Despite technology's advancement over the years, getting the best shave you can still isn’t easy. Electric razors promise smooth, close shaves, but nothing beats the smooth feel of shaving with a shaving brush and soap and using a straight razor.
What are shaving soaps?
Shaving soaps have been around since the early 1800's. There was an initial mass production in 1840. It is a hard soap that was whipped into a thick, rich lather with a shaving brush. Canned shaving cream in foam or gel form has replaced it over time, but traditionalists are still rather determined to use nothing else other than this method that's been tried and tested by time.
Shaving soap is traditionally sold and packaged as a disc-shaped puck, either flat-bottomed for use in a mug or rounded for use in a shaving scuttle. Higher-priced soaps are often packaged with a matching preparation dish that is shaped to match the puck.
Other forms of shaving soap are sticks wrapped in aluminum foil or paper, or a plastic tube. It is almost never packaged in bar soap shape or form.
How are shaving soaps best used?
Let us take the usual puck-formed shaving soap as the sample for the following steps:
- Fill the sink with water on the warm-to-hot side. Do not use scalding water.
- Keep the brush soaked in warm water.
- When ready for use, place upside down until there is no more excess water dripping. Do not wring the brush out or shake it.
- Create lather by swirling the shaving brush vigorously over the shaving soap's surface.
- Do this until soap has fully coated the brush's bristles. It can take anywhere from 15 to 50 swirls, depending on personally preferred thickness.
- Swirling must be done gently but firmly. Do not smash the brush into the shaving soap; it will damage the bristles considerably.
- In some cases, starting the process in the mug or scuttle and leading it to finish in-hand works just as well.
- Upon reaching the desired thickness of soap, shaving soap can then be brushed on the face.
- Cover every bit of the face and neck to be shaved.
- Ensure a thick, opaque layer of shaving cream is in place.
- Brush shaving soap on the face and neck through moving the brush up and down.
- Choose a top-rated razor; shave down, starting from the left cheek.
- Rinse it off after every pass until fully shaved.
What are the benefits of shaving soap?
- Greater hydration
- Less ecological impact on the environment
- No TSA restrictions/allowed in carry-on baggage
- Strips natural oils from the face and whiskers for better shaving
Shaving soaps first came to be in the 1840s but they've withstood the test of time nonetheless. They are often puck-shaped and used to create a thick lather, paired with the use of a straight razor. Benefits include greater hydration, less ecological impact on the environment and better shaving through stripping natural ils from the face and whiskers.
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