Have you ever run out of shaving cream? I have! In one way it is not such a huge deal for me since I only shave a couple times a week. In another way it is kind of a big deal since shaving only a couple times a week means that when I decide to shave I can really use a shave.
Dish soap was a huge step up from both of the previous soaps I have tried. In the lather department it was not quite as good a shaving cream, but overall it was a successful substitute for shaving cream. As previously noted, one key difference between dish soap and shaving cream that I found was the lather. Shaving creams and gels create a nice thick foamy lather. It allows the razor to glide really nicely and washes away very easily. Dish soap does not have the nice lather, but it does effectively lubricate the skin for the blade of the razor. It also washes off the blade of the razor rather well.
For me personally I found one unexpected benefit of dish soap. The way I shave may be a little unorthodox. You see I first shave my face with a down stroke. That way I shave off most of the hair going "with the grain." Then I make a second pass with an up-stroke. By going "against the grain" I find that it gives me a much closer shave. Shaving creams and gels do leave some residue on my face after the first pass so that the second pass is still lubricated. With bar soap and liquid hand soap, there is not enough residue to lubricate the skin on the second pass with the razor. The dish soap, however, leaves enough of a soapy film to lubricate my skin for the up-stroke. I would say that the second pass is just as well lubricated, if not better lubricated, than the second pass using normal shaving cream. I did not get razor burn, and my face came out feeling as soft as baby skin.
Does this mean that I am going to switch to dish soap? If I really wanted to pinch pennies I would save a few cents by switching. (See price comp below.) I am taking it that far, but the next time I find myself needing to shave without shave cream or gel on hand I am heading for the kitchen to get a couple drops of dish soap.
The 13 ounce bottle of Palmolive dish soap has a price tag of $1.29 compared to several dollars for a can of shaving cream. I used only two dime size drops of dish soap. So I am guessing that I can get about 50 shaves out of one bottle of dish soap. That make my shaves cost about 3 cents per shave. Gillete Foamy shave cream is about $2.79 for an 11 ounces. Let's assume for a moment that we can get 50 shaves out of those 11 ounces (this is just a guess, but the actual amount of shaves might be less). The would come out to about 5 cents per shave (maybe even more).
by Cameron Hatch
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