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WCS Duck Fat Shaving Soap Product Review-West Coast Shaving

WCS Duck Fat Shaving Soap Product Review

West Coast Shaving Duck Fat Shaving Soap may look like another traditional shaving soap but the duck fat creates a lather that is truly something to write home about.

It is formulated to whip up a dense, rich lather that protects your skin from a razor blade and it does that in spades. In fact, if this is the first soap you lather, it might be your last.

This shaving soap recipe uses duck fat, jojoba oil, and other nourishing ingredients that lather up dense and rich, create exceptional protection, and leave your skin feeling fantastic. What more could you want? Oh, how about a generous 5oz of soap for right around $20.

WCS Duck Fat Shaving Soap Specifications:

  • Duck Fat formula
  • Brush lathered
  • 5 generous ounces of soap
  • 6 different scents 
  • Price: $20.48

Ingredients:

Stearic Acid, Water, Kokum Butter, Potassium Hydroxide, Palm Kernel Oil, Duck Fat, Sodium Hydroxide, Castor Oil, Glycerin, Jojoba Oil & Sodium Lactate

Processes

Saponification is the process of making soap. In simple terms, fat (or oils or lipids) are changed into soap by the action of a strong base (alkali). WCS Duck Fat Shaving soap uses kokum butter, palm kernel oil, and duck fat as its primary fats and sodium hydroxide (lye/caustic soda) as its base. Duck fat is particularly good in soap making as it results in a rich, dense lather.

Typically, there are two methods for making soap.

  • Hot process - Saponification is advanced or sped up by the introduction of an external heat source to the process. This careful cooking reduces the saponification process to a couple of hours and curing time to a couple of weeks. Near the end of the saponification process extra beneficial ingredients can be added. The texture of the soap is usually rugged and uneven.  
  • Cold process - In this method, external heat is only used to melt the ingredients to aid in combining them. Saponification occurs during an exothermic reaction between the fatty acids and the alkali base. Cold process soaps takes longer to saponify (about a day) and to cure (several weeks). Any extra ingredients are generally added early in the process and the soap’s texture is smoother than hot process soaps.

  • WCS Duck Fat Shaving Soap is a hot process soap so you might notice a rougher appearance. In addition to a faster production time, another benefit to West Coast’s Duck Fat soap is that additional ingredients are added after saponification so they are more stable and predictable. Fragrances stay more consistent, oils and fats are processed out, and colors stay true. 


    WCS Duck Fat Shaving Soap Benefits:

    • Duck Fat: Duck fat, a super moisturizer, gives the soap a rich, dense, long-lasting lather and phenomenal post-shave face feel.
    • Kokum butter: This butter has excellent moisturizing properties and won’t clog pores like some other butters.
    • Palm kernel oil: This oil is excellent for creating a hard soap with good cleansing properties.
    • Castor oil: This is an exceptional oil for soap because it creates a rich, creamy lather. In addition, castor oil is a humectrant, which makes it great at holding moisture in the skin and not drying it out like some soaps. 
    • Jojoba oil: This oil has become increasingly popular in soapmaking as it won’t clog pores, it is hypoallergenic, and it leaves the skin feeling soft and supple (not tight and dry). It is the closest oil to the skin’s natural oils so it is excellent in skin-care.

    Lather/Longevity

    Shaving brush full of lather over a shaving bowl

    The WCS Duck Fat Shaving Soap formula whips up an exceptional lather due to its combination of duck fat, kokum butter, and jojoba oil. This trifecta produces soaps that are incredibly moisturizing but they also aid in a peaky, thick lather. Truly, this is a great lathering soap. There is much love in the wet shaving community for duck fat as it whips up a great lather. The fat gives it a density and peaky-ness. It is also a moisturizing powerhouse which keeps your skin hydrated. The kokum butter, jojoba oil, and castor oil feel great on the skin and help hold moisture so your lather can stay hydrated and dense, giving you good protection. 

    A shaving brush and shaving soap are part of a classic shave for a reason. They do much to prep the face and whiskers for the blade. This dense, thick lather works to hold your whiskers up so you get the closest shave possible as well as providing excellent exfoliating action (as you swirl the lather on your face). There is no better way to get a close, irritation-free shave.

    This is a shaving soap (harder than a cream), so don’t be afraid of some water. Add it slowly but this formula can definitely handle a “few more drops”. The benefit of a hard shaving soap is that it will last you quite a while. This shaving soap doesn’t need a lot of blooming. With just a damp brush and 30 seconds of loading, you can whip up enough lather for a multiple pass shave.

    If you are finding that, as you shave or prepare for a subsequent pass, your lather is dry, then you probably aren’t hydrating the lather enough. It should stay creamy throughout your shave. Add a few more drops of water to reinvigorate your lather. There is quite a bit of leeway with this soap so you will still get an excellent shave, but it just gets better as you add a bit more water, until you hit the perfect, frothy, cushiony lather.

    Glide/Protection

    The WCS Duck Fat Shaving Soap duck fat formula has excellent protection and glide for the razor. It provides a great cushion that will give you the layer you need between the blade and your skin. 

    Unlike canned foams, a shaving soap like this isn’t just full of air. There is actually a protective layer between your skin and the razor blade. The duck fat is a phenomenally good moisturizer that, along with the kokum butter and jojoba oil, creates a strong lubricant that allows that blade to access the hair with minimal damage to the skin.

    Post-shave feel

    Because any shaving will traumatize your skin, how your skin feels after the shave is telling. With the right product, your skin shouldn’t feel tight when you are done shaving. Better quality soaps will not leave you feeling dry. Instead, your skin should feel supple and smooth. Post-shave feel tells you a lot about the soap!

    The WCS Duck Fat Shaving Soap recipe leaves you feeling like you have lotion on your skin after you shave. Not in a bad way, but in a healing, moisturizing way. In fact, it is at work nourishing your skin before you even start shaving. All the ingredients are chosen with an eye for skin care. You are left with moisturized, smooth, supple skin. 

     

    The WCS Duck Fat Shaving Soap Scents:

    West Coast Shaving has six scents in their duck fat shaving soap. Four of the scents are inspired by the “scent wheel” developed by Michael Edwards over 30 years ago. WCS took  different perfume “families” and created a variety of different scents - from bright citrus to earthy woods to exotic resins. The last two scents are playful takes on barbershop aromas.
    Barbershop scents are by nature very subjective. So Gatsby and Pear Brr-shoppe take some of the common notes and play with them.

    • Chypre: Citrus-Resin. Chypres are a family of fragrances named after the island of Cyprus. This island was a big part of the perfume trade with the Orient. Aromas in this family are dominated by mossy, woodsy notes. This chypre fragrance will convey you to an island of citrus scented breezes blowing through the trees as you relax on your moss-lined balcony. If you like outdoorsy scents, this is for you.
    • Cologne: Dark Mossy Floral. The original “Cologne”, as a scent family, was created by Giovanni Maria Farina in 1709. Named after it’s city of origin, the cologne was described as “an Italian spring morning, of daffodils and orange blossoms after the rain”. For West Coast Shaving’s Cologne aroma, there is a bit of a darker twist underlying the floral presence.  So, if you are looking for an elegant scent to take out on the town, this is the aroma for you. A dark, deep, mossy fragrance with a hint of floral sweetness, it will go perfectly with your tailored suit and gin & tonic.
    • Fougere: Herbaceous Forest. A fougere is a perfume classification for green, earthy scents. The first fougere by Paul Parquet for Houbigant Parfume in 1882 was a “fantasy” of what a fern would smell like if it had a scent. Traditionally, fougere have sweet tops notes like lavender and geranium with a base of oakmoss and coumarin. WCS’s version has these classic notes but they round it out with some complexity: juniper, cyress, rosemary, galbanum, cedarwood, & patchouli create the atmosphere of wandering in bright, green forest with hints of darker scents as you move through the trees.
    • Oriental: Spiced-Rose Woods. The Oriental scent family usually has notes that convey an exotic feel: amber, sandalwood, coumarin, orris, vanilla, and gum resins (like benzoin, frankincense or opopanax). For this fragrance from WCS, Oriental boasts a spicy-rose that is a warm, rich aroma. Notes of woods and vanillic benzoin support a light rose sweetness. This intoxicating aroma is one of the best selling scents in this line of shaving soaps.
    • Gatsby v2: Evocative of a day when dapper gentleman extolled the virtues of a clean shave, this is a barbershop type aroma with cologne notes for added complexity. Like Gatsby’s galas, this aroma is full of rich elegance. Notes of bergamot, lavender, and oakmoss elicit the image of a main-street barbershop with striped pole, leather chairs, and newspaper strewn waiting area. Additionally, cardamom, coumarin, cedarwood, amber, and vetiver lend a rich complexity. This is the scent that will get you noticed. Wear it with confidence. 
    • Pear Brr-Shoppe: This playful aroma is sure to please. The sweet lusciousness of pear gives way to classic barbershop notes of geranium and oakmoss. But that is not all. A bit of warming spice is cooled by a hint of menthol. A treat of pear and ice. It is a unique and compelling scent. Universally beloved by men and women alike, this is a great everyday scent. If you aren’t sure which aroma is right for you, this is a wonderful safe choice to begin.

    Affordability

    West Coast Shaving offers a tub with a generous 5oz of their Duck Fat shaving soap. Most other artisans give you 3-4oz of soap for the same price. At right around $20 a tub, you can really get your money’s worth on multiple shaves!

     

     

    Pro: Con:
    - Great protection/glide -Might take a minute to dial in the hydration of the lather
    -Long-lasting lather -Scent strength is medium for most scents
    -Phenomenal post-shave feel
    -Variety of scents

     

    Bottom Line:


    Honestly,  pick up the WCS Duck Fat Shaving Soap and it may be the last one you ever lather. With its moisturizing triple threat (duck fat, kokum butter, jojoba oil), fantastic lather, and amazing scents, you just can’t go wrong.


    Want to see it in action? Watch Gerad’s daily shave with Gatsby v2 Duck Fat shaving soap.

     

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