

Value

8.8 / 10

The Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Hard Shaving Soap will last you a long time. It's priced at a great value. 

Overall Editor Score

8.9 / 10

Best Shave Soap for Sensitive Skin

#5

Proraso Shaving Soap for Sensitive Skin in a Bowl

Best Shave Soap for Sensitive Skin: Proraso Shaving Soap for Sensitive Skin in a Bowl
118 Bought
Ingredients
8.5
Soap Hardness
8.5
Lather
9.0
Value
9.0
Overall
88%
88 % Editor Score
85 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Protects from razor burn
  • Creates a very creamy lather
  • Irritation free

Proraso removed all parabens from its soaps and is soothing to even the most delicate of skin types. And this is one of the best brands for beginners.

Some reviewers tell us that this particular line of Proraso doesn't feel as slick as other varieties.

Expert Ratings

Ingredients

8.5 / 10

This oil/glycerin hybrid based soap is chock full of nourshing ingredients like green tea and oatmeal. It protects the skin, and is free from all parabens, silicones, mineral oil, and artificial colors.

Soap Hardness

8.5 / 10

This is a creamy shave soap, that will load up on the brush extremely easily. However, keep in mind that it's very easy to use way more than you need and blow through this soap a lot sooner than you need to. So be warned.

Lather

9.0 / 10

It is not hard at all to get a good, thick lather form this soap. You can really feel the weight of it on your brush. It's a great choice if you prefer to lather up directly on your face. The soap loaded on your brush will also stay dense and long-lasting for more than one pass.

Value

9.0 / 10

You can't go wrong with the price of this soap, just don't overdo it when you're loading up your brush and it will last you a long time.

Overall Editor Score

8.8 / 10

Best Organic Shaving Soap

#4

A Wild Soap Bar Black Willow Bark Shaving Soap

Best Organic Shaving Soap: A Wild Soap Bar Black Willow Bark Shaving Soap
171 Bought
Ingredients
9.0
Soap hardness
9.0
Lather
9.0
Value
9.5
Overall
91%
91 % Editor Score
86 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Handmade by a family business since 1955
  • Eliminates and prevents breakouts
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Eco-friendly and chock full of beneficial, organic ingredients, Black Willow Bark Shaving Soap actually benefits your skin while you shave.

It is very difficult to get a good lather if you have hard water.

Expert Ratings

Ingredients

9.0 / 10

This is an oil-based soap with some vegetable glycerin in the mix too. The black willow bark extract and activated bamboo charcoal really make this one stand out for its healing properties, and this shave soap has even been used to treat acne with real success.

Soap hardness

9.0 / 10

This triple milled soap will do best with a bit of water on top to soak before use. It is a super hard puck and lasts a very long time.

Lather

9.0 / 10

This may be the poorest contender in terms of lather, but if you aren’t a lather snob and are willing to perfect your brush technique this soap is extremely nourishing for to the skin.

Value

9.5 / 10

This shave soap is very affordable. It’s the cheapest option on our list, but you will not feel like you are sacrificing any quality while you keep your skin looking young and fresh.

Overall Editor Score

9.1 / 10

Best Tallow-based Shave Soap

#3

Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap with Ceramic Dish

Best Tallow-based Shave Soap: Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap with Ceramic Dish
156 Bought
Ingredients
9.5
Soap hardness
9.0
Lather
9.0
Value
9.0
Overall
91%
91 % Editor Score
89 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Made in Bradford, England
  • Excellent for sensitive skin
  • Creates a slick glide

No sheep are harmed to get the lanolin. This soap comes in a simple, but elegant ceramic dish. Best of all, this shave soap is incredibly easy on sensitive skin.

It can be tricky to get a good lather if you live in a hard water area, but once you perfect the technique, this soap isn’t going to let you down.

Expert Ratings

Ingredients

9.5 / 10

The maker of this shave soap couldn’t help but notice how soft the hands of shepherds were in his area. These men worked with their hands out in the elements all day, but they had the kind of hands that were so soft women never wanted to let go. He realized it was actually the lanolin on the wool, and created a shave soap from it that leaves skin kissably soft.

Soap hardness

9.0 / 10

This is a triple milled shave soap, so you have got to be on your game to get a great lather.

Lather

9.0 / 10

Once you figure out how to get the job done, you can get a super thick lather from Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap. And even after more than one pass, you will love the feel of that super slick glide it gives your razor.

Value

9.0 / 10

For a puck of triple milled shave soap and a ceramic bowl this is a fantastic value that will last a while, even if you shave daily.

Overall Editor Score

9.1 / 10

Best Herbal Shaving Soap

#2

Proraso Shaving Soap In A Bowl

Best Herbal Shaving Soap: Proraso Shaving Soap In A Bowl
39 Bought
Ingredients
9.1
Soap hardness
9.3
Lather
9.4
Value
9.1
Overall
92%
92 % Editor Score
93 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Provides a creamy lather
  • Refreshing and clean smell
  • Makes for an easy shave

A concentrated soap with an incredible lather. Designed to work with any beard no matter how thick or thin. This soap has eucalyptus oil tones and helps leave face feeling smooth and soft to the touch. 

None that we could come up with!

Expert Ratings

Ingredients

9.1 / 10

Created with eucalyptus oils, has no animal ingredients, no parabens, no silicones, no artificial colors and is made in Italy. 

Soap hardness

9.3 / 10

The soap is very hard and dense, and the company recommends letting your brush soak in water for a few moments before applying to the soap to create the perfect lather. 

Lather

9.4 / 10

The Proraso lather is rich, dense, and elastic. It doesn't dry out your face and makes for the perfect shave. 

Value

9.1 / 10

It's valued at a great price, and a little goes a long way so you won't need to replace this soap too often. 

Overall Editor Score

9.2 / 10

Best Herbal Shaving Soap

#1

Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Soap in a Wooden Bowl

Best Herbal Shaving Soap: Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Soap in a Wooden Bowl
188 Bought
Ingredients
9.0
Soap hardness
9.0
Lather
9.0
Value
9.0
Overall
90%
90 % Editor Score
97 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • A loved classic
  • Incredible scent
  • Refillable bowl

This puck and bowl combo have an eye-catching design, and both are easy to hold on to when you’re working up a good lather. When you run out of soap just get a refill, and rest assured knowing it will be a perfect fit everytime.

Some reviewers would like the bowl to be a little deeper, but reviewers can not stop raving about the soap itself.

Expert Ratings

Ingredients

9.0 / 10

Taylor of Old Bond Street is a glycerin and oil based soap that brings the best of both elements into play for a ridiculously close shave. You will be noticed with the manly scent that isn't overpowering, but will still linger throughout the day.

Soap hardness

9.0 / 10

This is a triple milled soap, so it will last a long time, giving you a barbershop quality shave everytime. Keep in mind, you will need to prep the skin surface with water, so make sure you give yourself a little extra time for each shave.

Lather

9.0 / 10

It takes about a minute, but this soap creates a rich, thick lather that will feel like a cloud on your face. A lot of reviewers prefer to lather on their hand or directly on the face with Taylor of Old Bond Street Soaps.

Value

9.0 / 10

Another high-end option on price. But, again, you get a bowl with it, so you will save a lot by opting for the combo.  

Overall Editor Score

9.0 / 10

Faveable Ratings: 6 Best Shaving Soaps

6 Best Shaving SoapsIngredientsSoap hardnessLatherValueOverall
Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Soap in a Wooden Bowl Thumbnail
Best Herbal Shaving Soap
#1Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Soap in a Wooden Bowl
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
90
Proraso Shaving Soap In A Bowl Thumbnail
Best Herbal Shaving Soap
#2Proraso Shaving Soap In A Bowl
9.1
9.3
9.4
9.1
92
Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap with Ceramic Dish Thumbnail
Best Tallow-based Shave Soap
#3Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap with Ceramic Dish
9.5
9.0
9.0
9.0
91
A Wild Soap Bar Black Willow Bark Shaving Soap Thumbnail
Best Organic Shaving Soap
#4A Wild Soap Bar Black Willow Bark Shaving Soap
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.5
91
Proraso Shaving Soap for Sensitive Skin in a Bowl Thumbnail
Best Shave Soap for Sensitive Skin
#5Proraso Shaving Soap for Sensitive Skin in a Bowl
8.5
8.5
9.0
9.0
88
Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Hard Shaving Soap Thumbnail
Best Triple-Milled/Hard Shaving Soap
#6Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Hard Shaving Soap
8.9
8.8
9.0
8.8
89

Best Shaving Soaps Buying Guide

For many men, the idea of wet shaving may seem old school, arduous, and unnecessarily time-consuming. After all, the process is indeed more painstaking than the usual plastic razor + canned foam route. In spite of that, wet shaving has remained popular to this day, with a passionate fan base that continues to grow year by year. For them, wet shaving is an art: masculine, rugged, and skillful.

Whether you’re already a pro or just starting to delve into this luxurious tradition, you will benefit from knowing the best shaving soaps that are available on the market today. As we’ve said, this particular niche is constantly expanding, so it’s really not surprising why new brands are relentlessly cropping up left and right.

In this buying guide, we’ll briefly discuss why you should switch to wet shaving (if you haven’t already), what you need to look for in shaving soap, and techniques you can execute to achieve the perfect shave every single time.

What is shaving soap?

Shaving soap is a hard soap that is made from ingredients like tallow, glycerin and vegetable oils. It is frequently used with a shaving brush to make rich lather, which is then applied to the face to protect the skin and provide some lubrication while shaving 

Why switch to shaving soap?

There are many reasons to ditch your canned shaving cream, foam, or gel in favor of good old shaving soap.

Wet shaving provides a closer and more comfortable shave. The entire process of wet shaving will usually give you the best possible shave. The traditional ingredients included in a bar of soap are superior when it comes to softening the beard prior to shaving.  It’s important to note, however, that this still depends on the quality of products you’re using. Aside from the best shaving soap, it’s also important to have a good quality straight razor and shaving brush.

It does a better job at lubricating the skin. For a comfortable shave, the razor should effortlessly glide across your skin. And when it comes to lubrication, nothing beats traditional shaving soaps at providing a super-slick surface for your straight or safety razor to slide across.

It provides better value for money. One puck of shaving soap will last you months of use—with some of the triple-milled varieties even lasting for almost a year. So, although shave soaps tend to be pricier than cheap shaving cream upfront, they still provide a cheaper cost-per-shave in the long run.

It provides extra hydration. Shaving soaps aren’t only more effective at softening facial hair. They also provide extra hydration for your skin.

Factors to consider when shopping for shaving soap

Ingredients

All shaving soaps are generally made of the same core ingredients. However, some brands throw in a bunch of skin-loving or shave-enhancing components that are beneficial for your complexion and overall experience. Some examples of these bonus ingredients include added moisturizers, oils, activated charcoal, and soothing herbal extracts.

However, you shouldn’t only be looking out for good ingredients. You should also examine the shaving soap’s ingredients list to check if it has anything that might impact you negatively. If you have sensitive skin, harsh chemicals and strong fragrances should be avoided. You’re also better off without ingredients like phthalates and alcohol.

Lather quality

When you shell out serious cash for shaving soap, it should be able to produce output that matches its price tag. A shaving soap’s lather should be smooth, rich, and creamy for the most comfortable shave. And it should be able to produce this kind of quality consistently.

Now, there are some aspects of the shaving soap’s performance that you can’t scrutinize just by reading its description online. For example, the best shaving soaps will produce a lather that spreads nicely and evenly onto the skin—forming a thick layer that acts as a cushion between your face and the razor. There’s no way for you to know if the soap will do this without trying it for yourself. Looking up user reviews online is helpful during these situations.

Size

We’d say that almost all conventional shaving soaps have roughly the same size. If you’re simply looking for a product that you can use at home, size shouldn’t really matter. However, if you tend to travel a lot, you might want to invest in travel-sized or mini shaving soaps that won’t take up too much space in your bag.

Scent

Many would argue that one of the most important aspects of the shaving experience is the aroma emanating from the lather. This is why most shaving soaps come with added fragrance.

But if you’re sensitive to strong scents, we recommend that you go for a fragrance-free option or, at least, a naturally-scented one. Synthetic or artificial fragrances can be irritating for sensitive skins and noses.

Aesthetics

Quality and performance is king. However, it doesn’t hurt to have a nice-looking shaving soap sitting on the bathroom counter, either. Some soaps, like the top-ranked gem on our list above, come in a special bowl that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Some come in sleek-looking tin cans if that’s your style.

Whatever your personal taste is, there’s probably something out there that will satisfy your visual hunger. Or maybe you don’t care at all—that works, too.

Price

Shaving soap is generally affordable. However, we’re aware that some of the more upscale brands demand a bit more dough. When considering the price, look not just at the upfront cost, but at the quality, weight, and mileage of the product, as well. For example, triple-milled soaps are designed to last way longer than your average shaving soap. At the end of the day, it’s the cost-per-shave that really matters.

Tallow vs. Oil vs. Glycerin

Shaving soaps can be tallow-based, oil-based, or glycerin-based. Tallow-based soaps are the most traditional, and this is what old-school purists usually go for. If you don’t already know, tallow is rendered animal fat. It provides a rich, creamy lather and excellent cushioning.

If you’re a vegan, then you probably wouldn’t want to use tallow-based shaving soap. A good alternative is a vegetable oil, such as coconut, argan, and palm oil. Modern tech and methods have successfully produced vegetable oil-based shaving soaps that work comparably well to those that are made using tallow.

Glycerin shaving soaps have also cropped up in recent years. They are generally cheaper, but they typically produce a lather that isn’t as high-quality as tallow- and oil-based products.

How much shaving soap lather should you apply?

There really isn’t a definite answer here. The amount of lather you apply on your face will depend on various factors, such as the lather thickness you enjoy, the amount and density of the hair you have on your face, and the lather quality of your shaving soap.

Knowing the right amount of lather to use is something you can only ascertain through trial and error. In the end, the most important thing is to get a feel of the amount of lather that’ll give you the most comfortable shave.

How to use shaving soap for the perfect shave

When it comes to using shaving soap, the results you get will rely on the lather you use. As such, it’s important to know how to achieve the perfect lather. The following steps will outline the process for you.

Part 1: Preparation

Soak your shaving brush in warm or hot water for a few minutes. This will allow the bristles to absorb as much moisture as possible, which is crucial in creating a quality lather. Soaking also softens the bristles. You’d want this to happen because stiff bristles can be hard to control as you’re creating the lather.

Tip: start the soak right before you step into the shower. By the time you’re done with your bath, the brush will be ready to use.

Start the blooming process. Add some water on top of your shaving soap. If it already comes in a bowl, all you have to do is place a small amount of warm water within the bowl. However, if what you got is a single puck, you’ll have to place it in a separate bowl, mug, or container. Leave the soap submerged within the water for a few minutes. This process of softening the soap is called the blooming process.

Tip: If you have a triple-milled soap, it might be helpful to have it with you as you take a warm shower. Hard soaps take a bit longer to bloom, so having them inside a steamy shower stall will help them soften up faster.

Squeeze out excess water from your shaving brush. After soaking your shaving brush for a few minutes, it’s time to remove it from the bowl and squeeze out the excess water. You don’t have to be particularly-forceful when doing this, as wringing out the water too vigorously can damage the brush.

Remove the excess water from the blooming process, but don’t throw it out! Well, you can technically throw the excess water from the fully-bloomed soap—but we recommend that you use it as a face rinse instead. It’s a great prep step before shaving because the excess water contains rich oils from the soap.

Part 2: Creating the lather

Take your brush and rub it onto the soap in circular motions. The hardness of your shaving soap and how long you left it to bloom will determine how long it will take you to create a rich lather. On average, however, this step should take you about 30 seconds.

Simply focus on loading the shaving brush with soap. It might help to hold your shaving brush upside down (its bristles should be facing upward) with the soap on top of it. This way, the lather will naturally travel from the soap towards the brush because of gravity.

Part 3: Shaving your face

Once you’re satisfied with the thickness and quality of lather you’ve achieved, it’s time to apply it onto your face. Remember: don’t hesitate to add a bit more water to the soap if you think that lather is too dry or tacky.

Spread the lather thickly and evenly all over the necessary areas. Once you’re done, you can then proceed to shave using the razor of your choice.

What does “triple-milled” mean?

Some shaving soaps will boast about being “triple-milled.” This basically means that the ingredients of the soap have been mixed three times. Triple-milling produces soap that is harder and longer-lasting than the average soap. This explains why there are shaving purists who view triple-milled products as superior.

Does it matter what type of shaving brush you’re using?

Now that you know more about the best shaving soaps, should you go ahead and examine different shaving brushes, as well?

It goes without saying that good shaving soaps work well with good shaving brushes. We at Faveable believe that using the best shaving brush will give you the best kind of lather—ultimately leading to the best result. There are a bunch of great shaving brushes out there. But, in general, we recommend natural-hair bristles over synthetic ones.

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Article Staff

Daundra Becker is a rockstar entrepreneur who, using her resale and freelance writing superpowers, retired her hubby from his 9-5 in just 6 months. 

Daundra has always had a passion for storytelling and was formally trained one on one by award-winning Young Adult author: Cindy Savage. She recently put her novels on the back burner and made the switch to blogging and freelancing to get her writing career off the ground.

She also runs an online resale business full-time from home with her super hot partner in crime and hubby of 5 years, Donovan. Together they battle the forces of evil, build race cars, and chase after their three young little ladies. 

When she's not in front her laptop working on another article for a client or managing the online store, she can be found curled up with Netflix, a cup of coffee, and her latest knitting project on the couch, or trying to restore her '84 RX-7 with her rad hubby.

You can learn more about Daundra and her entrepreneurial adventures on her blog: Bringing Home Becker

Editor Jenna Holtz
Researcher Ronnie Langston
Art Director Cherry Barbacena

Join the conversation

6 Best Shaving Soaps

Thanks for reading my article. I value your feedback and invite you to join the conversation:

  • Share your opinion on the list
  • Suggest an item for consideration
  • Review items you've tried
— Daundra Daundra Becker
  • My husband really enjoys the Proraso Sandalwood with Shea Butter Cream Soap from West Coast Shaving. I got it for him as a Christmas Gift last year!
  • Nick
    NickHi Maggie, this will be updated by tomorrow.
  • Thanks so much for the award! Unfortunately, you pictured our regular Black Willow Bark Soap for acne which is rectangular instead of our Black Willow Bark Shaving Soap which is round to fit a shaving mug. I sent the correct picture to Trish, but so far my request to have it corrected has gone unanswered. Oh well, it's still a great honor. Thanks again. -Maggie, Soap Bartender, A Wild Soap Bar LLC

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