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Do you turn the hobby off?

I have found the same to be true with DE razors - I always ride the cap and try to use the shallowest possible angle.

Must say though, I never grasped the concept of lather "cushion". I mean lather is a frothy mass of soap and water bubbles. How in the world is that going to cushion a steel blade from cutting into skin?

I prefer a very wet, thin, almost transparent lather, as I am looking for extra sleekness and lubrication for an easier glide. Cushion? I don't get it. I see folks posting pics of meringue like foam mountains, but I don't see the point.

@RayClem any comments?
If your lather is a "frothy mass of soap and water" then the lather will have very little cushion. Air provides neither slickness, nor cushion. It is true that adding water to your lather does increase slickness, at least until the point of breakdown. If your lather is too dry, it will have less slickness, but will provide more cushion. I try to get a happy balance between slickness and cushion. If the lather is somewhere between Greek Yogurt and sour cream, it is probably right.

My test for a properly hydrated lather is to fill my sink with water, leaving a slight trickle. Then as I shave, I gently dip my razor into that water. If the lather sticks to the blade, I need to add more water to the lather. If the lather immediately leaves the blade and dissipates, then I have too much water and need more soap. If the lather is properly hydrated, it will quickly release from the blade, but float to the surface of the water largely intact. Some of the better soaps have a very wide range of acceptable hydration so your can tailor the lather to the balance of slickness and cushion you desire.

Think about a grease in a bearing. The grease provides a thin layer of lubrication that separates the parts of the bearing, even under extreme pressure. The metal parts should never contact each other; otherwise there will be rapid wear. There is a cushion between the metal parts. It does not have to be a thick cushion, only one microscopically thick. A great lather will provide a thin layer of lubrication and cushion between the edge of your razor blade and your skin. For that to occur, the lather has to be the proper viscosity/thickness, just as as motor oil has to be the proper viscosity to protect the engine. If you put lightweight mineral oil in your engine, it would not last long. If the oil is too thick, you might not even be able to start the engine. For similar reasons, it is critical that your lather has the proper level of hydration top achieve the proper viscosity.

I have found a relationship between residual slickness and cushion and post shave conditioning. A soap can have superb primary slickness, but have poor residual slickness. However, with the very best soaps, I have found that I can perform my clean-up pass without re-lathering my face. I can do that in spite my sensitive skin. I do not dare try that with lesser soaps, however. When I am using such a soap, I can do a four-pass shave with zero skin irritation. That thin layer of lather that remains on the skin protects, moisturizes, and conditions.

There are folks with tougher skin who indicate that they do not want cushion in their soap. They believe the very thin layer of soap on their skin makes it more difficult to achieve BBS. That may well be the case. I do want to achieve near-BBS as my beard grows rapidly. That is why I do four passes. However, my priority is to complete my shave with zero irritation.
 
Think about a grease in a bearing. The grease provides a thin layer of lubrication that separates the parts of the bearing, even under extreme pressure. The metal parts should never contact each other; otherwise there will be rapid wear. There is a cushion between the metal parts. It does not have to be a thick cushion, only one microscopically thick.
Fully get this, as I'm a techy guy, BUT (!!) in the bearings all are identical metal parts (balls), so it's to reduce the friction between the two (or more) pieces of metal.

I don't see how metal against the skin is cushioned by lather, where the hardness of steel edge is many millions orders of magnitude greater than that of human skin/flash.

I use this example - place your razor's blade against your skin, as if you were to shave. Now instead of going vertically down, try going horizontally across your cheek. Ouch!! Isn't it. So, what cushion?

I have found a relationship between residual slickness and cushion and post shave conditioning. A soap can have superb primary slickness, but have poor residual slickness. However, with the very best soaps, I have found that I can perform my clean-up pass without re-lathering my face. I can do that in spite my sensitive skin. I do not dare try that with lesser soaps, however. When I am using such a soap, I can do a four-pass shave with zero skin irritation. That thin layer of lather that remains on the skin protects, moisturizes, and conditions.
Now, this is what I am primarily interested in. The residual slickness, as you say - being able to go back over certain area w/o having to re-lather.

Can I PLS ask you to suggest - say - your top 5 (hard) soaps in this respect, perhaps 1 or 2 creams, if any...?

Much much obliged!
 
If I want a hassle free quick shave I use a cream which I think makes lather the quickest. I will also use a mild razor.
I hate canned soap and I hate pivot-head razors. It's not traditional wet shaving.
 
Fully get this, as I'm a techy guy, BUT (!!) in the bearings all are identical metal parts (balls), so it's to reduce the friction between the two (or more) pieces of metal.

I don't see how metal against the skin is cushioned by lather, where the hardness of steel edge is many millions orders of magnitude greater than that of human skin/flash.

I use this example - place your razor's blade against your skin, as if you were to shave. Now instead of going vertically down, try going horizontally across your cheek. Ouch!! Isn't it. So, what cushion?
As far as I understand, the film of lather on the skin reduces friction, creating the feeling of slickness. The mass of lather above, if dense enough, gives the feeling of cushion, like plowing snow. Up to a point, the thicker the lather, the more the "cushion" and the denser the film on the skin preventing you from shaving at skin level, thus increasing this feeling of cushion and protection. If you are below the acceptable hydration level of the lather, the so called cushion adds to drag and the razor does not glide leading to irritation. All that provided you try to move the razor on the skin without significant pressure, not attepting to cut yourself like you mention.
 
Fully get this, as I'm a techy guy, BUT (!!) in the bearings all are identical metal parts (balls), so it's to reduce the friction between the two (or more) pieces of metal.

I don't see how metal against the skin is cushioned by lather, where the hardness of steel edge is many millions orders of magnitude greater than that of human skin/flash.

I use this example - place your razor's blade against your skin, as if you were to shave. Now instead of going vertically down, try going horizontally across your cheek. Ouch!! Isn't it. So, what cushion?


Now, this is what I am primarily interested in. The residual slickness, as you say - being able to go back over certain area w/o having to re-lather.

Can I PLS ask you to suggest - say - your top 5 (hard) soaps in this respect, perhaps 1 or 2 creams, if any...?

Much much obliged!

If you are looking for really hard soaps, there are none that in my experience have much in the way of residual slickness. Here are the soap formulas that in my personal experience have outstanding residual slickness, outstanding cushion and outstanding post shave feel.

Ariana and Evans Kaisen
Barrister and Mann Excelsior
Declaration Grooming Milksteak
Gentlemen's Nod Cardinal
Grooming Department Kairos and Nai formulas.
Highland Springs Soap Company Tallow
Murphy and McNeil Kodiak
Oaken Lab V3
Wholly Kaw Siero
Zingari Mann Sego

Any of the soaps on this list, if properly hydrated, will give a superb shave.

I have also heard good things about Barrister and Mann SoftHeart, Ethos Essential Grooming EOS, and Mammoth Shaving Tusk formula, but I have not yet used them, so I cannot attest to their performance.
 
As far as I understand, the film of lather on the skin reduces friction, creating the feeling of slickness. The mass of lather above, if dense enough, gives the feeling of cushion, like plowing snow. Up to a point, the thicker the lather, the more the "cushion" and the denser the film on the skin preventing you from shaving at skin level, thus increasing this feeling of cushion and protection. If you are below the acceptable hydration level of the lather, the so called cushion adds to drag and the razor does not glide leading to irritation. All that provided you try to move the razor on the skin without significant pressure, not attepting to cut yourself like you mention.
A thick layer of lather does not provide cushion, it only adds to drag. It is akin to driving a 4 wheeler through thick mud. It is the microscopic thin layer of lather that sticks to your skin and comes between your blade and your skin that provides lubrication and protects your skin from irritation. People post photos of huge heads of lather on their brushes, but that head of lather is primarily air. Although it might look great in the photos, that is not what provides a superb shaving experience. Most of the best soaps today provide a "low structure" lather that does not looks as dramatic, but provides a better shave.
 
If you are looking for really hard soaps, there are none that in my experience have much in the way of residual slickness. Here are the soap formulas that in my personal experience have outstanding residual slickness, outstanding cushion and outstanding post shave feel.

Ariana and Evans Kaisen
Barrister and Mann Excelsior
Declaration Grooming Milksteak
Gentlemen's Nod Cardinal
Grooming Department Kairos and Nai formulas.
Highland Springs Soap Company Tallow
Murphy and McNeil Kodiak
Oaken Lab V3
Wholly Kaw Siero
Zingari Mann Sego

Any of the soaps on this list, if properly hydrated, will give a superb shave.

I have also heard good things about Barrister and Mann SoftHeart, Ethos Essential Grooming EOS, and Mammoth Shaving Tusk formula, but I have not yet used them, so I cannot attest to their performance.
Tnx a million!

So, all these listed above are "croap" then or...?
 
As far as I understand, the film of lather on the skin reduces friction, creating the feeling of slickness. The mass of lather above, if dense enough, gives the feeling of cushion, like plowing snow. Up to a point, the thicker the lather, the more the "cushion" and the denser the film on the skin preventing you from shaving at skin level, thus increasing this feeling of cushion and protection. If you are below the acceptable hydration level of the lather, the so called cushion adds to drag and the razor does not glide leading to irritation. All that provided you try to move the razor on the skin without significant pressure, not attepting to cut yourself like you mention.
IMHO, this is placebo.
 
Tnx a million!

So, all these listed above are "croap" then or...?
They vary in firmness in the jar. Non of them are super hard, but most range from semi-firm to firm. If you find a soap is softer than you like, just leave the top off for a few days. When new, Proraso is a soft croap, but I have a tub that is several years old. It is now very firm.

The soaps I listed are primarily later generation soaps, evolved from earlier soaps that were not quite as good as these later versions. Some of the early versions were soft and sticky, but those issues have been resolved in the more recent soaps.
 
A thick layer of lather does not provide cushion, it only adds to drag. It is akin to driving a 4 wheeler through thick mud. It is the microscopic thin layer of lather that sticks to your skin and comes between your blade and your skin that provides lubrication and protects your skin from irritation. People post photos of huge heads of lather on their brushes, but that head of lather is primarily air. Although it might look great in the photos, that is not what provides a superb shaving experience. Most of the best soaps today provide a "low structure" lather that does not looks as dramatic, but provides a better shave.
Perhaps I used the word "thick" in a wrong manner. IME I don't feel any cushion if I apply a very thin layer of lather. It's either slick or there is drag. I typically aim for a relatively thin and very slick layer of lather in order to better understand where the blade is, especially with the mild DE razors I tend to favor.

If I add a bit more lather on the face, I start feeling the blade less and that's what gives me a sense of cushion. Then, if I work the lather a bit more with painting strokes, I don't add much air, but the lather gets denser and I lose even more blade feel, hence I feel more cushion. For me that is not desirable.

That's how I understand the notion of cushion, but perhaps I am wrong.

IMHO, this is placebo.
Hence, I call it a feeling... ;)
 
I have found the same to be true with DE razors - I always ride the cap and try to use the shallowest possible angle.

Must say though, I never grasped the concept of lather "cushion". I mean lather is a frothy mass of soap and water bubbles. How in the world is that going to cushion a steel blade from cutting into skin?

I prefer a very wet, thin, almost transparent lather, as I am looking for extra slickness and lubrication for an easier glide. Cushion? I don't get it. I see folks posting pics of meringue like foam mountains, but I don't see the point.

@RayClem any comments?
To each his own. I like the meringue.
 
Here are the soap formulas that in my personal experience have outstanding residual slickness, outstanding cushion and outstanding post shave feel.

Ariana and Evans Kaisen
Barrister and Mann Excelsior
Declaration Grooming Milksteak
Gentlemen's Nod Cardinal
The Declaration Grooming Milksteak is in a class by itself. Amazing residual slickness.
 
The Declaration Grooming Milksteak is in a class by itself. Amazing residual slickness.
How many of the other soaps on my list have you tried? I do agree that Milksteak has amazing residual slickness, but I would not say that it is in a class by itself. Of all those listed, I would have to say Grooming Dept Kairos might be the best in that regard. It is one of the few soaps that I can do a full clean-up pass without relathering.
 
Perhaps I used the word "thick" in a wrong manner. IME I don't feel any cushion if I apply a very thin layer of lather. It's either slick or there is drag. I typically aim for a relatively thin and very slick layer of lather in order to better understand where the blade is, especially with the mild DE razors I tend to favor.

If I add a bit more lather on the face, I start feeling the blade less and that's what gives me a sense of cushion. Then, if I work the lather a bit more with painting strokes, I don't add much air, but the lather gets denser and I lose even more blade feel, hence I feel more cushion. For me that is not desirable.

That's how I understand the notion of cushion, but perhaps I am wrong.



Hence, I call it a feeling... ;)

There are a lot of variables in shaving. Each of us has different needs and preferences. My beard is really tough: old man, white beard tough. Thus, I have to use super sharp blades that have a lot of blade feel. Plus, I have skin that is super sensitive, so sensitive that I get brush burn with most brushes if I try to face lather. Thus, I look for soaps that protect my face and minimize face feel. With a superb soap, you do not need a thick layer of soap. With the very best soaps, I can do my clean-up pass with no visible lather on my face. That is as thin as it gets. Yet there is still a layer of protection on my face to lubricate and protect my skin.
 
How many of the other soaps on my list have you tried? I do agree that Milksteak has amazing residual slickness, but I would not say that it is in a class by itself. Of all those listed, I would have to say Grooming Dept Kairos might be the best in that regard. It is one of the few soaps that I can do a full clean-up pass without relathering.
I haven't tried any others on your list, but I've got 25 other soaps and creams at home. Perhaps I should say that it's at the top of my collection.

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JCarr

Contributor
The only shut off or departure I have is Pinaud Clubman Classic Barber shave soap...it's brushless. You wet your face and take some on your hands and rub it on your face and massage It in to your whiskers. So...no bowl or face lathering with a brush. Skips a couple of steps.

It works good...fine product...but I much prefer a regular soap or cream and using a brush. I only use it when I'm in a rush.
 

emwolf

Contributor
I have several things I use to cut down shave time if that's a necessity. Usually, it isn't. But the fastest is a cartridge and can of foam. I've got them on hand (I should put them behind a glass case with "IN CASE OF EMERGENCY BREAK GLASS" sign).
 
The only shut off or departure I have is Pinaud Clubman Classic Barber shave soap...it's brushless. You wet your face and take some on your hands and rub it on your face and massage It in to your whiskers. So...no bowl or face lathering with a brush. Skips a couple of steps.

It works good...fine product...but I much prefer a regular soap or cream and using a brush. I only use it when I'm in a rush.
Pinaud Clubman shave soap is a lathering soap. Pinaud Clubman Classic Barber shave cream doesn't lather. Just clarifying. You seem to have combined the names.
 
For years my Dad and I used bath bar soaps for shaving. Most tallow glycerin soaps work fine. It wasn't until recently that I started using shave soap. No matter which soap I used, the shaving brush has been my friend. I think its a shame that the brush is not more common. I believe that the canned foam is to blame.
I've never used lather from a can. I did use it to fill a pie pan and put it into the face of my best friend one time. He and I started skydiving together. We bet each other that the first one to reach 100 jumps wins. The bet was left open-ended. Meaning there was know winning prize. Well, he lost. The pie thing wasn't my idea. The person that came up with it was one of our new skydive friends. To make matters worse, he also had friends. So in all, there were five shaving cream pies to the face. :)
After that, I did start wondering if foam from a can was any good. But every time I started to get a can, I would remember that I still had my brush and "soap" at home. If you have used canned foam, would you recommend it?
This is my best canned foam story.
 
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