Best Shaving Soap

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A well-made shaving soap can provide a pleasant shaving experience.  Shaving soaps can vary widely from one brand to another.  In this guide, we will share a few of the best shaving soaps that perform exceptionally well.

When deciding on a shave soap, please take the following into account:

8 Considerations Before Buying Shave Soap

Take a moment to learn the following before buying a shaving soap:

  1. Base: Shaving soaps will have either a glycerin or tallow base.  Tallow is rendered fat, typically from cattle, and provides a rich and creamy lather.  Glycerin, typically sourced from vegetables, is vegan-friendly and provides a slick base.  When using tallow-based shaving soaps, considerable skill is required to generate a good lather.  If it’s your first shaving soap, consider glycerin.  
  2. Size: From 2 to 6oz, the size of shaving soap varies.  Larger quantities often provide better value, especially if you decide on a premium shaving soap brand.
  3. Container: Most shaving soaps are sold in a bowl.  However, some brands may sell the shaving soap as just a disc packaged in cardboard.  This will require you to supply a mug or bowl. 
  4. Shaving Brush Required: Unlike other shaving creams, a shave soap requires a shaving brush for effective use. So make sure that you have a shaving brush on hand before making a purchase.
  5. Scent: Most shaving soaps are scented.  The scent is, of course, subjective.  If uncertain, sandalwood is a great starting point as it’s the classic barbershop scent.  Invigorating scents such as eucalyptus or menthol are a nice, bright way to start your day.
  6. Razor Type: Most shaving soaps are used by men who use straight razors, safety razors, or shavettes.  If you typically use a cartridge razor, don’t worry; you can still use shaving soap.  Our only recommendation is that if you use a cartridge razor, go with a glycerin-based soap as it’s less likely to clog the blades.  All other razor types mentioned previously can work well with tallow or glycerin shaving soaps.
  7. Milling: Some shaving soaps may be advertised as being milled.  This means that the soap has gone through the milling process, where chunks and impurities are smoothed out, and excess water is removed.  The higher the milling number typically will equate to a higher price point, a harder soap brick, and ultimately, a longer-lasting shaving soap.
  8. Price: Shaving soaps vary wildly in price depending on the ingredients, brand prestige, size, and more.  Expect to pay approximately $20 for a well-made shaving soap from a reputable brand.

Shaving Soaps Compared

Here’s a table comparing all the shaving soaps we reviewed:

Shaving SoapBaseMade InBest ForIncludes Bowl?
Tabac OriginalTallowGermanyTallow BaseYes
CellaTallowItalyAffordable Tallow BaseYes
ProrasoGlycerinItalyBeginnersYes
Chiseled FaceTallowUSAMade in the USAYes
Art of ShavingGlycerinUSABarbershop ScentYes
Stirling Soap CompanyTallowUSAWet Shaving EnthusiastsYes
Pré de ProvenceGlycerinFranceQuad MilledYes
Henri et VictoriaTallowCanadaTriple MilledYes

8 Best Shaving Soaps Reviewed

Best Tallow-Based Shaving Soap 

$22.00
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Last update on 2021-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

German-made Tabac Original is the quintessential shaving soap.  Relying on a tallow base, Tabac can generate a slick and well-cushioned lather.

We found that a liberal amount of water is required to get shave-ready results when using this soap with a badger shaving brush.  Given the thicker body of this shaving soap, straight and safety razors will perform well.

Fragrance, while subjective, was found to be quite pleasant. You can expect warm notes with hints of sandalwood as the lather develops.

While the performance of this shaving soap is worth considering alone, the glass bowl container is an upgrade to any bathroom countertop.  However, this shaving soap is intended for home use only.  Not only is it a bit larger at 4.4oz, but also the top of the shaving soap isn’t secure in any way; it just simply rests on the top of the jar.

Pros

  • Strong performance for a tallow-based shaving soap.
  • The glass bowl is a premium upgrade.
  • The scent is warm and inviting.

Cons

  • The lid isn’t secure at all.

What You Need To Know

If you enjoy the shaving ritual and looking for an upgrade to your routine, consider Tabac Original.  The scent is pleasant, the performance is good, and the bowl makes it easy to generate a nice, cushioned lather.

Best Affordable Tallow-Based Shaving Soap

$14.14
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Cella, pronounced “Chella,” is an Italian-made shaving soap that depends on a few ingredients.

While this is tallow-based shaving soap, also listed on the side of the box are coconut oil and sweet almond oil.  Therefore, you can expect a decent level of moisture and nourishment to the skin to help make it supple and ready for shaving.

When generating a lather with Cella, expect to add plenty of water.  Additionally, this shaving soap tends to favor stiff bristle shaving brushes, such as boars hair.

The fragrance for Cella is polarizing.  The almond scent isn’t refreshing, nor is it inviting.  Ultimately it’s suitable daily shaving cream.

At $14, Cella is priced below the market average.  To help keep the cost low, Cella does rely on a screw-top plastic container.  The total size for the shaving soap is a generous 5.2oz.

Related: Cella Shaving Soap Review

Pros

  • Relies on a select set of quality ingredients.
  • Affordable.
  • Performs well with basic shaving brushes.

Cons

  • Polarizing scent.
  • Requires effort for a good lather.

What You Need To Know

Cella keeps things simple with their Crema Da Barba almond shaving soap.  The shave soap is budget-friendly and well-made.  

Best for Beginners

$10.00
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Proraso shaving soap is a beginner-friendly option for those who want a satisfying shaving experience.  

Glycerin-based, Proaso’s shaving soap is easy to lather no matter what type of shaving brush you currently use.  Once your lather has been generated, you can expect this shaving soap to deliver a slick yet cushioned base for your preferred razor.

Unlike many other shaving companies that only make one type of shaving soap and just change the scents across their lineup, Proraso makes a few different soaps depending on your skin and facial hair type.  

Here’s a summary of their current lineup of shaving soaps:

  • Green Label: Intended for general use and has a nice refreshing scent of eucalyptus and menthol.
  • White Label: Made for men with sensitive skin.  The shaving soap has a fresh, bright scent.
  • Red Label: This shave soap was designed for thick, coarse beards.  The shaving soap has a sandalwood scent.

Regardless of your skin or facial hair type, all shaving soaps by Proraso only cost $10 and are 5.2oz in size.

The Proraso shave soap is set in a plastic bowl, so no additional shave accessories are required.  

Pair this shave soap with the Proraso pre-shave cream for stellar results.

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly formula.
  • Delivers consistently good results regardless of shaving brush type.
  • Affordably priced while still coming with a plastic bowl.

Cons

  • Contains some chemical ingredients.

What You Need To Know

If you are looking for a good starter shaving soap, then Proraso should be considered.  It’s affordable, lathers well, and delivers a comfortable shaving experience no matter your preferred razor.  Additional varieties are also available to meet your skin and facial hair needs.

Made in the USA

$15.99
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You don’t have to go to some other country to get a well-made shaving soap.  One quality offering that is getting noticed by many in the wet shaving community is Chiseled Face Groomatorium. 

Made in Greenville, OH, Ghost Town Barber is a uniquely scented tallow shaving soap.  With notes of bergamot, cedar, leather, and gunpowder, the shave soap has a warm scent that makes for a pleasant start to the day.

The tallow formula, with effort, can generate into a slick lather.  One drawback is that the lather does dissipate quickly, so expect a few tries before you master this shave soap.

Housed in a plastic bowl paired with a screw top, it can easily preserve the soap between use.  

Related: Chiseled Face Ghost Town Barber Review

Pros

  • Once lathered, the shave soap is slick and comfortable.
  • Uniquely warm and pleasant scent.

Cons

  • Tough lather to master – expect some effort here.
  • Dissipates quickly upon application.

What You Need To Know

It’s easy to see why Chiseled Face Groomatorium is quickly growing in popularity.  Their shaving soaps are well made and provide a pleasant scent.  Sample packs are currently available on their website.

Best Classic Barbershop Scent

$50.00
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If you want to recreate the barbershop experience in your bathroom, then consider the Art of Shaving Shaving Soap.  With a glycerin base, it is an easy-to-use lather that feels great once applied.

The formula for this shaving soap has changed over the years. Initially, it used to contain a tallow base; however, that has since changed to glycerin.  Depending on where you purchase the shaving soap, you could (although not likely) receive the tallow variety.

With a heavy and warm sandalwood scent, this shaving soap will transform the shaving experience and bring you back to your favorite barbershop with each use.

As for price, this shaving soap is expensive – exceedingly so given the ingredients within.  The shaving soap with a wooden bowl will cost approximately $50.  Individual refills are slightly more affordable at $30.  

Unfortunately, Art of Shaving has closed most of its stores in the USA.  Therefore, your best bet is to buy this shaving soap online.

Pros

  • Best-in-class barbershop sandalwood scent.
  • The wooden bowl only adds to the traditional shaving experience.
  • Easy to lather for all skill levels.

Cons

  • Bowl and soap are overpriced, given the glycerin base.

What You Need To Know

Housed in a nice wooden bowl and easy to use, this shaving soap is perfect for gift giving.  The classic barbershop scent makes for a pleasant shave experience with every use.

What the Pros Use

Source: West Coast Shaving

With a simple yet effective formula, the Stirling Soap Company has a well-made shaving soap often recommended by professionals and wet shaving enthusiasts.  This tallow shaving soap has been paired with many natural ingredients, including castor oil, almond oil, coconut butter, and many more.  

When lathered and applied, you can expect your skin to get nice and supple.  The slick and cushioned base allows single-edge razors to glide and remove facial hair in a single pass.

Made in the USA and housed in a rather hefty 5.8oz container, this shaving soap delivers value.

Unfortunately, given the boutique nature of this shaving soap, it’s not widely available.  Your best bet is to order it from a specialty shaving retailer such as West Coast Shaving or Maggard Razors.

Pros

  • A simple formula that delivers.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Works well with all single-edge razors.

Cons

  • Not widely available.

What You Need To Know

If you want a shaving soap in vogue with wet shaving enthusiasts, you must consider Stirling Soap Company.  This shaving soap is well-rounded and provides a lovely classic scent.

Quad Milled Shaving Soap

$12.99
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French brand Pré de Provence is known for its high-end men’s grooming products, and the No. 63 quad-milled shaving soap is no exception.  

Housed in a metal travel-friendly tin, the shaving soap relies on several natural ingredients, including shea butter, aloe vera, coffee seed extract, and others.  

These ingredients are helpful in preventing irritation or tightness when shaving.

Given that this shaving soap was milled four times, you expect a rigid body to the soap that generates into a smooth and slick lather.  At 5.25oz, the shaving soap should also last you a few months of heavy use before needing replacement.

Lastly, the scent for Pré de Provence shaving soap is warm and slightly spicy and one that can pair well with many colognes.

Pros

  • Provides a high-performance lather.
  • Comes package in a metal container.
  • A heavy concentration of natural ingredients.

Cons

  • It may not provide as thick of a cushion when compared to tallow soaps.

What You Need To Know

If you are looking for a nice balance of both quality and value, then the Pré de Provence shaving soap should be considered.  The quad-milled soap will develop into a slick base that will feel nice when applied daily.  

Triple Milled Shaving Soap

$27.00
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Canada-based Henri et Victoria delivers an uber-masculine, yet well-performing, triple-milled tallow-based shaving soap.

Labeled Cognac and Cuban Cigars, the shaving soap has a rich and sweet aroma that, while polarizing, might just be an excellent way to start your day.  Of course, if Cognac and Cuban Cigars isn’t the first thing you are looking for when shaving in the morning, consider their fresh Nautilus shaving soap instead.

The formula for this shaving soap delivers an excellent cushioned base.  Just be sure that the shaving brush you are using has a stiffer backbone to generate the optimal lather.

Do know that Henri et Victoria does sell two versions of Cognac and Cuban Cigars; one version is tallow base, and the other is glycerin-based (vegan).  Only the tallow base shaving soap is triple-milled.

Pros

  • ‘Clean’ ingredient label.
  • Available in a few different scents.
  • Provides a slick and cushioned base.

Cons

  • Premium price.

What You Need To Know

If you like to get out of your comfort zone and try emerging brands, consider Cognac and Cuban Cigars by Henri et Victoria.  The scent is warm, and the performance is top-notch.  

First Time Using A Shaving Soap?  We Got You Covered

If this is your first time trying out a shaving soap, then consider checking out a few of our detailed guides:

How to Lather Shaving Soap

Our step-by-step picture guide is designed to give you a barbershop-quality lather in the comfort of your bathroom.  Read this guide on how to lather shaving soap for expert results.

Best Shaving Brushes

The shaving brush is a required tool for using shaving soap.  Shaving brushes also provide a gentle exfoliation and remove dead skin before shaving.  Here are the best shaving brushes.

Best Aftershave

Shaving soaps can deliver plenty of moisture to your skin.  However, they are only applied for a moment before being removed by the razor.  Here are a few nourishing aftershaves that help to restore your skin’s natural moisture barrier.

Best Safety Razor

Safety razors provide you with total control over the shaving process.  Not only are they helpful in reducing skin irritation, but they also prevent razor bumps.  Here are the best safety razors.

About Shawn Burns

Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn's expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.

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