I love a challenge: Traditional Shave Soap

I’ve been wanting to craft a traditional shaving soap for some time. I knew this would be a challenge, so I’ve been busy researching and learning everything I can. After spending time on forums, watching soap reviews, and visiting lots of men’s grooming sites I’ve learned that shave soaps are more complex than I ever thought. I know soap, but shave soap is a completely different thing.

Even with the little shaving knowledge I possessed, I lacked one major element that could help me: experience. I know nothing about face shaving (thank goodness!). It’s like going into this I’ve already got the odds stacked against me, but I dove in anyway!  Crafting this soap required me to make it using the hot process method, and I needed to combine both potassium hydroxide (KOH) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH). A new soapmaking method, two types of lye….I was downright scared! I tried my best anyway and here are the results:

Check out that thick luscious lather!

Check out that thick luscious lather!


Doesn't it make you want to shave?

Doesn’t it make you want to shave?

It actually came out much better than expected. My husband gave me some constructive criticism and I’m already tweaking my next recipe.

The shaving soap is a beast that is not easily tamed. Wet shaving is an art in and of itself, so a lot of care has to go into every element of a shave soap design. The face is the canvas, the soap is the paint and the brush is…well, the brush. With time and practice I know I can create a masterpiece!