Discussion in 'Shaving Soaps' started by Bezoar, Saturday September 17, 2016.
Good soaps/cream/razors -- that's all you need.
...beef fat and cocunut oil works best for me in a shaving soap. I agree with the view that tallow based soaps, as opposed to vegan soaps, provide better performance. So in answer to the OP's question - yes it does matter, but maybe not to you! That is not to say that I do not enjoy artisan vegetal soaps such as Nanny's, Wickhams etc but the performance or consistency does not match a good tallow based soap and weight for weight (in terms of how many shaves they provide) they are significantly more expensive than a tripple milled hard tallow based soap. I get through a vegetal soap much quicker than a tripple milled soap. The pay-off is usually the scent. I appreciate that some choose vegetal soaps for ethical rather than performance reasons however the enviromental damage and blood cost from petrochemicals used either in the plastic tub or packaging is not insignicant I would suggest.
With a DE - just about any soap is ok with me. With a straigt razor - I get picky and pick Haslinger that happens to be tallow based.
You can triple-mill tallow or veg soap. The resultant hard soap will always outlast an unmilled soap.
...yes agreed, but very few artisan vegetal soaps are tripple milled for obvious reasons...
Well, I've only got two soaps (yeah, I know, what a lightweight eh?) - Kent (i.e. Mitchell's Wool Fat) and Saponificio Varesino. I believe that the former contains tallow and latter does not. I can't detect any difference in terms of performance.
Most "tallow" soaps only have a tiny bit of tallow which to me doesn't make them a "tallow" soap.
My main oil in my OSP soap is tallow.
I think as a community we need to start being a lot more aware of what is actually in our products.
The really great thing about what's in our soaps, James, is that because you ( and others I trust ) do, I don't have to. I just use, enjoy and don't worry !
That's true Johnny,
But I can only speak for myself. I was at Hampton Court flower show last weekend and there was someone selling "natural" cosmetics. When I pointed out that one of his ingredients isn't natural he chose to ignore me!
It's bloody frustrating for those that do it properly.
The consumer shouldn't always trust what they are told!
James...I appreciate you are a passionate vendor and soap maker with many forum members delighted with your product...indeed I have noticed how animated your posts have been in previous threads regarding any perceived critisism of artisan soap makers. However to assert 'most tallow soaps only have a tiny bit of tallow' is suprising. Indeed I would be even more suprised if, say Tabac, Harris or Haslinger made it known the exact quantity of tallow in their product. I have no doubt your product is excellent but why so quick to denigrate other soap makers methods whith such a sweeping generality?
Please let me explain. We all know I'm very passionate. But sometimes people
mistake that for things like aggressiveness etc. Please rest assured that's not my intention.
I'm not by any means denigrating anyone else. Ok so I am the retailer that mentioned his products were natural when they weren't. I don't like that at all. And nor should the consumer.
If someone wants to make soap with less tallow in it than other oils, that's fine. I'm not saying otherwise.
The point I was making is that the consumer should pay more attention to what goes on their skin.
I was actually also making the same point on a Facebook forum but using the example that thayers does not actually contain as much witch hazel as the name leads the consumer to believe. Again, I'm not picking on anyone's products. But this was the topic of debate, just as this topic is about tallow in soap.
All my comments are meant in good faith, I assure you.
One thing that is worth noting is that while I don't know anyone else's exact recipes, by EU law they have to state their ingredients l by percentage, so if something is made mainly of water, the term "aqua" will have to appear first in the ingredients list. You can therefore get a very very rough idea of what % of a product is one ingredient.
Ironically, just now I received an e-mail from West Coast Shaving in the USA regarding this very topic!!
https://www.westcoastshaving.com/bl...: What's In Your Latter + Free Gifts (BC30D)
James I agree that it is always good if the consumer is given the information to make an informed choice. You mention the valid point that ingredients are listed in order of quantity and give the example of water (aqua). Whilst it is great that UK artisan soap makers continue to thrive this does not mean that they are altruistic, have higher standards of ethics or indeed profit is not a significant motivator. I would suggest that artisan shaving soap makers could do more in providing reliable information on curing time and mositure content both of which in my experience can be variable. It is also clear that whilst your own views are valuable this does not negate your obvious conflict of interest as a vendor when you choose to post on threads regarding shaving soap.
Curing time? Moisture content? The average layman is not an organic chemist and I think I can speak for 99.99% of soap users in that this info is absolutely meaningless as regards their decision to buy or not. Do you buy ham based on curing time? I sure don't.
I sense perhaps something of a nationalistic spat.
Not speaking for 99,99 % of ham eaters?!
I do not actully read the list of soap ingredients but I am a sucker for statements like "Paraben free"and "All natural"
Some if the cheap obscure soaps list tallow. Why put animal fat on your face?
All good points
I am sure there are some that will take my views with a pinch of salt because of this. But there is not much I can do to remedy this I am afraid.
If you're opposed in principle to the use of animal fats then don't, but if you want what many consider the best shaving experience then do!
There's very little remaining fat in most soap anyway as it's mostly saponified.