Soap vs Cream

#1
Apologies if this is an old chestnut for those of you who’ve been on here a long time, but in half a year on here I haven’t seen this discussion so thought it would be a good one especially to people newer to DE shaving, and may introduce us to great new products too.

I always notice from the forum index that there are roughly twice as many topics (and three times as many posts) in ‘Shaving Soaps’ than there are in ‘Shaving Creams’ and so I guess there is a reason for this and wanted to find out what it is.

I’ve been using cream since I started, as it seemed it would be a good transition from ‘canned goo’. I’ve not really been interested in exploring soaps until using a sample of Castle Forbes Lime this week. I understand it’s kind of an inbetweener (I guess this is what a ‘Croap’ is?) as it took longer to lather, but then the lather was incredibly rich and luxurious. So now I wouldn’t rule out trying soaps at some point. So, a few questions:

  • Do you use mainly cream or soap?
  • What do you prefer about your choice to the other?
  • Is the extra time & effort of loading a soap worth it, when creams seem so much easier to work with?
 
#2
My preferred soaps are just as easy to lather than creams. At the moment I have decided to mix them up. My favourite soap is êShave.
I am currently using a Mondial croap, Cella, TOBS Grapefruit and Gentleman's Care Lime creams.

I find creams to be more difficult as I need a bowl and almond size portion, with my soap I use it's own bowl. Croaps and TOB's can be used from the bowl they came in, I just swirl on the top.
 
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#3
Dave, glad you liked the sample. I actually find soaps easier to lather than the Castle Forbes. Or rather not so much easier , just that the consistency of the Forbes = you start with a smidge of it and go from there. Sometimes I then find I have missed lathering some of it and get a lump in the resulting lather. This does not happen when lathering a proper cream or straight on to the soap puck as a whole. Think this makes sense. As a rule though I prefer the consistency to start of a cream, eg Body sHop Maca root , Proraso green or Bluebeards Revenge. Dipping the brush in the tub often leads to using more than really needed but hey ho, stocks are plentiful thanks to kids who never know what to buy me. That reminds me, father's day fast approaching now what do I need? ;)
 
#5
That is actually a difficult question for me. A few years ago I would probably have said that I preferred soaps and used creams primarily in the summer months. Now that is more difficult as hard soaps have almost disappeared and what many manufactures now supply could be called hard creams! (Croaps).
 
#8
I have yet to own a hard triple milled soap, everything I have is creams and italian croaps. I find them equally easy to produce good lather, thought it gets less messy with the creams in tubes. I enjoy making a mess so I like using either. I'm already getting great lather for wonderful shaves, therefore I wouldn't be losing any sleep from excitement if I got it a tad slicker or denser with harder soaps. I've shaved with a regular bar of glycerin soap in a pinch, so it's all a great variety I enjoy. I'll always have few creams on hand to use.

Interesting thing I found out recently is that Cella in the 150ml tub is a cream, not a croap, says on the box and the manufacturer says it is a cream. The 1kg version is actually a soft soap, it's cured differently and many prefer it over the cream (barbers and shavers in Italy). So I have that kilo block on my wishlist to try eventually.

Tabac in the puck and the milk glass tub is also different from the stick, it's harder. The sticks are cured softer (or maybe just not triple milled) to be easier to apply on your face, which makes sense. So going for the more expensive hard pucks is the real deal and they last longer, some say lather better. Same (probably) applies for Valobra stick vs puck.
 
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#11
I find creams much easier to lather, an performance depends on a brand, sometimes they are the same sometimes a soap is better. Anyway, most artisans make soaps so due to my love for scents i use mostly soaps.

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#12
Started out with creams but haven't tried a lot - TOBS Sandalwood REALLY didnt agree with my skin, and actually got binned as a result. TOBS Avocado was excellent, Truefitt ans Hill Sandalwood was good, Truefitt and Hill Sensitive cream is excellent, and I tried Wars but didnt get on with that either.

Tried hard soap pretty soon after, beginning with Tabac and D R Harris Arlington soap. Both triple milled, both excellent performers.
Have now tried
P&B Oberon
P&B Whitechapel
Valobra
Tiki Go West
Caties Bubbles Conneticut Shade
OSP Barbershop
D R Harris Windsor

Honestly, the only thing I feel goes in cream's favour is scent strength, which is terrible for my skin anyway. Selection of different scents goes to Soap, as does longevity, economy, post shave feel and (extremely importantly) slickness for shaving.

I have not tried any "croaps" so cant really speak of them, and my experience with creams is limited, but I would say I am definitely in the hard soap camp.
 
#14
Only a mere handful of artisans make shaving creams thereby limiting the purchaser. As well, all the newer "cutting edge" (pun intended) artisans make soap and few if any creams
Off the top of my head OSP is the only artisan making creams. However, a good argument could be made that "croaps" are more cream than soap. Go figure.
 
#16
Only a mere handful of artisans make shaving creams thereby limiting the purchaser. As well, all the newer "cutting edge" (pun intended) artisans make soap and few if any creams
Off the top of my head OSP is the only artisan making creams. However, a good argument could be made that "croaps" are more cream than soap. Go figure.
Aren't most artisan soaps basically croaps (except the melt'n'pour glycerin ones)?

If there is any give to the soap when you push your finger it means it's a croap, I think. AKA soft soaps.
 
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