Definitely Rinsing This Brush

Dear reader, you know I do seemingly random things all the time, in an effort to intuit lost traditions and discover the perfect shave. Today's shave will stand, I believe, as my greatest achievement in bizarre shaving. For I have synthesized my recent advances in chemistry into a rock-bottom, low-cost routine, and coincidentally solved the mystery of two of the most polarizing scents in shaving.

Of course, I am referring to Arko and the Veg, often compared to urinal pucks and cat piss, respectively. I think the association of these scents with urine has been misunderstood. It is not the presence of piss odor that offends our noses, but the lack.

There is a completely legitimate reason for a soap to smell like a urinal puck: you're supposed to pee on it!

Previously, using "carbamide solution" in my pre-shave made my skin surface rubbery, which really hurt my razor glide. I decided to reserve it for seborrheic lesions, where skin trying to moisturize itself mistakenly proliferates at the cellular level. Urea breaks the intercellular connections, providing an alternate pathway to moisture balance.

But at the same time, I noticed it softened the hair considerably. So I put half a stick of Arko on the line today, and used clean-catch urine instead of water to liquefy the surface. (If I hadn't pressed mine into a bowl, I can see how two morning functions could have been easily combined.) My synthetic brush was immersed in water, but squeezed damp. After loading the brush, I lathered in my palm.

I almost couldn't believe how soft that lather was. As good a lather as I have ever lathered. Even my palm was soothed. The pee odor wasn't completely covered, and I wasn't very comfortable brushing around my lips; but for once, I was glad of the Arko scent.

After three passes, I felt a little too raw for touch-ups, but recalled seeing the phrase "oil pass" somewhere recently; so, I oiled up for one. I aborted when I found the blade wasn't catching much. But interestingly, the oil seemed to emulsify like a latherless cream, helping to cleanse away the pee lather and prepare the skin for what was to come.

Pinaud Lilac Vegetal can have a sharp, acrid note.  But it is the perfect pee-emulsion remover. It actually smelled a lot like... lilac! I applied it in my usual manner, diluted in a cloth. Afterward, my Dollar Tree moisturizer also wanted to emulsify, demonstrating the persistence of this ultimate humectant.

I forgot to mention, I had the pumpkin-shaving oil preshave in there, too. That is routine now, unless I see bright sunshine in the window. The shave itself, pretty near BBS. I'm still going to have to lighten up sometime, but I can live with it today.

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