Super-Lathers and the Virtue of Gap Filling

Posted: August 16, 2017 in Shaving Articles

Peanut Butter is good. (If you’re not allergic, of course.)

The thing about peanut butter, though, is that it needs a little help from its friends. Much like Ringo Starr that way, peanut butter is.

Okay, let’s not get too far afield. We’re talking today about the idea of superlathers when shaving. What, exactly, is a superlather? Well, it’s basically using more than one type of shaving soap to create an amalgamated lather. Often, this is done because one soap is running out, and another one gets subbed in to get you through. That, or one soap isn’t quite doing the trick, so a stalwart like Arko or Palmolive gets used to save the day.

If we’re honest, we all end up with a few soaps that have some drawbacks in terms of scent or performance. Why not use them in a combination with another product that could shore up those drawbacks?

The two soaps in question are good quality products. I mean no indictment of them, but, for certain reasons, they aren’t my favorites.

  1. Mitchell’s Wool Fat – Super slick, but I have a hard time getting great, lasting lather.
  2. Derby Limon Cream – A great, inexpensive shave cream. It’s just a little shy on the slickness and face feel, as a lot of creams of this ilk are.

Looking at the two, they seemed prefect for a superlather combination. How did I do it?

Step One: Use the Mitchell’s like a shave stick

With a wet face, you rub the Mitchell’s soap puck against the grain of stubble. This coats the skin and hair follicles with the super slick tallow and lanolin, providing a base for the lather.

Step Two: Face lather with the Derby cream

Squeeze a moderate amount of cream (about nickle sized) onto the damp bristles of the shaving brush. From there, lather on the face as normal. You may need to work in a bit more soap, as you’ll be working with a bit more soap than you’re used to.

How did it work?

In a word, fantastic. I used this technique several times, and it yields performance on par with anything out there. With the slick tallow combining with the voluminous glycerin cream, you get the best of both. You take a classic soap that can be a bit tough to work with and a cheap mass-market cream, and they combine to make a lather that exceeds what they can accomplish by themselves. To some degree, you’re almost using MWF as a pre-shave lather booster, like Musgo Real or the like. I used Derby, but other creams would work just as well. I did also try it with Lucky Tiger, and results were exemplary. A great thing about Mitchell’s is that it has almost no scent of its own, so it won’t clash with your other soap, should it have a fragrance.

Highly recommended.

Cheers, and Happy Shaving!



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