Perfect Shave Trials Phase II

Differential Hydration of Skin and Hair

My skin was not at all happy with the glycerine from yesterday, escalating to a mild, acute burn. The shave that initially seemed shadowy and displeasing to the touch, actually held up very well, appearance-wise. The ends were just cut too sharp, apparently, consistent with the hypothesis that the skin was sufficiently softened, but not the hair.

Today's shave established a new baseline, by taking my benchmark Stirling shave and applying maximum hydration to both skin and hair. For the skin, carbamide solution; and for the hair, baking soda; applied in that order and backed off with a wet towel. Face lather was also used as an additional preshave.

Trial 5 Result

This combination yielded blade silence in three passes, and a damn fine shave, marked by perfect comfort. The glycerin content of Stirling may not be what it used to be, but it effectively toes the line. Just when I was about to begin the second pass, I could feel it penetrating to full depth.


Using the paracellular pathway to hydrate skin effectively protects the skin's basal layer against lather with a reasonable glycerin content. Hair seems to have been hydrated fully also, and in a feasible time period (not requiring a shower and prolonged lather exposure). This was indicated by a more square cut and zero skin damage due to blade deflection.

My new direction for future research is to maintain this degree of hair hydration and skin integrity, while decreasing the skin thickness due to hydration somewhat. Thus, when hair dries out and skin is moisturized after the shave, the former should retract further beneath the skin surface.

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