Sunday, April 2, 2017

Canned Foam vs Soap Sample: Part 2 of 2

Continued from a previous post the experiment of comparing my experience with the canned foam my experienced with a sample sized shave a soap. 

Part II: The Shave Soap

For this part of the experiment I went with a sample sized tin of Viking Soap’s Tree Of Life Shave Soap.    Because the container afforded me the luxury of loading the brush from it rather than needing a mug, I opted to go with this sample sided shave soap.   This 1.7 oz tin ran me $4.00.  As with the canned shaving foam, I used the same lot of razors and the same lot of blades to get varying degrees of aggressiveness and blades with different levels of sharpness.   As I’ve come to expect, the soap offered a slick and protective lather. 
Used the Viking Tree of Life Shave Soap for this segment of the experiment
As with most of my wet shaving experiments, I typically start off with a mild razor and a familiar blade. Again, the Merkur 34C razor with Crystal DE Blade started out this leg of the experiment.  The Tree of Life soap by Viking Soap contains tallow.  So, it yielded a lather that had that yogurt like consistency that had a nice slickness and offered good protection (we wrote more about our experience with Viking Soap in a previous post).   I did my usually two pass shave; no nicks, cuts, or irritation. I didn’t get fancy during the experiment with shave soap and the only times I used a Pre-shave oil was when I was on vacation.   
Face lathering with my Dreadnought Corsair Brush
The only times I experienced any cuts or irritation was when I was using the aggressive iKon Tech razor and a new Feather Blade.  I don’t attribute this to the soap.  I find that the iKon Tech razor is a pretty aggressive razor and the Feather is a really sharp blade.  Both are great wet shaving tools and I enjoy using both.  But, I find that this combination leaves little room for sloppy technique.  In separate instances I was day dreaming and managed to nick my right parietal ridge and my upper lip.   
Viking Soap provided a nice protective lather.
I find the Tree of Life Sandalwood and Oakmoss scent to be both pleasant and masculine.  The soap, while a bit thirsty, was easy to lather.  I stopped after 20 shaves; rationalizing that was roughly the amount of shaves I got with the canned foam.  I still have soap left over and I would conservatively guess that I could get about another 5 shaves out of this.  Including the 5 potential shaves I could get from the remaining soap, each shave would use about 16 cents of soap.

Still had some soap left over after the experiment

Concluding Thoughts:
I entered this test not thinking too much of the canned foam.  But, having used it, the canned foam isn’t nearly as bad as I remember.  It didn’t dry my skin like I had thought it would, the slickness and protective lather was better than I expected. I concluded that the cuts and gouges I experienced with the canned foam was most likely the result of choosing an inadequate canned foam, poor technique, and/or not applying enough. The cost per application was close to that of a shave soap.  However, while the aroma was ok I feel that the canned shaving foams offer little in the variety of scents and the can (at least in where I live) cannot be recycled.
One of my shave of the day (SOTD) pics during the experiment
Admittedly, I found that the canned foam wasn’t terrible.  It was actually sufficient and it is probably the reason Proraso and Every Man Jack continue to offer one.  I wouldn’t rule out using a canned foam from time to time. If I happen to be away and forget a brush and soap, I probably would pick up a can as a last resort.  With the almost endless varieties of shaving soap and creams that are available out there, I really would prefer going with a soap or cream that required a brush. Personally, I find that using brush with soap or cream to be more … well … fun. 

… and fun is kind of what traditional wet shaving is about.   

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