Face Lathering: how long does it take (you)?

Discussion in 'General Shaving Discussion' started by FoolishMortal, Jul 26, 2019.

When I face-lather, it takes...

  1. Under 3 minutes

    83 vote(s)
  2. 3 to 7 minutes

    15 vote(s)
  3. 8 to 10 minutes

    1 vote(s)
  4. It take as long as it takes

    5 vote(s)
  1. FoolishMortal

    FoolishMortal Contributor


    I'm trying to cut down on the time it takes me to shave. This isn't because I want to hurry the experience, but because I find myself skipping the shave on days when I'm running late. I'd rather not do that.

    Face-lathering works really well for me for a variety of reasons; I don't need to go into that here and now. Just know that I'm not going to change that part of my routine. However, I'd like to speed up the process. I find that building a good, slick, well-hydrated lather takes around 10 minutes, and that feels excessive.

    I typically use a synthetic brush, as they're foolproof, and I don't load too heavily. My water might be hard, adding to the time, but I do manage to get nice lather that doesn't dry too quickly. I load the brush with ~10 seconds of swirling, then take that to my moist face and have at it. Most motion is swirling, but there's some painting in there, too. Every few seconds, I add a small amount of water to the brush where the bristles have opened up.

    How long does your face-lathering for the first pass take? And do you have any tips for how to be efficient about the process?

  2. Honestly takes me less than 3 minutes to load and get good enough for two pass shave

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  3. Same here. I can't think of a soap I have that I can't be shaving with in less than 2 minutes and have enough in the brush for pass 2, 3 and touchups.
  4. Esox

    Esox Ambassador

    Three minutes or less from my brush hitting the soap to toweling off if I'm in a hurry. That time isnt saved face lathering or making a lather though, the time is saved by shaving aggressively with only a single buffing pass directly ATG. I shave every 48 hours or so but have shaved like that at around 100 hours growth with my MMOC. 78 hours I think with my Fatip Grande.

    If I was bowl lathering I wouldnt in the ball park of 3 minutes. Once you get the hang of face lathering you have the right amount of water and soap in your brush and all you do is lather it up a bit. Its a lot quicker than bowl lathering and if you've loaded enough you'll have plenty of lather in the brush.

    If you want to save time, skip the WTG pass and start XTG. If, your razor will let you shave that aggressively. I can with all but one of mine, the R41. It just wont let me be that aggressive. It's a 15-20 minute shave with my R41.
  5. If you haven't already done so, try face lathering with a shave stick. Rub a thin film on your wet face and you'll build a good lather in no time. You can do the same thing with the soap puck.
  6. I would suggest double the time loading the brush to reduce lathering time by 2/3's and use a wetter brush, by your description, you must have an overly dry brush because you add so much water.
  7. FoolishMortal

    FoolishMortal Contributor

    Okay, that's useful feedback. I'll not shake out the brush so much for tomorrow's shave and see how it goes.
  8. +1 Sticks are the way to go. Fast and easy.
  9. I like a lot of the soaps that come in sticks, but I really don't enjoy rubbing them on my face unless I have about two days of growth. Less than that, it's uncomfortable to me. Some of my sticks I've put in a mug and like it better that way. Speick was my favorite, but La Toja recently bumped it down one notch. I don't know what it is about La Toja, but for me, it gives an incredible post shave feel.
  10. One of the YT guys did a thing that I followed and really worked for me.

    Load the brush, paint it on in a thicker layer......dip the tips and paint in water until you can see your skin thru it everywhere there's soap.

    Start with the lather......swirling motions, back and forth, go at it hard.

    I can get lather built like this inside of 30 seconds, it's perfect, great peaks etc.....and it's enough for a 3-4 pass shave. If you're confused following this I can post the vid. It's way easier than I made it sound. Works awesome.
  11. If you rub it on your wet face, stick or puck, use a boar brush with wet tips, not a soaking wet brush, you will be amazed at the speed of the lather.
  12. FoolishMortal

    FoolishMortal Contributor

    Huh. Thanks for this - I think I get it.

    My issue might be that, even with a short load, I'm getting too much soap on too dry of a brush. It seems like the brush hold onto enough lather for another pass (or two), so I may just need to go wetter on the brush and lighter on the load. I'll try your suggestion in conjunction with that adjustment. Thanks!
  13. My way of doing it I do have to add water as I lather sometimes. I just run water into my cupped hand and dip the bristle tips in and go back to my face.
  14. Yeah that’s a balancing act. I’ve got it down now; if I shake out too much water I’ll just add more as I go by sight/feel of what’s happening right off the bat.

    Wetter brush/lighter load will work better.

    I load everything like I hate it, tho; work with it as I need to.

    Good luck and tag me @Steinmetzify if you need me to post the vid. Worked great for me.
  15. From the time I first apply the stick (if using a stick) to ready to start with the razor, I'd say 20 seconds.
    If it's just brushing on a cream or soap already loaded from a puck, then 10 seconds.
    Is it slippery all over? Good to go, don't care what the lather looks like.

    That being said, my entire shaving routine typically takes 35-40 minutes, including the prep shower. Fifteen minutes if I'm in a rush, which rarely happens.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  16. Use a good cream, like Palmolive Lather. Put a half inch squeeze on your chin, spread it around with the brush, add a bit of water and you'll be good to go.
    It'll save the time loading off a puck.
  17. Interesting!
  18. @FoolishMortal - lather like you hate it. Wet it up, mash it up, swirl like you have ambitions to be a drill.

    FWIW, I always mash it up with the puck upside down so the puck doesn’t get too wet. But it’s messy. But when I say mash - mash. It isn’t like you’re going to break anything. And at best you might scoop an additional 5 cents of soap you didn’t need, but you’ll save a bunch of time.

    Be a little sloppy and lather like you hate it. It speeds it up remarkably.
  19. This with a tube of cream, a tub of cream, scoop a bit with a finger from the tub and smear on chin, build lather with a wet brush, no time at all.

    A shave stick i never know whether i left enough soap on my face so there can be back and forth resoaping for next passes so stick shaves are probably the slowest for lathering, loading the brush from a tub of soap and face lathering, almost as quick as the cream process.
  20. Hmm, not sure how long it specifically takes to face lather (I voted as long as it takes). My work is flexible for timing (as long as I don't have a meeting, which I typically don't schedule before 9 AM), so I take the time I need. I am the first one up in the house, so my routine is get up, start a pot of coffee, fill the sink to soak my brush I choose that morning and splash water on my face, hang out with the cats and wait for coffee, take a coffee to the bathroom and face lather and shave while having coffee. Then I get dressed and, depending if the wife and son are up, head out the door or hang out for 10-15 minutes.

    If I am rushing, I use a cream. But for your specific question, I'm guessing brush to lather to razor on the face, I could get it under 3 minutes.

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