Shaving soaps are the very definition of old school. They passed out of widespread use half a century ago and lingered in obscurity until just recently, when their tangible qualities were rediscovered by a new generation of men intent on preserving some of the finer things in an increasingly virtual world. Shaving soap forces you to slow down and unplug. To consider yourself and your physicality. To ponder the scents, experience the textures and revel in the finished product. That’s a lot to ask of soap but great shaving soaps deliver, which is why we keep coming back. Without further ado here are the 11 best shaving soaps for men.
The Best Shaving Soap for Men
In a bid to get you the best shave possible, the Van Der Hagen Scented Shave Soap has gone above and beyond with a unique manufacturing method that uses a kettle and infuses soothing and relaxing ingredients. Using this soap is a delight as it produces a decent amount of lather, which is great for any beard type out there. In addition, the Van Der Hagen Scented Shave Soap works with all skin types and prides itself on its ability to provide a great shave with no irritation. This is the ideal shaving soap for men who want to shave in a classic way with a product that is of the highest standards. On top of that, the package comes with three soaps, which represents excellent value for money, and it is capable of being used every day with ease.
Another great thing about this soap is that it doesn’t decline quickly, meaning that it can last you for a while, even with regular use; on top this, it has a lovely scent that leaves you smelling fresh even after shaving. What’s more, using the soap is incredibly easy, and there are instructions at the back of the package with directions on how to use the product to ensure that there is no confusion. To top things off, this is a great soap for both those who have just started shaving and for those who have been doing it for decades. And to give the consumer more confidence in their purchase, Van Der Hagen has a 90-day money-back guarantee so that if you are for any reason not happy with the product, you have a way out.
Provides a decent amount of lather for a smoother shave
Contains a great scent that leaves the user feeling fresh and cool
Lasts longer than most creams and gels
Comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee
- BrandVan Der Hagen
- Weight4.5 ounces
Backed by three generations of Italian ingenuity, the Proraso Shaving Soap In A Bowl is a great product that provides the user with a shave that will not be forgotten in a hurry. Shaving can be a bit of a chore, especially if you opt for the classic method of shaving, but with Proraso Shaving Soap In A Bowl, this is no longer the case. This incredible product takes the stress away from shaving with innovative features that make shaving time a delight. Made with Eucalyptus and a dash of menthol, the soap provides an amazing shave that is devoid of nicks and cuts and which also cools your skin, leaving you feeling really pleasant indeed.
Moreover, the soap creates a great lather, which, in turn, softens your beard and makes it more receptive to the razor. What’s more, the softening of the hairs also enables users to execute a close shave and achieve that fresh-faced look that is coveted by some men. In addition to all this, using the soap is really easy, and it can simply be applied to your face with a brush, and you only need to work it a little bit to achieve a thick, rich lather. Furthermore, what makes the Proraso Shaving Soap In A Bowl even more attractive is that it is made with predominantly natural ingredients and is devoid of SLS, artificial colors, and other potentially harmful substances. Besides, it also comes in a beautifully designed container that is attractive to the eye and makes it a suitable gift to the man in your life.
Easy to use
Softens the beard enough for a close shave
Provides the user with a delightful shave free of nicks and cuts
Made in Italy and comes from a proud heritage
- Weight7 ounces
If you are growing frustrated with having to buy new shaving creams and shaving gels every other month, then we are pleased to say that Lather & Wood Shaving Soap will ensure that you never have to do that again. Contained in a sizeable 4.7oz tin, the Lather & Wood Shaving Soap is a quality product that can last for a long time and delivers quality with each use. In its commitment to only producing the highest-quality shaving soaps, Lather & Wood handcraft their products and make them in small batches to protect their integrity. Also, this soap smells good! When using it, the smell of sandalwood wafts upwards into your nose, giving a refreshing feeling which other people get to experience when you’re done with your shave.
Furthermore, the soap is made with ingredients such as tallow and shea butter, which produces dense lather, which, in turn, executes a smooth shave. On top of this, the rich lather can sit in your shaving bowl for hours as it doesn’t dissipate easily, and this is what allows for a smooth shave without the fear of irritation. What’s more, applying the soap to your face presents no problem at all; even better is the fact that not only does it lather faster than the usual gels and creams, it also offers a cleaner shave, and is even more affordable. There are numerous reasons to invest in the Lather & Wood Shaving Soap, and when you do, you can rest assured that there will be no regrets.
Contained in large 4.7oz tin that lasts longer than most
Provides a rich lather than aids in a smoother shave
Very easy to use and can be learned by anyone
Made in small batches to protect the integrity of the product
- BrandLather & Wood Shaving Co.
- Weight5.4 ounces
The Art of Shaving TAOS Shaving Soap doesn’t just provide you with an excellent shave; it provides you with an experience. Made with high-quality materials, this is a soap for every shaving enthusiast, and it is one of the best on the market. Using the soap is very easy, and The Art of Shaving has outlined four simple steps to achieve the most remarkable shave. Preparation, lathering, shaving, and moisturizing make up the key components of a classic The Art of Shaving experience. The soap creates a thick and consistent lather that softens the hairs on your chin, making them easier to shave off.
You are advised to shave with the grain for a natural look, and for a closer shave, you can shave against the grain a bit to get rid of the excess hair that you want to get rid of. Additionally, the soap has a great scent which it inherits from the exquisite sandalwood essential oil it is manufactured from. Besides, the essential oils are extracted from sandalwood trees from Mysore, India, which are credited with having some of the most potent sandalwood trees in the world. Add to that the many years that The Art of Shaving has been providing quality products (they were launched in 1996), and you can see why this is the top choice soap for many. With The Art of Shaving TAOS Shaving Soap, you get a quality shaving soap that lets you shave effectively with no bumps or irritation. Easy to apply and use, this soap is an excellent product.
Great scent derived from sandalwood essential oil
Creates consistent lather that softens the hairs on the chin
Provides the user with a great shave
Manufactured with high-quality materials
- BrandThe Art of Shaving
- Weight2.56 ounces
Henry Cavendish Himalaya shaving soap for men has it all. An elegant box, a light refreshing scent, the ability to generate a thick, satisfying lather with little effort and the ability to produce a close, comfortable shave that will start your day off on the right foot. This is a great mens shaving soap that delivers on the stylish packaging and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
From the moment you open the box you’ll realize you made a good choice and once you start working the moistened soap with your bristle brush you’ll quickly forget about canned shaving cream. It’s non-irritating and leaves you feeling like you had both a clean close shave and a facial massage. Be sure to also check out our list of the best shaving creams for more great items like this.
Rich creamy lather
Made in USA
- BrandHenry Cavendish
- Weight4 ounces
- Key Ingredients Shea butter, coconut oil, soy extracts
- Indications Paraben free, non-allergic, non-toxic
This natural shaving soap from the aptly named Men’s Soap Company doesn’t have the tastefully designed packaging of Henry Cavendish but as the saying goes “never judge a book by its cover”. The fact is that lurking behind the ordinary facade is a shaving soap of substance.
Generating a rich lather is a breeze once you’ve bloomed the soap for a couple of minutes and the Indian cedar, Himalayan blue pine and Indian amber scents that gently envelope you while you shave produce a high quality sensory experience. The Shea Butter and coconut oil provide ample protection and leave your face feeling smooth and silky. What more could you ask? Find more great products like this by checking out our dopp kits guide.
Hydrates and moisturizes
- BrandMens Soap Company
- Weight4 ounces
- Key Ingredients Shea butter, vitamin E, and coconut oil
- Indications Non-toxic, paraben-free, no preservatives, dyes or fragrances
Sir Hare produces a lather of extraordinary texture and fullness with a light old school scent that will have you wondering why you spent so long putting up with the mundane chemical odors emitted by pressurized canned shaving foam. Even if your safety razor isn’t the sharpest in the barber shop your skin will emerge smooth and free of irritation and that’s quite a trick.
The mango butter in particular leaves your skin feeling so good you’ll want to rub it up against your sweetheart’s face and share the experience. Achieving a rich, satisfying lather is easy with minimal prep and the attractive jar is a really nice touch.
Shaving bowl included
Made in USA
- BrandSir Hare
- Weight9.3 ounces
- Key Ingredients Tallow, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, mango butter
- Indications Non-irritating
Taylor of Old Bond Street make some of the best triple milled shaving soaps around. This sandalwood hard refill is a great example. Not only does it smell like an expensive cologne it works like a charm producing a high quality lather after minimal prep. This refill puck is designed to fit comfortably into the company’s wooden shaving bowls which is just the cherry on the cake.
All in all you get a satisfying shaving experience to please all the senses (except, hopefully, taste), a surprisingly sophisticated package considering it’s a refill and you won’t have to mortgage the house or skip the car payment to afford it.
Sandalwood and cedar scent
- BrandTaylor of Old Bond Street
- Weight3.52 ounces
- Key Ingredients Potassium palmate, sodium cocoate, glycerin
- Indications Refill only
You’d be forgiven if you put this box in the refrigerator to freshen the air because the design looks more than a little like baking soda. However it’s about as far from abrasive baking soda as one can get. The combination of coconut oil and aloe vera produce lather that’s as good at moisturizing your skin as it is preparing even the toughest beards for the straight razor.
If what you’re after is a shaving soap for men that doesn’t wilt under the razor, doesn’t shrink from a tough beard and doesn’t leave your skin feeling like it’s been assaulted Badger shaving soap is just what the barber ordered. It also provides a light, pleasant bouquet that’s anything but badger-like. Thank the maker!
Sandalwood and cedar scent
- Weight3.15 pounds
- Key Ingredients Organic palm oil, organic coconut oil, sodium hydroxide
- Indications Good for sensitive skin
We love the wooden bowl. We love the balance of citrus and fern. We love the rich premium lather and we love the way our face feels afterward. What’s not to like about D.R. Harris & Co mens shaving soap in its beautiful Arlington mahogany bowl? Holding the bowl while you load up the brush is the kind of tactile experience you’ll recall with fondness years down the road. While in the here and now you get to enjoy a smooth comfortable shave every time.
This soap lathers up quickly even if you don’t have the thickest of beards to assist in the process and it doesn’t lose its “oomph” if left on your face a few extra minutes. The real sign of a quality product. You’re going to pay a bit more for this soap because, hey, mahogany bowls aren’t cheap. Love this product? Check out our review of the aftershaves for men for our top picks.
Citrus and fern blend
- BrandD.R. Harris
- Weight9 ounces
- Key Ingredients Potassium palmate, sodium tallowate, glycerin
- Indications Bowl is sustainably sourced mahogany
The lather produced by Col. Conk’s World Famous Shaving Soap is not up to the standards of say the just reviewed D.R. Harris & Co product but what it lacks in rich creamy foam it makes up for in the way your skin feels in the aftermath of shaving. Once you rinse off you’re left feeling like you just emerged from a spa or just found that perfect moisturizer you’ve been seeking. One that doesn’t make you feel like you rubbed 30 weight on your face or leave you with volcanic pimples.
Col. Conk’s is affordable, conveniently sized, pleasant smelling and does the job you want it to do while leaving your face feeling great. If the destination is more important to you than the journey Col Conk has a mens shaving soap for you.
3 compact shaving bars
With avocado Oil and Vitamin E
Long lasting lather
- BrandColonel Conk
- Weight5.6 ounces
- Key Ingredients Avocado oil and vitamin E
- Indications Non-toxic
Van Der Hagen Glycerin Shave Soap isn’t cheap but it’s well worth the price thanks to its generous lather, its pleasant scent, its hypo-allergenic qualities and the way you feel when you put the electric razor down and splash your face with cool water.
The packaging left us cold but the product itself has been thoughtfully formulated and is an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin who don’t want people smelling them coming 3 blocks away. Another saving grace of Van Der Hagen shaving soap for men is that it’s widely available both online and in many brick and mortar establishments; for those who really embrace the old school values of going to the store to buy things.
Protects sensitive skin
- BrandVan der Hagen
- Weight2.4 ounces
- Key Ingredients Vitamin E and oat extract
- Indications Hypo-allergenic, protects sensitive skin
We wrap up this list of the 11 best shaving soaps with Dr Bronner’s Peppermint Organic soap. It’s the only one on the list that comes in a tube, a fact that’s bound to turn off traditionalists. For the open minded though what you’ll find here is a truly vegan and cruelty free product with a pleasant minty smell that lathers up nicely and is affordably priced.
Organic shikakai can trace its origins back several centuries to India where it was (and continues to be) a popular product for washing and conditioning hair. It’s known to prevent raw, itchy scalp which makes it ideal for use on a face covered in more sensitive skin. You’ll feel as good as you look when you shave with Dr Bronner’s Peppermint Organic shaving soap. If you like smelling nice, check out our solid colognes review and find some amazing products.
Certified organic and vegan
Liquid soap base
No synthetic preservatives
- BrandDr Bronner’s
- Weight10.6 ounces
- Key Ingredients Organic shikakai
- Indications Certified organic and vegan
Shaving Soaps Buying Guide & FAQs
Things To Consider When Choosing Shaving Soap
Keep the following in mind when selecting shaving soaps and you’re sure to find one that’s a good match for your beard and skin.
- Allergens - Soap can produce a surprising number of allergic reactions in people and that includes the top shaving soaps. If you have sensitive skin make sure you select a soap that is allergen free and free of artificial colors or fragrances.
- Scent - As we said if you have sensitive skin you’ll probably want to avoid shaving soaps with artificial fragrances added. However if that’s not an issue for you you’ll find a wide array of scents to suit just about every preference. Although to be sure the various scents associated with mens shaving soap tend toward the manly, musky, burly type of scents.
- Size - Most of the time size doesn’t matter. However there may be instances like when you are traveling that lugging around a full size puck of your favorite shaving soap for men just isn’t necessary or practical. Fortunately shaving soap today is available in all sizes and shapes.
- Aesthetics - Some guys like their shaving soap in a bar, some in a bowl, some in a particular type of wooden bowl. Some insist on throwback packaging, others don’t care about the packaging but want the puck itself to have a pleasing aura to it. Which type of guy are you?
- Price - Of course you’ll also want to consider the price of the shaving soap you buy. While there aren’t any brands we’re aware of that will break your bank some are definitely more expensive than others. In fact it’s possible to buy some top shaving soaps for upwards of $100.
Shaving Soaps FAQs
Q: How Much Shaving Soap Should You Use?
A: There’s simply no way to say you should use X ounces of shaving soap. The amount will be different depending on what type of lather you’re after (thin or thick), how thick your beard is and most of all how much provides you with a nice comfortable shave. Which is only something you can determine through trial and error. There are some mens shaving soap basics you should adhere to when it comes to preparing the soap and we’ll cover those in the answer to the next question.
Q: How to Use Shaving Soap for Men to Achieve the Perfect Shave?
A: A great shave depends on achieving a great lather and there are definite steps to take to achieve the perfect lather. They are:
- Prepare the soap and brush - If you are to achieve the perfect lather for your face it’s important to prepare the brush and soap by giving them a good soak in warm water. Typically you’ll let the soap soak for 10-15 minutes. For the brush a few minutes submerged in warm water should do it.
- Building the lather - You can go one of two ways with lather, either lots of water or very little water. With lots of water you’ll typically get a thicker, creamier texture so exactly how much water you add will depend on how creamy you like your lather. For the purposes of this guide we’ll assume you like a nice thick traditional shaving soap lather. So load your nice wet shave soap brush with soap by swirling on the surface of the puck. Give it enough force to splay the bristles a bit. Keep swirling until you’ve got a light foam comprised of tiny bubbles.
- Apply to your face - Once the brush is properly loaded with a light foam of tiny bubbles apply it directly to your face. Keep swirling until the foam starts to build. If necessary dip the brush quickly into the warm water you took it from and continue swirling. Remember you’re not going to achieve the kind of aerosol induced foam you get with canned shaving creams. You’re after something more organic which is typically a heavier and slightly less lofty than canned foams.
Once the lather has achieved the desired consistency it’s time to pick up your straight edge and get to work.
Q: How Long Does Shaving Soap Last?
A: In most cases where you shave every day or two a puck of shaving soap should last 2 to 3 months. There are however some milled soaps such at the Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Hard Shaving Soap reviewed above that could conceivably last a year.
The top shaving soaps for men may seem like a quaint walk down memory lane but the fact is today’s mens shaving soap is much more than that. It’s the perfect way to get your day off to a relaxing, rejuvenating start and a great way to connect with traditional values that resonate even more fully in the digital age.