What is the difference between a shaving cream and a shaving soap?

We have a lot of customers who ask what the difference is between a shaving cream and a shaving soap. Both parts are used before the actual shaving begins. They are intended to soften the stubble and protect the skin from your razor blade. Both the cream and the soap are lathered up with a shaving brush and also result in the same product - namely shaving foam. But this is where the similarities end, or do they actually? The difference between shaving soap and shaving cream is not quite as black and white as one might wish. We will try to explain it in more detail below.

See all Proshave's shaving soaps
See all Proshave's shaving creams

- Consistency

Simply said, the difference lies in the consistency itself. A shaving cream typically has a soft consistency, while a shaving soap has a firm/hard consistency.

However, there are several cases where the explanation is not adequate. Because you can buy both soft shaving soaps and hard shaving creams. The two extremes are confusingly similar, and in these cases it is about what the manufacturer chooses to call their product.

- Dosing

When a shaving cream is delivered in a jar, you can easily take up a suitable amount with your fingers (or the shaving brush), and you can also easily dose a shaving cream in a tube, because the product can simply be squeezed out into your shaving bowl.

You can't do that in the same way with a shaving soap, because it is a combined, hard mass. In other words, the shaving soap must always be dosed using a shaving brush.

- Foaming

In addition to this, it is also important to point out that a shaving soap must always be lathered up with your shaving brush. You can't just run the shaving soap around your face before you start shaving.

A brush is not a must when foaming a shaving cream. The shaving cream can be applied directly to the face with the fingers if you are extra busy. However, we recommend always lathering it up with your shaving brush to get the creamiest shaving foam.

You will find that a shaving cream foams up faster than shaving soap. It often takes a little more work to lather up the shaving soap due to the firm consistency, but it is definitely worth the extra work.

We have created two guides that show you step by step how to lather up your shaving soap or shaving cream. You can read them here:
Guide to the perfect shaving foam with shaving soap.
Guide to the perfect shaving foam with shaving cream.

The choice is very individual

Some find that a shaving soap provides a better glide and better protection of the skin than creams. On the other hand, a shaving soap can be a bit harsher on the skin in terms of drying out, and it is therefore a good idea to finish shaving with a good moisturizer when you use a soap.

If you have dry, delicate and sensitive skin, we would recommend a shaving cream instead of a shaving soap, as it provides extra moisture and care during the shave.

If you have normal skin, you can assess for yourself whether a shaving soap or shaving cream works best for you. For many men, it may be a good idea to switch between the two consistencies, so that some days you use one type and other days the other.
Proshave recommends - Luxurious

Proshave recommends - Luxurious

If you are looking for an exclusive and luxurious shaving cream or shaving soap, we recommend you try the products from The Gentlemen Floris or Truefitt & Hill.

The Gentleman Floris is a fantastic range of products from Floris London, made especially for men's daily shaving and grooming routine. The shaving cream and shaving soap in the range are an obvious choice if you don't want to compromise.

Truefitt & Hill produces fantastic shaving soaps and shaving creams you must try. The soaps get extremely good reviews on various shaving forums. They are produced in United Kingdom, and are made in different series that have their own fantastic scent.
Proshave recommends - Middle price

Proshave recommends - Middle price

Of course, we also have some suggestions for what to choose if you are looking for a shaving cream or soap in the middle price range.

Mühle has made some wonderful shaving soaps in a beautiful porcelain bowl. The shaving soaps are available in three varieties: Aloe Vera, Sandalwood and Sea Buckthorn. When the soap is used up, you can choose to buy a refill for the bowl, and in that way save money in the future.

Taylor of Old Bond Street have made some absolutely fantastic shaving creams in a multitude of different scents. They all produce a rich, creamy lather when you lather them up with your shaving brush. You are guaranteed to find a variant that makes your daily shave something very special.

Taylor has also made a range of popular shaving soaps. The shaving soaps are delivered in attractive wooden bowls, for which you can buy a refill when they are used up.
Proshave recommends - Cheap

Proshave recommends - Cheap

Do you want a great shave with products in the slightly lower price range? Then we would definitely recommend you to check out the Proraso range. Proraso is an Italian brand that produces everything for your daily shaving. All the products are cheap, but guarantee you a really good shave every single day. The products are made from natural ingredients and are available in several different series that are adapted to the individual's skin type.
See all Proraso products here