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What Is a Lather Shaving Cream?

By Gregory Hanson
Updated May 21, 2024
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A lather shaving cream is a product designed to be used to aid in the process of wet shaving. It is often produced using one of several different bases and a shaving brush. The lather shaving cream is then applied to the the areas that are to be shaved, minimizing damage to skin during the shaving process. This type of shaving cream is most often used with blade razors rather than electric razors, but some electric razors are designed to work with lather or other shaving creams.

Lather is used primarily to protect the skin while shaving. It allows a razor to glide more smoothly over the skin, reducing friction and damage to the skin. Some varieties of lather shaving cream also include special ingredients to fortify the skin, such as moisturizers or other beneficial compounds. Others may contain pleasing scents.

Many different bases can be used to make lather shaving cream. Ordinary soap can often be used, although this typically provides only a small volume of suds. Specialized shaving soaps are available, and produce shaving cream lather that is foamier and that stays foamy for a longer period of time. More modern varieties of lather shaving cream are typically based on specially-formulated creams or similar substances. These substances may simply require agitation with a bush, or may need to be combined with water before producing a thick foamy lather.

Traditional lather shaving cream is prepared by adding a small amount of water to shaving soap or a lather base. This is then stirred briefly but vigorously with a shaving brush and applied to the skin that is to be shaved. In some cases the quality of the lather may be impacted by the type of water used to prepare it. Hard water, in particular, is apt to produce a less satisfactory lather.

Some modern varieties of lather shaving cream are produced by small specialized appliances. These machines are designed to instantly dispense fresh hot lather shaving cream as needed. Such machines typically employ specialized products to serve as the base for the lather that they dispense.

Typically, a bladed razor is used together with lather shaving cream. Many electric razors fare poorly if exposed to lather. Some, however, are designed to be used in wet environments, using sealed battery packs rather than cords. These razors are generally able to handle lather, and some men and women prefer to use shaving lather with such razors even though it is not typically necessary.

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