A commenter on Reddit asked “Why not use a can of [shave cream] with a DE?” My Response (among others):
Does [Brand-Name Canned Shaving Cream] and its canned ilk work? Well, for most people, yeah. But its like eating at McDonalds every day: not necessarily good for you, and kinda boring if you do it every day. The main problem with canned shaving cream is that the propellant tends to dry out the skin by displacing water from the skin, so artificial lubricants have to be added to try to make up for it. Usually the lubricants are petroleum-based, which displaces water even further. And its water that does the “heavy lifting” during a shave: warm water will ease the hair out a bit, naturally (so no need for a”yank and hack” multi-blade razor!) and softens the hair for an easier cut. So if you don’t want to use traditional shaving cream/soap, at least buy a “brushless” product that comes out of a squeeze-tube and not a pressurized can.