Shaving with soap has gotten a bad rap. This is partly because personal care brands make more money if everyone is convinced we need specialized products for every grooming and cleaning function, and also because the run of the mill commercial soap brands actually are a poor choice for shaving. We’ll tell you why shaving with the right soap works great & how to find the best.
But first, let’s start with what makes an ideal shave. Of course, the ideal shave must be smooth, nick-free, and close. Preferably, it’s achieved with minimal fuss and an easy routine. Post-shave skin should feel good, not dry or brutalized. And the products delivering this ideal shave should be toxin-free, or even better, beneficial to your skin and overall health. Finally, a great shave should be inexpensive too.
4 reasons to shave with soap instead of shaving cream, oil, gel, or foam
You may have heard some harsh, negative things about shaving with soap but let’s look at the facts:
- It’s concentrated—A soap bar doesn’t have fillers like the air found in foams or water in creams or lotions. It gives you the lubrication needed for shaving in a concentrated form.
- Saves money—One shave bar should last about 6 months depending on shaving habits, and a quality brand costs just $5 - $10. You can even find bars made with only natural ingredients at these prices. Why throw money at high-end shaving products that can set you back $25 or more?
- Simplifies your routine—Many triple milled shaving bars require a bowl, brush and special prep. Glycerin soaps and oil-based bars allow you to skip the extra stuff and rituals. And compared to shaving oils, a bar isn’t messy or greasy and is easy to clean up.
- It’s convenient—A properly formulated bar can work great for shaving, as body soap and even to your wash hair. Multi-use means less bathroom clutter and an easier cleaning/grooming routine.
- Better for the environment. Plastic free & less waste. No plastic tubes or metal cans.
What to look for in shaving soap
First and foremost, check the ingredients. Keep in mind; price isn’t always a reliable indicator of quality in shaving products, as with anything else. There is a lot of marketing hype out there, so make sure you know what you’re paying for. It’s not unusual to find bad ingredients selling for a lot, or high-quality ingredients selling for a lot. But some bars hit the sweet spot, offering high quality at a reasonable price, including the Akamai 3 in 1 Bar.
Look for a soap that contains natural oils, to provide the lubrication and slip that primes skin and stubble. Choose one that is rich in glycerin and superfatted—a process that loads the bar with natural oils, leaving your skin moisturized. With the right oils, soap won’t dry your skin and can actually condition it. You may have heard good things about shaving with oils—with an oil based bar you can enjoy the same glide and moisturizing effects as straight oil, but without the messy cleanup.
Whenever possible, choose a soap made with natural and organic ingredients, such as plant oils and essential oils. They’re better for your health and for the environment.
What to steer clear of…
Synthetic ingredients are a red flag for toxins. The skin is our largest organ and is permeable, so whatever we put on it can be absorbed into our bodies. Don’t assume high end or natural shaving products are non-toxic. They often contain harmful ingredients including:
- Fragrance—can be a Trojan horse for a whole range of nasty chemicals. Current US laws allow the use of thousands of toxic chemicals in soap and other personal care products. Some are listed on labels, but many aren’t, and go undisclosed under the cover of “fragrance”
- Sodium lauryl sulfate & sodium laureth sulfate (SLS & SLES)—foaming agents that dry the skin by stripping away its natural oils. They’ve been linked to severe skin irritation and may cause cancer
- Tocopherol acetate—linked to allergies, damage to immune system, and cancer
- Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A)—damaging to the reproductive system, may cause cancer and organ system harm
- Artificial colors of all shades—even if they’re FDA approved, as mentioned, regulations for personal care product ingredients are nearly nonexistent. Besides, real men (or women) don’t need funky colors in their shaving products, right?
- Tallow—Whether you’re vegan or not, you may want to avoid it. A common ingredient in soap, tallow is rendered fat. Unless clearly stated as grass-fed or organic, tallow comes from industrially raised cows. Since toxins accumulate in fat, tallow may be contaminated with whatever chemicals the animals were exposed to—antibiotics, steroids, growth hormones, and drugs—traces of which can be absorbed transdermally.
To get all the benefits of a bar soap shave, and none of the nasty ingredients common in soaps, check out the Akamai 3 in 1 Bar. Organic argan oil, shea butter, extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, and rosemary extract are among the carefully chosen ingredients that condition and treat your skin every time you shave with it. No special prep required: just rub the soap directly on wet skin, and gently lather with hands. Women love it too, especially for shaving sensitive areas. You’ll get a superb shave—plus shampoo and body wash—all in one affordable, multi-purpose bar.