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Why Does Lather From Soap Dry Out on Face?

Relatively new to wet shaving and having a lather problem with shaving soap; OK with TOBS shaving cream, however.

I've tried by Proraso and Col. Conk shaving soaps using a synthetic brush. After watching and reading a lot of tutorials I think the lather I create is acceptable and looks pretty close to what I get with TOBS sandalwood shave cream and cream from Rockwell Razors that came with my razor. The problem is that the shave soap lather dries out after just a few minutes on my face. I can get both cheeks shaved, but by then the lather on my mouth area is drying out and after shaving around my mouth, the lather on my neck is pretty much gone.

Any thoughts or tips on what I'm doing wrong and how I should correct this issue? Thanks in advance.
 
The solution to this problem is make sure to use enough soap and add slightly more water than you think you need. Take a little time to develop the lather.

So many times, people believe hype, like "I just swirl the brush on the soap for five seconds and I have enough soap for three passes." Try thirty seconds to a minute. Be generous with the soap. You may have to add water two or three times. Most beginners do not add enough water to get the best lather.
 
More soap and more water. If you add a lot of water to a light load, the lather will dissipate. If you add a lot of water to a heavy load, you'll end up with enough passes and a hydrated lather. Another tip, your lather should be easy to rinse off the blade so that tells you another sign if your lather is hydrated or not.
 
A high quality shave soap should not dry out if properly hydrated. I do not consider TOBS, Proraso and Col Conk to be high quality soaps. I consider TOBS and Proraso to be acceptable, but they are far from the best available soaps. I am not even sure Col Conk would be considered acceptable, although I am sure it has its fans.

Col Conk is a glycerine based soap with a very narrow range of acceptable hydration, which makes it difficult to use for beginners. It is reasonably slick, but provides little in the way of cushion and the post-shave feel is poor. Thus, if Col Conk does not work for you, the problem may be with the soap rather than your technique.
 
Those soaps are capable of giving a good shave. Sure, there are better soaps, but you don't necessarily need "elite" soaps to get decent results.
 
I'll say that before you begin buying "elite" soap, learn to make your lather. Sounds like you are not hydrated enough. If you buy an expensive soap and don't correct that issue, you will be disappointed with the better soap. Keep adding water if you add too much, add more soap. Get the technique right before buying more soap. I kept doing that with razors. With good technique I can now shave with razors that I thought were bad ones. Technique over gear.
 

ajkel64

Moderator
I think you could try more water and more product. I still make the mistake when trying out a product that I have not used before. Some products require more water and some products require more product. You will get there.
 
@RayClem can you recommend what you consider high quality soaps? Thanks from a newbie - still trying to learn

I have evaluated over 180 soaps representing some 90 different soap formulations. My favorite are soaps are from the following artisans:

Ariana and Evans, Barrister and Mann, Declaration Grooming, Gentleman's Nod, Grooming Department, Highland Springs Soap Company, Hub City Soap Company, Murphy and McNeil, Talbot Shaving Wholly Kaw, and Zingari Man.

While these are the best soaps I have used, there are many, many others that can provide excellent shaves. Among the traditional soaps, the two I recommend are Mitchell's Wool Fat and Tabac.
 
I don't bother with lather drying out on my face. I just flick my brush under tap and paint my face, rehydrating it. Just less work than adding water and lathering untill it has enough water to last the entire shave
 

BigJ

Ambassador
Another vote for ‘MORE water!’ This is termed ‘traditional WET shaving’ because water is so important!
:a29: :a29:
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
Thank you all for your assistance. It was definitely not enough water added to the soap. I tried the Col. Conk Lime soap this morning and worked water into it three times. I got 3-4 times as much lather as before and it held up much better on my face.
EXCELLENT. How did it feel, during and after the shave?
 
EXCELLENT. How did it feel, during and after the shave?
Pretty good with better feeling cushion since I think I created a better lather. I use organic coconut oil as a pre-shave for pass 1 and pass 2 and it seems to help. Pass 3 felt some tugging and a couple of nicks, but I think this was because I was on shave number three for my Gillette Silver Blue blade.
 
To make sure my beard is softened, I usually wait three minutes after applying soap or cream to my face before wielding the razor. During that time I often dab some sink water on my fingers and rub the soap/cream into my bristles, which thins the lather out. Then I re-apply from the brush, wait out the remainder of the 180 seconds or so, and then "Thundercats are GO!"
 
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