All products recommended on have been chosen by our editorial and research team. We may receive a commission on qualifying purchases made through our affiliate links.

How To Apply Shaving Cream

It’s not uncommon to not know how to shave. Many men are never taught properly and so they’re left to teach themselves which has lead to many men shaving the wrong way and getting nasty side effects like razor burn and razor bumps.

Part of shaving properly is getting the right routine and pre-shave preparation. When you’re wet shaving you’re going to need shaving cream or shaving gel. But which do you use and how do you apply it?

Well, read on and you’ll know exactly how to apply shaving cream.


Applying Shaving Cream: A Step By Step Guide

  1. Rinse your skin with warm water – Step into the shower or grab a wet washcloth, then soak the part of your body that you’re going to shave for about 5 minutes as this will help open up your pores and soothe your skin so that you get a smoother, cleaner shave.
  2. Lather some shaving cream on your hands –  Apply an almond-sized dab shaving cream onto your hands, then rub your palms together. Do this for about 5 seconds until the shaving cream looks smooth, frothy, and covers your palms and fingers.
  3. (Optional) Use a shaving bowl for smoother cream – While this one isn’t essential if you’d like a smoother application, squirt your shaving cream into a shaving bowl, then use the shaving brush to swirl it around. Keep doing this for about 1 minute until the shaving cream looks white and frothy.
  4. Rub in the shaving cream – Taking your foamy shaving cream, apply a thick layer all over the area you’re going to be shaving.


Benefits Of Shaving Cream

Hydrates skin – Shaving dry hair is about as fun as it is easy. Unless you’re using an electric shaver, shaving with dry hair will lead to skin irritation and cause pulling and nicks which will only make the experience uncomfortable and painful.

Protects skin – A dry shave will undoubtedly cause skin irritation and potentially other problems such as razor burn and razor bumps.

Stops dryness – When your skin is dry your pores start creating sebum, natural oil that moistens the skin. Excessive sebum can clog pores which make shaving more difficult, causes razor bumps, as well as leads to other things like acne.

Helps with a close-shave – Shaving cream properly lubricates the skin which in turn allows your razor to slide on the surface without catching any bits of skin. This lack of friction will also save you in razor blade costs because it extends the life of your blades.

Reduces nicks – When you use shaving cream your chances of getting any nicks and cuts are much lower as your razor blade can glide through your facial hair much easier.


Using A Shaving Bowl And Brush

While most will use their hands to lather there’s nothing quite like using a shaving bowl and brush to give you an experience that’s unrivaled by your hands.

Using this method allows you to create the richest and warmest lather that provides the slickest lather that you can use for a multi-pass shave. And since you’ll only need a drop of cream you can get the most out of your shaving cream which shaves you money in the long run.

The Bowl

Obviously, your first course of action is getting the right bowl, it needs to be the right size, depth, and material. A shallow bowl may not be able to keep lather inside the container as you swirl it around. If it’s too deep, then it’ll be hard to move your hand when stirring it.

Another thing to look at is the material of the bowl/mug. Choose something that’ll efficiently insulate heat like ceramic, glass, or metal. Ceramic would be the best at retaining heat from hot water.


Start by soaking the shaving brush in hot water in a mug while taking a hot shower. Also, fill the bowl with hot water. Doing this does two things, firstly, the heat from the water leaves residual heat on the container. And secondly, there’ll be remaining wetness left behind that you’ll need for lathering.

Soaking the brush loosens and softens the bristles and the warm bowl also helps create warm lather which is essential for minimizing irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin.


  1. Take out the brush from the bowl and shake it to remove excess water.
  2. Apply an almond-sized amount of shaving cream to the bristles.
  3. Twirl the brush on the bowl in a circular motion. As you do this, you’ll notice lather starting to build up. In about 10-20 seconds you’ll see something resembling whipped cream.
  4. Be sure not to add too much water too quickly, or it’ll turn bubbly.
  5. However, if there is too much water it’s not a big deal as you can just continue the swirling motion until you get the right consistency.


What To Look For In Shaving Creams

So you want to shave your face but aren’t sure exactly what to apply to get that quality shaving experience. Well, look no further than below because we have a few things you should be on the lookout for when shopping for the right shaving cream.


The fewer chemicals you can have come into contact with your body, the better. The same is true with shaving cream. Chemicals are cheaper and easier to manufacture but the rule of thumb for them is that they will dry out the skin and leave the face feeling sensitive and lacking moisture as a result. If you have sensitive skin then an artificial, chemical-based shaving cream is going to cause a lot of discomfort.

Look for ingredients like glycerin that comes from plants to work as a natural moisture retainer or humectant. Most brands that put a president of being natural clearly state that on the package so try to gravitate towards that.

Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol dries out the skin as much as any substance that can be placed on the skin. It will leave skin feeling flaky and purge the skin of the much-needed natural oils leaving you prone to skin irritation.


Shaving creams that have good quality ingredients, tend to cost a bit more. While you will pay more upfront, you won’t have to apply additional creams and lotions to counteract the trauma that would occur from using a shaving cream that’s cheaply made. Buying nicer shaving cream will pay for itself within the first can or two with the health of your skin.


Since you will be using this product often, make sure you love the smell of it. If it is too strong or has an odor that isn’t pleasant, you will regret the purchase. Additionally, avoid a scent that will conflict with any other scents you are wearing like cologne, body wash, and even deodorant.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do you wet your face before applying shaving cream?

Wet your skin with warm water. This will help to open up your pores and soothe your skin so that you get a smoother, cleaner shave. If you’re shaving your face, it’s probably easier to use a washcloth than to stand in the shower.

Are you supposed to let shaving cream sit?

Around 2 or 3 minutes is recommended, particularly if you have thicker facial hair, this helps the shaving cream penetrate the hairs and soften them. While you wait, you can brush your teeth or comb your hair.

Do you need a shaving brush to apply shaving cream?

First and foremost, a shave brush is the best way to prep the facial hairs themselves before a shave. You see, without adequate stimulation, shave creams and gels are unable to penetrate the hair and soften it.

Latest guides
Best Rodan+ Fields Products
Best Rodan+ Fields Products

[Review] in 2022  written by nail expert Jess RowleyCheck out the results fast - here are our review winners[dica_divi_carousel item_width_tablet="400px" item_width_phone="345px"...

Related Post: Best Hair Brushes For Every Hair Type