Run-of-the-mill cartridge razor shavers are typically less-discerning when it comes to both their razor and chosen cream or soap.
Not only are not all soaps created equal. There are varying degrees of customization to be had from different types of soaps and creams:
- Smell & Aroma Customization
- Lather Thickness Customization
Canned shaving foam and shaving goo generally lacks customization in both categories.
First, most canned shaving goods do not offer a wide array of choices when it comes to flavor. In fact, even the one-size-fits-all can smells like the chemicals it’s made from, not the bay rum, sandalwood or tea tree oils included in higher quality shaving soaps.
Second, and perhaps most importantly shaving creams do not allow the wet shaver to customize his/her shave using a shave brush and bowl.
For instance, when a wet shaver uses shaving soap and builds his own lather in a bowl, he can more easily customize the level of thickness of the cream. If you want less thickness, add more warm water to the puck and lather with your brush. Less thickness? Keep whipping your lather as you drain off excess water.
It may sound overly simple (and perhaps it is), but it’s unfortunate that most retail creams do not allow for the customization factor of a standard bowl or mug shave soap and almost none of them smell as good.
Even higher quality shaving creams like those produced by Cremo Company. are not as customizable as even the least expensive Ogallala Bay Rum shave soap puck.
This is at least one of the reasons your razor of choice does more for determining which shaving soap or cream you use than perhaps any other factor.
The final factor that I usually tout to wet shavers as the begin to determine whether they will use shave soap or shave cream as their accouterments weapon of choice is this: pound-for-pound shave soap almost always give you more bang for your puck (pun intended).
Because shave soap comes in concentrated containers that require the addition of water in order to build your lather, they are, by far, the cheapest shaving accouterments per pound of any other. A quality shave soap puck or tin will last you 6 to 12 months or more, depending on the size of the tin/puck and your shaving frequency.
So, as you make your own internal determination as to whether you should use a soap or a cream, it really just depends on personal preference, but I typically opt for the brush and a puck every day of the week.