Turning the Tables on Aging

Burning the midnight oil, trying to glean something I could understand from the mass of Wikipedia's organic chemistry pages, I let the TV stay on too long, and Dr. Orton from TV's "The Doctors" came on with his "Fill and Freeze" wrinkle solution. It looked like some eye gel I picked up once, long ago, or some kind of watered down cetaphil, in a narrow applicator tube for some outrageous amount of money. The marketing scheme: to point out what people pay for plastic surgery, and use that as the frame of reference to assess the value.

But there were some interesting graphics that referred to "releasing the fold memory" or somesuch, that made my ears prick up, and I guessed that the good doctor, in his con artistry, dabbled in the same toning and moisturizing palette as I've been exploring. He's not an an entirely evil character: I got my pepto-bismol mask from him. And let's not forget, it was Cindy Crawford's infomercial that turned me on to curcurbits! Below the cosmetic surgery, cosmeceutical and spa treatment eschelons, but just above the food-on-face folk, stands an army of modern foragers, using what is found at discount and dollar stores. And I found Dr. Orton's idea pretty easy to translate into today's shave.

Tone First

Asquith and Somerset soap raised a lovely, soft velvet on my face last night, before my questionable decision not to go to bed. Given its oil cleansing ability, I thought it might make a good pre-shave, particularly with PdP No. 63, which has zero inherent hair-softening ability. I'm starting to think of its luxury as a sort of laziness, where I will use less precise blade technique, less elaborate prep, my anchor-style or other razors, and chew through some blades. (Basically, shaving more like other people.) Pumpkin juice wasn't very effective with PdP, for some reason, and stood as a glaring inconsistency to that plan; eliminating Noxzema as well would be a bonus.

While I do see some skin shedding on my greasy nose with the citrus and ginger "exfoliating" soap, it hits me more as an oil-cleansing toner, simultaneously relaxing and shrinking my face. My skin isn't even tight when it's through; just soft, dry, and less inflamed. It is, without question, the best soap ever to land on me, shaving or otherwise, and I treat it accordingly, as a precious substance. The most generous application is to my wet face, like a shaving stick, keeping all but one face of the humongous 10 oz. bar dry. An even smaller portion can be dispensed to a wet palm, if I then carefully turn the puck in the other, dry hand to pick up the remaining liquid crystal. UPDATE: I used a hacksaw to split it lengthwise, so now it looks like I‘m washing my face with butter!

Something tells me that this is what rosewater does for men who have better skin than me; maybe the less alcoholic variant of witch hazel would, too. [UPDATE: Absolutely! Should have been the first option. Use it to cleanse immediately before shaving, instead of soap or oil.] And there must exist a beauty bar somewhere that isn't so horribly moisturizing as most. I'm sorry I don't know exactly where to point you, to get the effect I get from this amazing, discontinued soap. Maybe a bottle of jojoba oil itself would do, as an additive to a soap that you personally find to be moisture-balanced.

Shave It Like You Hate It

I consider three drops of shaving oil to be the prudent level of augmentation that my stratum corneum needs, regardless of preparation. I might use less if I'm trying to accomplish something technically, but definitely not with this prep. This is a low-performance shaving medium, with little tension held in the softened skin. Quite counterintuitively for me, I find that this is the right time to dig for beets, using the razor "like a hoe" and basically just getting as much hair as I can. Some discipline is required to avoid over-exfoliating, but this is where the "luxury" aspect of PdP comes in, holding the glycerin back just enough to avoid degrading the skin substrate entirely.

In a way, it makes me feel better about my first few years of shaving, because I deliberately turned away from Williams and Arko in the beginning. I suffered terrible burning and abrasion, but not nearly as bad as my inept technique with Williams yielded. My technique with PdP is basically regressive, but in a way more dissolute than degenerate. If you still believe exfoliation is good, you'll be happier about it than me.

Tone Deeper

I use the alcohol of cologne to push pumpkin juice into the deepest, living skin tissue. Skip alum, which would hold the penetration back. We're blowing right past the remnants of the stratum corneum now. Living cells have desmosomes, too!

Reverse Moisture Gradient

When I was looking at a Vaseline web page the other day, I realized that the cosmetic people don't even mean "water" when they use the word, "moisture." It's their shorthand for NMF, and coincidentally, the water it contains. Having pushed the "moisture" out of the skin surface, now I stipple myself with cocoa butter. This must have some of jojoba's "ester" quality, because these lipids penetrate. Instead of the substrata exploding outward, the surface oil pushes in, eliminating the appearance of fine wrinkles. This is the "fill"; when the skin dries down, and the desmosomes lock in their new configuration, your face will "freeze" into a younger-looking appearance.

The only thing the hillbilly needs now, to fit in in Beverley Hills, is something to turn himself orange.

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