Micelle, Ma Belle

Touche Lime Sec Verdict

If I sounded a little negative about the Lime Sec, I apologize. My post-holidays shopping spree (if you can call it that) has been an amazing winning streak! Substituting beans for meat was exactly what my personal scent profile needed. More complex, foreign. People say that this particular cologne overwhelms EdT, but it adds a vital basenote to my new, middle-heavy perfume. It also connects the current toilet water to the past, none of which had any benefit as post-shave, giving my sense of personal growth a practical dimension.

Of course, I'm sure all of that has a lot to do with my being naturally oily, pas sec. If you are also, I would suggest deliberately pairing Pinaud Lime Sec with your wife's perfume, and see if it doesn't transform you into the perfect olfactory counterpart! Finally, I note that a similar difference distinguishes the "dark" version. So I will take the suggestion, and reserve mine to refresh at the end of the day, thus presenting essentially the same, lecherous air to the world continuously.

Tweaking on PdP No. 63

In old-man-speak, "tweaking" means fine adjustment, not methamphetamine-fueled maladjustment; so again, I'm sorry if my writing was unclear in a prior post. I don't think you would find anyone associated with this soap dismantling their muffler, or dressing like an urban clown. I, however, was too lazy to mix up more vitamin D oil, so I continued with 3 drops Shave Secret and a new blade, some random Shanghai junk.

Man, was that beard standing up hard! So, that answers one previous question: the hair is not softened by oil. And I guess that's the story with PdP, too. It advances the shave with a new blade, to where it would be after a week breaking in a blade, with carefully pre-softened hair. I think the soap was responsible for killing my Personna. J'accuse!

In a more positive spin, as Paul H. would put it: I paid for that blade, might as well let it do the work. I cannot complain about the efficient performance, or the soft, smooth post-shave. The skin is tempered, in other words. Like tire rubber, without the inflexible reinforcement that Williams provides. Which is good, because then you don't get the bumps. Even when I went too far with it initially, it gave me fifteen hours of smooth comfort.

Dry to the touch, but not dried out... This is glycerin soap for people who don't like glycerin soap. It's a keeper, and I think I might even be amoreux already. The next tweak will be to give it a try with the Merkur open comb. It will be more comfortable to get the blade off my skin, and with the hair standing up, I should get a better result than usual.


A really cool Google Books result randomly popped up the other day, and I think the author is French, keeping with today's theme. (But it's in English, don't worry.)


I might even buy this book (yeah, right -- $80 to rent) but just from the geometric diagrams in this one section, I began to think about both skin and lather in new ways, and especially, the mysterious effects of glycerin on desmosomes. Because I was thinking of the cells as sliding over one another and just sort of fitting together, like ravioli. But the desmosomes have this geometric implication, that there is very little "sauce"; it is more like paving stones than pasta.

Until you start inflating them with glycerin and water, by osmotic pressure. Then (if there is a cell membrane still) the shape regresses to spherical, popping the velcro-like dots hydraulically. Up to 74% intercellular space accounts for area discrepancy between strata better than thinking the cells just get bigger. No, the half-living keratinocytes can't just put out more surface area under such an insult. Even if they can pump out the excess fluid and save themselves, still the barrier function and tissue integrity are lost. Deeper, in more vital tissue, such a breakdown is almost the definition of inflammation. That's why I get edema on my foot.

Compare pumpkin juice, without glycerin. Taking the rebar out of metaphorical cinderblocks, you still have an intact wall. And urea: dissolving the mortar between bricks would only make the wall that much smaller. No wonder these are so much gentler to me!

Cushioning Defined

The references to soap bubbles in the book passage, as a model for how cells in tissue get their shape, make it clear that lather follows the same law of integrity. What we call "cushioning" is the degree to which the lather constituents are incorporated into micellar membranes. When the inter-micellar space is minimized, our blades have paving stones of air supporting them!

To that I would add my original observations from Doug H.'s blog, as follows. Fluid (such as oil) filling the micelles would also be less advantageous: the greater the density of the lather, the more the top face will deflect the edge skinward. And there must be ideals of micellar size and integrity as well, depending on what oils were saponified and what else is present in the membrane itself. Could you fish your kid out of a ball pit filled with basketballs, or ping-pong balls, as easily as one filled with rigid balls of about the same diameter as your arms and ankles? Our blade is fishing hair out of the lather that way.

But as far as, why aren't we all shaving with soapy water? It's slick enough. I think geometry has it covered. Better the blade hit air, than wet skin. On the other hand, I've stopped lathering in the shower.

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