Our Boar Bristle and Synthetic Bristle Beard Brushes, used to apply shaving butter and cream, are essential to the practice of the ShaveAware Wet Shaving Routine. While the boar bristle brush has stiffer and more dense bristles, the synthetic fiber brush is still a highly effective pre-shave prep tool. We understand some folks aren’t comfortable with animal products, and it’s important to us to give all shavers a high quality prep brush. However, the synthetic bristle brush does require a slightly different technique for applying shaving butter / cream.
How to Apply Your Shaving Cream or Shaving Butter
Start by dispensing dabs of cream/butter to the brush surface (we find it usually takes about 3 per shave), then use the brush to apply to your face. “Scrub in” the cream/butter. You want to brush against the grain of your hair growth so you lift the whiskers off your skin.
Application with the Synthetic Brush
Because the bristle density is a little lower on the Synthetic brush, some of the shaving cream or butter will escape down into the bristles if you apply directly to the center. To fix this, simply dab your cream or butter to the edge of the brush (not the center), then use the edge of the brush to apply to your skin. You’ll then “scrub in” the cream or butter using the full brush surface to lift your whiskers and complete your beard prep as noted above.
Shaving Cream vs. Shaving Butter
Most shaving creams turn solid once they dry out. This is a problem for any beard brush, as a solid mass of old cream makes your brush fairly useless. You can certainly clean your beard brush thoroughly after each prep with shaving cream, but you’d be unnecessarily wasting a lot of water by doing so. At that point, you could have used your hands–although your hands won’t prep your whiskers for shaving.
Shaving butters, on the other hand, do not typically harden. This means you can set aside your beard brush between shaves without needing to rinse it each time you shave. For this simple reason, we recommend shaving with shaving butter instead of shaving cream. Depending on how often you shave, you’ll still need to clean your beard brush once the butter gunks up the bristles. If you’re an every-day-shaver, you’ll need to do this every 2-3 weeks. If you go longer between shaves, adjust accordingly.
Bonus: If you tend to have dry or sensitive skin, we find shaving butters are generally gentler and more moisturizing than shaving creams, which usually contain drying ingredients like isopropyl alcohol.