| by Danielle Vincent

"Can I use your soap as shaving soap?"

We get so many requests for shaving soap that we tried making some for a time, and then we commissioned someone else to make them for a time, but to be honest, they just weren't great sellers, so we discontinued them.

I'll explain our development process around that, and the other frequently asked questions around our shaving soap (or lack thereof).

I'm gonna get mighty honest and real with you: I am not a conventional woman, and I don't follow conventional grooming practices.

I know. I'm gonna let you recover from the shock for a minute.

I'd prefer to shower outside if I could, and if given all available options, I'd rather sit in a tub of water outside and reflect on the amazingness of the natural world. Heck, even if I'm in the city, I'd rather bathe outside (but local municipal laws have requested otherwise).

So it probably isn't going to surprise you to know that I'm not overly fussy about my grooming regimen. I insist on smelling good (like Outlaw Soaps, of course), but the fewer steps and products I can use between my native couch-bound-entrepreneur-smell (a lot of being an entrepreneur includes writing) and badass-jefa-about-town smell, the better.

In the first year of Outlaw Soaps, one of our first products was shaving soap made for Fab.com. They placed such a huge order, in fact, that it inspired me to quit my full time job and become a full time Outlaw.

But I never could get the hang of using the shaving soap as intended.

Let's divert from our current story to discuss the difference between our regular soap and our shaving soap: Bentonite clay and palm oil.

Bentonite clay is a special kind of clay that is added to regular soap to make it slicker. The clay forms a protective layer on the skin and helps the razor slip.

Palm oil provides the certain -- ugh, I'm forgetting the official word for it right now -- but it's that thing that makes the "stable lather" (the little creamy tiny bubbles instead of the big sudsy bubbles).

(it turns out there's a surprising amount of chemistry involved in soapmaking)

Bentonite clay also can dry out skin, so it's also used for oil-reducing face masks. So we had to increase the amount of avocado oil and superfatting (the process of adding more fat than required by the lye so there's leftover fat) to make up for the drying of the bentonite clay

Palm oil -- even palm oil that has been certified as sustainable -- is now thought to be not-sustainable. The harvesting of palm oil ruins important animal habitats and is generally just awful.

Plus, these two ingredients are, in our experience, a pain in the ass to work with on any kind of scale.

Back to the story...

So instead of using our fancy shaving soap, I started using our plain ol' regular soap to shave.

Now, I realize I have a lot of real estate to cover (legs include a lot more acres than chins), and my legs probably aren't as sensitive as a face... but I betcha my armpits are hella sensitive.

But I still use our soap on my pits.

And it's FINE.

My dirty little secret (or clean little secret, I guess) is that since we started making soap, I have been using our regular handmade soap as shaving soap... AND NO ONE HAS DIED. I haven't bled out even one time. No one has come across my lacerated body from apparent razor burns.

I'm not gonna tell you what to do... but don't let anyone else tell you what to do, either.

They say you need a special soap for shaving? Well, maybe. Or maybe give your regular ol' soap a try and see what happens.

Let me know what happens.

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