Soap irritation


Senior Member
Hello all. Just had quite a bit of stinging and irritation from Ariana and Evans Cafe au lait..i suspect due to high fragrance content (shame as it smells fantastic).
Anyone else had a soap that really reacted badly with your skin?

Dr Watson

The Other James
Only tried Asian Plum but likewise found the scent awfully strong, it didn't cause irritation though. A few others have given me a tingle (Penhaligon's, Stirling, Wickhams 1912...)


Forum GOD!
A&E St. Barts was unquestionably the worst shaving soap I've ever tried in this respect.
Petal Pusher Fancies Bay Rum was another in close second.


TSR reject
Kramperts and a couple of T&S soaps.
Quite a few others that don’t spring to mind, bearing in mind I don’t consider myself to have sensitive skin


Grumpy old man
Thankfully, over the years I have only had the odd one that gave me irritation. I also don't consider my skin to overly sensitive either.



Forum GOD!
I've had it happen with two soaps so far: TOBS Royal Forest and Stirling Spice. Strangely I'm fine with TOBS Sandalwood, Rose, Eton and St James.

Must be a particular fragrance oil in those two. Makes me a little nervous to try the other heavily scented American soaps though. Shame as the performance of the Stirling was superb.


Forum Sod
A&E Cafe Au Lait does the same for me. I think it's the high level of Vanillin in the soap. It does tingle but causes no reaction such as redness so it's one I'll use occasionally rather than every shave. All my other A&E's are fine.


Massive Member
Staff member
Mild tingling from all 1912 soaps (apart from unscented) and Arran Aromatics Bay Citrus soap had to go as it irritated too, shame as the scent is awesome...


Forum GOD!
I think most artisans overdo it with the power of the scents. Scent has to be present, but not fill the whole room. I don't see the reason why anyone would put fragrance oils instead of essential oils to a soap, that may come into our nostrils, or on our lips when shaving.It is just unpleasant.

I was shaving one night with the Autumn Ash from Southern Witchcrafts.
My wife: "George, something is burning.. "
"Oh no, I just bought a new soap and try it".
(Damn I should pick the Peach scent instead..)

This is the only problem of A&E.

Many soaps gave me irritation, I don't remember exactly which though.

The best soap on this section is Wholly Kaw. Terrible, just terrible scents, but when it is on the face it calms the skin and hydrates it a lot during the shave. Even when I had a cut on the first pass, it didn't sting at all.
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Legendary Member
Quite a lot soaps seem to make my face burn.

Most 'artisan' soaps I have tried have that effect, be it LPL, NSS, OSP, Wickhams - for the latter I was quite sad the Classic 24 didn't work for my skin as it smelled delightful! A similar kind of sadness with OSP as it made some truly delightful lather but didn't work for my face.

The worst I have come across by quite a margin is the Boots shaving stick, which the lather didn't create a bit of irritation like some of the above but would make my face burn like I had smeared crushed chilli peppers into my face.