If these advertisements from 90 years ago is to be believed – and why should someone wanting to separate us from our hard earned money lie? – water bounces of the beard in the same way it does of a duck’s back…
The ad-writer have a point though; beard is easier to shave when it’s thoroughly wetted, and if the oil in the beard is emulsified water can get more ‘in there’. But you don’t need Colgate’s fancy new cream for that – any soap will emulsify oil and fat, since that is how soap works.
There is a few fun phrases to be found in the ads too;
…a shave as smooth as a banker’s smile.
…a shave as smooth as a husband’s alibi
…your razor sails through those limp whiskers like a knife through cheese!