Personal care for men is one of the important factors to complete your look. Your attire says one thing about you. Your personal grooming says another. If you choose to grow a beard be sure it is trimmed. Your hair should be neat and clean. If you are bald your scalp should be clean shaven removing those little strands that for some reason pop up. Nails clean and trimmed. You can make investments in your attire that will make you look and feel good. You should consider taking the time to make a personal investment in your grooming.
We will begin our personal care segments with shaving soaps. There are many types based on your needs and skin type. We will add a little more information each day. We hope you find it helpful and informative.
Historical Tidbits about Shaving Soap
The oldest soap recipe in the world – containing oil and ash – comes from the Sumerians. Since then over 5,000 years have passed but the principle of soap manufacturing has remained essentially the same. Oils and fats are boiled with alkalis (sodium or potassium hydroxides) to create a soap base.
Shaving soaps made their first appearance in the fourteenth century and were extremely popular until World War I, when shaving creams became widely available. Until today shaving soaps still remain in high esteem with shavers who savor the traditional aspect of the wet shaving experience.
What Makes For A Quality Shaving Soap?
A quality shaving soap contains a high level of fat (vegetable or tallow) and glycerin. Glycerin, derived from vegetable oil, is important because it serves as a humectant, which locks in water and hydrates the skin. It is also an efficient emollient because it softens the beard and leaves the skin smooth and moisturized. The fat content is essential because it provides the necessary lubrication and protection for the skin during the shaving process, so that the blade glides over the surface of the skin without irritating or nicking it.
So, when you choose a shaving soap, look for a soap that has high fat content (30 to 50 percent). You should also be careful with inexpensive products, which are often bath or shower soaps in disguise. They don‘t provide any protection during the shave and can leave the skin dry and irritated.
Good quality soaps are often triple-milled, which increases the profuseness of the lather and produces tremendously creamy foam, leaving the skin extremely smooth.
For centuries, London’s traditional barber shops, chemists and perfumers have been offering tripled-milled shaving soaps. In my experience, especially the soaps of Truefitt & Hill, Geo F. Trumper and D.R. Harris produce exceptionally good lathers and can be bought in elegant wooden bowls.
The oldest German soap manufacturer „Klar“ goes even further. The soaps of this family-owned company from Heidelberg uses a five-rolling process instead of three rolling/milling operations. As a result, Klar shaving soap is particularly compressed and provides a great lather. While the tin jar makes them perfect for travel, it is more difficult to create lather directly from the jar.
Tomorrow we will add tips on how to use shaving soaps.
Cited from: The Shaving Soap Guide