Thanks for taking the time to read our reviews on the best shaving soaps, that are currently available in the United Kingdom. In this article we explain what the different types of shaving soap are, and which ones will be the best choice for you.
There is quite a lot to understand when it comes to buying a shaving soap, and here at the Emporium we like you to have all the information. That way you can make the very best decision when it comes to buying any type of shaving product.
We know from our own detailed research, that there is also a lot of really poor information on the Internet, and we want our readers to have accurate information. So before you think about buying a shaving soap, we have included a full buyer's guide just below, which we know will really help you out.
All our product recommendations are based on our independent research which we conduct online by reading the many reviews we find at online websites. This review contains affiliate links and we may receive a commission for purchases made.
You can read our affiliates page to find out more and also read about how we write our reviews.
For people who are in a hurry, and don't have time to read this long and detailed article, then we have provided a brief answer just below.
Q. What is the best shaving soap. Answer: According to online buyers, the best shaving soap is the Proraso Shaving Soap Bowl, which is a huge seller online with an average buyer satisfaction rating of 96%, which is excellent.
Shaving Soap Buyer's Guide
There are two main types of shaving soap:
- Hard Shaving Soap
- Soft Shaving Soap
Hard Shaving Soaps
These hard soaps are most commonly made from tallow and will contain either potassium hydroxide (potash) or sodium hydroxide (Soda Lye). Tallow is a hard fatty substance, that is made from rendered animal fat (beef and mutton) and commonly used in the making of soaps and candles.
- Sodium Hydroxide is a cleaning agent used in bath products, cleaning products and shaving products and is also known as soda lye or caustic soda
- Potassium Hydroxide is used as a cleaning agent and is used in liquid soaps, lotions, and shampoo.
The reason either one of these is added to tallow is to allow the conversion of fat or oil into soap and alcohol by the action of heat This process is called saponification.
These are almost always sold in tins, mugs, tubs or as sticks. (Often referred to as pucks)
Soft Shaving Soaps
There are also soft shaving soaps. Often these are also referred to as Italian soaps. As the name would suggest these are much softer than the hard tallow style soaps. That does make them easier to lather, and as such, much more suitable for beginners to shaving soaps.
These are oil based soaps and use oils such as coconut, palm, or olive oil. They will usually have some type of scent, and they will also have some other ingredient such as eucalyptus, glycerine, lime or lavender.
The reason we explain this information at the beginning is that it is important to understand what is available on the market. The single purpose of using a shaving soap is to help prepare and protect the skin before shaving.
As you may know there are also shaving foams, shaving gels and shaving creams available on the market. So why would you pick a shaving soap instead of any of the other options?
Benefits of Picking & Using a Shaving Soap
- The first reason is that it is the most traditional method of wet shaving
- Shaving soap is not a complex product and with a little practise is not that hard to use
- There are a good range of choices available, so you should be able to find one or two that you really like
- They are good to use with safety razors, straight edge razors (cut throat) and disposable razors
- Shaving soap lasts for a long time so good value for money
- Shaving soap is very good at protecting the skin on your face and neck
- Prevents the risk of ski irritation, razor bumps, rashes, burns or ingrown hairs
The soap that you decide to pick will have a major impact on the quality of your shave, so it is important to get it right.
What Is Required to be able to Use a Shaving Soap?
These types of soap are sold mainly in tins or jars. In most cases you can by a refill which will be slightly cheaper. They can be sold on their own, or along with a bowl or a mug. The reason for selling soaps like that is so as you have a container of some kind to use to make your lather.
You can create a lather by using your hand, but it is much easier, faster and more effective to lather the soap with a good quality shaving brush. So to use shaving soap properly, you will need the soap, a container of some kind and a shaving brush.
Now that we know exactly what you need to be able to use shaving soap for your wet shave, let us help you decide on how to pick the best shaving soap for your exact needs.
Tips for Picking the Correct Shaving Soap?
We would advise you to focus on just three aspects when trying out a shaving soap:
- Quality - which means good ingredients and an easy to generate thick lather
- Scent - we all like different scents from our shaving products
- Price - this includes the initial price and also to make sure refills are available and affordable. A shaving soap can cost around £5-£12 for a good quality soap, with the higher end soaps costing around £20
Now it can get more complex than this, but those are the key things that you should be on the look out for.
Top 12 List of Shaving Soaps
We have listed below the top 12 shaving soaps, that are currently available in the UK. Beside each product name you will see a number expressed as a percentage. That is the average score taken from the different websites that sell these soaps online.
We look at all the ratings and then work out the average rating. That is then scored out of a maximum score of 100%. Underneath the list you will find a summary review of each soap, and then a link to a more detailed review.
- Proraso Shaving Soap Bowl Mixed Triple Pack (96%)
- 2x Wilkinson Sword 7000205B Shaving Soap Bowl (96%)
- Kent Mens Luxury Shaving Soap Bar (94%)
- Wissmann formular Intense Moisture Shaving soap with Dead Sea Mud and Glycerin (93%)
- HASLINGER Sandalwood Shaving Soap in Aluminium Case 94%
- Taylor of Old Bond Street 100g Luxury Wooden Bowl Sandalwood Herbal Shaving Soap 92%
- Mitchell's Wool Fat Lanolin Shaving Soap and Ceramic Dish (90%)
- Proraso Shaving Soap For Sensitive Skin (90%)
- Arko Shaving Soap in Bowl 90g (90%)
- Edwin Jagger 99.9% Natural Shaving Soap (sandalwood) 65g Refill Sssw (88%)
- Geo F.Trumper Sandalwood Shaving Soap In a Bowl Refill 80gr (88%)
- Tabac Original Shaving Bowl Soap Refill (88%)
Just below you can read summary reviews of each of these shaving soaps. You will also find an image, and you can click on this image to read reviews at Amazon UK.
No 1 - Proraso Shaving Soap Bowl Mixed Triple Pack
No 2 - Wilkinson Sword 7000205B Shaving Soap Bowl
This is a pack of 2 shaving soaps from the popular Wilkinson Sword brand. This particular soap is extremely easy to apply either straight from the bowl or by using a shaving brush
There is no waste and no mess, and it comes in a nice looking bowl with a lid. Buyers said the quality of the soap is great, and that getting two soaps made this one great value for money.
No 3 - Kent Mens Luxury Shaving Soap Bar
You can also buy this one with a shaving bowl. This one is the refill but it can be used on its own and it is great value for money. You will need to use this soap along with a shaving brush though.
This soap has a spicy base of nutmeg, cedar wood, sandalwood, vanilla and musk.
The lather is up there with the best of the soaps and also leaves your skin very soft.
No 4 - Wissmann formular Intense Moisture Shaving Soap
This is one of the more expensive shaving soaps and it does sit in the luxury range. If you can afford it then we would recommend giving it a try especially if you like to spoil yourself.
It is made in Belgium using the finest quality natural raw materials.
To add to the quality it also has clay from the Dead Sea which helps extract impurities from the skin's pores.
It creates a rich creamy lather and contains glycerin and natural oils to hydrate the skin, soften the beard and ensure a smooth razor glide.
No 5 - HASLINGER Sandalwood Shaving Soap
No 6 - Taylor of Old Bond Street 100g Luxury Wooden Bowl Sandalwood Herbal Shaving Soap
Popular shaving soap for many UK buyers. This soap is from the UK based Taylor of Old Bond Street brand. Please note that this is a hard soap so perfect to use along with a shaving brush.
This soap comes in a wooden bowl. The initial purchase is therefore a little more expensive, but after that the refills are cheaper.
The best way to use this soap is with a warm wet brush and a shaving mug or bowl, and swirl for about a minute to produce lots of lather.
No 7 - Mitchell's Wool Fat Lanolin Shaving Soap and Ceramic Dish
This soap is also made in the UK. It is made in Bradford, England to a traditional recipe that was invented by Fred Mitchell as far back as 1893.
This soap is biodegradable and is an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin.
That is because it contains natural lanolin which is a skin moisturiser and tallow which provides your razor blade with cushion and glide
It comes in a traditional ceramic lathering up bowl.
No 8 - Proraso Shaving Soap For Sensitive Skin
This soap is made using a combination of aloe and green tea in a glycerin base, and is suitable for all skins, but is especially good for anyone with sensitive skin.
This is a soft soap, and that makes it very easy to lather up. There is very little scent to this soap with perhaps just a hint of aloe vera.
It does create a long lasting lather.
No 9 - Arko Shaving Soap in Bowl
Other Shaving Lubricant Options
The main problem with a shaving soap is that for the very best results you do need a brush, and something to mix the soap in. Many people simply do not want to be bothered with the hassle of doing that every time they want a shave.
There er other lubricating and skin protection options. These are:
- Shaving cream
- Shaving gels
- Shaving foam
These are a great choice if you want the option of applying a cream using a brush or simply want to use your hands. These are very similar to soaps and many people just like the flexibility of using a cream that has already been whipped or lathered up. You can read about shaving cream by clicking here.
These are probably the most popular for wet shavers in the UK. These gels come in a can or tube and can be bought as either foaming or non-foaming gel options. They are readily available in supermarkets and chemists and cost around £2-4 a unit. Click here to read about shaving gel options.
Last is the standard shaving foam that has been around since the 1950's. You can read about those here, though we should say we would never recommend these to any wet shaver.