Benifit of "Cushion"

Discussion in 'Shaving Creams' started by NexlevMM, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. Hi guys,

    Im not usually in this part of the forum because I consider myself a shaving soap guy. Having said that, I tried a few creams and could never get an good shave from them. I just like having that slickness of a soap, but after almost 8 months of Wet Shaving, I still dont understand the benefits of "Cushion" from a shaving cream. Is that only for Straight razor users as a buffer for a safer shave? Could someone explain Cushion??

    Edit: Cant believe I didnt spell Benefit correctly in the title. Forgive my fast typing..
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  2. SmoovD

    SmoovD Contributor

    Normally I do not define lather in terms of the amount of cushion. If I had to define it I would call the cushion of a lather the combination of the density, slickness and stability of the lather. A well built lather will be dense enough to suspend the beard as it is applied. It also provides enough slickness to afford the blade enough slip to glide across the skin without skipping. Finally, the lather will be stable enough to apply for multiple passes. If lather is missing any of these components, it might be in need of some additional work.

    More answers to come.
  3. I'm a straight user and I assumed "Cushion" was a DE user invention. Lather should be thick, but not because it cushions anything (although if you LIKE overloading your face there is some level of tactile satisfaction sweeping away a blade full of weighty lather). Thick lather covers better and presents more product and water per unit area than thin lather. This means there's more of the crap that does the work there to do the work that lather does.

    And creams don't make thicker lather than soaps, they just make thicker lather than bad soaps or soaps lathered by someone who doesn't know how to properly lather soaps.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  4. Thanks for the responses gents, I believe i understand it a little more now.
  5. I thought this thread was going to be about ample bottomed women. To answer the question...I have found that some creams provide a "slicker" surface for the razor to glide across than others. This generally leads to less irritation for me which is what I would consider "cushion".

  6. Cushion is the protective aspect of a good lather. If you want just slick you could use liquid hand soap for a shave and have a pretty slick layer on your face for shaving, but it wouldn't be very protective. A good soap or cream should provide good cushion. I get cushion from both. To me a good soap or cream needs both slickness and cushion. I've had creams that lacked it and I've had soaps that lacked it. I also have both creams and soaps that provide both cushion and slickness. Cream is soap, it's just softer.
  7. I see creams or soaps to either have cushion for me or they don't. I have used both that have had plenty of cushion and a few that do not. I feel that for me it's because I have really hard water and it just doesn't work well with some soaps.
  8. I agree with the comments above. In my shaving world, Arko (scent aside) is a good example of a soap with ample cushion but lacks slickness that I like. Its lather is dense and thick.
    However, Pre de Provence is an example of a soap that is not very cushiony but very slick.
  9. Slickness is the presence of a thin film (measured in molecules) between the blade edge and skin that prevents friction.
    Cushioning is the presence of a thicker layer that stops the blade edge from digging into the skin - either directly by making the blade edge float, or indirectly by making some other part of the razor float.
    They could be described as the same thing on a very different scale.
  10. DMT



    Thats exactly how I describe it. I noticed it while comparing TOBS to GFT, when using gft I got plenty of glide on the blade but felt it more, while with TOBS I barely noticed the blade on my skin but got some feed back from my stubble

  11. Use more water in your arko.

  12. I think thats exactly the answer I was looking for.

    Thanks everyone for the replies!
  13. To me, a soap with good cushion helps protect my face from nicks and razor burn. So far, I like MWF best and have a very high regard for Tabac, ProRaso green, and Cella. Slickness helps prevent blade sticking and chatter.

    I often uberlather by adding 6 drops of glycerin, a dollop of Bigelow cream, then dribble mug lather into my scuttle or bowl, then mix. This slows lather drying on my face and helps prevent sticking and chatter. The added face time is helpful to me when using a straight razor.

    I also touch up the lather with my brush, if the lather is getting too dry. I often do this around my nose and lips to minimize the risk of the razor catching on hair.

    My lather often gets thicker in the scuttle or mug as it sits awaiting application of lather for my second and third pass. The lather can be thinned by adding some water to the brush knot and remixing in the mug or bowl.

    After major beard reduction, for my final touch up, I lightly rinse my face with cold water then either relather my face with thinned lather or just apply water. Removal of most of the cushion allows me to shave closer to my skin, but requires more care to avoid nicks and irritation. A thin film of invisible lather residue remains on the skin after light rinsing providing some cushion. Before rinsing, my shaved skin often feels smooth, but I feel small patches of close stubble after rinsing. The remaining cushion residue and exfoliating skin can be seen when shaving wet skin with a straight as a milky residue coming off the skin onto the razor.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012

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