I should start this post by saying that you shouldn’t be using canned shaving gel in the first place. Aside from releasing all the compressed gasses used to push out the gel, your face and straight razor deserve better. Canned goo simply does not offer the slickness, cushioning, and comfort that shaving soap does. Nothing gives you a better shave than a wet-shave using a finely honed straight, a brush, and tallow soap. However, there are some situations where brush and puck or cream simply is not available. Perhaps you’re traveling or the world ended and all that’s left is Edge Shaving Gel. Whatever the reason, this post is to help you get the best straight razor shave possible using canned cream.
The secret is simple: add water. Shaving gel is still soap when you get down to it. What makes shaving soap slick enough for straight shaving is the water (a super sharp razor also helps). So, if you absolutely positively no choice but to go without shaving or shave with the canned goo, just do the following. Wet your face with warm water. Thoroughly soak your face, the more water the better. Then, do what you normally do with canned cream. At this point, the gel is still too dry to comfortably shave with. Your going to have to add water and work it into the lather with your hands. Sort of like face lathering, but with your hands instead of a brush. The additional water will moisturize the cream and give you a better shave. And while it still won’t be a great shave, at least it won’t be your worst shaving experience.