How To Lather Shaving Soap?  (Step-By-Step Guide)

Men, who are unfamiliar with traditional shaving often scratch their heads when asked how to lather shaving soap? Let’s dive into this article to figure it out.

Because it is an age-old technique that has gone from widespread practice, learning to lather your soap correctly is one of the most difficult challenges for anyone trying to convert to traditional shaving. 

As a result, many unfamiliar people scratch their heads when asked how to lather shaving soap.

If you have a similar concern, don’t skip this article. Instead, it will provide you with more information about lathering your soap to simplify your shaving process.

Preparation Before Lathering Shaving Soap

There are some equipment and tools you need to prepare:

  • Shaving soap 
  • Brush for shaving
  • Scuttle, Bowl, Or Mug For Shaving

Although you can lather shaving soap without a lathering bowl, you’ll get a better result if you build the lather in a dedicated bowl, mug, or scuttle before applying it since it gives the most lather per shave, which is ideal for shaving a broad area.

It’s important to note that this bowl is separate from the one that holds the soap. In the worst-case scenario, you can use the sink, but this is inconvenient and unsanitary. Alternatively, you could always use a regular coffee mug!

Lee's Razors
Lee's Razors

In the case of shaving brushes, they’re beneficial as they make lathering effortless and much more time-saving, not to mention the higher-quality lather. 

Now, one thing most people misunderstand is that lathering shaving soap necessitates the use of lathering tools (like a mug, a scuttle, a bowl, or a brush).

Yet, it isn’t always the case: You can do it with the tool or without it. But of course, utilizing specialized tools would yield better results. 

How To Lather Shaving Soap (Detailed Instructions)

Method 1: Lather Shaving Soap with Shaving Brush

Lathering a shaving soap is not as difficult as many people thought. You only need to follow six easy steps to lather a shaving soap.

Step 1: Soak the brush in water​​

Soak the brush in water
Soak the brush in water

If the brush has natural bristles, such as boar, the first step is to soak it. As natural hairs absorb water, soaking them will help your shaving brush build the lather much better in the upcoming steps.

On the other hand, synthetic brushes don’t have that water absorption, thus, you don’t need to soak them. All you have to do in this case is to wet them before use. 

Place the brush in a bowl or cup with just enough water to cover the bristles. Use hot water, but don’t overfill; the wooden handle will absorb too much water otherwise.

Step 2: Let the soap bloom

Blooming the soap entails soaking it in warm water for a few minutes. 

Next, turn on the faucet and let a few drops from a puddle on the soap’s surface. This step should be done simultaneously as step 1 and left to soak in as you prepare for your shave. 

If the soap has been allowed to bloom for at least 15 minutes, the results are continuously superior, which gives the water plenty of time to soak deep into the soap and leave you with a rich, softened surface.

Step 3: Load your brush

Load your brush
Load your brush

Loading the brush means letting the bristles stick enough soap for the later lather forming process. After you have completed steps 1 and 2, you’ll need to perform this. 

Remove the brush from the mug and squeeze it to remove any extra water. Don’t flick it because you need the water in the bristles to soften the facial hairs and open the pores when applying the brush to your skin. When forming a lather, this step also helps to make the first swirls much easier.

If you have a synthetic brush, all you have to do is run it under water and squeeze some water in. After that, drain the bloom liquid from the soap’s surface. 

Begin swirling the brush on the soap in circular motions using mild pressure to bend the bristles but not splay. Alternate between clockwise and anti-clockwise rotations for around 30 seconds.

At the first few swirls, expect to see those big air bubbles. However, as the lather forms, the bubbles will be smaller and when your suds are ready, these bubbles will disappear completely. 

You could also fasten the process by introducing extra pressure, yet be careful as this movement could take on too much soap, making the lather stiff.

Now, take the brush (which has the soap on it) to the mug/ scuttle/ or any lather-making tool and prepare for the next step.

Step 4: Make your lather

Start by pushing the brush in the bowl or mug until the bristles splay after you’ve applied a snurdle of soap to your bowl or mug. However, because natural hair is delicate, take care not to damage the bristles. Swirl it for another 30 seconds, switching between clockwise and anti-clockwise movements.

You may want to introduce additional water to the mixture at the current stage 

If the foam remains firm and dense, it requires additional water, so put a spoonful of hot water into the basin one after another. Ultimately, what you need is a foam that is delicate and lustrous, with a consistency comparable to whipped egg whites. 

If we use far too much water, the suds will turn too watery and will dry up too fast once put on our skin. A common sign of this situation is when you spot those big air bubbles in your mixture that you can’t eliminate.

In this case, you may need to apply extra soap. Likewise, if the cream is too thick, you’ll need to wet your brush with more water.

Right off the batch, it’s a smart strategy to develop a sample foam and continue introducing water. During the process, constantly test the foaming using your fingertips, and you’ll have a sense of when to stop adding water.

Step 5: Lather your face

Lathering up your face
Lathering up your face

It’s time to start lathering up your face. Start by properly cleansing your face with warm water, which will open up your pores and prevent oil glands from clogging your skin.

After that, run the brush through the water once again and fill it with lather. As the water starts to run down your face, start at the sideburns and work your way down. 

Swirl the brush in tight for about 3 to 5 minutes, circular strokes as you work your way towards the chin and neck. This movement will help to exfoliate the dead cells by separating the hairs and lifting them up while also generating a hydrated, smooth surface that allows for easier blade glides.

Method 2 : Lather Shaving Soaps Using A Tin Can

This approach is one of the most basic methods when it comes to forming lather. All you need is a shaving brush, a cup of water, and your soap tin.

  • Step 1: Begin by soaking the hairs of your brush in a cup of water (natural bristles) or wetting your brush (synthetic bristles). Then, squeeze the water out to prevent the drippings. However, do not take all the moisture away as it could help open your pores, soften the beards, and make the first swirls easier.
  • Step 2: After that, begin twirling the brush over the puck tin to form a foam. Continue until you get the proper texture, adding water if necessary.
  • Step 3: When you’re happy with the consistency, and your brush gets loaded with enough foam, spread it onto the parts of the skin you wish to groom (for example, your jaw, cheekbones, or neckline), and you’re done.
Lather shaving soaps using a tin can
Lather shaving soaps using a tin can

Method 3: Lather Shaving Soap Without Using A Shaving Brush

Customers who use the shaving soap refill pucks suggested this method. It will be a good choice to opt for if you don’t have a shaving brush or a bowl/mug, but we can’t guarantee its efficacy. 

Some consumers, surprisingly, use shaving soap as a face cleanser. Again, it was not designed to be used that way, but we like it when our clients utilize the soap for many purposes and are pleased with the outcomes.

  • Step 1: Wet your hands with the soap and rub it in until you have a thick layer of soap on your hands.
  • Step 2: Set the soap aside and rub your hands together in a circular manner until you achieve the desired lather.
  • Step 3: To activate the soap properly, you may need to add a few drops of water.
  • Step 4: Shave with your favorite razor after applying the lather from your hands.

Why Should We Use Shaving Soaps

Now, you might ask yourself what benefits you can get out of shaving soaps. Simply put, it aids you in controlling the process, moisturizing our hairs, lubricating our skin for extra safety, and rejuvenating our skin.

Shaving Soaps Give You Better Control

One thing users appreciate most about shaving soaps is that they provide them with much greater control.

We handle our suds from start to finish by generating the thickness of lather that we prefer. You have complete power over the amount, consistency, and aeration.

Shaving Soaps Moisturize Your Facial Hairs

Shaving soap hydrates and moisturizes your skin while grooming, making stubborn, coarse facial hairs easier and more comfortable to remove.

The less pressure you use, the more enjoyable your grooming will become.

Shaving soaps
Shaving soaps help to moisturize your skin.

Indeed, nourishing elements in shaving soaps make your face moisturized and condition your hairs for a more pleasant grooming and post-grooming sensation. 

As a result, you can now clear your concern about discomfort or soreness following a shave. Shaving soaps contain calming properties that your skin craves.

Shaving Soaps Lubricate Your Skin

Shaving soap, when used with a brush, eliminates the oils from the stubble and enables water to enter the facial hairs.

As a consequence, grooming hairs and beards become much more easily compared to uses of conventional gels, bottled shaving creams, or foams.

Shaving soap, categorized as an emollient, provides a small barrier of protection, preventing mild discomfort and abrasion.

The pairing of a hygienic, sharp blade with shaving soap reduces the danger of razor burns and keeps your blade from cutting or skimming over your face. Thus, you’ll also lower the risks of potential nicks and cuts.

Shaving Soaps Leave Your Skin Feeling Refreshed

Natural shaving soaps (especially those with high content of Vitamin E, natural oils) are notably advisable for skin problems as they don’t leave your skin feeling sore after grooming. 

Skin Feeling Refreshed
Your shaving soaps will leave your skin refreshed after shaving.

They are mild and effective in rejuvenating and soothing your face. Simultaneously, these products also provide a clean groom without inflammation or razor burn.

Notable Shaving Soap’s Qualities

Lather Volume

The lather volume stands for the amount of lather generated after the suds forming procedure. Soaps which create a lot of foam are usually relatively simple to utilize since they don’t need a lot of work or time to make. 

Most wet shavers think that “greater lather” equals “higher-quality soap,” but it is not valid. It’s ideal to strive for the golden medium because a thick lather might be drying or lack adequate protection.


It is, without a doubt, one of the most crucial elements. This indicates how slick the foam is and how smoothly the razor glides over your face without producing resistance. 

Slickness is vitally crucial when it comes to shaving soaps.

Since we’re all likely to return to the place we’ve already shaved, having your skin feel smooth after you eliminate the lather is a crucial component of slickness.

The stearic acid content not only aids in stabilizing the soap but also adds slickness to the suds. Castor oil, glycerin, kaolin (bentonite) clay, and shea butter are notable substances proven to help with smoothness.


A shaving soap’s foam, unlike conventional products, must remain on your face during the grooming process. Therefore, it should not evaporate or dry out in the middle of the process.

Stability is also a thing to pay attention to regarding shaving soaps.


Shaving soaps shouldn’t take away all the oils on your skin, resulting in dryness. Thus, that’s why manufacturers often introduce moisturizing components to maintain the hydration and softness of your skin and stubble for a more pleasant experience and post-grooming sensation.

Since soaps may be dehydrating, it is critical to contain hydrating ingredients in a shaving soap. Allantoin, aloe vera, argan oil, avocado oil, beeswax, cocoa butter, goat’s milk, jojoba oil, kokum butter, lanolin, mango seed butter, and olive oil are examples of moisturizing ingredients.


Even when you use the slickest and most stable suds, passing the sharp steel razor on your skin will likely result in some irritations, thus shaving soaps frequently feature antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and skin-nurturing components.

A decent shaving soap should always have antiseptic components.

Many of the substances utilized to moisturize the face are also beneficial for replenishing it. For example, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, kokum butter, menthol, and vitamin E have various uses.

Menthol not only helps to calm the skin but also acts as an antibacterial. Likewise, vitamin E (tocopherol) strengthens your complexion and counteracts the impacts of free radicals.

Shaving Soaps Vs Regular Soaps: What Are The Differences? 

Therefore, what differentiates shaving soap? The distinction lies in the components utilized and how they influence the final piece.

Regular soap comes with the intention of cleaning our skin. It creates a foam that aids in the removal of impurities and oils from our skin. In a nutshell, it cleanses us.

A shaving soap, on the other hand, does not intend to clean us. Its purpose is to deliver a preventive shield between our skin and the edge, allowing for a more pleasurable grooming experience.

Regular soaps contain a very light, runny foam that is wonderful for cleaning away dust and germs but will not give much shielding against a blade.

Regarding shaving soaps’ lather, they are considerably thicker and stiffer to provide you with the necessary shielding. However, modern shaving soaps strive to do more than simply safeguard your skin. 

regular soap’s foam
Shaving soap’s foam will last much longer than regular soap’s foam.

A shaving soap’s foam, unlike conventional products, must remain on your face during the grooming process. Therefore, it should not evaporate or dry out in the middle of the process.

The combination of potassium and sodium salts plus a high stearic acid concentration is among the most significant distinctions between shaving soap and normal ones. The consistent suds, slickness, and hair soothing characteristics required in a shaving soap result from a high stearic acid content.

Saponification of lipids utilizing potassium and sodium hydroxide contributes to such properties. Once potassium hydroxide (potash) gets in contact with fats/oils, a process known as saponification occurs. And that’s how the soap forms.

Stability is also a thing to pay attention to regarding shaving soaps.

Since potassium hydroxide produces looser or soaps with a watery texture, people typically pair it with a mixture of sodium hydroxide-based cleansers to get the desired texture.

Castor oil, coconut oil (which could be dehydrating in large doses), kokum butter, palm oil, and mango seed butter are among the most popular high stearic fatty-acid concentrations.

Tallow is rich in stearic acid and is commonly the ingredient of shaving soaps. Most of the time, such compounds would usually be under the label of potassium or sodium-ate on the ingredient list.

Indeed, modern shaving soaps could feature a variety of elements that affects the grooming effectiveness by utilizing various pairings of components.

How To Choose The Best Shaving Soap?

quality shaving soap
How to choose what is a quality shaving soap?


Shaving causes inflammation and irritations on the skin including swollen red spots in both men and women, which people know as razor burns.

This situation might also derive from dull razors, poor lubrication, and, probably most importantly, scented commercial shaving soap containing abrasive chemicals.

Remember that grooming might be harsh on the skin, especially sensitive ones. Thus, higher chances are that you aggravate the burns by applying some of those petrochemicals, scents, additives, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, plus alcohol in shaving soaps onto your face!

Ingrown hairs are another reason for red patches, and as you’ll discover later, decent shaving soap and brush may help with soothing and avoiding this as well.

Seek for a product (ideally handmade) that comprises a substantial amount of plant oils and nutritious butter. And this is the reason why:

Most of the time, the soap manufacturing operation usually strips the organic glycerine concentration in the fats because it’s a key by-product for different products. As a result, drying is usually the nature of soap.

Since traditional homemade soaps don’t take away the soap’s glycerine, a top-grade homemade shaving soap tends to appear considerably denser while generating a richer and smoother lather.

The greater fat and glycerine portion in a product, the smoother the suds and the more successful the grooming process. The considerable fat concentration will lube and provide a shield against irritations and inflammations while effectively smoothing and moisturizing your hair and face.


Fragrances and smells should be as minimal as feasible, especially if you’re having sensitive skin since they might aggravate it. 

However, if your skin is strong and isn’t easy-to-get-irritated, using scented ones is still fine. Almond, eucalyptus, sandalwood, cedar, mint, lavender, rose, and lemon are all popular scents nowadays.

You also don’t have to bother about the fragrance of shaving soap lingering; as the soap gets rinsed off after shaving. Most of the time, it’s generally implemented only to provide a pleasant smell during grooming.


In the field of grooming products, cost and performance don’t necessarily go hand in hand, although it could be a sign of quality, notably on the cheaper segment. 

Bargain bin products are less expensive since they are often similar to bath soap packaged as a puck. They deliver almost no shielding between the blade and skin and can trigger considerable aggravation during grooming. 

A decent shaving soap can arrive at $20 and may still perform well and endure for around nearly a year (based on how frequently you shave).


It is critical to choose renowned brands of shaving soap. No, it does not always apply to Schick or any of the other items available at the nearby pharmacy.

Famous brands don’t necessarily mean large market coverage. They might be those who have been in the industry for decades, gained brand loyalty, and possess a strong customer base. 

Indeed, many high-quality products don’t get those flamboyant statements and advertising yet there are still tons of compliments and reviews about them.


Now that you have reached the end of this article, we hope that you have grasped all our tips on how to lather shaving soap. It’s not difficult if you follow the instructions above and spend a lot of time improving your skills. 

If you find this article helpful, feely share it with your friends who find lathering shaving soap a bit challenging. 

Lee Cantor

Provide the best shaving product reviews and shaving advices to the wetshaving community and friends.

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