Spotting the Difference Between Shaving Soaps vs Shaving Creams

shaving creamsOften, when we read articles about, or when we hear the word shaving cream, it is almost always used interchangeably with shaving soaps. Though both of them serve the purpose of softening the hair to be shaved, and at the same time shielding the skin from the possibility of razor bumps or burns, still, these two have their own individual differences which must be highly taken into consideration. They are two completely distinct products, which vary in their method of application, as well as the expected outcome from them.

Just take, for instance, how these two are padded. Well, take note of the fact that shaving soaps have been around longer as compared to shaving creams. In fact, the first use of shaving soaps can be dated back to the 14th C, whilst shaving creams became broadly accessible only during the First World War. Certainly, shaving soaps have always been the customary method of shaving. And given that shaving creams are relatively more modern, they are made in such a way that makes it easy for you to get things done.

Using Shaving Creams

Shaving creams can actually give you a padding in only a couple of spins, which has been a problem for some shaving soaps. This then enables shaving creams to give a great cushion and lubrication. For a first timer, that is usually the case. But not because it is easier doesn’t mean that it is better. If you are an experienced shaver, perhaps you have already faced being able to make a better lather using a shaving soap than a shaving cream. That can likewise be the case.

3 Differences Between a Shaving Soap and Shaving cream

  • Types/Ingredients

Of course, both are diverse in their types. Shaving soaps, for instance, have two major types: glycerin-based and triple milled. Fundamentally, Glycerin based soaps are good for giving a better moisturizing effect. Glycerin is essentially a humectant, which is what is used in shaving soaps to ensure that the water is easily retained. However, they do not last longer. Take note that shaving creams also contain glycerin, but shaving soaps, specifically, glycerin soaps, have a predominantly glycerin content.

Hard milled soaps, on the other hand, seem to compensate for this lack. Triple-milled soaps are actually harder. That’s also why an extra effort is needed in creating your desired lather. And being harder as well, you get to have a product that lasts a bit longer than the softer soaps out there. It’s quite expensive, though, but you’d get to have a soap that you can use a few more months more than its softer counterparts. Moreover, shavings soaps, typically contain oil, though some shaving creams also contain some. It can be in the form of butter, coconut, or lanolin, which are all essential in soothing the skin.

On the other hand, shaving creams are usually made using more water, sodium, and potassium hydroxide, which gives a consistent finish to the lather. That is also why shaving creams are quicker to lather than shaving soaps. It likewise generally contains coconut, myristic, and stearic acid, which are all surfactants that act as emulsifiers, foaming agents, and cleansing agents. Surfactants are generally considered as lubricants, that serve as a protection of the skin from the possibility of cuts and irritations while allowing the razor to remove unwanted hairs.

Find out which is the quality shaving bowl that you can pair with your shaving soap or shaving cream here


  • Longevity

On average, shaving soaps last longer than shaving creams. As mentioned earlier, shaving soaps have this type of soap, called triple milled, which are relatively harder soaps. Basically, being relatively harder, you’d get to have a product that lasts a bit longer than the softer soaps out there.


  • Scent

thickness of the beardWhile shaving creams are often scented, shaving soaps are usually unscented. But today, shaving soaps are available in a wide array of scents. You can go for the classic masculine scent that smells like a mix of tobacco, Cedar wood, and Oak moss.

There are also citrus, menthol, and vanilla scented versions now. All the more, there are even exotic versions that smell like grapefruit and avocado. Shaving creams, on the other hand, are available in lavender, sandalwood, cypress, eucalyptus, rose, lime, and several other choices. There are even cologne based creams. That’s how diverse your options can be.

Surely, there are others, that are not mentioned on the list, which we might have missed. If you have something more to add, feel free to comment below. Be that as it may, you can still use this list as a guide on what product you prefer or what product suits your skin better. Take heed of the fact that one product can yield different results to two different people. The thickness of the beard or the sensitivity of the skin are just a few of the reasons why that happens. In general, if you are considering buying a shaving soap or a shaving cream, take note of these differences to further help you in choosing what product will bring the money on your mustache and bring the bread on your beard.