Face vs. bowl lather benefits

Discussion in 'Shaving Brushes' started by ironbrewer, Dec 4, 2009.

    I'm sure this question must be asked often, but I couldn't figure out a good search for it. I tried face and bowl, but almost every brush thread has one or both of the words in it. I looked back 320 posts in that search and couldn't find it. I have been wet shaving with a cartridge razor :blushing: for many years. I just recently found this website, started using a vintage DE (My 1962 slim is my favorite right now), and started actually researching how to make my shaving experience more enjoyable.

    So what are the benefits and drawbacks to each method. Currently I guess I kind of use a combo. I build up a lather in a bowl, and then build it up and work it into my wiskers.


  1. Well Jim, I'm a solid face lather so here goes.

    You don't need a bowl.
    You get instant feedback from your face so you can build the best lather.
    Your beard is going to get the most prep from this method.
    IMO you get more scent exposure.

  2. The hybrid method you use is perfectly fine as long as you can maintain the heat of the bowl, brush and lather.

    Cons of face lathering without a container...rapidly cooling lather and brush.

  3. Whatever the method, I swear my beard has been less patchy since I've started using a brush.

    I debunked a myth !!!!!!!!!!!

    Is it because of the exfoliation properties of a brush ?
  4. My situaton is very similar; I'm a wet shaver since 1976. I've started lathering in a bowl the last July but I'm thinking to come buck to the facelathering because I feel myself more secure and I've the lathering process under control all the time, with creams and soaps.
  5. I use the method that suits the moment.
    If I am using Cade I whip up a nice bowl of lather.
    Now if I am using Williams I grab the puck and use it like a shave stick and face lather.

    I am not sure about the less patchy beard but I am sure there is exfoliation going on when you use a brush.
  6. I use a hybrid method I guess, there are benefits of face lather as mentioned above, but the one main reason I don't only lather on my face is I love the hot lather. No matter how hot the water is to start with, there is nothing like lather that was just whipped up in a mug in hot water. With the added heat the soap/creams seem to smell stronger.

    But from the bowl to the face I still lather for a good 30s.
  7. I use both. While I like face-lathering with a stiff boar and a shaving stick, once in a while it's cool to use a long-loft luxury brush with a good cream lathered in a bowl just mix things up.
  8. I bowl lather.

    perfect balance of water and thickness

    I can't face lather. Either soapy water falls over my shirt*, or it's not thick enough.

    *I'm not willing to do it shirtless, not on winter mornings, after a shower.
  9. DE7


    I prefer to bowl lather because I can have hot lather. I set my bowl on a cheap electric coffee mug warmer, which keeps the lather nice and hot. Having said that, I don't mind face lathering if I'm traveling, or if I'm in a hurry.

  10. I used a hybrid method until last week. Last week I put some bowling water in my lathering bowl and put a coffee cup on top of it. Used the coffee cup part as a brush scuttle. Works great! Now with my bowl occupied heating the cup, I rather have to face lather. And I like that. I like my lather thick and face lathering allows me to get it that way much more easily than bowl lathering. Plus, the main reason I used the bowl to lather with was just to begin getting the cream set in the brush. I have now discovered I really don't have to do that.
  11. As an exclusive face latherer, I agree with the above on all accounts. The only con I recognize with face lathering is the possibility of over exfoliating the skin. Factors involved in this would be the quality of your brush, skin type, as well as how 'vigorous' you are with the lathering process and how long you lather for.
  12. Thanks for all the replies guys. I guess it is mostly a personal preference thing, but now I have different points to think about.
  13. It usually takes me a bit longer to face lather than bowl lathering, but other than that I think I like it more.
  14. 100% Face lather guy here
    2 reasons.....Simplicity & Enjoyment
  15. I started my wetshaving career as a bowl-latherer, but after a few months I switched to face-lathering and have never looked back. I like it because I think that the increased prep is great for your shave, and because it's such a great feeling to build warm lather on your face!

    Now whenever I see videos or pictures of people lathering in a bowl, I think "Why on earth would you waste that amazing lather or the incredible feeling of that brush on a bowl?!" :lol:

    However, you are right in that it is really all personal preference.
  16. I started off using the bowl and switched to face lathering since it gives me much better lather. Even now I don't get what I consider good lather from a bowl, it just makes it all airy.
  17. azmark

    azmark Moderator Emeritus

    Face lather all of my soaps and most of my creams. Face lather is nice because rather than applying the lather created in a bowl you spend time scrubbing in the cream/soap under your whiskers more and the feel of the exfoliation is :thumbup1: But whatever works better for you is key.
  18. I bowl lather 3 days a week and face lather 4 days. I use a smaller brush for face lathering because the big brush I use in the bowl makes too much of a mess. I believe face lathering gives me better lubrication with all creams but it is messy and the lather on the brush does cool off. I use a big scuttle for bowl lathering so it keeps the lather warm. The other plus for the bowl is there is an explosion of aroma in the bathroom as i whip up the lather in the bowl. I like using both methods, but if I had to pick just one it would be face.

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