Baby Come Back

Now viewing bentonite clay as a skin transformer and hygroscopic balance to glycerine, rather than an inert post-shave, and suffering from unaccustomed dryness, it only made sense to go crawling back to Stirling. I tried to use it as the skin hydrator in my new method, face lathering, scooping it back into the brush, soaking it off, and then applying oil, hair hydrator, and finally the lather again. No caustic odors were detected.

It was a completely imperfect shave. The hair was soft, and I mowed it right down. ATG felt very catchy and easy, too. The skin just wasn't plumped up enough, it seems, although 3-in-1 moisturizer didn't penetrate much either, taking a long time to dry down. I wonder if I kept up with the powder, though, would I develop a thick stratum corneum, which would then have swelled to produce a perfect shave? Something to think about, for the dry-skinned readers.

I mixed pumpkin juice with bentonite clay directly, and didn't smell any reaction. Adding baking soda didn't seem to release any gas, either. I think I picked up the urea scent again much later, though, from some broken skin on my palm, which I have been rubbing with the powder. So it seems the urea is drawn into the skin from serum by the powder, and only later released as ammonia by pumpkin juice and/or baking soda. Recall that the first time I picked up a whiff was the day after I discovered the powder.

Bentonite as Pre-shave

Upon rising the next morn, I drank two glasses of water (one would have quenched my thirst), powdered my beard area, and retreated to bed to watch a couple Sunday shaving videos. I thought I could detect the urea, or perspiration, percolating up through my skin after 20 minutes or so, with little picky sensations, and I continued to lounge for another ten. Wanting to embellish the lather and remove the excess, besides doing some cleansing, I skipped the oil and face lathered with a boar brush.

I don't usually work Stirling up all the way from a liquid, but that's how it worked. The early foam was suppressed, but there was nowhere to run, either. It performed a lot like the first Stirling puck I used, Bonaparte. So if Coconut was still a bit more irritating, I would attribute that to the lack of botanicals and presence of perfume, more than glycerine imbalance. I don't think soap makers conceive of it this way, but then, they don't seem to care about the hazard glycerine presents, generally.

The hair was softened much as in carbamide solution, yielding a not very close shave with long-sliced ends. My olfactory chemical detector picked up no ammonia. An direct test for urea I've found is Lilac Vegetal. The acrid note that urea erases was just somewhat reduced in pungency. So I brought in the other fluid that improves that, which is pumpkin juice, which I was missing anyway. Finished with oil, moisturized much later.

The sensations of postshave were notable and unusual: an immediate itch, acute warmth (if not burn), and relief with the moisturizer. It's not the first time I've itched, but I don't know what it means. I suspect it is glycerine damage, restricted to a shallower plane. Yet the moisturizer put out the fire completely, and there's glycerine in that. It could be a completely internal form of skin fracture, with the skin surface collapsing inward!

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