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

    14 vote(s)
  3. 8 to 10 minutes

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

    5 vote(s)
    I get my brush wet, then fling 2-3 times to shake out water. Then I load for about 30 seconds. That loads enough soap to get 3 passes. I agree with others that have said you may not be loading for enough time. I then begin lathering a slightly damp face. I cover my face with the soap then apply a few drops of water, continue lathering, apply a few drops of water, & so on. I'm ready to shave in under 3 minutes with a nice lather.
  1. I changed from bowl to face lathering not so long ago as I was getting a little weary of that part of the ritual.

    Also inside 3 minutes now I would say.
  2. Glad to hear you sorted it out! When i first started i tended to make lathers a bit too thin so it sounds like you had the opposite problem. Like anything though it becomes easier the more you do it and this forum always has great advice!
  3. From starting to load the brush to putting the razor to my skin If it takes more than 1 minute I have done something very odd. I have my favorite soaps that deliver a thick lather very quickly, but all good quality soaps I have tried will face lather in less than 3 minutes without any difficulty.

    As has been said before me, load it like you hate it. I apply it on my face with gentle circles. Once it starts looking thicker at all, I do straight brushing motion. The lather turns to yogurt. If it's too dry I dip the brush tips in warm water and gently brush it on. Problem solved.
  4. The "load it like you hate it" philosophy works well with harder soaps. Do not try it was a soft soap, however. With softer soaps, it is easy to pick up so much soap that you will never be able to add enough water to hydrate the lather.
  5. I use mostly soft soaps. Hasn't been a problem with the right soaps - and I have very tender sensitive skin that needs ample protection from the lather.
  6. I usually take 2-3 minutes. I like my lather slightly dry but still wet enough to see the glistening under the light.
  7. The actual face-lathering part takes less than a minute for me. Either load soap in tub (< 1 minute) and straight to face or soap stick on face (< 1 minute) and straight to face.
  8. Maybe a minute to load (I usually overload), and 2-3 minutes to really work the lather into my beard. But given that I am prone to dawdling, I often stretch this part of the ritual out to ten minutes, hence my use of brushless creams when I really need to get going.
  9. This has been a great find for me too. Found and saw the same video a few weeks ago. I thought I was getting decent lathers prior to trying this method, but I was not even close. My shaving experience has improved dramatically and for the first time since I began wet shaving, I am really able to analyze the true slickness of the soap, or lack thereof, and know when it’s “shave ready”.

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  10. Yup. Chris is a good guy and really posts helpful videos. Probably my favorite guy to watch.
  11. Seems almost pointless to weigh-in given the great advice given. I'll just do a quick highlight of what's been covered and what works for me:
    1. Creams -- they cut down lathering time. I get a very protective and slick lather with most creams in about half the time it takes for a soap.

    2. Consistency -- thick (buttercream) vs thin (clown paint). I'm a clown paint guy....as long it's slick and my face is covered, I don't sweat out the "peaks". I still feel like I get sufficient cushion, and when I want to look like Santa Claus after he's been in hit in the face with a snowball, then I take more time and do some of the other techniques listed (i.e., heavy load, careful watering, etc).

    3. Water in brush -- just keep in mind that some people offering a "soak the brush" and/or "start with a wet brush", may not be talking about synthetics. Synths are all I use, and I load with a damp brush....meaning I thoroughly wet the brush under running water or dunk it in-and-out of a bowl, and then I squeeze out ALL of the water and shake out what remains. Then after the load and while I'm building the lather, I drip water from fingers on the brush tips to add water slowly. As you probably know, a synthetic holds water like a sponge and it will washout your lather quickly if you're not careful.
    Oh, and lathering time for me is always under 2-minutes for a hard soap and under a minute for a cream. I do like shave sticks, and they do cut the time down a bit for me, but not nearly as much as a cream. Palmolive is a great cream for me, but others I've tried work well too (Speick, Geo F Trumpers, Proraso, Nivea, LEA) with the possible exception of Tabac (the soap lathers faster and easier for me than the cream).
  12. 10 minutes to build lather is outrageous. You definitely need to change some part of your routine.

    A synthetic with more water in the brush and a more determined brush hand is probably going to produce some flying lather. I can't imagine it taking more than 30 seconds to clean up the excess lather on your shoulder and the floor.

    A better alternative might be to use distilled water. It generally runs about $1 a gallon and would be a cheap, easy fix if your water is the problem.
  13. After testing over 40 different shave soap and cream formulations and over 130 different soaps, I have developed a method that seems to work well with most of them in determining when a lather is optimally hydrated and "shave ready". I bowl lather, but the method works for face lathering as well.

    I build my lather and apply it to my face. Then I start to shave. It does not matter what type of razor you are using. I then dip my razor into a sink full of water (a cup or bowl can be used as well) into which water is trickling slowly from the faucet. If the lather sticks to the razor and you have to swish the razor around to release the lather, the lather is too thick, add more water to the lather to improve the slickness. If the lather releases immediately and disperses, it is too thin you need to add more soap to improve the cushion. If the lather quickly releases from the razor, but floats intact to the surface without breaking up, you have the lather right where it needs to be for an optimal balance of slickness and cushion.

    Of course, you might prefer the lather to we slightly wetter or slightly drier depending upon whether you want more slickness or more cushion. I like a balance of both. Either way, the dip test gives you a good way to judge the end result.
  14. This is interesting, and I’ve noticed what you’ve mentioned about the lather floating in the sink intact. This is what I find unique about wet shaving and this community. There are so many different ways to get the desired results and so much great input and information is found on these forums

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  15. Ten minute total shave time by face lathering, and just about what I do every work day morning. Two passes and touchups.

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