I asked my boyfriend to write out a review of the Chagrin Valley shaving soap as we are on this ‘greenifying’ journey together. He has a blog of his own documenting his journey in living with chronic illness and the holistic view of achieving optimal health within illness. I’m very proud of him and how well he adapts his life to Anklyosing Spondylitis and Rhematoid Arthritis. For more info check out his blog, journeywithas.wordpress.com
On to the review!
I am very excited to have my debut on EcoDiva’s blog. I have been asked to review Chagrin Valley’s Bay Rum Shaving Soap:
Ingredients: Coconut Oil; Avocado Oil; Cocoa Butter; Castor Oil; Organic Sustainable Palm Oil; Unrefined Shea Butter; Water; Sodium Hydroxide*; Rice Bran Oil; Organic Coconut Milk; Bentonite Clay; Aritha; Essential Oils Of West Indian Bay, Sweet Orange, Allspice, Clove; Rosemary Oil Extract
*Used during the Saponification Process to turn oil into soap. None remains in the finished product.
I have been using this product over the past couple of months and I really like it. I use this product along with the pre-shave oil made by EcoDiva, a Gillette Proglide razor, and a badger hair shaving brush from The Art of Shaving. I have a very thick beard, and sensitive skin.
I started my high-maintenance shaving a few years back when I traveled to Washington D.C. and went to one of The Art of Shaving’s stores. I had always struggled with razor burn, and ingrown hairs, and I was excited to see that I could use products to create a nicer shaving experience. I used their products for a few years, but after I ran out a while back I didn’t order any more– living in Canada I was not excited about the prospect of shipping costs in addition to the price of their products. EcoDiva was kind, and savvy, enough to make our own pre-shave oil, which was my favourite aspect of the shaving experience, and to find the new eco-friendly soap from Chagrin.
The soap comes on its on as a bar of soap, so I repurposed the lid of an old shaving soap container that I was using, so that I would have some way to hold the soap while I was shaving:
Because my beard hair is so thick I shave either in the shower, (probably to EcoDiva’s dismay due to the excess of water I use while standing in there shaving) or directly after my shower, while my beard hair is a little softer and my pores are more open. I use a three-step process while shaving:
1) Pre-shave Oil: I dip my finger into the container and spread the oil on my wet face. This has been a great addition to my shaving process because it has helped the life of my razor blades, and seems to have helped reduce razor burn and ingrown hairs.
2) Lather #1: I lather my brush using the shaving soap. I found that the soap didn’t lather very well for the first couple of shaves, but now I get a nice later on the brush:
I apply the shaving soap to my face and shave with the grain.
3) Lather #2: With other shaving soaps I have used I am able to pick the brush back up to re-lather my face for my second pass, but I find that this soap doesn’t allow for that, so I wet the brush again and re-lather the brush. I apply the soap to my face and shave against the grain.
I find this soap to be quite thin, and although I have tried it without the pre-shave oil and did not have too many issues, I would be weary (because of my thick hair and sensitive face) of shaving with only this soap for extended use. I have really enjoyed this product. The smell is really great– EcoDiva doesn’t seem to complain too much either– and I have had good success with the product.