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Face Lathering -judging water content

Any tips or suggestions for judging the optimum water content when face lathering?
Start with a dryer brush seems a good method as over hydration flicks the lather all over the place. Add water as the lather builds up to suit your needs. Near impossible to start with optimum water in the brush.
I do a hybrid of building initial lather in a scuttle and then working on the face for at least 2 minutes to the correct consistency.


Great question!

I employ a conceptual advantage! I know my kit well before I start. At most I introduce only one new thing to limit the variables. I also understand my lather preferences (slick and protective is what I want).

Then, I hydrate my beard: shower and CeraVe wash at a minimum. Ideally, a warm towel for extra luxury!

I load my damp brush heavily, with the specific amount depending on the particular product.

Finally, I go to my face using painting motions and add water a few drops at a time until I get what I want!

Hope this helps!! :a29:
Presumably this is where badger brushes score with their controlled release of water. A virtue why badger brushes became and still are the best brushes for wet shaving?
Im started face lathering not that long ago and before i was just using bowl to make lather. Now i prefer face lathering with sof brush like simpsons in super (luxurious feel). To control water im using syring to pour water on the bristles and its helping not to over hydrate lather
I use boar brushes most of the time. They don't hold as much water as badger brushes, so a flick or two while holding the brush with the bristles down, removes some but not all the water. Then, I load it with soap (the loading time depends on the soap) and move to the face. This way it starts a lot wetter and the soap-water mix thickens up as you work it in the stubble. Sometimes I need to add a few drops to reach a good consistency. I find that face lathering helps me judge the hydration level better than bowl.

With badgers and synthetics, I remove most of the water out before loading and add it progressively when building the lather later on.
I use a synthetic and I'm exactly the same as @EclipseRedRing. When SR shaving, which I do almost exclusively, I prefer a wetter lather than when I'm DE shaving. That's what suits me.

I have a few high-end badger brushes sitting in front of me but my $2 Chinese guaranteed pure badger synthetic brush is the one I mostly grab.


Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
‘Optimal’ for your ideal lather can only be found by observed and challenged trial. It’s the same for whether any bristle type or knot shape (including width and height) is optimal.

I use a damp synthetic brush to make the slick, runny lather I seek and then clean the bathroom afterwards. Mysterious splashes of water and lathered soap are freaking everywhere. Probably goblins.


Moderator Emeritus
I like a wetter lather since I find it slicker. I take a brush that has been dipped or has sat in the water out of the mug I only use to wet the brush. With larger brushes, I take the brush and make an "O" with the fingers of my left hand and put it around the brush bristles LIGHTLY. I run my fingers down the brush and keep whatever water is left in the brush and then load up. With other brushes, I give the brush a gentle flick and then load the brush. If the brush is too wet I just add more soap.
Presumably this is where badger brushes score with their controlled release of water. A virtue why badger brushes became and still are the best brushes for wet shaving?

I have cheap synthetic brush and my lathers are creamy and slick every time, face lathering. Whatever you use, start with drier paste and add drops of water until it get's slick.


As noted above, most seem to start with a dryer brush and add water as you go. But, if your brush is too wet at the start you can add product as well. It's hard to gauge the absolute perfect amount of water to start. Once in a while you may luck out, but the tried and true method, drier brush to start and slowly add water, seems to work for most.
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