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Advanced Lathering Technique: Uberlather

What if I were to tell you that you could take your lather to the next level?  Many of you would scoff and proclaim to have mastered your chosen soaps and creams and that you have already achieved lather Nirvana.  I would ask you to bear with me a few moments more.  I want to introduce you to the concepts of Superlather and Uberlather .  Yes, these are actual terms and no I didn’t make them up.

Superlather or Uberlather combines the volume, moisturizing and smoothing effect of shaving soap with the cushion, ease of lathering, and slickness of shaving cream to create what many have described as the ultimate lather and shaving experience.  These specific properties for soap and cream are generalizations (I know many soaps and creams that fall way outside this statement).  However, these are true for the majority of soaps and creams.

You may ask what is this amazing technique is based on.  Well it is literally building a lather with BOTH shaving soap and shaving cream at the same time… with one extra ingredient 😉

This technique allows you to have cushion AND glide while providing moisturizing properties.  To top it all off, this technique is easy to do.  You don’t need to have expensive soaps or brushes and even the “cheap” products work well with this method.  Superlather and Uberlather is also very useful for those that have had issues with hard water or people who want to experiment with mixing scents in a new way.

Superlather

Superlather is a great way to combine the best aspects of two (or more) shaving products.  At its core you combine a shaving soap and a shaving cream to make lather.  This combining of soap and cream brings out the best qualities of both and thus provides a better shave.

Super-lathering can enhance even the best soaps or creams out there.  Make sure and try to use complementary products.  Some scent combinations would probably not go well together

Uberlather

Uberlather is exactly the same as a Superlather except for one ingredient.  You add 3-5 drops of glycerin to the Superlather.  Glycerin is a humectant and a hygroscopic agent that acts as a lubricant.  It draws moisture into the mixture making it slicker and providing greater lubricating properties to the lather.  Be aware that glycerin is a natural byproduct of the saponification process used to make soap.  What we are doing is adding a little more to enhance certain properties.  Be aware that to much glycerin is just as bad as not enough.  Too much glycerin will result is overly runny lather that lacks cushion. Glycerin can be found in local grocery stores as well as online.

 

The following is a video “Jockeys” showing how he makes Uberlather.  Bit of an older video but still dead on accurate and well narrated.  The link to the original video is HERE

How to make Superlather or Uberlather

Superlather / Uberlather in a bowl

  1. Prep your brush and soaps as you normally would.  I soak my brush in water while showering and often bloom my hard soaps at the same time.
  2. Take your lather bowl and add an almond sized dollop of cream.
  3. Load your brush load for 30 seconds on your soap.  While not required I tend to keep the brush a bit wetter than I usually would if only lathering with the soap.
  4. Start working the soap and cream in the bowl to create a lather.
  5. If you are creating Uberlather, then add three to five drops of glycerin.
  6. Slowly add water until you reach a slick lather and you start getting peaks in your lather (similar to what happens to whipped cream).

Superlather / Uberlather and face lathering

I usually face lather myself.   If you want to create a Superlather or Uberlather when face lathering I recommend the following.

  1. Prep your brush and soaps as you normally would.  I soak my brush in water while showering and often bloom a hard soaps at the same time.
  2. I first load the brush from the soap puck as usual and start my first pass of face lathering.
  3. Add a dab of cream to the end of your brush and commence second pass of face lathering.
  4. If you are shooting for an Uberlather, add a drop or two of glycerin to your brush now.
  5. Keep working the brush on your face and adding a water as needed to reach the consistency you are looking for.

Superlather and Uberlather tip

You will often see reference to super thick “yogurt” like shaving lather.  Uberlather is the only way I have found to do this.  For me, I just start off with more water than usual.  Your lather will start off looking thin and bubbly but as the bubbles work their way out it thickens up a bit and leaves me with a super-slick, slightly cushiony, creamy lather.  This yogurt like lather has a high sheen to it and is great for that luxurious weekend shave.

I hope that this helps a few of you explore another avenue of wet shaving.  While Uberlather offers a different technique to creating lather, it is not a miracle product that will solve all of your problems.  Keep experimenting to find what works well for YOU and have fun doing it.  If you are looking to learn the basics of lathering then check out “Different methods to lather shaving soap”.  Another article that may interest you would be “Making sense of shaving brush knots”.   If you found this article to be helpful please spread the word by liking, sharing, tweeting, or leaving a comment below.

Have a great day and a smooth shave!

Matt

 

Other useful articles concerning Superlather and Uberlather

Wet Shave Review: Tips 

Badger and Blade:  Uberlather Wiki entry 

Shaving Professionals:  Superlather, Uberlather & How They Are Made

 


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7 Comments

  1. Nice write up. I’ll have to give this a go. Should help use up some of the creams I have too.

  2. Nice write up as usual. I wonder if you’ve tried to uberlather with any of Dr. Bronner’s castile soaps. After saponification, it’s essentially just soap, water, glycerin, and veg scent.

    https://www.drbronner.com/our-story/legacy/quality-soaps-explained/

    • While I have heard of the Dr. Bonner’s castile soaps I can’t say I have ever used any. The only issue of concern would be the olive oil in the soap. In the wet shaving community it is a commonly held belief that olive oil is detrimental to building a good shaving lather. Olive oil is not known for making a stable long lasting lather. Quite a few people have tried to use it for its other properties and not had a lot of luck. I personally believe that a very small amount of olive oil (say 2%) may actually help build a quality lather, but I am in the minority. As far as using castile soap for making an Uberlather, it may very well work well with some combinations.

      Just to be clear to anyone else reading this, shaving soap is not formulated for its cleansing properties. Shaving soap is formulated to provide cushion, slickness, stable long lasting lather, and beneficial properties for your skin.

      • I’ve used pure glycerin in vain trying to get some performance out of Geo F Trumper’s but otherwise my uberlather experience is limited. It seems that the peanut gallery is concerned when olive oil is the first ingredient of a soap but are less or not concerned if olive is just one of several saponified oils. Olive oil is Dr B’s fourth ingredient, after water, coconut, and KOH. Anyway, I have used Dr Bronner’s alone in a pinch (no other soap) with decent results. I splashed a spoonful in a Cella lather an hour ago. I didn’t shave, but the lather looked and felt great.

  3. I will admit my interest is peaked. BTW, I’m a big fan of Cella so I don’t doubt it would of been a nice shave

    • I shaved with Cella and some drops of Dr. Bronner almond in a bowl this morning, no cream (although Cella is already creamy). I’ve been perfectly happy with Cella alone face lathered, but the combination in a bowl was creamier and certainly slicker/slippier (alum on fingers was mandatory).

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