Where To Buy Shaving Soap Locally (And What Questions To Ask!)

Shaving soaps provide the shaver with a luxurious lather that prepares and softens the hair for a close, clean shave. 

Shaving soaps can be found locally in a variety of places such as farmers’ markets, craft shows, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, specialty stores & boutiques, drugstores, and mass retailers. E-commerce sites like Amazon and Etsy are popular sellers of shaving soaps and their quick shipping makes them a great “local” choice without leaving home.

If you want to learn more about these shaving soap locales, as well as some important questions to ask before buying, keep reading!

The best places to buy local shaving soap

Before the invention of the aerosol can and shaving cream, shavers typically used shaving soaps. These soaps usually took the form of cakes or sticks. One of the primary ingredients was often glycerine because it caused water to remain on the skin resulting in hair softening.

Today, many shavers prefer using traditional shaving soaps and search out the best places to purchase them locally so that they can use soaps with the freshest, most natural ingredients. 

Why would a shaver choose a shaving soap over a more modern shaving cream? One reason is the trend toward more traditional shaving methods like straight razors and safety razor shaves. 

Another reason is the fact that shaving soaps are more gentle to the environment than creams in aerosol cans.

Let’s look at a list of the places you can find shaving soaps locally:

  • Farmers’ markets
  • Craft shows
  • Craigslist
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Specialty Stores & Boutiques
  • Drugstores
  • Mass Retailers
  • Amazon
  • Etsy

Fun Fact: “Soap” got its name from a Roman legend about Mount Sopa. Rainwater would flow down this mountain mixing with ash and animal products. The result was a clay-like mixture suitable for cleaning.

Farmers’ Markets

According to 2018 USDA statistics, 72% of U.S. counties had at least one farmers’ market.

Farmers’ markets are excellent places to buy shaving soaps locally because you can speak directly to the producer to know what type of product you are consuming.

Farmers raise goats and sheep. Goat’s milk and sheep’s milk shaving soaps have many benefits for the skin. Their high vitamin and mineral content is excellent for sensitive skin. Lactic acid is a natural exfoliant. 

When purchasing directly from a farmer, you can discuss the ingredients and know exactly what you are putting on your skin. Farmers may also be willing to take your suggestions and make a personalized shaving soap just for you.

Craft Shows

Soapmaking has been a growing trend over the past decade. The popularity of essential oils and focus on health and wellness have been driving factors.

Craft shows are a popular place to buy shaving soaps since artisan soap makers frequent them to sell their creations.

At any given time in America, you can find a craft show going on near you. Local soap vendors flock to these shows and are more than willing to tell you about their process and each soap’s benefits.

Most soap artisans develop a wide variety of formulations and scents to appeal to customer preferences. Glycerin shaving soaps can be found in abundance because of their moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Fun Fact: The world’s most expensive soap was developed in 2013 by a Lebanese family business. It was infused with gold and diamond powder. Originally made as a gift for Qatar’s first lady, it can be purchased for $2,800 per bar.

Craigslist

Online local classifieds are big business today. Craigslist has led the way in this market, and believe it or not, it’s still one of the most visited online classified ad sites in the world.

Local small crafters and businesses still offer their products for sale on Craigslist, including shaving soap. You are able to search for shaving soaps and put in parameters for location.

Conveniently, you have the option to meet sellers close to your home, work, or as you travel due to location customization.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace boasts 800 million users each month. This is another online social channel that makes local shopping extremely easy.

Local shaving soap sellers are easy to find on Facebook Marketplace with the click of a finger. Many of these sellers are the same ones you can find at farmers’ markets and craft shows, but their availability isn’t limited to only certain days.

Many of the Marketplace sellers also have Facebook pages, so you can follow them for new products and buying opportunities.

Specialty Stores & Boutiques

Local men’s clothing stores and women’s boutiques are growing in numbers as more emphasis is placed on supporting small businesses. Many downtown areas are being revitalized and specialty stores are a huge opportunity for traffic and growth.

Both men and women are buyers of shaving soap, so many specialty men’s stores and women’s boutiques carry shaving and grooming products as part of their accessory lines.

In 2020, the global personal care market topped out at $423 billion. It’s no wonder that small business owners would capitalize on this growing market by including personal care items like shaving soap in their stores. 

Drugstores

Drugstores aren’t solely for buying medications and first aid supplies. They have become a one-stop shop for customers.

National drug chains like Walgreens and CVS sell brand name and store-brand versions of shaving soaps and grooming products. Community pharmacies often carry local products often seen at farmers’ markets.

A look at Walgreens’ website shows national shaving soap brands like Williams and Van Der Hagen available. 

Industry trends of independent pharmacies show a shift towards younger consumers who are attracted to craft products. Skincare lines are extremely popular among this age group as well. 

Mass Retailers

The natural and organic health and beauty market is set to reach $7.7 billion by 2025 with skincare being the biggest market driver. Mass retailers including grocery store chains are capitalizing on this growth.

Mass retailers like Walmart, Target, Costco and Whole Foods often sell shaving soaps and other grooming products to those customers desiring minimal chemicals and more natural ingredients. 

The shift to online ordering, curbside pickup, and hassle-free returns makes shopping for your favorite shaving soap or trying a new one super easy. 

Amazon

Statistics show that 89% of consumers buy from Amazon over other e-commerce websites. In fact, 66% begin their search for new products via Amazon.

The convenience of Amazon Prime’s free two-day shipping plus the vast variety of products makes ordering items like shaving soap almost as good if not better than local in-store shopping.

With a simple search, pages of artisan shaving soap brands appear. You have the ability to read customer reviews, too, which allows you to make informed purchases that meet your specific needs.

Etsy

Etsy is another online e-commerce site that brings buyers and sellers from all over the world together. They saw $1.3 billion in marketplace revenue in 2020, with over 60 million products sold.

Etsy’s focus on strictly handmade or vintage items attracts many small-batch shaving soap suppliers. Some of these sellers may even be local to you.

Covid-19 has many of us looking for ways to shop for natural, handmade items without the contact local shopping incurs. Etsy’s “buy now, pay later” program also caters to budget-conscious shoppers.

Questions to ask when buying local shaving soap

One of the main benefits of buying locally or from small-batch sellers is the ability to ask important questions about the product.

Inquiring about ingredients, manufacturing processes, and adherence to standards are all important when buying shaving soap.

Let’s look at some specific questions to ask:

  1. What ingredients do you use and how are they sourced?

When talking to a farmer or soapmaker, ask about the care of their animals or where their ingredients come from. Most will be more than happy to tell you about the food they feed their goats and sheep. It’s also important to know if any botanicals used are sourced from clean, pesticide-free environments.

When buying from retailers, make sure to read labels or ask questions on websites to be sure the shave soap isn’t loaded with chemicals and controversial products like palm oil. This will help you avoid harsh ingredients and possible allergens.

  1. Where and how are your shave soaps manufactured?

Especially if you are buying your soap from an individual or farm, find out about their manufacturing process. Many of these small businesses operate out of their own kitchens and are covered by state home-based and cottage industry laws. Ask about adherence to sanitation and quality control measures and make sure they comply.

  1. Do you adhere to claims standards?

When buying shaving soaps from homesteaders or small businesses, it’s a good practice to make sure they are adhering to Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines or FDA guidelines depending on the product. 

Shaving soaps generally fall into the cosmetic area because of how the soap is used. They aren’t used strictly for cleaning, instead, they are used for lathering and softening the skin while shaving, so sellers should be following FDA guidelines and regulations.