Friday, March 09, 2012

I Stepped in a Big Pile of Sh..

SHAVING CREAM!! I always loved the shaving cream song. I also have to admit, that even though I don't shave (being a lady), I love shaving cream. I love coating the neighbor's car with the stuff, spraying it on strangers, and making Devil's Tower sculptures with the stuff, it's a miracle in a can. Several months ago, I had a customer ask if I knew about shaving soaps, and could I make some. And I had to tell him, I know nothing about shaving. Nothing. Most of the men in my family are too lazy to use anything but Norelco to defur their faces, if they even bother with that. I do have two sons of hair growing age, and since they have to do what I tell them, they've been my guinea pigs. I made them after all.
I started off with what I already had on hand - testing all of my soap formulas, cream soaps, and shampoo bars. My old cream soap formula did really well - I had abandoned it as a cream soap because most people want a more bubbly lather. Shavers like the creamy foam. Also a good performer, my shampoo bars, but the lather tended to dry quickly, so you have to add more water for 2nd or 3rd pass. A slick shave, but a lot of work - you basically have to build a new lather for each pass. And, it didn't do as well for making whiskers stand up, so I needed more backbone.
Then off to the research - there's a community online for every hobby, and shaving appears to be a big one. I think I read every post on a couple of the bigger forums, that was a lot of reading. I identified oils that weren't previously part of my starring lineup, but are must haves for super awesome shaving soap - stearic acid, tallow, and palm oil. I also had a chance to look at some antique soap making books, and I had to take a look at the ingredients being used in the most awesome shaving soaps. And then I figured out how to get all that stuff into one bar :)
The scents that I picked for the shaving soaps were either 1)requested by customers (pineapple & patchouli)2)super popular with lots of guys on the shaving forums (lavender & sandalwood) or 3)my favorite smell ever(caramel hazelnut).
My sons are happy with the results - they work better than canned shaving cream (duh), and seem to do a great job preventing nicks. Also, teenaged son is experiencing less acne, so yay!
I'll be selling these with a jar and also without. The jar makes a nice shaving bowl, safe in the shower, and has a metal lid so it's great for traveling. Happy shaving!