We’ve previously looked at the Indian Standards for razor blades, safety razors, and shaving brushes. Unsurprisingly, there is also an Indian Standard for shaving cream. IS 9740, to be precise. And it defines both brushless and lathering creams.
IS 9740 defines two types of shaving cream.
Type 1; the lathering kind meant to be used with a brush like the ones defined in IS 4580
Type 2; brushless.
Type 1, we’re informed, are basically soaps composed of sodium and potassium stearates, mixed with water and glycol to make it creamy and soft.
Type 2, on the other hand, are essentially oil-in-water emulsions – usually mineral oil in water mixed with a stearate soap.
And while IS 9740 don’t give a list of acceptable ingredients, it does state that any ingredient used should be free from any harmful effects. It is up to the manufacturers responsibility to make sure that their creams are dermatologically safe. The standard has strict limits for how much fatty substance and water the finished product could contain.
The finished product shall, according to the standard, be both easily applied and free from any objectionable odour. The shaving cream, of both types, should be able to be extruded from the tube as a homogenous mass when it is at 27±2°C. When heated to 37±2°C, shaving cream should not visible separate. And after being kept at a chilly 10±2°C for a whole 24 hours, you should still be able to squeeze the cream out of the tube.
However, the most interesting part of the quality tests is the lathering power test. About 5 grams of the team is dissolved in water. After sitting for half an hour, the watery soap is transferred into a graduated cylinder and heated. Once the solution reaches 30°C, the graduated cylinder is shaken 12 times and let to stand for five minutes before the amount of water and lather is recorded.
Any Type 1 cream making less than 100ml of foam from 5 grams of cream fails.
For those interesting in seeing of their favorite shaving cream lives up to IS 9740, you can read the full IS 9740 at the Internet Archive.