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Shaving Soap vs Cream: Which Is Better For A Smoother Shave?

Last Updated on: February 9, 2024

Self-care means more than the time-consuming visit to the spa. One way to initiate a self-care routine is to find even the simplest things that can make you feel good. It includes grooming and shaving facial fuzz and body hair.

What most people are unaware of, shaving without maintenance care can be brutal to the skin. While razors can slough away dead cells, they can also make the skin rough prematurely.


Like many others, you might be confused about what to choose between shaving soap vs cream. If such decision-making is too overwhelming for you, please continue reading.

Main Differences Between Shaving Soap And Shaving Cream

The main difference between shaving soap and shaving cream are:

  • Shaving soap is a thick, solid formulation, whereas shaving cream has softer, lightweight consistency.
  • A shave soap needs water to produce a nice lather, whereas a cream already contains water and creates a lather fast and easy.
  • A shaving soap requires a bowl and brush for application, whereas you can apply shaving cream directly.

Shaving Soaps Overview

Shaving Soap

Maybe you don’t see anything wrong with merely slapping foam on your face and scraping shears across it before applying aftershave products.

However, you can still improve your grooming regimen and get an even better shaving experience by choosing the right tools and shaving accouterments.

Shaving is the cornerstone of a grooming routine, regardless of whether it’s for a man or woman; hence, knowing your products well is essential before purchasing.

Although it requires more preparation, a shaving cream yields more lather than soap. These soaps also come in two types; the hard form is set firm and triple milled.

Its base contains Sodium Hydroxide and Potassium Hydroxide, allowing you to alter consistency by adding water, which is how manufacturers come up with cream soaps.

Such a process ensures that the soap works better lather and lasts longer, minimizing the soap’s moisture. On the other hand, a soft cream soap retains water during manufacturing; thus, its putty-like consistency. 

Some manufacturers produce soaps with stearic acid and glycerin content to market these soaps as vegan-friendly products.

While the hard ones create better lather, soft soap produces lather faster and easier. Working with hard soaps requires more time and may not be suitable if you have an active, busy lifestyle.

Shaving Creams Overview

Shaving Cream

Having a fine lather is a critical contributor to your shave’s quality. You can achieve good lathering by using a quality shaving cream. But that’s not all; you’ll also need a shaving brush, bowl, and cold water for rinsing after warm water.

A shaving brush often comes in various types, but most experts recommend a badger brush. Aside from being affordable, badger brushes are more delicate and flexible and offer a softer feel.

If you are inexperienced in foaming for shave preparation, then you can try practicing and doing some test lathers.

Once you learn it, the resulting lather on an actual shave will be good enough to ensure protection while primping. You will know that you’re successful in coming up with quality lather if you see that it’s dense, heavy, and slightly bubbly. 

If you notice sizable bubbles, you either add too much water or add water way too fast, even before the solution starts lathering.

It will take patience to practice before you finally achieve that excellent lather out of your shave cream. You’ll know that it’s good if the lather is thick and heavy and your blade seamlessly glides when you shave.

Did You Know? A skin moisturizer is just as important as choosing between shave cream and shaving soap — the smoother the texture, the better for your skin!

Shaving Soap Vs Cream Buying Guide

It’s understandable to have that overwhelming feeling when looking for the best deal out of the many shaving products. Each of those products looks promising, but you wonder how to make the best choice between cream vs soap and even shaving gels.

Whether a new or experienced wet shaver, we want what’s best for our grooming needs. We all look for whatever could offer us a creamy lather that would leave our skin feeling supple. Thus, check out these things you shouldn’t miss when choosing from cream or soap:


Vitamin B is a good ingredient for acne prevention, although you still have to identify your skin type. You can avoid irritation if you use shave creams with moisturizing ingredients that can generate a cushiony lather.

Sensitive skins have special needs. These skin types cannot tolerate harsh ingredients.

It’s best to find products with a gentle formulation suitable for various skin types. Resist the urge to go for some cheap stuff, and never second guess choosing a quality product even if it is pricey sometimes.

Whether you choose a cream or foam, your product choice must help you facilitate a good shave. Some of the best ingredients for your product are aloe vera, shea butter, and bentonite clay. A naturally-derived aloe vera can do wonders for delicate skins prone to irritation.

Convenient Application

Shaving creams have a thick and tacky consistency and generally come in a tub or tube; they also require water to form a generous lather. When comparing cream vs soap with ease of use, you must know that foams may not require tedious preparation, but lathering takes time.

A shaving bowl, brush, and warm water can all help you yield a good lather if you prefer to use creams.

Likewise, shaving cream is a well-suited option if you’re a first-time straight razor user since lathering is effortless.

Nonetheless, soaps, especially the hard ones, make longer-lasting lather to keep the hair moist and give a closer shave.  As a result, long-lasting lather ensures that the hair is stiff so that razor blades will catch it with ease.

Skin Type

Nothing much differs between the creams and shaving gels. Nonetheless, it’s best to ensure that you pay attention if a shave cream or foam meets your skin’s needs. 

Some people have dry skin during the colder season, but they start having oily skin in summer.

Listen to what your skin tells you; being aware of its needs will help you determine the right product choice. Creams work well for various skin types, even if yours is dry or sensitive.

Shave soap is a traditional product most familiar to people who prefer wet shaving. However, it has less moisturizing properties due to the manufacturing process and may not be the best option if your skin is dry.

Watch This!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is shaving soap good for the skin?

Yes, it is. Opting for the shaving soap provides users with an excellent wet shaving experience, although it comes with a learning curve if you’re a first-time user. Its ingredients have a unique, soothing, and moisturizing formulation but have no cleansing properties like ordinary soap.

Foams produce a rich lather that stays longer to prevent irritation. Most foams do not contain ingredients that strip away the skin’s natural moisture; hence, they are safe for sensitive skin.

Are shaving soaps worth the investment?

Yes, they are worth it! Users with dry skin will find shave soaps an excellent investment. Soaps provide protective lubrication and help the razor glide smoothly when primping. A shave soap typically has a mild formulation that will not cause moisture loss, so you are least likely to experience razor bumps.

Can you use any soap as a shaving soap?

No, unfortunately. Regular soap only works well for cleansing, but it does not produce a rich, long-lasting lather to protect your skin from the blade. Do not, in any circumstances, use any foam, much more than a regular bath soap as an alternative to a shave soap.

The latter has unique ingredients to meet your grooming needs, so you’re least likely to incur irritations and will not leave your face sore or rough. Check the labels of your products and look for healthy amounts of fat and glycerin to ensure better lubrication and protection.

Is soap a suitable alternative for shaving cream?

Shaving soaps and creams are ideal grooming products to help make your overall experience comfortable. Both can provide gentle lubrication to cushion the blade’s impact with a caveat — the product consistency between the two is the biggest difference.

Using either the foam or cream can reduce the risk of injury or irritation while helping you achieve a smooth and gentle shave. The best choice depends on personal preference, the needs of your skin, and whatever gives you a happy shaving experience.


Research from some archaeologists shows that men used unpleasant tools to eliminate their whiskers, like sharks’ teeth and clamshells. Today, however, we no longer have to shave using flint or use any inconvenient tools. Thanks to the new shaving technologies, such as the safety razor and foam, we enjoy a pain-free shave without even going to a barbershop!

We hope you find our reference guide handy in helping you decide whether shaving soaps or creams are more well-suited for your grooming needs.

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