The Ultimate Guide to Shaving Creams

When combined with a shaving brush, a traditional shaving cream creates a wonderfully luxurious lather which softens the beard hair, protects the skin, lubricates and helps with razor glide, all of which leads to a better and more enjoyable shave.

Why use a shaving cream?

A quality shaving cream offers many benefits over modern shaving gels and foams. By using traditional recipes and quality ingredients, shaving creams help to soften the beard before shaving. This allows the razor to cut the beard more easily which results in a closer and more comfortable shave. A shaving cream also offers a very slick surface for the razor to glide across. Shaving creams come in a wide variety of fragrances, many of which are also available in matching aftershave balms and colognes, which make the shaving ritual a much more pleasant experience. Finally, a traditional shaving cream will last many months of use which can make it more economical than gels and foams.

How to use a shaving cream

To make a lather using a shaving cream you must first soak your shaving brush in hot water for a minute or two. Badger and boar hair differs to most animal hair in that it absorbs water rather than repels it. By soaking the brush you allow it to absorb a large amount of water to help produce your lather.

After the brush has been left to soak, take it out of the water, and shake off any excess water. Take a small amount of shaving cream (about the size of a penny) either by scooping some out of the tub with your finger or by swirling the brush over the cream a few times and coating the tips in cream. For new starters it is advised to take the cream out of the tub directly so that you can get a consistent amount of cream from the tub each time.

You now have a choice of where to build the cream into a lather. This can be done in the palm of your hand, a shaving bowl or directly onto your face. For new starters a shaving bowl is a good idea because it allows you to see the cream develop into a lather and you control the amount of water that you add in a consistent way. A shaving bowl does not need to be anything special – it can be any bowl or large mug from your kitchen or it can be a specially designed shaving bowl.

To build the lather simply swirl the brush around inside the shaving bowl until the consistency stops changing which can take up to a minute. At this point you might need to add some more water to the mix. If the lather is still very stiff and thick then it needs more water so add hot water to the bowl about a teaspoon at a time. Eventually you want to get a lather that is light and shiny and has a texture similar to whipped egg whites (or slightly looser). If you add too much water then the lather will become too runny and will dry out too quickly when applied to the face. You will know you have added too much water when you start to see large air bubbles in the lather than you can't get rid of. When you first start it is a good idea to make some test lather and to keep adding water to the lather until you take it too far. Keep feeling the slickness between your fingers as you add water and you will begin to get a feel of when you have the right amount of water.

Once you have your lather at the right consistency you need to apply it to your face. Begin by applying the brush with a circular scrubbing motion around the face and neck. This will exfoliate the skin, raise the beard hairs and surround each whisker with lather. The longer you do this process the better as it also helps to soften the beard. When the face is completely covered you can change to a painting motion to even-out the lather over the face and take off any excess.

Choosing the right shaving cream for you

We have an extensive range of shaving creams, from great value every day shaving creams, to more luxurious special occasion shaving creams.

Beginner / every day shaving creams

All the shaving creams that we sell are excellent quality and will give you a great shave. Some of the shaving creams that we stock might not offer the same comfort and luxurious qualities of the more expensive shaving creams but they are not far off and are excellent value for money which makes them a great choice for beginners or for every day use.

Sandalwood shaving creams

Sandalwood is our most popular fragrance and most suppliers have a Sandalwood shaving cream in their range. It is a very traditional scent that appeals to all generations.