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Evolution to revolution - your thoughts?

I've totally given up on hard soaps. Not because they don't work, because they do, but because they are so much more effort than creams and life is too short for inferior stuff, imho.

My Arko soap went almost straight into the bin because of the overpowering scent. Of course that's entirely subjective, but I won't persevere with something I don't enjoy using. YMMV.
I spend more time in the lathering process than in any other part of my shave. I think it also might be the most important for giving me a quality shave. You have some good soaps, but the right amount of water and a good brush are also very important.
I couldn't agree more. When I learned to make a good lather, a lot of the other issues were gone. No nicks or weepers, sking felt great after. Making good lather takes practice for sure.


More Deep Thoughts than Jack Handy
Building quality lather is important and is something you learn over time. As well, some soaps require something that others don't. For example, some soaps require a little more water in the lathering bowl than others. Again, these things are learned over time. But, in reference to lathering, one thing is fairly consistent...and that is...you have to whip the lather until you get the bubbles out of it. It should be a creamy consistency and have a sheen to it. When building lather, you add water a little bit at a time...working that small amount of water into the lather until you're satisfied that it's built more lather and been thoroughly worked into the lather. At that point you can add a little more water or decide that it's been built up to where it's ready for use.

The lathering bowl I use has a small depression at the bottom of the bowl. It's a measuring line I use as the starting amount of water in the bowl. It's perfect. The one soap that needs a little more than that line is Stirling beef tallow soaps. I find that Stirling needs just a touch more water than most.

Anyway, I hope this paints a picture...no pun intended. I spend just shy of half my shave time building lather for the shave. It's an important step as the lather is the protection. When we start into wet shaving, we want to get right to the shave...which becomes a problem early on as we could have and should have built up a better lather before starting the shave.

All of the soaps you mention in the OP are decent or better soaps/creams. I have a little experience with Proraso, lots of experience with TOBS creams and I also use Arko. They're all good...TOBS cream probably being the easiest to whip up a good lather with, but none of them would I consider to be difficult. Take your time with building a quality lather...the benefits are priceless.
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