Neal’s Yard Remedies Close Shave Soap

4 Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (4)
Neal's Yard Close Shave Soap

Soap from a company that is keen on natural products, ethically sourced.

Used with: Personna Lab Blue (4th shave)

Thankfully, this was a weekend shave, as the first lather disappeared from my face so quickly I decided to wash everything off and start again. I loaded for longer the second time. It’s didn’t help much, the lather still vanished in record time. I carried on. The slickness didn’t feel too bad, but I picked up plenty of nicks, though most were sealed by cold water. I didn’t dare spend too much time on any pass or touch-ups. That left me with a very patchy finish (unsurprisingly). In some places it was nice and smooth to be fair. It has a very herby scent, with the lavender strongly in the mix, but much more natural than the RazoRock scent I tried. Still not sure about it, but a better fragrance and reasonably pleasant. Result wasn’t too bad, but experience was terrible.

Used with: Rapira Super Stainless (2nd shave)

I opted for a different approach this time, using the puck like a shave stick and rubbing it into my stubble. It allowed me to build a lather fine, but once again it was a race to finish the first pass before it vanished completely. The second pass was better, with the lather more stable, but it was still beginning to break down towards the end. Slickness between passes was average at best, but I didn’t pick up any nicks. I kept going with my touch-up phase in hope rather than expectation. The finish wasn’t too bad, if a little patchy in places where I didn’t get to spend the usual time. It wasn’t close ATG though. The scent disappears during the shave and doesn’t hang around. An average shave.

Used with: Perma-Sharp Super (3rd shave)

I went with my boar brush and loaded from a dry puck. The first coating looked fine when I applied it, but I couldn’t tell where I had scraped it off after a few strokes as it vanished. I reloaded before my second pass and it hung around a bit longer, but was still gone long before I finished. Surprisingly, slickness was pretty good and I didn’t pick up any nicks (although that might be because I was being very gentle). I did pick up some irritation on my top lip. Due to the speed and my careful application, the finish was understandably poor. Some areas were very rough and nowhere was especially close. The fragrance seemed to hang around better this time, but still a poor shave.

Verdict

The fact that I have cut short my usual five-shave review cycle tells you a lot. Let’s start with the good. It’s cheap (£3.50 without the box) and it smells good (I’m not a fan of lavender but its herby fragrance was quite pleasant). Everything else let it down though. The key requirements of a soap are to produce a good, stable lather and provide protection for the by allowing the blade to glide close to it without causing irritation. It looks like a cheap melt and pour product. I can only assume the glycerine in this soap provided any protection, because the lather vanished faster than anything else I’ve tried. Without doubt the worst soap I have used to date and life is too short for bad lather.

Filed under: Soap, Software

These reviews are updated based on ongoing experience, so ratings and opinions may change.

Last updated: March 6, 2015