Shaving once was an art in a day when everything was done in proper time, with enthusiasm and zeal. Every bathroom had a mug, a brush and a bar of shave soap on it. And at some point prior to the shave you could hear someone whipping the brush across the soap bar with a bit of hot water, creating a froth of the consistency of whipped egg whites, and filling the air with the smells of a luxurious barber’s fragrance. And the actual art of painting the shaving soap froth on the face, the time taken to sharpen the straight razor, and the actual art of shaving was done with robust pleasure. It was an art.
In our day some people have returned to lost arts of the past, including the art of shaving with the use of shave soap, a mug and a brush. Why? It is not as convenient as pressing a button on a can. And it is not as controlled. Why? Because there is a move toward freedom from chemicals. Much of the content of canned shaving cream is chemically derived, and the chemicals break down the razor’s edge quicker.
Returning to something pleasant, and cost effective is a good thing. Steve has been shaving using his handcrafted shave soap and has found that his razors (no, he doesn;t use a straight razor) last almost twice as long as they did when he used the canned stuff. With the high ticket cost of razor blades, wow! such a bargain to give them a little more life.
Shaving soap is an interesting chemical formula… it is a softer formula of cold processed soap, to which bentonite clay is added. Bentonite clay is a natural mined product, which is used in medical applications, as well as soap. Why add this to the soap formula? To give the razor a smooth passage. The bentonite clay stiffens beard bristles, and lubricates the skin with a slickness that maximizes razor effectiveness. In addition, Bentonite Clay offers a cleansing effect to the surface of the skin, drawing out toxins and impurities that may cause other skin issues.
As an interesting aside I found this little article on Bentonite Clay:
Peruvian Macaws seem to somehow know the benefits of Bentonite clay. Macaws are entirely dependent upon wild fruit for there main source of food, but at certain times of the year only poisonous fruit is available. So they will fly to the nearest clay lick and eat the clay in the morning which will adsorb the alkaloid toxins found in the poisonous fruit they eat during the day. Its highest power lies in the ability to absorb toxins, impurities, heavy metals and other internal contaminants. Bentonite clay’s structure assists it in attracting and soaking up poisons on its exterior wall and then slowly drawing them into the interior center of the clay where they are held in a sort of repository. To state it another way, Bentonite is swelling clay. When it becomes mixed with water it rapidly swells open like a highly porous sponge. From here the toxins are drawn into the sponge through electrical attraction and once there, they are bound. – http://www.bulkherbstore.com/Bentonite-Clay-Powder
We don;t make those claims about our soap… it is shave soap, good for shaving. But fascinating how in nature there are such checks and balances on things.
Shaving soap is not complete without a good brush. But that is for another day and another post.