Thursday, 2 April 2015

Comparing the classics: Arko vs Tabac

Arko soap from Turkey is one of our favourites here at River Valley Trading. You can read our review here.

RVT crew member Riaz has done a comparison of Arko against Tabac.

"I was presented with a refill stick of Tabac as a gift. I have heard a lot of good things about this product. It's one of only 2  shaving sticks that I am aware of that you can buy off the shelves at a regular pharmacy or supermarket in South Africa (The other stick being the Williams)

The Tabac has a strong following so I was keen to give it a try. Its packaged well and once you take the foil wrapping off the smell is strong but pleasant. Like tobacco. Earthy.

I chopped it up into pieces and pressed it into a bowl . Its hard so it took some effort. I soaked my Muhle badger brush in some hot water and got rid of the excess. Put very little water in the bowl and started to work on it. I found the Tabac soap lathers up fast and easy. Nice and rich. I applied it to my face and it was time to shave. I use a Rimei razor (it's a Gillette Tech clone) which works really well.

My first impressions of the Tabac soap were positive. A good clean shave. Decent cushion and good glide. After the shave I lathered up again as is my standard practice to let the good stuff in the lather work on my face. My plan was to use the Tabac for a week and then the Arko for a week to do a fair comparison. I used the Tabac for 3 of consecutive shaves and then on the fourth I found that the soap was causing some irritation to my skin. I had to be sure it was the soap and not any other factor so I switched to Arko.

I was really surprised. I found the Arko lather had better cushion and glide , as well as better face care properties. After a week of clean shaves with the Arko I had no irritation at all. The only thing the Tabac had over the Arko was a better scent. However, I think the ingredients responsible for the distinct Tabac scent were not in agreement with my skin. This was rather unfortunate (for me).

Overall, the Tabac is a decent product but I found the Arko soap to be superior."  *

* Thanks to fellow wet shaver Riaz for taking the time to share his thoughts. As we say in the wet shaving community "YMMV - your mileage may vary". Everybody's skin is different, and the joy of traditional wet shaving is that you can find the right Razor / Soap / Blade / Brush combination that works best for you. Keep what works, and discard what does not. 

For all your wet shaving needs check out our product listings on BidorBuy

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