Looking for products that use natural, plant-based ingredients to give you exceptional results? Try Eric's list of vegan products with phenomenal lathers, nourishment, and scents.
Whollykaw Vegan Shaving Soap, Fougère Bouquet:
Wholly Kaw has taken over the wet shaving community with their Donkey Milk and Tallow-based soaps. The very name has been made synonymous with luxury and quality. However, oft overlooked is Sri’s equally impressive vegan shaving soap base, rich in castor oil, kokum butter, shea butter, and cocoa butter. These plant fatty acids are not only used in the actual saponification (read: “Soap making”) process to create an incredible slick and nourishing lather, but additional shea butter has been added to the base. Along with hops extract, this duo is a potent punch aiding in post-shave skin healing and moisturization. Enjoy the incredible shaving experience in one of Sri’s original scents, Fougère Bouquet. Oakmoss, lavender, bergamot, sandalwood, cedar, tonka bean, musk, and ambergris make for a sophisticated, somewhat raunchy fougère, with elegant bergamot and lavender atop a mossy, woody and soily base.
West Coast Shaving Shaving Soap, Gatsby #1:
Our most popular shaving soap of our lineup, Gatsby was a clear contender for us… Biased? Eh, maybe a bit. The process was simple, yet very extensive. Douglas, of Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements (PAA) gave us - the WCS staff - anonymous scents numbered 1 to 25. We sought to choose 5 and, through months of testing betwixt ourselves and hundreds of customers, Gatsby found its genesis. Because the numbering became such a key part of the process, especially when communicating with our customer testers, we decided to keep it in the name! Gatbsy #1 is a clean, crisp, yet wonderfully smooth and sultry barbershop accord of ginger, citrus, white pepper, vetiver, mint, musk, cedar and amber. A vegan soap that behaves much like softer tallow-based, small batch soaps, our soaps load heavy and quickly, take on great amounts of water (good for you straight razor users!) and offer tremendous post shave elements due to healing and moisturizing plant-derived fatty acids.
Soap Commander Shaving Soap, Courage:
As my very first introduction into vegan shaving soaps, Soap Commander holds a special place in my heart. The Soap Commander project was born out of a desire for parents Darren and Carrie to make skin-friendly soaps for their daughter with eczema. Fast forward to today, and we’re now rewarded with one of the most high-value vegan shaving soaps out there. This soap is heavily-cloaked in heaps of shea butter, the result of which offer a stable, slick, and comforting lather. The scent of Courage is one that virtually anyone could fall in love with: notes of Japanese grapefruit, bergamot, lemon, peppercorn, ginger, jasmine, aquatic marine notes, peppermint, patchouli, vetiver, cedarwood, labdanum and frankincense geniusly melded into a smooth, woody, floral and citrusy accord. While the post shave of this soap is very impressive, I also recommend you check out their matching after shave balm! The dense balm requires only a pea-sized amount to seal the deal with cooling comfort.
Dr. Jon’s Essential Oil Shaving Soap, Cedar and Rose:
A borderline cream, Dr. Jon’s Version 1 shaving soap was one of the original vegan artisan shaving soaps out there, and a darn good one at that. But now, Dr. Jon’s knocked it out of the park with his “Vol. 2” shaving soap formula. A harder soap, this new base will reward you with an impressively slick lather and tremendous post-shave properties. A true battle warrior against a sea of tallow-based products (New movie idea? Check), Dr. Jon’s soaps are a force to be reckoned with. In his newest Essential Oil lineup, we’re met with his most natural product yet: a natural, vegan soap with a harmonious olfactory duo of essential oils. Here, punchy, woody cedar dances with elegant, floral rose absolute for a sensual, smooth, yet bold accord.
The Artisan Soap Shoppe Shaving Soap, Humidor:
A newer artisan over the past year, Jenny - of Artisan Soap Shoppe - has been making high quality men’s grooming products at impressive price points. Once we got our hands on her shaving soaps we, at WCS, have unanimously agreed that the Artisan Soap Shoppe soaps are the best high-value products in wet shaving. The coconut-oil based soaps require very little loading to produce adequate lather for 3 passes and is a moderately thirsty soap. The result is a lather with levels of slickness, residual slickness, density, and post shave properties that are only rivaled in soaps thrice their price. At $2.00/ounce, it doesn’t get much better. Of their scents, Humidor is one of the most popular choices. Scented with Spanish cedar and sweet tobacco, this is a surprisingly clean and masculine fragrance that can be enjoyed all year round, at any time of the day.
Sudsy Soapery Shaving Soap, Rose and Black Pepper:
Sudsy Soapery has been providing vegan soaps to the masses since 2011. With hand soaps topped with various botanicals like Lavender and Chamomile, almond slices, and more, you know that they are all in for quality products. The same goes for their shaving soaps. Based in coconut and castor oil, this soap has such high quantities of shea butter, cocoa butter, and kokum butter, it is quite hard for me to tell the difference in the feel and performance of the lather compared to a tallow-based soap. A perfectly slick cushion against the blade and a powerful punch of healing botanical butters, this leaves nothing to want. Rose and black pepper is a surprisingly impressive olfactory combination, with a sweet, floral rose met with peppery, aromatic spice for a naturally green and comforting accord.
Catie’s Bubbles Vegan Shaving Soap, Tonsorial Parlour:
With all the new wet shaving artisans introducing themselves to the scene, it’s easy to forget many of the infamous forefathers. Chris, of Catie’s Bubbles, served as one of the original wet shaving artisans crafting a vegan shaving soap base upon which countless other artisans’ vegan offerings are influenced. With a simple, yet highly rewarding soap base, this luxury shaving soap yields a lather leaving you wondering why you’d ever need to spend a dollar more. Tonsorial Parlour is a mid 1800s-inspired floral barbershop accord of bergamot, litsea cubeba, petitgrain, citronella, lavender, geranium, and oakmoss. Sweet, floral, powdery, and slightly woody, this is a refined scent for a refined gentleman.
Dr. Jon’s & Shear Revival Pomade, Propaganda:
With many unorthodox water-based pomades nowadays, it’s hard to find a decent product that isn’t at least partly beeswax-based. Well, here comes the solution. Of all pomades, Shear Revival’s pomades are regarded as some of - if not THE - best water-based pomades on the market. Best of all? This particular product uses no animal products. Based in white clay and castor oil, this medium-hold pomade will provide great control (Thanks to the clay!), consistent hold, yet will moisturize the hair with shea butter and coconut oil. Vanilla, sandalwood, mandarin, patchouli, and musk make for a no-nonsense, clean, yet masculine accord that will not interfere with virtually any personal fragrance of choice.
WCS Black Lantern Synthetic Shaving Brush:
For those looking to get into wet shaving, many of the shaving brush options available to you are likely animal-derived, be it various badger, boar, or horse hair. In recent years, however, synthetic shaving brushes have been gaining quite some traction within the wet shaving community. The bristles are such that they emulate the soft-tipped yet scrubby sensation associated with badger brushes, yet can easily be packed away for travel and are quick-drying. What’s more, you can much more easily control the water content of your lather thanks to the polymers used in synthetic shaving brush knots. Our “Lantern”-styled handle is a great combination of width - for you face-latherers out there - and length/curvature - for the fellow bowl-latherer to be comfortable for a wide range of preference. The 24mm synthetic knot splays easily, is comfortable on the skin, and can whip up a great lather with even the hardest of soaps!
Duke Cannon 2-in-1 Tea Tree Hair Wash:
Since the 1970s, the factory that once supplied soaps and other grooming items to hard-working soldiers now makes them for the masses, under the title Duke Cannon. While their big bricks of soap seem to get all the attention, it’s important not to overlook their high quality shampoos. Like all Duke Cannon products, these are not tested by animals. Now, when you’re out working in the heat of the day, sweat upon your brow and your disheveled ‘do, the last thing you need is a shampoo that will strip your hair and skin of its natural conditioners and leave you sensitive, chapped, and in pain. Thanks to Duke Cannon’s 2-in-1 Tea Tree hair wash, tea tree oil will aid in softening and conditioning the hair and skin, while menthol invigorates the scalp and promotes epidermal blood circulation. On top of this, hydrolyzed rice protein will help to regenerate the keratin in hair, keeping it strong, resilient, and relentless; just like you.