Shaving Soap Review: Arko (bowl)

Posted: June 21, 2016 in Shaving Articles

Ease of Lathering: Good
Protection: Very Good
Residual Slickness: Very Good

Scent: Lemony soap. Arko can be a bit of a social wedge with some people. I don’t have any really strong opinion about it. It smells clean and old fashioned, and the smell doesn’t hang around to make a pest of itself. To some, this is THE barbershop scent, to others, it smells foreign and astringent. Because I am fond of a lemon scent, and a soapy scent, I have no issues with it. It’s not a smell that sends me into paroxysms of joy and nostalgia, but it’s perfectly fine.

Production/Value: This is where Arko just kills it. It is a hard puck soap, and you can perform shave after shave without seeing any appreciable change in volume. With Arko’s inexpensive price, it’s very difficult to think of any shave soap that can even come into competition with Arko for value. In the European market, Palmolive’s stick soap can, but that’s more expensive here in the U.S., because of import expenses. Williams Mug soap, I suppose. From all I have learned, though, the Arko is a much more competent performer than Williams. No first hand knowledge on that score. The long and short of it is, however, Arko is a budget wet shaver’s dream, provided that they can get a good lather with it, and don’t mind the smell.

Notes: Arko is a classic. You simply must try it, unless you know yourself to be intolerant of a lemony smell or of one of the ingredients used. If you dig it, you’ll always have a budget option for shaving. If you are exploring traditional shaving as a value-oriented choice, this one has your name on it. Let’s not forget that Arko is easy to lather, provides very useful protection, and allows you to have a very compact package without being concerned about running out. As a travel shaving kit, the bowl of Arko is an excellent option. Also consider the Arko stick, which is used differently (or can be), but is the same soap. Basically, you just wet your face, then rub the Arko stick across your beard until you’ve got a good bit of soap on your face. Then comes the brush, to lather things up. I have yet to try this method, but it seems straigtforward enough. You could also chop part of the stick off and put it at the bottom of a lathering bowl, if you so chose. I haven’t tried Arko’s cream soap, but given the great performance of their hard soap, I very well might.

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