Shaving soap

I made shaving sope for the first time quite some time ago.  I was really excited by shaving soaps when I first read about them.   The way I understood it, shaving soap is basically soap with the addition of some clay.  The clay improves the slip.  Slip, apparently, has to do with the way the blade glides over the skin.  So I made shaving soap and started to use it.  It was nice enough, but I have to admit that I use all my soaps as shaving soaps and I don't really notice much of a difference between them.  Even the salt soap works really well!  So I've been thinking that I should reformulate my shaving soap and see if I can come up with something fantastic.

One of the reasons is that I went into a barber's shop just before last Christmas to buy an old fashioned razor for my son in law.  The barber specializes in quality shaves and sells all the paraphernalia.  He showed me his collection of old shaving things and we chatted quite a bit and I told him that I had made shaving soap.  After I had made my purchase, left the store and was about to step into the car, the barber came out of the shop and said that he would be interested in trying my shaving soap.  He warned me that he would be ruthlessly honest in telling me if it was any good.   And I told him that I would love that and he said he was interested in selling locally made shaving soap, provided it gave a good shave.  Since I'm no expert I was really happy about that and told him that I would get some shaving soap to him.  But I never got round to it.

The shaving soap that I made was pretty basic and there are many ways to make it more special.  I guess that is one of the reasons that I haven't seen my barber friend again.  I always intended to do another batch and add more clay and even some extra special oils.  So I think now is the right time to make some new shaving soaps.  Some time ago I did order more types of clay, admittedly in small quantities, but it doesn't take much.

I have been thinking that I could use some Jojoba or Castor oil and some infused oils like Calendula and even Shepherds purse, Capsella bursa-pastoralis.  It is one of the much overlooked weeds that have amazing qualities.  It is an astringent and antiseptic plant that is well known to treat urinary tract infections and stop bleeding, internally and externally.  It is the styptic qualities that I find interesting in a shaving soap.  I think it is best used as a tea for the water phase.  I might also include some yellow dock for it's skin benefits.

I had intended to post my original shaving soap recipe here, but I have looked everywhere for it and I just can't find it.  Another recipe that I thought I would remember for sure!


  1. Oh, I was reading along, so anxious to see what the barber thought and....doh! never got to that point. LOL! I've never made shaving soap and know nothing about it but now I'm all excited for you, wanting to know what the barber thinks.

    Go go go, girl! Get busy on shaving soap! :)


  2. Hi Ambra,
    I've done bentonite clay and goats milk, but nothing more. Like Deb, I can't wait to hear how you wow the barber -I know you will! ~Becky

  3. Hola Ambra, espero que al barbero le guste tu jabon esta vez.
    Un abrazo

  4. Ambra,
    Your post has given me an idea of what my slippery-slimy lathered Mimosa-YlangYlang soap with yellow dock and mimosa wax might be good for! I'll have to get my Guenea, I mean my HUSBAND, to try it out in a few weeks. : ) Thanks for the inspiration! ~Becky

  5. Love this post... I was so excited for you... couldn't wait to hear what the Barber thought. When you eventually get around to it, PLEASE let us know! I have only ever made shaving soap once, a regular soap with clay and tons of Castor Oil. I love it. I shave with it. It lasts FOREVER. My dad and my husband both said it needed more lather? I think they are not willing to give up those commercial moussy shaving creams.... and I need to get more shaving lather!!! xo Jen

  6. Deb - Oh, thank you. I am really curious also. I'll be sure to let you know!

    Texia - Thank you and a hug to you too.

    Becky - Glad to be of service. My best to the G.. husband :D

    Jen - Thanks, I know - I will tell you guys what he thinks. Now I need to get going on making those shaving soaps.

    Aren't men peculiar though?! My husband prefers that horrible gooey turquoise gel. Hmm

  7. Oh, I really hate it when I lose a recipe I want to try and have to tear the house apart looking for it, can't wait to hear what that Barber says as well:)

  8. Good shaving soap does not have clay in it. The clay provides no benefits and would actually be detrimental to the sharp edge of the razor. For some reason someone started this myth on the internet that a shaving soap is just a regular soap with clay in it.
    A shaving soap provides a moist rich dense creamy lather that will stay that way for 10-30 minutes on your face.
    A key is very high stearic acid levels. usually from tallow, shea butter or pure stearic acid. A VERY basic recipe would be 70% tallow 30% coconut oil saponified with a 50-50 mix of potassium and sodium hydroxide.
    You might want to order a good professional shaving soap to see what one should behave like. Try looking for D R Harris, Tabac, Irisch Moos, Speick...


Post a Comment

Popular Posts