Choosing between shaving foam, cream or gel.

Firstly, the man who wet shaves must choose which razor to use.  It’s obvious to Bolin Webb.  We recommend a Bolin Webb razor with Gillette blade : a X1 or Generation razor with a Fusion blade for a close shave, or a R1 razor with a Mach3 blade for a more sensitive effect.  No surprises there.

The man must then select the shaving product to to lubricate the blade as it glides across chin and cheeks.  This choice can be confusing, as there are so many different solutions on the market.  Just go to your department store, pharmacy or supermarket to see the array of brands on offer. Then the question comes to shaving gel vs cream or shaving foam vs soap. 

Let it be said that once the choice is made, a man is not often quick to change his shaving routine.  It is nonetheless good to know that you can try different products from time-to-time, and perhaps discover a better medium or a more pleasant fragrance.  It’s worth a try – you can always go back to the old favourite if the shaving experience is not improved.

Man using shaving soap and brush. Traditional mens shaving methods.

The question of which shaving product is best will come down to personal preference, but here is our summary of the four main categories of shaving product:

Shave foam

Foams have the advantage of convenience and a ready lather.  You push the dispenser release and out comes a ballooning mass of white foam that can be applied directly to your beard with no need to massage. 

Foams don’t need to be rubbed onto your face, but this can actually lead to a more uncomfortable shave as stubble has less opportunity to soften. Foams also come in aerosol containers, which are not always viewed sympathetically for the environment.

Shave creams

Creams are a more exclusive and niche; perhaps less readily available in the supermarket and more on offer online and in beauty and department stores.  They have the advantage of simple application and on occasions must be massaged into the beard for a lather to form.  They offer a luxury experience and fragrance, and oftentimes take up less space if you happen to travel.

Shave gel

Clear gels offer the convenience of a foam but provide a more concentrated medium on the face, which some men prefer.  Some gels also foam a little on contact with air, which allows the product to be more visible on the face.  Others remain as gels, which can mean it’s difficult to see where you’re going with the razor blade. 

Shave soap

The most traditional form of creating a foam for you shave is to work a shaving soap with a brush – typically badger hair but increasingly synthetic.  This is the ultimate shaving indulgence, but actually takes considerably longer to complete if done properly.  A man with time at the weekend may enjoy the distraction more than a man on the move. 

Whatever you choose, remember to keep your razor blade sharp to ensure a quality shave.