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Shave stick pre shave routine

Hi all,

I use Wilkinson Sword shave sticks. I like to rub the stick onto my face then carefully work it into my skin with my fingers, rather than go straight to work on my face with a brush in order to generate a lather. The result looks a little like what shaving cream would look like if applied it to my face just with with my fingers.
Having done that, I let the soapy, tallowy goodness moisturise my face for a good minute or so while I prepare my razor, tune the radio or whatever. Then I work it up into a lather with my brush. I find the first stage works like a kind of extra pre-shave step, and really helps around my sensitive neck area. Before I took the time to do this, I did think the sticks had little moisturising properties and was prepared to abandon them completely in favour of soaps, which have the advantage of being able to be applied a lot easier over a pre-shave cream or shave oil.

Now I'm very happy because it seems that these little fellows can do it all by themselves if you only take a little extra time.

Just thought I'd throw this out to see if anyone does the same. It may just be that I need a little more prep time before the shave than others.
You might get much the same effect by simply lathering longer. I start a cheap kitchen timer when I start face-lathering, and I usually have a decent lather within 2-minutes. But that is not really optimal for hydrating my beard, so I keep going until the 4-minute mark.

Whatever your technique, I think it all comes down to hydration....

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WS is excellent, and--reflected in its higher price--perhaps more moisturizing (but perhaps no more slick or cushioning) than Arko. (I haven't tried other budget brands except new-version Erasmic, which I find doesn't lather or cushion well but is slick.) Based on B&B advice, I wet the stick, rub a generous amount on my prepped face/beard, load a bit on my wet brush, and face lather for at least a couple of minutes (as I do with all soaps). The shaves are really nice.
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