Williams Mug Shaving Soap Review Review

This tallowate based shaving soap has been around longer than Taylor of Old Bond Street and was developed back in 1840 (176 years ago!). But does this product stand up to quality and gold standard set by Taylor of Old Bond Street?

Unfortunately not nearly as well, and here’s why:

First lets take a look at the ingredients – this soap is a Sodium tallowate based soap – if you aren’t already aware sodium tallowate is created when fatty acid is mixed together with a lye – in most cases is a sodium hydroxide (source). In some instances the fatty acid may be derived from vegetables or animal fat – therefore some tallow based products may be an animal by product.

However tallow based soaps like Williams Mug do contain oleic acid, which can do a terrific job in making sure that moisture stays trapped within your skin (source).

But all this aside, shaving soaps containing sodium tallowate don’t necessary get bucketed in a specific class of being either a high end or low end product category. However, its important to note that this ingredients is included in the shaving soap.

Another standout ingredient, which we touched on previously is the inclusion of Fragrance. Fragrance is a clever way for skin care companies to bucket many trace chemicals within one master ingredient title. Fragrance can actually include over 3,100 separate ingredients! Therefore when we see that a shaving soap includes this ingredient, we always want to make mention as its general recommended to avoid products with Fragrance if possible.

As far as the packaging of this shaving soap, being that its an extremely low budget shaving soap, thus the package doesn’t have any bells and whistles.  Simply put, the soap is in a small cardboard box.

You will have to provide the shaving bowl for this soap. Therefore when it comes to traveling, this shaving soap isn’t exactly travel friendly as opposed to other soaps that come in their own bowl.

Regarding the performance of this particular shaving brush, this is where it falls incredibly flat and muted and relies on a lot of other products to help boost its performance.

First when it comes to loading up your shaving brush, Williams Mug shaving soap will take some time. Typically with this soap, the average load time is about a minute or so. However, some wet shaving experts were able to get this time a bit shorter.

Once loaded, this shaving cream is incredibly difficult to lather, if it does at all. When using this product by itself, the lather is extraordinarily dry and often creates larger bubbles which will likely dissipate rather quickly leaving a very light cushion without much slickness.

For the men who like to perform two to three passes with the razor, this will be a tall order when using this shaving soap.

To enhance the performance of this shaving soap, here are a few recommend techniques to consider:

  1. Incorporate a pre shave oil: Given that this shaving soap goes on incredibly dry, a pre shave oil containing either castor or jojoba will help with the slickness. With the additional slickness provided by the oils, will give you a much smoother shave that is less likely to cause general irritation or even razor bumps. An alternative approach to the addition of pre shave oil would be to use glycerin instead. Much like carrier oils, glycerin provides that lubricating feeling that will help increase comfort.  Simply add a few drops to your shaving bowl and soap before you load the brush.
  2. Test test test: Depending on your existing techniques to create a lather, you may need to bend them for this soap. So if you aren’t used to blooming your shaving soap, you may want to consider a lengthy bloom in order to draw out the properties of this soap. In addition to the blooming process, try lathering with the three different methods to see which one yields the richest lather (shaving mug vs your hand vs your face).
  3. Prevent post shave blues: Given that this shaving soap is extremely dry, you will also want to use some sort of post shave balm in combination with this product. This will help to prevent your face from feeling dry or itchy as the day wears on.

Regarding the scent of this product, its largely a soapy/cleanser smell that isn’t too terribly overpowering that will quickly dissipate as the day wears on.  Therefore if you are looking to share a shaving soap with your significant other, this one is neutral without one person feeling either overly masculine or feminine.

Lastly, William’s Mug shaving soap can be used on all types of blades including cartridge razors, double edge safety razors, and straight edge razors.