How to Lather Shaving Cream to Perfection

With No-Shave November no where in sight, it’s time to get that bushy, unruly looking beard off your face. As much fun as it is to channel your inner lumberjack, there’s nothing quite like sporting a clean and distinguished “fresh shave” look. The question is: how to lather shaving cream to a rich, frothy foam to take your shave game to the next level?

Why Go Clean-Shaven?

Being clean shaven has quite a few benefits that go beyond what you see on the surface. These include: promoting productivity, getting hired more easily, and having healthier skin just to name a few. While it’s true that there’s just as many awesome things about sporting a beard, clean-shaven is a classic, neat, and professional look.

In fact, it’s easy for a beard to make you look dirty, grungy or like you just don’t are about your hygiene. The absolute worst though is when you try to grow a beard and you just can’t. Get that patchy mess off of your face.

So how do you start? Do I google “how to lather shaving cream?” Should I use a brush, or should I use my bare hands? How much water is too much? How much shaving cream is too little? There are certainly a lot of questions. In fact, it can seem overwhelming at times.

Don’t worry! I’ve got your back. We’re going to break this down step by step and make it as easy possible. In fact, I’m confident that by the end of this article, you’ll be answering the question of how to lather shaving cream to anyone who asks!

In this article, I will show you the proper techniques step-by-step that go into lathering your shaving cream to perfection so that you can be the best looking you, and even potentially catch the eye of your romantic interest, stud!

how to lather shaving cream

Let’s Get Started!

Making a perfect lather is half the shave! Sure, you can go to an old-fashioned barbershop if there’s one around. Few things can compare with a good, classic barbershop shave. However, with the right materials you can do it in the comfort of your own bathroom, while spending a significantly less amount of money than going to your local haircutter.

The Tools of the Trade

A great shave comes with great materials. While there are plenty to choose from, and many variations, there are a few basic tools

Shaving Cream or Soap

  • There are many different shaving creams out there that cater to specific skin types as well as personal preference.
  • If you have sensitive skin, or enjoy cream that will moisturize, or provide an exhilarating sensation for a closer shave, these are all things you have to take into consideration.
  • Shaving creams contain a variety of ingredients. Some natural, others chemical. You want to make sure that you find a cream that works the best for you and what jives best with your skin.
  • Nothing looks worse than an aggravated, irritated face with razor burn. Choosing the right shave cream can make a world of difference.

Shaving Brush

  • Badger brush shaving brushes provide an exceptional method for lathering shave soap effectively.
  • Badger brushes are so-called because they are traditionally made from badger hair. Badger brushes are ideal if you are looking at how to lather shaving cream quickly and efficiently.

Shaving Bowl

  • If you are using a shaving brush, the shaving bowl will work as a vessel to make your lather in.
  • You will use the bowl to hold your shaving cream and water mix, or for you to dip your lather packed brush in.
  • It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but the smaller the bowl the better. Some brushes even come with their own little stainless steel bowl specifically for shaving purposes.

Your Hands

  • You do have hands, right? If you're using a solid-state shave soap or cream, you almost need a shaving brush to work up a good lather. Though it’s not impossible to achieve a similar result with your hands, it’s best to invest in the brush.

How to Lather Shaving Cream

I’ve been shaving since I was 13-years-old and have always felt the most productive way to get the job done was to lather the shaving cream in my hand and apply it to my face as necessary. This, of course, was before I discovered wet shaving with a safety razor.

Wet shaving is a lost art. Armed with many of the tools above (including your hands), wet shaving provides a close, smooth shave. In fact, there’s really no comparing it to electric razors or cartridge blades. If you’ve got the time and inclination to learn, you’re doing yourself a big favor!

Whether you're wet shaving or not, there are a few ways to learn how to lather shaving cream perfectly. For the purpose of this article, we'll assume you're shaving with a blade, possibly a safety razor. Truthfully, if you're taking the time to lather shave soap with a badger brush, it's a sin to waste such a good foam on a cartridge blade.


#1: Lathering Directly on the Face with a Shaving Brush

how to lather shaving cream with a shaving brush

The benefits of using a shaving brush are outstanding. The brush generates a warm lather by whipping air and infusing water into your shave cream. This, in turn, will lift the hair off your face, open up the pores and lubricate your skin to give you the most comfortable shave. Applying shaving cream with a brush also helps lower or even prevent breakouts or red, irritated skin.

(#1) Follow These Steps

1. Soak your brush in hot water for a few minutes. This helps loosen up the strands and moisten the bristles. Shake the brush dry.

2. Scoop two small dollops (dime-sized) of shave cream and place them directly on either cheek. Some shave creams work best if they warm for a bit while others can be lathered immediately.

3. In a circular motion, begin to swirl the shave cream directly on your face. In a few moments, you'll start to see a rich lather build up. Repeat for the other side.

4. Evenly distribute the cream across your face and into the areas you intend to shave.

(#1) Tips for Perfection

The less water the better.

  • If you’re having a hard time getting a warm, frothy lather, you might be using too much water which dilutes the shaving cream.
  • An important thing to remember with water is that a little goes a long way.
  • Apply water to the brush in small doses as necessary.

Build up the shaving cream on your brush.

  • When you get a nice lather going, add a tad more water and swirl the brush in the cream. (Typically, this is done three or four times). This will help keep the lather going.
  • Repeat as necessary, and lather the brush to your personal preference. All shave creams are slightly different so finding the right amount of water may take some trial and error.

#2: Lathering Directly on the Face with Your Hands

how to lather shaving cream with your hands

The classic method that allows you to control the amount of cream being applied to your face. This is what you see in movies, television shows and heartwarming commercials about father’s showing their son how to shave before going to the backyard and having a catch.

(#2) Steps to Perfection

Apply a Healthy Amount of Shaving Cream to Your Face

  • If you are using a solid state shave cream, you will need to rub your hands together quickly. Essentially mimic the move that Mr. Miagi does before he fixes Daniel-San’s knee in Karate Kid.
  • Whether you are using cream, foam, or a gel, make sure you coat your face with enough cream to act as a cushion to combat your razor.
  • This is not the most effective method of lathering sold state shave cream or soap. While it “will work,” it’s not recommended.

Use your hands to evenly distribute the cream across your face.

  • Rub the cream on any part of the face in which you are shaving until you are content with the amount of foam.

Add some water to infuse with the foam to get a nice, rich lather.

  • The water can also be applied to your face before the shaving cream is put on. If you are wet shaving, this is an essential part of the process.

#3: Lathering In Your Palm With Shaving Brush

how to lather shaving cream with a brush

This method is a bit messier than lathering the brush with a bowl, but it is essentially the same thing. The benefits of lathering the cream in your hand with the brush are to see what your cream and water situation are like and that the cream and water are evenly and effectively utilized and distributed.

(#3) Steps to Perfection

Lather your brush with warm water and shaving cream

  • Same as in method #1, soak your brush in warm water to start and shaky dry. It is important to use warm water and not “hot water.” Hot water can dry or damage your brush or even your face.

Wet Your Palm

  • The lather will be more pronounced if you dampen your hand. Don’t soak your hand, just dampen it. You can always add more later.
  • Add a small dollop (dime-sized) portion of shave cream to your hand.

Start rubbing the brush on your hand.

  • Now for the fun part. In a circular motion, start lathering your shave cream with your brush. Do not be afraid to go quickly, as this will produce the desired result. Going slowly is actually not recommended.
  • If you aren’t satisfied with your lather, rub the brush in your cream and lather the cream onto your hand until you are happy with the result.

Wring out the brush.

  • Do this at least once while lathering to ensure the lather is evenly mixed and being used to its fullest amount.

#4: Lathering In Your Palm By Rubbing Hands Together

how to lather shaving cream in your hands

This is the first method we have all tried and is the old faithful. When all else fails, you can always go back to this classic to save your butt. The quickest method of shaving, and one you can use in a pinch or if you're about to sprint out the door.

(#4) Steps to Perfection

Take your shaving cream of choice and apply it to the palm of your hand.

  • Allot yourself a hefty yet proportionate amount of cream.

Moisten your opposite hand with water.

  • Run your clean hand quickly under the faucet until your whole hand is wet.

Start rubbing both your hands together to create a lather.

  • The minimal amount of water on your hand combined with the shaving cream should be enough to create a respectable lather. If you’re not content, however, add as much water or shaving cream as desired to create your own ideal lather.
  • Additionally, water can also be applied to your face before you rub the lather onto your facial hair.
  • This is not an ideal method for solid state shave cream or soap.

#5: Lathering in a Shaving Bowl with a Brush

how to lather shaving cream in a bowl

Similar to lathering the brush right onto your face, but gives the water a more controlled space, allowing you to dab your brush and moisten it if need be. This is the Rolls Royce method of learning how to lather shaving cream perfectly and beautiful.

Ideal for wet shaving, going the extra mile with a brush and bowl will really take your shave game to the next level.

(#5) Steps to Perfection

Wet your shaving brush.

  • Run your brush under warm water for about ten seconds. Again, make sure the water is warm but not hot.
  • Shake out any excess water from your brush

Add a miniscule amount of water into your bowl.

  • If you add too much water, the lather will be too wet and bubbly and you’ll have to add more shave cream. If you add too little water, the lather will be too dry and you’ll have to add more. Try and find just the right balance, Goldilocks.

Take your shave brush and swirl it around in your shaving cream.

  • Find your perfect amount of shaving cream to brush ratio. It's subjective and everyone likes it differently. I often find the more shaving cream the better.

Take your brush with the cream applied and swirl it in the bowl of water.

  • Do this for about 30 seconds or until you have produced a nice, substantial lather. Add water as necessary.
  • If you want to know how to lather shaving cream perfectly, the answer is speed. A quick, vigorous swirl will produce a rich, frothy lather. In fact, you’ll be surprised how quickly it happens if you move quickly.

Shaving Cream Perfection

There you have it! The five most efficient methods for figuring out just how to lather shaving cream to perfection. Remember, as popular as beards may seem in this day and age, you can never go wrong with a clean shaven look.

Not only will you appreciate how you look, but you’ll be sure to hear it from your colleagues, love interests, and probably even your mom. Except for my mother, who is the only mother in history that encouraged her son to grow a beard, a ponytail, and get his ears pierced. But I digress.

Being clean shaven is a great look for the dedicated manscaper, or the professional man who wants to look sharp for a job interview. Get ready to hone your chops and show off your newly learned skills. You’ll feel as smooth as you look in no time.

Like the tutorial? Be sure to share and tell your friends! Did we miss anything? Let us know your shaving cream tips in the comments section.

Happy lathering!


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