There are few things that can make a modern man feel more like a classic gentleman than grabbing a proper shaving brush and lathering on a soft layer of a good shaving soap.
Sure, nowadays there are dozens – if not hundreds – of brands pushing various shaving gel, shaving cream and lotion products that can give you all sorts of skin-boosting benefits.
But as Moneypenny said as she (sexily) shaved Daniel Craig’s James Bond in Skyfall:
(Side note: while I happen to think she has a point, let’s be honest—I’d probably believe damn near anything said by a beautiful woman while she sexily shaves James Bond.)
I’ve recently gotten interested in wet shaving, which is the kind of soap-based shave that requires a shaving brush and a good lather, and did a deep dive into the top shave soaps, user reviews and comments on Amazon and other websites.
To help you get a great wet shave – not to mention a great wet shaving experience – in this post I’ll round up some of the best mens shaving soaps that I’ve found, and share a few insights from online reviewers who explain why they love each one.
The 13 Best Shaving Soaps for Men
Rounding Up the Must-Have Mens Shaving Soap
Taylor of Old Bond Street
- 4.6 Stars on Amazon
- 11,532 ratings
- Available in 10 scents
Taylor of Old Bond Street is a London-based men’s grooming brand founded by the eponymous Taylor family in the 19th century, and still owned and operated by the family today.
In other words: they’re about as authentically old school as it gets, and would probably be the preferred shaving soap of 007 even if they didn’t both have Bond in their names.
Their top rated shaving soap is available in 10 different variations/scents and comes in its own resealable shaving bowl, so you won’t need to buy one separately.
While there are multiple scents available, the one featured here is one of the most classic, and probably your best bet; many of the reviews I read said that it’s not only a great scent, but the best sandalwood shaving soap on the market.
“I absolutely love Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood! This is my second product I’ve bought from ToOBS and it is the best! I’m 50 years old and I can still remember what an old tyme barber shop (not a hair stylist) smells like, and it smells just like this… I was able to get amazing lather with my pure badger brush right on my face.” – Trekker
Mitchell´s Wool Fat
- 4.6 Stars on Amazon
- 910 ratings
- Soap only – bowl not included
Another old-school brand out of the UK, Mitchell’s Wool Fat began making soap in the 1930s in the town of Bradford, Scotland, when chemist Fred Mitchell made a (very Scottish) discovery:
The natural lanolin content of wool fat, which kept the hands of local sheep shearers and wool sorters so soft, could also be beneficial to delicate complexions and sensitive skins. Today their soap, including this shaving soap, is still made to Mitchell’s original formula.
A note on this one:
You can usually buy Mitchell’s Wool Fat shaving soap with a bowl to put the soap in, but for some reason the one with the bowl is unavailable on Amazon as of the time of writing.
Fortunately you can still get plenty of Mitchell’s soap refills, and there’s no shortage of shaving soap bowls that you can buy separately for roughly the same price.
“Seriously, the lanolin makes all the difference in this shaving soap. It surpasses that soap disk you find at the corner store for a buck two-fifty… This large puck is worth every penny. I always get a great shave with this quality soap.” – Tom S.
Best Shaving Soap for Safety Razor ↓
D.R. Harris & Co
- 4.5 Stars on Amazon
- 77 ratings
- Scented with citrus and vetiver
The Windso shave soap from D.R. Harris is specially formulated to last a long time and produce a rich, thick lather that both softens your beard and protects your skin, making it one of the best lathering shaving soaps on the market, and great for use with an old school safety razor.
It also comes with its own mahogany bowl, an equally old school and decidedly masculine touch, which you can keep after your first purchase and fill with soap refills. (In addition to the Windsor, D.R. Harris offers a pretty wide range of other shaving soaps and skincare products.)
“I’d heard some really positive things about D.R. Harris products and decided to try them out. The Windsor scent is very pleasant but also very faint. The lather and slickness of this soap is top notch and makes up for the lack of scent. “ – JJL
Best Shaving Soap for Sensitive Skin ↓
- 4.7 Stars on Amazon
- 3,838 ratings
- Formulated for sensitive skin
- Notes of apple and lime
The preferred shaving soap of both my 90-year-old Italian grandfather and the old school Italian barbers he exclusively frequents, Proraso’s shaving soap is as classic, old school and unimpeachable as it gets.
This variation is specially formulated for sensitive skin and includes oatmeal and green tea to soothe and protect even the most sensitive skin types, offering a comfortable shave that’s free of irritation.
“This is my favorite shaving soap! Even though it is the neutral sensitive soap, it has such a wonderful pleasing aroma. Sometimes I just smell it for the heck of it because it smells so clean and nice. It lathers up nicely and adds such a slickness to your shave that you get a very close shave, 100 times better than what you get with canned shaving cream. “ – mwm9r
- 4.6 Stars on Amazon
- 1,696 ratings
- Sold as a 4-pack
- Each with a different scent
Viking Revolution’s 100% natural shave soap comes as an affordable four-pack that offers four distinct scents: cedar and pine, sandalwood, sage and cream bay rum.
Though the scents vary, each bar is formulated to form a great lather that’s necessary for a good wet shaving experience.
They also offer what they call the “Viking Guarantee,” meaning that if you’re dissatisfied for any reason, you can contact the company and they’ll “take care of it” (which I assume means they’ll give you your money back, and not do whatever mobsters do when they say they’ll “take care of it.”)
“If you are new to shaving with a brush this is a great starter pack to try, or even if your experienced. All of the soaps lather up well, just be sure to add water in small increments until the lather tickles your fancy.” – Jerad Cudiamat
- 4.8 Stars on Amazon
- 489 ratings
- Glycerin soap
- Sold in packs of 3 or 6
Fragranced with bay leaves and Jamaican rum that evoke the scents of the Caribbean, this glycerin shave soap from Colonel Conk is a classic that evokes the old fashioned barber shops of a bygone era.
Available in packs of three or six, it’s worth noting that this one doesn’t come with its own bowl like some of the other shave soaps on this list, so you’ll want to pick one up separately if you’re going to try it.
“If you have not tried Col. Conk Shave soap, you should. Glycerin based it is easy to use as is right from the container it comes in, or like me easy to melt in the microwave to fill out into my soap / lather bowel.” – BigdoginTexas
Van Der Hagen
- 4.7 Stars on Amazon
- 4,123 ratings
- Available individually or in 3-pack
Van Der Hagen’s scented shave soap is a good all-purpose men’s shaving soap that’s designed to work well for guys of all skin types, including sensitive, acne-prone and dry skin.
It includes cocoa shave butter that makes for an irritation-free shave that will leave your skin feeling smooth and smelling fresh all day.
“My father was a barber and I spent many days hanging around in his shop. Whenever I smell the scent of Van Der Hagen luxury soap I’m immediately transported back to those good old days of humming electric razors, snipping scissors, and casual conversation.” – S. Dawes
Best Lathering Shaving Soap ↓
- 4.8 Stars on Amazon
- 484 ratings
- Pack of 12
Williams Mug puts the words “For a long lasting lather” right on their logo, which should give you some idea of what their soap is all about.
This is an affordable, no-frill shaving soap that basically has one goal: to be the best lather shaving soap on the market.
It’s worth noting that while their soap is excellently reviewed and much loved, it also contains something of an irony:
While the brand is called “Williams Mug,” this soap does not come with any mug or bowl to hold it, so you’ll probably want to pick up a separate shaving soap bowl if you don’t already have one.
“Great lather, great shave, great Price. If you’re willing to use the mug and brush, this is an excellent product and very cost effective.” – Shaunagain
- 4.6 Stars on Amazon
- 699 ratings
Another glycerin-based shaving soap, Gentleman Jon’s natural shaving soap puck provides a creamy lather thanks to the vegetable glycerine and a mixture of coconut and palm oil.
While I haven’t tried this one myself, reviews suggest that it also lives up to its claim of being long-lasting, so depending on how often you shave, you probably won’t have to shell out for a new puck all that often.
“This soap hits the mark on every aspect a shaving soap should have: cushion check, glide check, lasting lather check, scent check, price check, natural and simple ingredients check!” – yariana
Best Natural Shave Soap ↓
Men’s Soap Company
- 4.6 Stars on Amazon
- 1,454 ratings
- Made from vegan plant ingredients
The Men’s Soap Company named the fresh scent of their all natural plant-derived shaving soap “Himalaya.” which reviewers describe as a “somewhat river/wilderness aroma” and “what I imagine Nepal to smell like.”
(They’ve also released a Bay Rum scent, which is a more traditional scent for shaving soaps.)
The company has a strong commitment to using only natural ingredients, so their soap is naturally derived from vegan plant ingredients and free of toxins, parabens, sulphates and dyes.
“This is my second order of this soap, and I have really liked it. It lathers well, and a puck will last at least 3 months.” – Luv2Brew
- 4.6 Stars on Amazon
- 1,157 ratings
- 4 oz of soap in an 8 oz container (meaning no bowl necessary)
Sir Hare’s hand-crafted shaving soap is made in the USA and includes refined shea butter, mango butter and coconut oil among its main ingredients, all of which combine to offer a thick creamy lather that protects your skin.
Each 8 oz jar contains 4 oz of soap, which effectively makes the container its own soap bowl, leaving you enough room to get your brush in there and create a nice lather.
“I went back to using a modern razor but decided to keep using Sir Hare shaving soap- and, it is a great combination. I get a closer shave than with standard shaving cream and the soap doesn’t irritate my face. Highly recommended.” – Pete H.
Rocky Mountain Barber Company
- 4.4 Stars on Amazon
- 264 ratings
- Smells like cedar and orange
Like Sir Hare’s shaving soap above, Rocky Mountain Barber Company’s comes in its own container that doubles as a bowl (although in this case the container in question is a cool tin with a distinctly outdoorsy vibe).
The 100% natural shave soap can be used with any type of razor – including cartridge razors, safety razors and of course a straight razor – and comes with a naturally sweet and spicy scent that reviewers really seem to love thanks to the inclusion of orange and cinnamon leaf oil.
“First the scent is amazing. It smells like a burning fireplace and is understated and does not linger afterwards, so I can use any aftershave without the scents clashing [but the scent is so pleasing I wish RMBC would make a post shave balm in this scent.” – Dave T.
What is the best shaving soap?
The overall best shave soap for men is from The Art of Shaving. It’s specifically formulated to provide an excellent wet shaving experience by creating a rich lather that smells great and leaves your skin both looking and feeling smooth.
What is the best shaving soap for sensitive skin?
The best shaving soap for sensitive skin is Proraso’s “Ultra Sensitive Skin” shave soap, which is formulated with oatmeal and green tea to soothe and protect even the most sensitive skin type, providing a smooth, clean shave with no irritation or razor burn.
Which shaving soap creates the best lather?
The best lathering shaving soap is Williams Mug, a no-nonsense old school shaving soap formulated with sodium tallowate, potassium stearate and sodium cocoate to create a long-lasting lather that leaves your skin feeling smooth and soft.
What’s the best place to buy shaving soap?
Honestly, the best place to buy shaving soap is probably Amazon. In addition to offering dozens of different types of shave soaps, they also give you the chance to peruse hundreds of reviews and choose the one that’s best suited to your specific skin and needs.
You Know The Best Men’s Shaving Soaps
Now Learn How to Take Your Look Next Level
Knowing which of the hundreds of options on the market constitute the best shaving soaps for men will help you get the perfect shave and (quite literally) put your best face forward.
And while your visage is unquestionably an important part of your look, the truth is that it’s really only one piece in the larger puzzle that is your overall appearance.
While getting a great shave is good, if you really want to stand out from the crowd, the truth is that you need to know how to nail the small-but-vital details that add up to make a big difference on the way you present yourself to the world—and the way other people perceive you.
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More Resources ↓
More Men’s Grooming Advice From Irreverent Gent:
- The 29 Best Shampoos (and Conditioners!) for Men’s Hair
- The 17 Best Bar Soaps for Men
- Taper vs Fade vs Taper Fade – The Ultimate Guide
- In-Depth Lumin Skincare Review
- The Best Face Wash for Men
- Marlowe Shave Cream Review
- What’s the best rotary shaver on the market? It’s…
- The 15 Best Smelling Dr. Squatch Soap Scents
- In-Depth Dr. Squatch Deodorant Review
- The 13 Best Back Shavers for Men
- In Review: Dr. Squatch Natural Pine Tar Soap
- The (Absolute) Best Foil Shavers on the Market
- The Absolute Best Electric Shavers for Black Men
- The 15 Best Clippers for Bald (& Balding) Head Shaving
- How to Shave Your Back by Yourself (Safely & Smoothly)
- The Best Beard Oil for Healthy, Handsome (& Kissable) Beards
- The 12 Best Trimmers for Shaving Your Balls
- The 13 Best Razors for Shaving Your Head
- How to Shave Your Pubic Hair with an Electric Razor
- The 13 Best Hair Removal Creams for Your Private Parts
- The Absolute Best Men’s Deodorants & Antiperspirants
- The Best Beard Growth Kits for a Full, Manly Mane
- The 17 Best Colognes to Attract Females
- The 19 Best Clippers for Black Men
- Can you use Nair on your balls?
- Foil vs Rotary Shavers – All the Key Differences, Explained
- The 11 Best Electric Shavers & Razors for Sensitive Skin
- The Absolute Best Clippers for Fades
More Roundups of the Best Shaving Soap from Around Ye Olde Interwebs:
Banner image via Supply on Unsplash (Thanks guys!)