Lathering Shave Soap: Step-by-Step Guide
Every man's shaving journey is his own and is perfected over time.
That is why it is making a modern rebirth as more people rekindle their interests in lathering shave soap than grabbing a ready-made foam from a can.
In a multi-million dollar industry of personal care products for men, shaving soaps is one of the essentials in the market. However, it only accounts for a small portion of the industry’s total sales. Most men nowadays use shaving gels, cream, and foams.
With a plethora of personal care products for a man’s grooming needs, choosing one can be overwhelming. After all, using something not suitable for your skin type may impose more risks than benefits. Hence, it would be best to learn more about shaving soaps, how to use them and why you should get one.
This article will provide you with a step-by-step guide that you can follow to get the perfect consistency of lather on your face. It may sound simple, but in the real sense, it can be a rugged portion of the wet shaving experience as some other factors come into play. We always try to make everything simple, so keep on reading to be confident about shaving soaps later.
Here's what you can find in this article:
Lathering is one of the steps that makes wet shaving fun.
What is a Shaving Soap?
Although shaving soaps came into the shaving scene way before gels and canned foams, people are actually entirely unfamiliar with it. Its presence has been overshadowed by its modern counterparts. That is also why you probably do not use it because you do not know much about it.
Shaving soap is technically the hard soap you use to lather the foam you apply to your skin while shaving. Unlike an average bar of soap, it can produce a thicker and richer lather. This is because shaving soaps have high-fat content and low alkalinity.
Some of the key ingredients in shaving soaps are fat from plant or animal sources, such as glycerin or coconut oil. These all offer moisturizing benefits and nourishment for your skin and even condition different hair types. It also accounts for the soap’s smooth consistency, hence making it work best as a lubricant.
What Makes A Good Shaving Soap?
Industrialization and mass production can lead to below-quality products, and shaving soaps are no exemption. So, there is no reason why you would not ask what makes a good-quality shaving soap. Even if you are looking for a low-cost one, you should never compromise on the quality of your purchase.
When looking for a bar of shaving soap, you will need to be careful. Always consider the ingredients used in making the soap. Look out for harmful substances and components that you may be allergic to.
Below are some toxic ingredients you should avoid:
- Propylene glycol - used like glycerin to preserve moisture
- Triethanolamine (TEA) - emulsifying agent
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) - detergent and lathering agent
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) - a gentler version of SLS
- Mineral oil - petroleum byproduct; alternative for plant-based oils
- Synthetic fragrance and coloring
A high-quality shave soap, especially one made from all-natural ingredients, is the key to getting a healthy, moisturized, clean-shaven face.
Also, do take note that some shaving soaps have essential oils in them, which may impose unwanted reactions on your skin. Here are the common essential oils found in shaving oils that may also be incorporated in shaving soaps:
- Grapefruit Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Rosemary Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Sandalwood Oil
- Sage Oil
- Vanilla Oil
- Lime Oil
- Peppermint Oil
Simply put, the best lathering shave soap in the market is the one that is organically made and has little to none of the harmful chemicals above. Meanwhile, the best one for you is the shaving soap that does not have an ingredient or two that you are allergic to. For starters, we recommend that you try out one that you think will work on every skin type.
Different Ways to Lather Shaving Soap
Those who are new to wet shaving using a lathering shave soap may think that soap is the only necessary material for the process. But, most often than not, you will also need a shaving brush and a shaving mug or scuttle.
Let us get to know these essentials first before we dive into the process of lathering a shaving soap:
A shaving brush is a tool you use in preparing your facial hair for shaving, lathering shave soap, applying the foam, and exfoliating your skin. It is usually made of animal or synthetic hair for its bristles, which can soak up water and dry quickly after use.
Shaving Mugs or Scuttles
Many people get confused between shaving mugs and scuttles. At a glance, they can look similar. However, they are different in some ways. For instance, a shaving mug is the original “cup” you use in lathering and containing your shaving foam. You can also use it as a cup for the hot water you need while shaving. Meanwhile, a shaving scuttle is an improved version of a shaving mug divided into two parts, one of which is to contain the foam and the other to hold the warm water.
Naked Armor's Scuttle has everything that you need for a very relaxing wet shave.
With that, you should also invest in these accessories if you want to achieve a barber-like lather for your shaving needs. However, if you are a young man just starting on his wet shaving journey, you can save up for now and just use your hands or lather it in a regular mug or directly onto a shaving soap tin.
On that note, below are the different ways on how to lather shaving soap:
Shaving Soap Puck Lathering Using a Scuttle
- You want to heat water at the outset. Warm water will help in creating a perfect and creamy lather later on.
- Get your soap puck and drop it into your scuttle. If you’re using Naked Armor’s shaving soap puck, make sure to remove the thin plastic on the soap first. The puck must perfectly fit into the scuttle where its ridges permit a consistent swirling motion. You do not want it to be too wide or too narrow for your soap. Otherwise, nothing is going to get done.
- Pour a tad bit of hot water into the soap puck, then fill the rest of it into the inner chamber through the opening. Seal the chamber by putting the cork in. In wet shaving, this step is where ‘blooming’ happens. When soap is bloomed, you submerge it in water before being used to lather.
- Use a brush in building your lather. Move your brush bristles over the soap puck in a circular motion with a bit of pressure to create a thick and rich lather.
- Once you’re satisfied with the consistency, start applying your warm lather on the areas of your face that you want to shave.
- After shaving, rinse the bowl. It’s up to you if you want to leave the puck in the scuttle after shaving or store it somewhere. Remember to uncork the inner chamber to empty the water.
Lathering Shaving Soap in a Tin Can
This method is more straightforward than making your lather out of soap puck.
- Start by preparing your brush bristles by dipping them in a mug with water. You don’t want your wet brush dripping, so it is crucial to remove the excess water.
- Start swirling your bristles over the soap tin to build a lather. Add drops of water as needed, and continue swirling until you achieve the perfect consistency.
- Once you are satisfied and your bristles are loaded with thick lather, proceed on applying the lather to the areas of the face you want to shave, such as your chin, cheeks, and neck.
- At this point, you are now ready to shave using your favorite razor.
Using Your Hands in Lathering Shave Soap
There is no doubt that shaving brushes and scuttles are extremely helpful in creating the perfect lather. However, if you do not have a choice or if you simply do not have the tools on hand, like when you are traveling, there is nothing wrong with using your hands to lather shaving soap.
All you need to do is rub the soap in between your hands until you get a thick layer of soap on your palm, then rub it to create the lather. This method is surely fast and easy, requiring no skill at all. However, it does not guarantee the best results.
Why Should You Use Shaving Soaps?
What shaving soaps offer is a bit more of a stiffer, fluffy lather, allowing to create a cushion between the razor and your face. A combination of a high-quality razor and shaving soap is ideal for reducing the risk of cuts and irritation. A shaving soap allows the blade of your razor to glide faster and more seamlessly across the skin. It makes shaving hassle-free and also serves as a lubricant in protecting your skin.
What you will like about shaving soaps is that they can give you a lot more control. You control your lather from the beginning to the end by creating the consistency of the lather you like. You control the volume, thickness, and aeration. It is all about how fast, vigorously, and long you whip your shaving soap. It also cleanses your face in the process, so not only do you get a great shave, in this case.
It is vital to learn what a shaving soap delivers to understand why it is an essential component of your shaving routine.
It Moisturizes Your Facial Hair
Shaving soap helps hydrate and moisturize your face during a shave, making those tough, thick facial hairs softer and more comfortable to cut. The less force you have to exert, the more comfortable your shave will be.
Shaving soaps include moisturizing ingredients that keep your skin hydrated and soften your hair for a more comfortable shave and post-shave feel. You no longer have to worry about irritation or tenderness that you might get later on after you shave. Shaving soaps have soothing effects that your skin needs.
It Lubricates Your Skin
Shaving soap removes the beard’s oil using a brush and allows water to penetrate the facial hair. As a result, it is easier to shave and remove hair without hassle than by using gels, canned shaving creams, or foams.
Classified as an emollient, shaving soap’s thin layer of protection between the razor and your skin ensures minor irritation and friction. This quality of the combination of a clean, sharp razor and shaving soap decreases the risk of razor burn and prevents your razor from chopping or skipping across your skin.
It Leaves Your Skin Feeling Refreshed
As you shave off a line of shaving soap, you can distinguish the areas of your face that are shaved and unshaved. This visual aid means fewer missed spots, as well as fewer trim lines of hair you only catch later when you are out in public.
Natural shaving soaps containing Vitamin E and avocado oil are highly recommended, especially for sensitive skin. These are gentle and capable of refreshing and calming the skin while allowing a close shave without experiencing irritation or razor burn.
A combination of a high-quality razor and a shaving soap is ideal for reducing the risk of cuts and irritation.
— D'Rock, Naked Armor Founder
Shaving is a responsibility to most men, and it is not merely shaving. You have to build the suitable and best shaving routine, sometimes being achieved through trial and error.
You must know and master what to do before, while, and after shaving your facial hair; from applying pre-shave oil, creating a perfect lather, perfecting your shaving ability to avoid skin tenderness and irritation to applying an aftershave. Many steps for others, but you don’t know that it can be fun if you know what to do.
In the steps mentioned, it is not only the soap that you need to create a lather. A high-quality brush and a mug or scuttle are equally essential in generating a perfect consistency out of your shaving soap. This combination is the key to achieving a rich lather that thoroughly lubricates your face for a smoother and comfortable shave.
Whether the grooming at hand consists of a full shave or a shaping of the beard, with a sharp straight razor and a great shaving soap, you're always ready to look your best. Here at Naked Armor, we deliver superior wet shaving kits for you to create a creamy and thick lather effortlessly.
Naked Armor's Noah's Organic Shave Soap and Swedish Black Wood Shaving Brush can help you build a great & thick lather.