Let me just say that, after years of electric shavers and disposables, I came back to wet shaving just last year. My initial struggle with wet shaving all those years ago was simple. No one ever showed me the proper wet shaving method and technique.
Now that I’ve been wet shaving for almost a year, I’ve had a wonderful experience in trying out different razors, blades, and shaving creams.
Now then, I can honestly say that I really LOVE Vikings Blade Sandalwood and Cedar Shaving Cream! I realize it is unlike other shaving creams and soaps. When using it, you have to get rid of all your expectations. This is not Taylor of Old Bond Street, Colonel Conk, The Art of Shaving, or any other soap or cream you may have used in the past.
Vikings Blade Sandalwood and Cedar Shaving Cream is light, frothy and super slick. The folks at Vikings Blade claim it is “old school.” I can understand this. This was some 80 years ago when most shaving creams didn’t give you the full “Santa beard” we have come to expect. (I think the thick shaving cream look is a recent marketing phenomenon.)
Here are just a few things I’ve learned when using this product.
The water to cream ratio is very important. It’s going to take you several tries to dial it in. Once you do, the cream explodes into a nice heap of lather in only 30 to 40 seconds. So, here’s how to best create it:
Soak your badger brush. After soaking, give it a few shakes, but do not wring it out. If you’re using a dry lathering bowl, definitely do not wring it out. If your shaving bowl had hot water in it to warm it up a it, then give the brush a slight wring after shaking it off. The leftover little bit of water in the bowl will make up for lack of water in the brush. You want the brush to be a bit damp but not overly saturated. Too dry is not good, too wet is not good, either.
Use an almond sized amount of cream. Depending on your water (soft or hard) you may need to add a bit more, or possibly, back off with a bit less. Vikings Blade recommends a half teaspoon. I find I don’t use this much. Again, this may take two or three tries to understand the proper amount of each ingredient (water and cream).
Drop the cream in the bowl, start lathering with the brush, and if the ratio is correct, in 30 to 40 seconds you’ll have lather.
Now, wet your face. Instead of painting the lather on, do some swirling face-lathering with the brush. I have found this really helps to build a bit more lather and slickness. You can then follow up and do some painting motions if you like.
Yes, the lather will absorb into the skin and become a bit translucent. However, if you do the face-lathering step, you’ll find the cream stays quite visible. More so than if you painted it on. And here’s the nice part. The cream has formed a super slick layer perfect for shaving.
I use the Vikings Blade Chieftain razor with a Personna Blue blade. This first pass, done with the grain, will be very slick. Also, your hands will be pretty slick from the water and cream having been on your fingers. This is why I like to use the Chieftain razor. The deeply grooved (knurled) handle really lets me get hold of it even with slick hands. If you’re using a smooth handled razor, make sure you dry your hands well. Again, this cream makes a SLICK lather.
Think SLICK, not THICK.
After this first pass, give your face a few splashes of water to rinse. You’ll find the slickness really stays on the skin. It does not completely wash off. This is good. Do a face lathering for the second shave pass. The residual slickness combined with the new lather really makes the second (across the grain) pass VERY slick. Much slicker than the first.
Rinse again and repeat for the third (against the grain) pass.
When finished, empty your sink bowl and rinse with warm tap water. You’ll find that using fresh water from the tap is more efficient in removing the slickness. (if you use water from the sink bowl, you’ll only be putting slick water back on the skin.) Then, follow with a cold water rinse to close the pores. Again, straight from the tap.
After shaving, my skin is wonderfully soft and really smooth. So much so, I almost forget to use an after shave balm. And, when applying an after shave balm, I’m only feeling skin and not stubble. Really nice.
My skin borders on the sensitive side and I’ve found this cream does not irritate. Thee’s no razor burn or redness. In addition, there’s something in the cream that really prevents nicks and cuts. The razor glides across the skin and really cuts the whisker cleanly. There’s no tugging or pulling.
I think it may take the user two or three shaves to really appreciate this shaving cream and, as I’ve said before, find the correct mixture of cream and water (not unlike some other popular shaving creams which can be just as challenging to find the correct proportions). I think, and this is just a guess, that the cream is so different that the skin needs to become a bit attuned and accustomed to it, as well.
I mention this point because I’ve found it to be true in my own wet shaving experience. I’ll give you an example. There have been razor blades I’ve used that were just terrible. But coming back to them some months later, I now find them to be more agreeable. I guess, with time and continued wet shaving, my face has changed a bit. I think this may be the same scenario with the Vikings Blade Shaving Cream.
So, please keep an open mind. Give Vikings Blade Sandalwood and Cedar Shaving Cream a try. Give it several tries and a bit of time. You’ll find that once you hit on the proper mixture, it’ll become one of your favorites. And please don’t listen to folks who tell you to stay away from a certain wet shaving product, especially when they themselves have only used it one time and come up short. This is pretty narrow-minded. Sometimes it all it takes is a few more uses and varying the recipe or approach.
I hope this info helps.:)