Propylene Glycol: The Friendlier Moisturizer

Top commenter Mr. Gatza reminded me of the long-neglected KMF-VDH croap at the bottom of my soap stack, inspiring me to get my sick ass out of bed and shave. Good thing, too, because it was a great shave.

Another random Google Books result last night had propylene glycol, which is nearly half the ingredients of a VDH puck, categorized as "occlusive," which surprised me. Googling around further, others have it as both humectant and occlusive. There is a malady called icthyosis with the same etiology I have proposed for glycerine damage, and the treatment is propylene glycol (with other occlusives). So it's definitely not our imagination, that glycerine penetrates and inflates the stratum granulosum, while propylene glycol keeps it where it is needed, in the stratum corneum.

I don't think that necessarily makes Van der Hagen morally superior to artisans. How did they come up with the "half-moisturizer" formula? Well, I'm guessing that propylene glycol is cheaper than soap, and they know that it's rated safe as a cosmetic ingredient up to 50%.
I also found a blog suggesting that the 50:50 mix many of us prefer may not be an accident.

But it does make them the "good guys" when it comes to so-called "sensitive skin," which I think is really better conceived as just, "self-moisturizing." My plan for every beginning shaver is to start with VDH-KMF croap, and progress to more pure, cushioning soaps as lathering ability and all-encompassing skincare routines develop around them.

On the other hand, I don't think I'm missing much today, so if you never come up with your own, crazy "perfect shave," and stick to that VDH or VDH compound, more power to ya!

Last night, I finally fished up my castor oil and D3 supplement for a new bottle of homemade vitamin D shaving oil. My face was wicked dry today, and I wasn't up to a Noxzema preshave. Straight up oil cleansing was a great start.

Wetting down with pumpkin juice didn't soften the beard much. I made the lather on the foamy side, expecting some melt-down, and it was certainly wet enough. Maybe that Rapira isn't going to make it, after all.

Third pass was today's learning zone. I think my hands finally caught up with my brain, and applied oblique strokes with a rapid, buffing action to surgically whisk away shady areas, for a not-too-deep BBS.

I had been relying on slow, square strokes to get a little deeper on pick-ups. Weepers near my chin, in a crease, indicate that exception areas may apply. I always used fast, square strokes to pick up what I perceived as thin, undeveloped hair. I would not have thought speed could bring me deeper.

And really, it didn't -- I was just missing hair, with tension poorly aligned. These new strokes didn't let any off the hook. The friction against direction of motion acts like a second edge, and feels like catching hair in an imaginary pair of scissors.

Could this be the long-awaited dawn of a new era for me? Everyday BBS?

No comments:

Post a Comment