Boots are a well-known brand in the UK, starting out as a chemist in 1849. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised they have their own range of shave creams and soaps.
Used with: Astra Superior Platinum (2nd shave)
I went with a bowl to produce the lather for my return to soap after using various creams for a while. It seemed to take a long time to build the lather, and take a fair bit of water to get any quantity. Although I may have overdone it, as it wasn’t the thickest coating (I added a bit more product before my second pass). The scent is very subtle, and it smelled like a bar of soap, not unpleasant, but not something you’d go looking for. It also seemed to leave my skin a bit tight and sticky (a bit like normal soap), rather than slick. Although I was initially unimpressed with the shave, it was pretty good across most of my face, with just the hard-to-shave areas remaining rough. It wasn’t the closest shave I’ve had though. I ended up with no razor burn and only one small nick.
Used with: Shark Super Chrome (1st shave)
This time I face lathered and managed to get a lather quite quickly, I couldn’t seem to get the usual volume though, which left me with some uninspiring foam, despite adding more and more water to try and hit the sweet spot. It didn’t seem to want to cover my face, just get pushed around. The shave ended up nice and close, but the blade dragged, required a lot of touch-ups and left me with plenty of nicks. It didn’t leave behind the slick feeling of some others, but it my face was pretty soft and smooth.
Used with: Perma-Sharp Super (1st shave)
I face lathered using a cheap bristle brush this time (hoping the stiffer bristles would scrape up more soap). I ended up adding more product during my first pass, and again before my second, not that it seemed to help much. This time I was not a fan of the smell. Having said all that, I did get a reasonable slickness after each pass and it left me with a smooth, soft end result. No nicks and only a little dryness on my top lip (sorted by some balm).
Rapira Swedish Supersteel (2nd shave)
I chose to lather in my mug this time, soaking the puck first, then using a shaken dry brush. It look a while to build anything much, adding a few drops of water as I went. Even then it seemed limp. There was little slickness after the first pass, in fact the stickyness was more like traditional soap. It was much better after the second pass. It wasn’t the best end result, especially on my neck, but was more than adequate (great in places, poor in others). No nicks or irritation though.
Used with: Derby Extra (4th shave)
I went with a method that is becoming my standard for soaps: soak the puck, drain off the water, shake dry your brush and load for 30 seconds. It produced a good lather, and more than enough for two passes. My face was left nice and slick after each. The blade felt OK, a little scratchy when I went ATG, and I didn’t pick up as many nicks as on previous uses. I did pick up plenty of irritation though. The end result was a little patchy, with some excellent spots.
Used with: Shark Super Stainless (4th shave)
Again, after a soaking and 30 seconds of load I had a plenty of lather. I didn’t notice much in the way of slickness after each pass, there was some, but it wasn’t plentiful. The smell hasn’t improved either. While it’s not as bad as the urinal cake scent of Arko, it’s the sort of chemical ‘fresh’ scent associated with industrial cleaners. I didn’t pick up any nicks, but neither was the shave particularly close.
It took a while for me to figure out how to get a decent lather from this, and even then I wasn’t blown away by the glide it provided. I also wasn’t particularly fond of the scent. It’s a usable product, but I’ve used plenty of better alternatives.