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Wet Shaving Beginner
What is the real difference between a tallow and a non tallow soap? Are tallow soaps supposed to lather faster, or be a semi hard puck? The variety of soaps is a good thing, but confusing.

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Soap Slinger
Burnsville, MN
The smart-ass answer is, tallow soaps are made with tallow and non-tallow soaps are not.

Tallow is a good fat for making shaving soap. It contains a well balanced profile of fatty acids that give the resulting lather stability and slickness without being too hard on the skin. Bonus, it does this without being terribly expensive.

Those same qualities can be created with a vegetable only soap. It's down to the particular formula. Tallow soaps are not inherently better or worse, IMO. The vegetable fats that have a profile similar to tallow's are quite expensive, though (shea butter, kokum butter, etc).

Both tallow and non-tallow soaps are frequently made with a significant % of pure stearic acid, which does a lot of the heavy lifting either way.

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I have no preference. I try a lot of soaps and creams and I like a soap because of its performance and scent profile.
I do not care if it is tallow or vegan soap.
What I do care however if there are artificial ingredients that I dislike in a soap and do not care to have in there like parabens or Ionines. However most artisans make "real" soap that is preserved by the soaping process and do not need to add artificial preservatives into the soap.

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There's only one difference that I can think of: personal perception. It's all down to what you like. Tallow soaps perform equally well as vegan in my opinion.

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