(Image courtesy of Depositphotos)
Ever since I started my love affair with wet shaving, I have always gravitated towards creams rather than hard soaps. It had to do with the ease of loading a brush. What changed was a couple of years ago I figured I would finish what my genes started (going bald) and completely shave my head.
I installed a mirror in the shower and began doing the majority of my shaving there. I created a system (of course!) of having my cream of choice ready so I can load my brush in the shower.
What I found after several months is that it is actually easier to use a hard soap in the shower. I pass the soap over my scalp and face and then…head lather? Is that a phrase? Anyway, it worked for me and it kind of opened up my shaving routine to more hard soaps.
I had been ordering some of the English brands and from American companies as well.
That is where Mama Bear Soaps entered my life. I had signed up to receive emails from the website. I remembered what caught my eye about the site back then was the fact that the site carried a lot more than just men’s shaving soaps. Scented soaps, hand soap, goat milk soaps. Granted, none of these were anything that appealed to me, but I figured if they offered all that, they could probably make some decent shaving soap.
To write this review, I reached out to Jennifer, the owner of Mama Bear Soaps to learn about the company that seems to make just about everything that is soap related.
She said the company was started in 2008 by Susan Clark. The two met at a craft show in Michigan and immediately there was a connection. Taking on new responsibilities is not anything new for Jennifer. She and her husband own and operate an organic farm, sold products at farmers markets and she was a third-grade teacher at the time. Susan was eventually looking to retire, so Jenifer apprenticed with her for six months and bought Mama Bear in 2019.
Jennifer says all her batches of soap are made with only 12 bars, so while the inventory is low, nothing gets old.
She says she strives to give great customer service and will take customer’s requests for asking for a scent or a blend.
Jennifer says she plans on expanding the menthol and cologne-line of shaving soaps, but with the cost of soap supplies up 30% over the last year, she says there will not be any huge additions to the already impressive selection. She stressed to me she is going to try to keep the costs down for customers while giving them a quality product.
I did not know any of this when I made my first purchase 18 months ago, but it certainly does give some insight into why I enjoyed this soap so much.
Mama Bear Turkish Mocha Glycerin Shave Soap
This is “Turkish Mocha Glycerin Shave Soap.” I read the description and when it said “If you’re a coffee lover, you won’t be disappointed by this fragrance. It’s decadent!” I was sold!
Here are the ingredients: “ Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Castor Oil, Safflower , Glycerine (kosher, of vegetable origin), Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide (saponifying agent), Sorbitol (moisturizer), Sorbitan oleate (emulsifier), Soybean protein (conditioner), Wheat protein and fragrance either natural or synthetic. ”
The website said it adds glycerin so it does not dry out your skin and only uses “cosmetic grade” fragrance and essential oils. I have no clue what that means, but it sounded good to me.
I ordered a 5-ounce puck for $12.99. After shipping it was a little more than $19. It was much bigger than the picture, because it has been in my rotation since it arrived.
The scent is exactly as described on the Mama Bear website: “creamy top notes of milk, cardamom, cocoa and a touch of nutmeg. The alluring, complex blend winds down to heady scents of vanilla and honey rum, and of course, Turkish Coffee.”
While a scent is important, it is the lather that I care the most about.
As I said, I face and head lather and I wasn’t about to take pictures of me in the shower, so I used my Semogue and scuttle.
After about 45 seconds I had my brush pretty loaded, so here is the result.
It created a good lather that was enough for one pass over my head and four passes on my face.
While it does have some decent bubbles, the lather is very slick and has good cushion. It does not dry out my face or scalp and the scent does not compete with my aftershave splash or lotion.
Overall, I am very impressed with the product from Mama Bear Soaps. I enjoy supporting small businesses and this purchase hit all the right spots from price to performance. Having learned from Jennifer the dedication she has towards her product and with dozens and dozens of scents to choose from, in sizes from 1.5 ounce pucks, to the 5 ounce puck to shave sticks, I know I will be ordering and enjoying Mama Bear’s products for years.