Martin de Candre Shaving Soap
Created in 1974, the traditional soap factory Martin de Candre decided to promote one of its specialities which became more and more demanded and searched for : The shaving soap.
We are indeed using the term “soap”, a product entirely fabricated at the factory with a paste like consistency. It is manufactured through a soaponification process of 100% vegetal oils (olive, coconut) and potash (alkali).
The particularity of this shaving soap is the fact that it is turning into an abundand foam which “sticks” to the skin : Applied on the face, it turns into a smooth and onctuous cream like substance.
Shaving Soap Fabrication
What makes the shaving soap MdC of an outstanding quality is the fact that it is completeley handcrafted, « like in the old days », a traditional fabrication. The goal is to preserve a fabrication method originated in the city of Marseille called « hot paste method ».
This streight forward method demanded years of effort and adjustments of the ingredients, by means of adjusting small quantities, to preserve all of the quality of the end product. This was called shaving cream in the old days !
Nevertheless it is soap (and not cream), made through a saponification process which transforms the vegetable fat into soap by mixing vegetal oils with potash. However, this soap, which is extremely creamy at the moment it is produced, stays soft and transforms into a very special foam when used – all together silky, sticky and moist for a long while. Those are the required essential qualities for carrying out a good shaving.
The fabrication of shaving soap has aims to realize a saponification from a very precise mixture of vegetal oils and potash, which has been beforehand dissolved in water.
The oils are preheated at about 50°C. When the potash is incorporated, the temperature rises and the violence of the chemical reaction keeps it at around 90°C during all processing time.
The water steam is boiling and burning, the forming paste changes from an aspect of « liquid sauce » to a « thick sauce », becomes a kind of very sticky « mash » and finally compact. At the end, the aspect changes brutally and the paste becomes « fluffy », very creamy.
This is the right moment for testing between fingers and also tasting with the tongue to find out if the soap « burns » or if it is « mild ». If it burns, it has to cook a little bit longer in order to neutralize the potash.
Once the soap is finished, you can leave it like this without any fragrance or you can add some. The natural essential oils are neither decolored nor colored – they are fixed based on very complex mixtures of essential oils and waxes or natural resin. They improve the softness of the soap and are known for their antiseptic qualities.
The paste is finished : Now, a portion of patience and spoons are required for filling the soap in the pots – manually one by one ! The soap is sticky, the pots are overflowing ! On purpose, because a new step begins : The drying procedure.
It takes at least 4 to 5 months to dry the soap and to remove the excess humidity ! The drying is done on top of shelves which are dispersed on the walls of the workshop. The soap’s volume reduces drastically in the pots (that is why we need to fill them up to the maximum in the beginning…).
Then comes the moment of compressing the soap in order to remove the air bubbles out of the paste and to get the correct weight of each pot.
Finally it is time for doing all those multiple small gestures : Firstly cleaning the pots, then labelling and conditionning, without forgetting of course the joining of the « directions for use of the shaving soap MdC » which absolutely need to be read before usage !
How to use?
– Moist your face with hot water
– Wet the shaving brush with hot water, then remove most of the water by shaking the brush (it should not be full of water)
– Take some of the soap with the shaving brush in circular movements (for some seconds only) to scoop just a little bit of soap on the tip of the brush. Removing the water out of the shaving brush beforehand allows you to work with a soap that stays dry after usage (no waste of the paste).
– Either directly on the face by spreading the first silky and creamy foam which will gradually thicken and become very voluminous and onctuous. This foam will right away adhere to the face and and the « massage » with the shaving brush prepares the skin for the shaving
– Or by foaming the soap in a small bowl that has been submerged in hot water before and dried not by wiping it dry but simply by turning it upside down. Turn the shaving brush inside the bowl with quick hand gestures: The soap starts foaming and becomes very soon creamy, abondant and smooth. All needed to do now is to apply the foam to your face with the shaving brush and to shave! You will find out that it keeps your skin moist without becoming dry.
– The obtained foam layer allows a straight razor shavingwith a enjoyable sensation of silkiness and maximum comfort.
– With all of the obtained foam you can envisage to shave the same area two or three times !
– Remove any excess foam after usage with a towel.
– To conserve your shaving soap as long as possible :
-Don’t close the lid again: It becomes more dry by contact with the air
-Turn the pot upside down to remove the water if your soap is very moist after usage