I cannot shake the feeling that the answer is within my reach. Some combination of these conditioning tools will yield the perfect shave:

D3 supplement
D3 oil
Pumpkin juice
Hair conditioner or Cetaphil or KMF

I've just  got to think, and in terms of a 24-hr game clock. All shaving, all the time... only by embracing my insanity can I hope to escape!

Pumpkin, I am quite sure, provides cellular proliferation and glycerin defense. Pre and post should both be beneficial, but not a certain window before or after the shave, as the biological process of skin growth resembles or induces mild inflammation. As preshave emulsion, the aloe-like protection can be emphasized. As bedtime skin treatment, the nutrient effect will be safely accentuated.

Hyperosmotic carbamide solution (i.e, pee) brings alum-like power to the skin's barrier function as an acute effect, but adds extreme natural moisture, while making room for development of NMF over the course of the game. These qualities make it a great aftershave. It also enhances lather, especially the cheap stuff. In retrospect, I think this too is partly due to osmosis -- the lather gains penetrating power, allowing it to reach irritated nerve endings. You might not think of soap as something that soothes wounds, but it is. Another acute effect is breaking down the keratin detritus in the pores and hair softening. So long as it doesn't enter the preshave after oil, it's all good.

Congestive agents (hair conditioner, Cetaphil, Kiss My Face moisture shave) interact with the oil in my skin and hair, swelling them in a way that could only be accomplished over a period of hours in fresh water, but without maceration. Because I am such an oily dude, the idea that simple hydration is going to soften my beard is a fantasy. Cetyl, stearyl, cetearyl alcohols, whatever, are detrimental to lather, unfortunately. KMF is a lathering liquid cream, but it's a challenge to get it hydrated. It becomes supernaturally good when added to microwave-melted VDH, however. Another approach is to get the solvents into the hair and skin as preshave, but remove a certain amount before the lather comes.

Finally, Vitamin D promises to give me the skin that my genes would have denied me. There are hazards to consider. One is kidney stones. (I've had one: it feels like giving birth to a baby-sized turd.)  Vitamin K (or for those of you who eat properly, dark leafy greens) feels like it should help. And then, I've always had borderline cholesterol, and I can feel my liver swelling when I do the pills. Vitamin D is synthesized from cholesterol, so it seems I have caused a traffic jam somewhere in the metabolic pathways. Luckily I knew how to make my liver puke it out: red yeast rice. Doctors tried to make me take Lipitor years ago, and I couldn't stand the queasy side effect at that time. This prescription-free stuff does the same thing, BUT given the Vitamin D reaction, it just balances out. So send all that goo down the bile shaft, liver, and we can enjoy the modern, refined lifestyle together.

Applied directly to the skin as liquid supplement (in sunflower oil), seborrheic keratoses differentiate into something that really looks like a wart, but eventually fall off. I'm preparing to mix up my new shaving oil, and I think I'm going to make it castor and D/sunflower, 50:50. The supplement alone is a bit too greasy; castor oil, while having a high viscosity, is really the cleansing component in shaving oils. I wonder if the new mix will take down a keratosis on its own... maybe I can find one to test on the back of my shoulder or something. Actually, the one on my cheek is proving to be the most durable, probably because of the constant dilution of washing and shaving.

When possible, I will apply this oil at least 20 minutes before shaving, hoping to reliably produce the skin deepening effect, where the razor cannot possibly reach the hair root. Normally it takes a whole afternoon of lawn mowing to achieve, and there have been other signs that D3 affects basal layer porosity over a period of several hours. I couldn't possibly wear oil to bed -- my pillowcase is gross enough -- but oil cleansing is perfectly reasonable, followed by the pumpkin juice. To do both -- night time treatment and preshave -- would be something new.

So there's my strategy. Tonight, mix up the new oil, cleanse with it, then moisturize with pumpkin juice. In the morning, I'll put the oil on at least 20 minutes before the shave, then cleanse with (just like) Cetaphil. KMF-VDH croap as lather, but for the first time, with carbamide solution added, might bring something special. I like the efficiency of blade flex, and can't give it up, despite the risk; but I will also be mindful of the skin tension differential. Looking to repeat at least the nighttime pumpkin treatment, and not liking a gel approach to this winter weather, I'll go with carbamide splash and Dollar Tree moisturizer. If alcohol is to be applied, it will be as a cloth dilution after that, or even just at the borders of the shaving area.

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