Choosing whether to shave with shaving cream or shaving soap is mostly a personal choice. The difference between the two is usually subtle and not of importance unless the shaver has sensitive skin or a sensitive nose. Most people start out with a cream because it is easiest to use and then graduate to soaps for a slightly slicker shave. Shaving cream from an aerosol can is rarely recommended by shaving enthusiasts, however, because of its poor quality and tendency to dry out and age skin over time.
Shaving creams found in aerosol cans are often inexpensive but of poor quality. They sometimes contain an excessive amount of chemicals that dry out a shaver’s skin. The cans do not always have a rust-proof bottom, leading to rust stains on the bathtub, near the sink, or wherever the can is set when wet. In addition, while aerosol cans no longer contain chemicals harmful to the environment, improperly disposing of the cans might injure landfill workers. The cans are under pressure in order to work, but accidentally puncturing the can or heating it beyond the recommended temperatures can cause it to explode.
Some people settle the shaving cream or shaving soap debate by choosing soap because of their sensitive skin. Shaving cream is sometimes heavily scented and has more chemicals than shaving soap, especially if it comes from a can. Both scents and chemicals can irritate skin, which can influence a person to choose soap over cream. While shaving cream is more likely to irritate skin than shaving soap, every person’s skin is different.
Scent is an area that influences some people’s choice between shaving cream or shaving soap. Shaving creams are usually more scented than shaving soaps, so they may interfere with other scents. On the other hand, soaps are often unscented or subtly scented. A person who likes a strong scent may prefer using a shaving cream, but a person who prefers little to no scent might choose shaving soap. Of course, creams do not always have a stronger fragrance, nor do soaps always have little to no fragrance.
High-quality shaving cream or shaving soap is usually expensive. Moderately good-quality products are the middle ground and are typically more affordable to the average person. In addition to the shaving cream or shaving soap, the shaver needs at least one shaving brush with bristles dense enough to sufficiently lather the cream or soap.