I was surprised, but it is true. Via The Truth about Shaving Cream:
My freedom from shaving cream began twenty years ago after a friend uttered to me — just in passing, in the course of a conversation during meal preparation — the great truth that shaving cream is a racket.
I was stunned. It took many months to process the information. Ever since I have exulted in my knowledge and felt deep pity on the rest of the world for languishing in unknowingness.
Granted, using shaving cream isn’t the most time consuming part of a day and certainly not a big part of any budget. But why spend money and time, no matter how little, on something that is not only unnecessary but possibly counterproductive?
When I first tried it I thought it would hurt, but it barely felt different from using shaving cream. I experimented for a few days using shaving cream one side and just water on the other. No difference.
The only thing I’d add to the advice in the link is to shave in the shower. Less mess and an easier shave. Shower mirrors are inexpensive and very handy (here’s one for $10). Once you’ve done it for a while you just need the mirror to ensure you don’t take a chunk out of your sideburns (uh, not that I ever did that . . .). The rest you can do without the mirror.
Enjoy your freedom!
Hat tip: Joe Carter