Soaps Under $10.00

Monday, June 19, 2017

Rethinking Lather

Just when you think that you have found the perfect combination something comes along that upsets your perfect world. I had pretty much settled on VDH Luxury soap with their shave oil as a great combination that gave me close shaves and a great feel during the shave and afterwards. I will admit that this was with a Gillette Silver Blue blade in a Lord razor.

Ladas Super Stainless
However this past week, I switched over to a Ladas super stainless blade in the Lord razor and the soap and oil combination bombed! After a three pass shave I could feel stubble and a lot of places that just didn't clean up right. Frustrated, I originally thought that the Ladas blades were junk and about to toss it out in favour of another blade. As I was showering before my shave I started thinking about the cushion that the VDH soap gives me. Just what if I were to try something different? Something with a little less cushion?

My first impression of the Ladas stainless blade was that it was not very sharp. More like a Derby but without the Teflon coating. What if I gave the blade a little less cushion, and more of on opportunity to "grab the pavement" a little? Well, it was the end of a nice hot day, and I decided to throw caution to the wind and pull out the C.O. Bigelow shave cream and my bottle of Shave Secret.  I'm not really a big fan of Menthol products, but the thought of using them that night sounded pretty good.

After the shower, I got everything out and proceeded to wet my face. I then rubbed the palms of my hands together to get them both slightly wet. I then added three drops of Shave Secret to the palm of one hand and then lightly rubbed them together. I then rubbed it in the stubble. Three drops was more than enough to get a nice menthol feel going. I wet my Maggard synthetic brush and put about 3/8" ribbon of C.O. Bigelow onto the end of the brush. Since I am a face lather guy, I took this and gently pressed the end of my brush all over my face and neck several times to get the cream applied to my skin. Then I started the face lather and added water as needed to get the lather built up.

I went for my traditional three pass shave trying not to do anything different in the way I shave. I could feel the menthol kick in. It felt pretty good after a hot day, and my skin was feeling refreshed. After I was finished and was washing off with hot then cold water I noticed that my skin felt slick and smooth. Much different than with the VDH soap. I then applied the Pinaud Clubman original aftershave and then the Nivea balm for sensitive skin and headed off to the living room. Within a half hour when the shave started to settle down, I was feeling a perfectly smooth shave that was as good as any I could have asked for. No irritation, no razor burn, just smooth, soft skin with a menthol coolness about it.

As I was sitting there, I was thinking that for my skin and beard conditions, I need to always match the blade with the soap that I use, For those blades that are sharp and not as smooth I need a lot of thick cushion to protect my skin from the sharpness. When I use blades that are not as sharp or have a lot of smoothness to them, then I need a soap (or cream) that does not have as much cushion so that the blade has better contact with the skin and doesn't "ride" over it because it can't cut through the cushion. Pre-shave oils are the same. If your oil is thick it just adds to the barrier that the blade must cut through whereas a thinner oil like Shave Secret adds the slickness needed, but without the licker barrier.

It's all about the blade! Having various soaps, creams and oils on hand is a good thing. Match them accordingly. A blade that doesn't shave good with one soap may be the perfect blade with another! And that's the beauty and fun of DE shaving!

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