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Should I leave soap on my face?

Currently, I bowl lather, and then shave immediately after I am done painting my face with lather.

Should I let it sit on my face for a little bit? Would this help lift bristles and improve slickness?

The reason I ask this is because I don't seem to feel the effects (inter, and post-shave) people mention getting from high-regarded soaps, and I am wondering if it is because lather is not on my face for very long in my shaves.
 
I’d let it sit for a minute before you start shaving. Now if you’re face-lathering, you can shave right away since you spend some time building the lather on your face.

In my experience face-lathering has always given me superior shaves opposed to making lather in a bowl and painting it on, even using the exact same soap or cream.
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
I think that I would work the lather with the brush versus just letting it sit which would dry the lather.

ABC (high end Italian barber shop and osmetics manufacturer) has several products that they recoomend massaging or working in to the skin/hair. There seems to be some merit in this, but maybe not as much as they’d like you to believe. Their products and services are expensive, and if you get a shave there, the extra time adds to the experience I think. Here are some products that they recommend massaging in well:

- An all-natural (and expensive) scalp tonic that works as well if not better than the sulfur and coal tar dandruff shampoos, at least for me.
- An almond oil and aloe pre-shave
- An almond oil soap/cream using a boar brush rather than badger because it massages better.

I’m unsure how useful all this massaging really is, but I’m adding the post for discussion sake.
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
Even when I bowl lather, I still do a mini face lather just for the reasons you're asking. I also paint a light mask of lather on my face and leave it until I finish cleaning my gear. If I'm paying for all those pricey ingredients I want to give my skin the maximum exposure to them.

You’re wrong. Soap removes sebum, you want to minimize skin exposure to soap.
 
Should I let it sit on my face for a little bit? Would this help lift bristles and improve slickness?
Unless you are shaving significant growth (5+ days) I doubt there is much bristle to lift. IF you wanted to make sure everything was coated in lather, applying the lather by painting and then swirling over your face may help.
The reason I ask this is because I don't seem to feel the effects (inter, and post-shave) people mention getting from high-regarded soaps, and I am wondering if it is because lather is not on my face for very long in my shaves.
Many of the claims of post-shave nourishment and or inter-shave nourishment are over-exaggerated. Make no mistake there is a difference between cheap soaps and artisan (and artisan soaps ARE better) but these soaps are not face-washes, pre-shaves and/or moisturiser. They are just shaving soaps. If you've only ever used artisan shave soap, you won't have anything to benchmark to and everything will just feel normal. I'm assuming you re-apply lather between passes, so it should be more than enough time to get the benefit of the soap. Leaving it on your face will probably just get it to dry out a bit. I face lather for a few minutes (at most) and have not noticed any difference face lathering or bowl lathering.
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
Good soaps leave your skin in better shape than Arko !

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Chandu

I Waxed The Badger.
Shaving soap is soap, not a face savior. Use it, shave, rinse and then use balm, A/S or whatever.

I know the artisans have packed the current stock with crisco, but it's still soap. Get rid of it and then if you have oily skin do nothing extra, if you have normal skin, something light and if dry skin, pull out all the stops.
 

musicman1951

three-tu-tu, three-tu-tu
I'm a daily shaver and leaving the lather on my face adds nothing to the quality of the shave or post shave feel.

The average beard growth rate is 0.27 mm per 24 hours, so if you're a daily shaver the idea that the hairs need to be "lifted" is pretty amusing.

But if you haven't finished your prep, or your prep is insufficient, you might find it helpful. There's an easy way to find out.
 
I'm a daily shaver and leaving the lather on my face adds nothing to the quality of the shave or post shave feel.

The average beard growth rate is 0.27 mm per 24 hours, so if you're a daily shaver the idea that the hairs need to be "lifted" is pretty amusing.

But if you haven't finished your prep, or your prep is insufficient, you might find it helpful. There's an easy way to find out.
This ⬆️

I don't believe all the posts about shave lather lifting the beard hair or softening it. I call BS on all of it.
 

Chandu

I Waxed The Badger.
so if you're a daily shaver the idea that the hairs need to be "lifted" is pretty amusing.
Agreed. I've said as much earlier. At that length they stick straight out a the direction they grow. You'd need a steel wire brush to have enough leverage to really change their direction.

The whole idea of lifting the hairs came from those that shaved infrequently. Even then the lift is temporary and the point is just to get some soap all around the whisker and on the skin behind it. The whisker is going to snap right back to where it was the moment the brush bristle lets go of it. It isn't going to remain elevated by the soap to any extent.

... and then the splash closes the pores :) so many old ideas are propagated by shavers and product descriptions.
 
I only leave it after the shave to treat any weepers or small cuts, at least with ARKO it works quite good.
 
Soap aids in surface suspension of the blade off the skin which helps to reduce skin irritation. If the hairs are long enough some minimal hair suspension may also result. I think we tend to overhype just about every aspect of wet shaving nowadays. Our grandfathers made do with standard household bar soap and still got good shaves.
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
Our grandfathers made do with standard household bar soap and still got good shaves.

This gets said a lot and I‘m not sure that it’s very true, I’ve seen my dad and uncles looking pretty rough. I suppose it depends on what you consider ‘good’. If out grandads shaved with a straight, the finest stone that they had was about 8k, and a few of them might have had a pasted strop with CrOx.

I shaved during most of my working years with a Redken Amino Pon bar and a Bic Metal disposable. It got me theough the day but a ‘good shave’ it was not, by any standards that B&Bers would expect today. But I wasn’t irritated or cut either, and to some that’s a ‘good’ shave.
 
I am still using some of their hand me down kit; a Dubl Duck strop and SR. Never had any issues getting a great shave. I hone with a set of stones sold for sharpening traditional archery broadheads and a ceramic triangle, total cost about $50. I should post a video to show folks on B&B the technique I use to get a BB shave without spending a ton on extra bs and Gucci gear. Appalachian know how can get the same results on the cheap.
 
Currently, I bowl lather, and then shave immediately after I am done painting my face with lather.

Should I let it sit on my face for a little bit? Would this help lift bristles and improve slickness?

The reason I ask this is because I don't seem to feel the effects (inter, and post-shave) people mention getting from high-regarded soaps, and I am wondering if it is because lather is not on my face for very long in my shaves.
If you want to leave the soap on your face for a minute before shaving to allow for softening the whiskers there should be no issues but you should before your shave starts make sure the lather is hydrated which takes a few seconds with your brush tips wetted or use a mister, hydrated lather creates the slickness for the blade & razor to glide better.
When I'm finished shaving I like to use a warm water rinse followed by a cold water rinse and towel off & then take a mister with some witch hazel & spray on some regular witch hazel 14% alcohol. Then I just use a dry wash cloth or towel for cleaning the skin off of soap residual along with the witch hazel and then apply some AS followed by dollop of balm.
Witch hazel is known for good mild skin cleanser with some good skin care ingredients if that matters, hot water rinsing of the skin is not the best or natural for a person skin, only warm & cold water IMO.
My skin seems in good shape for a daily shaver mostly and these small procedures take a minute at most.
Over the years I seem to have added some more small task procedures to perfect my shave experiences and I believe they work but do add time to a shave & cost a few more pennies per shave!
Have some great shaves!
 
Shaving soaps have a PH around 9-10. Skin PH is 5.5. I don't think leaving soap residue on the skin is a good idea, regardless of how artisans tout the goodness of their soaps.
 
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I always face lather & when I've finished my last pass I re-lather my face & leave the lather on while I clean my brush & razor. That takes a few minutes to let the lather work its magic! After cleaning my gear I cold water rinse & apply witch hazel, then after shave.
 
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