In every product category there is always a company that will market themselves to the budget minded consumers. In the case of the shaving soap category, that budget company will be Col. Conk’s.
Delivering a wide array of shaving products that go beyond just shave soaps, Col. Conk produces a glycerin based shave soap that is under $10 bucks. This glycerin based soap is incredibly affordable an one that many wet shaving beginners and intermediate folks will likely try.
Before we dive into the actual performance aspect of the review, its important to fully understand the difference between a triple milled soap and one that is largely comprised of glycerin (like Col. Conk’s).
When you see triple milled on the side of some of the popular shaving soaps packages, it means that the soap was initial poured into a bar, then ran through a milling process (essentially grinding the soap to tiny fragments) three times in total.
After the soap has been milled three times over, it is then stamped and pressed into the mold that is then packaged up and sold in stores. This incredibly dense bar of soap will last much longer (typically around 4 months with daily shaving). Furthermore many wet shaving enthusiasts believe that triple milled soaps also deliver a much richer lather that is incredibly slick.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have a glycerin based shave soap, like Col. Conk’s which doesn’t go through a milling process like the more expensive shaving soaps. Instead the ingredients (listed to the left) are melted and mixed together and poured into a mold.
We’ll touch more on the ingredients in a bit.
The manufacturing process for a glycerin base soap is incredibly efficient and cheap. Therefore allowing manufacturers to offer rock bottom prices when compared to the triple milled counterparts.
However, there’s a catch:
Being that glycerin soaps are not nearly as dense as their triple milled brethren, wet shavers will typically run through the glycerin shave soap at a much faster rate (typically a month or two). This quicker burn rate of the soaps actually negates any savings realized when passing on the more expensive triple milled soaps.
While the low price point for this product may seem really attractive, keep in mind that you will be using likely 3 times the amount making it just as expensive as a luxury triple milled soap.
Regarding the packaging for this product, unlike say the Proraso or other shaving soaps which you can use the bowl that it comes in, you will need to transfer this to a shaving mug or scuttle (an old coffee mug will suffice). In order to transfer this soap to a mug, its recommended to melt down the soap and pour it into the container which you plan on storing (or simply placing it into the scuttle and placing it into the microwave on a very low power level setting works well too).
Once fully hardened into the container/mug of your choice, loading this soap onto your shaving brush will take a bit. A typical load time for this soap given the right firmness applied with your brush and speed of your rotation will be about 2 minutes total, which is considerably longer than some of the traditional shaving soaps on the market.
A bloom before your brush loading may help to speed up the process.
Once your brush is adequately loaded you can either mix it in a separate scuttle, hand, or directly on your face. If its your first time loading and building up a lather, we recommend using your hand so you can closely examine the richness and peaks of the lather before applied to your face.
A drawback to the glycerin based soaps is that they tend to run a bit dryer and may need to be re-lathered if you are taking up to three passes when doing your shave.
The lack of ingredients listed in this product is a concern.
Typically at Tools of Men we never recommend products unless the ingredients are explicitly listed on the side of the product. On the front of the package it simply states that it contains Avocado and Vitamin E oils.
Through our research we did find one wet shaver claiming that they had a list of the ingredients provided by the company. We went ahead and added it to the left and will amend the review should we learn otherwise.
For this prospective ingredient list, the most concerning ingredient is Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES) and Fragrance (Parfum). SLES can cause some irritation in people after prolonged use. With Fragrance (Parfum) its actually composed of up to 3,100 grouped under the generic label, therefore there can be suspect chemicals within this bucket.
Lastly as far as scents, Col. Conk does provide shaving soaps in four distinct scents:
The Bay Rum which is the product review for this post, smells like an old fashioned barbershop and isn’t too over powering. Therefore if you want to couple this shaving soap with a cologne you should be safe. However given that its more of a “manly” scent, this shaving soap isn’t unisex friendly.
Long term storage of glycerin based soaps is no different than your triple milled soaps. Simply keep it in a cool dry place (typically not in the bathroom) to prolong the use and retain its integrity.
If your techniques are spot on you should have a lather that is still rich while providing a great cushion. The slickness of this product can vary, however it seems it might be a little bit more dryer than some of the triple milled soaps.
Col. Conk’s can be used safely with all popular shaving blades including cartridge, double edge safety razor, and straight edge razors. For this product and all shave soaps in general, a shaving brush is required in order to use this product. We do highly recommend that you melt down the soap and pour it into a separate mug for storage.