Free Shipping on orders over $60 in Canada


Your Cart is Empty

Hair & Body
  • Outdoors
  • Handmade Axes

  • Fixed Blade Knives

  • Shaving
  • Shaving Kits

  • Gift Cards

  • Every Day Carry
  • Pocket Knives

  • Secrid Wallets

  • beards
  • Beard Oils & Balms

  • Beard Care Kits

  • Shaving Cream V.S. Shaving Soap: What's the difference?

    August 19, 2021 3 min read

    Shaving Cream V.S. Shaving Soap: What's the difference?

    The first part of a good shave is face preparation – the creation of a luxurious shaving lather with your favourite brush and bowl – using either a shaving soap or a shaving cream.

    We often have folks ask, “Soap – cream. What’s the difference?”

    As a user, here are some pointers and facts to help you tell the difference, and choose the right one for you.

    Castel Forbes makes some of the best shaving cream in the world!

    Shaving Cream

    The first thing to note is a difference in time to lather. A shaving cream is infused with more moisture and comes up on the brush from the container immediately, providing a quick lather. Gratifying if you’re in a rush. Just dip and lather, it's that easy! Compared to soap, a shaving cream lather tends to hold more moisture. I find it stays hydrated on my skin for longer, and leaves my skin feeling fantastic. It's also much easier to use, if you're a beginner with a brush.

    The trick with shaving cream is to not use too much. A common error with people new to wet-shaving (shaving with a brush and bowl) is packing the brush with cream and using too thick a lather. This can clog your razor, but it also burns through your lovely cream too quickly. You don’t need a lot to make a great deal of lather; a few circles with the brush tip on the cream will load plenty. You control proportions in your shaving mug, you can always add water or more cream but you can't add less. Be conservative to start. The goal is a volume of lather the consistency of whipped cream, you should have stiff peaks that won't run down your face and hands.

    When you lather your cream, you can use a relatively vigorous motion in the shaving bowl and add drops of water in slowly. Continue whipping to thicken it, then lather the cream directly on your face. The result is a thick, cushiony lather that is very easy to use and satisfying to shave with.

    Like Grandpa make a rich, luxurious shaving soap with recyclable packaging in Edmonton, AB!

    Shaving Soap

    Soaps are harder in texture and require a bit of work to pick up on the brush, but they provide a more robust lubricating layer than creams. Make your life easier by plashing a little water on the puck and let it sit for a few minutes - it'll lather much easier. Also, some people prefer soaps as the scents are usually less potent and they typically last 2-3 times longer than a tub of shaving cream. With a soap you will load your brush quite generously right on the puck, then build the actual lather directly on your skin. You’ll want to add water occasionally until you get the right texture, the result should be dense and smooth to shave with. It takes more work to master, but the result is a rewarding shave.

    I enjoy the time spent making lather from a solid shaving soap, yet it’s easy to appreciate the quick-lather nature of a quality shave cream. I use a cream with my safety razor when I'm in more of a hurry, and a soap when I'm taking my time using the straight razor. I highly recommend trying both, and figuring out your preference for yourself. That said if you're looking for a zero-waste shave, many shaving soaps come in re-fillable wooden bowls or metal containers that can be re-used or recycled.

    The Brush

    The tool you use to lather your product will dictate its quality almost as much as its composition. While any brush is better than none, badger is always best. Badger bristles hold water well, are soft enough to treat your skin right but are stiff enough to scrub a dense soap or whip up a nice lather with a cream. The best badger brushes are silvertip. They feature a stiff backbone that exfoliates your skin and softens your hair, while the soft tips keep the brush feeling pleasant to the touch.

    Soaps lather best with a stiffer brush – and the creams lend themselves well to any brush, a good choice if you’re using synthetic. If you're like me, it's a  perfect case for having more than one brush – you can experiment with any soap or cream you please.

    Ultimately, it's most fun to have a selection to choose on based on mood, season or time of day. This is where shaving becomes fun.

    Browse Shaving Creams and Soaps

    Browse Shaving Brushes