Soaps Under $10.00

Monday, October 24, 2016

A Week Of Bad Shaves

The only constant in this world is change. This old saying is true. Especially in the world of wet shaving. Some changes we have no control over while some are self inflicted. This past week was no exception.

Climate Change

No, not that kind. Where I live, our summers are hot and humid and for me provide the best shaving climate around. The humidity keeps my skin well hydrated and shaving is a pleasure and produces great results almost every time. However when fall and winter rolls around the humidity decreases and when we turn on the indoor heat my skin begins to dry out and everything shaving turns to pot. As the climate changes so does my shaving habits.

Van Der Hagen Deluxe

I started off this past week or so with an itch to give my Van Der Hagen Deluxe soap a good working out. I wanted it to become a "much loved soap." I guess the main reason is, it is manufactured here in Texas and I like the idea of supporting the home team.

VDH Deluxe is really a good soap for the price. I can get I locally for about 1.75 a puck and for the price it is, in my opinion, a good deal for a good soap. I had melted it in the microwave a couple of times for about 10 seconds and poured it into an old deodorant container. I did this mainly for face lathering. I didn't bother mixing anything else with it because I had wanted to us it as it was.

When using it I just wet my face and then apply the soap by rubbing it on the skin. I then add some water to the brush to get it going. I really like building the lather on my face. I find it relaxing as well as therapeutic. It also gives me a chance to appreciate its aroma. It has a sweet smell that I really enjoy.

I had used it for about three days and noticed on the third day that my skin was chaffing after a shave. Never did this before. Not during the humid summer months that is.

The Beginning of Regrettable Changes

IF the VDH Deluxe was not enough, the blade started to act up. I was using a Racer which was getting close to the end of it's usable life and then changed over to a Gillette Silver Blue. The Chaffing was still there. The next day I changed the razor. I went from the Edwin Jagger DE89 to my Merkur 33C. The lighter razor did not do any better. It seemed a little worse that before. The next night it was back to the DE89 but this time I used a new soap that I had just arrived in the mail.

The War Dance

What happened the next night is a result of my breaking my number one rule of never changing more than one thing at a time. 

Godrej Shaving Round
I had ordered a puck of Godrej shaving soap along with a few other things. Godrej is a nice lathering soap that smells of Lavender. It is, however, a thirsty soap. I had topped the puck off with hot water to let it soak while I took a shower. I had started to worry that this may cause the puck to become to "mushy." When I stepped out of the shower and looked at the puck, the water was gone! The puck had soaked it up like a sponge. It did provide a fairly good shave but I found that it seemed to suck the moisture our of my skin. The only way I could maintain slickness was to continually keep water applied and then that didn't help much.

Clubman's Bay Rum
The next big mistake I made was to use Clubman's Bay Rum aftershave. I almost jumped through the roof! I quickly found every bad spot on the shave. And it didn't add anything to help solve the dryness problem. Having also received a new tube of Cremo Cream's face lotion, I applied that hoping to calm down the cinnamon sting from the Bay Rum. Wrong. This was the first time I had ever used it. All it did was just entrapped the sting in a light greasy film and prolong the agony. Afterward I rubbed my face feeling the "shave" and asked myself; "Why did you just do what you did?" This was a shave that will never, ever be repeated!

I cleaned up the Godrej and boxed it up for storage until next summer where I may give it another try when we experience another "climate change" and the humidity picks back up.

More Bad Efforts

The next two nights were a little better but not by much. I tried using the Palmolive shave stick one night and then the Proraso White for sensitive skin. This help some, but that unnerving dryness was always present. I was beginning to think that this was never going to change. So after contemplating my dilemma I made the decision to break my number one rule again. I was going to change everything and take an entirely new approach.

Maggard Razors MR1
I reasoned with myself that a little more aggressive razor with a milder blade would keep me from doing a lot of clean up passes. If I could get a clean cut with just three passes I would not suffer as much with the chaffing. I then thought that a soap that had a lot of "lotion" characteristics would help with the cushion and leave a better aftershave protection.

I pulled out my Maggard MR1 razor and paired it up with a a Voskhod blade. That along with my Arko gave me some good pretty good shaves. The chaffing was greatly reduced and more comfortable. When I changed the blade to a Rapira Platinum, the chaffing and razor burns came back. Even after the shave, my skin felt rough and not smooth. Winter just narrows down what I can use.

The Adventure Continues

The upcoming weeks I will be focusing on very mild blades and lanolin based soaps and creams. I know I can hit on the perfect Winter combination. One thing is for sure, these days makes for some great DE shaving. It definitely breaks the monotony.

Climate Change?

I've always believed in keeping a clean house and using only what is necessary in getting by in life. And when you also think about this old world spinning like crazy and racing around a fire belching gravity pulling, nuclear furnace, well, things do tend to get shaken up some!

And...let's not forget about all those burping cows!


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