HOW TO PROPERLY USE SHAVING SOAP
If growing a luscious lockdown beard isn’t your style (or isn’t an option), your morning shave likely makes up a significant part of your daily grooming routine. For such a seemingly simple task, there are so many different options. Perhaps you do the job with a speedy electric razor, or you’d rather go with a canister shaving cream and cartridge razors. While there’s no shame in either of these options, many grooming-conscious men opt for the ideal combination of shaving soaps and straight or safety razors.
The process of using shaving soaps for your morning shave (also called wet shaving) makes shaving more like a meditation and less like a chore. Soaking your brush, lathering your soap... you might even find yourself looking forward to this part of your morning routing. Even if you don’t have a shaving soap or a brush, you can find all the gear you need to upgrade your shave at Shaving Time. Unfortunately, some people are turned off by the seemingly complex process involved in wet shaving. Read on to learn the simple way to properly use shaving soap.
Shaving Soap vs. Shaving Cream
The shave you get with an electric razor, cartridge razors, and straight or safety razor varies widely, and would require a whole separate article to explain. The discussion of shaving soaps and shaving creams is a bit easier to tackle. Shaving creams are typically sold in canisters, and they’re an accessible and easy source for the moisture you need to avoid post-shave irritation. Unfortunately, most shaving creams are packed with potentially irritating chemicals. Furthermore, they tend to be mostly made up of air, meaning that sometimes they cannot provide the right density of lather for a properly hydrated shave. Shaving soaps, on the other hand, come in a simple bar shape, much like normal hand soap. Along with an excellent aftershave routine, shaving soaps provide much-needed hydration for your face and contribute to your signature scent. Shaving soaps are more likely to be tailor made, with natural ingredients. The majority of shaving soaps are made from a base of glycerin or tallow; that is, animal fat or vegetable fat. This fat content helps protect your skin from the razor’s blade and locks in moisture. Shaving soaps, when used properly, provide a denser layer between your face and the blade. They also last longer than shaving cream cannisters, making them more cost effective.
What Do I Need for Wet Shaving?
For a proper shave based around a good quality shaving soap, you’ll need the following items:
- A shaving brush
- A bar of shaving soap
- A shaving mug or bowl, though you can also use your hand
- Your favourite razor
How to Use Shaving Soap
Let’s get down to the business of actually using shaving soap. You’ll quickly realise that the process is not much more complicated than using shaving cream.
1. Soak your shaving brush and shake it out so that it’s damp.
2. Bloom the shaving soap by putting a bit of water on it, loosening up the soap on the outer surface
3. Swirl your shaving brush on the wet surface on the soap. Use a circular motion, building up the soap until the tips are pasty.
4. Take your brush to your shaving bowl/mug or hand, making sure it is slightly wet. Rub your brush in circular motions to build up a dense lather that you can then apply to your face.
6. Rinse off your face and apply aftershave lotion
7. Rinse the unused lather off the top off the soap and turn it upside down to dry before your next use.
Things to Consider
The daily shave is the cornerstone of any comprehensive male grooming routine. The soap you use can make a lot of difference in how your face looks and feels post-shave. Here are some key elements of shaving soap that could help you choose the right one for you:
- Ingredients: Natural ingredients are always a good choice. While tallow is a great moisturizer, go for glycerin if you want a vegan option.
- Feel: Different shaving soaps will produce a denser or lighter lather, and provide a different moisturising experience. Aim for a soap that feels light but nourishing.
- Scent: Shaving soaps come in many different scents, and may even be unscented. Pick the one that appeals to you!
While it might seem complicated at first, using a good quality shaving soap is all about treating yourself. Wet shaving will leave you with a closer shave, a cleaner look and happier skin. In fact, it may even turn the chore of shaving into an enjoyable and meditative daily pursuit!