How About Barbasol?

So I'm in the thick of a paradigm shift, this Merkur shakedown, where the accumulation of theoretical work has pointed to something like a new planet, and I have discovered it. A world where the skin is totally unaffected by shaving. A little bit of glycerin in the soap balances a little -- well, a whole lot of astringent, I should say, for my oily skin, adding up to zero inflammation. A notoriously non-aggressive razor, with a notoriously dull blade, gains perfect traction on the surface when the correct, oblique strokes are applied.

Hair is neither missed, nor cut within the follicle. There is no depth to this landscape, no beard "reduction"; it just gets whisked away. It's as if electric razors actually worked right, without the ashen finish of microscopic flakes, or neck bumps. Perfectly dry, all comfort, no stubble. This is where I awoke this morning, my beard still socially acceptable, merely feeling like sandpaper as I applied witch hazel solution as an oil cleanse. I know this place, almost on a genetic level. This is my grandfather's world.

Planet Barbasol

Following the trail from Anthronicle reviews of Fine American Blend aftershave, to an old perfume (Rive Gauche pour Homme, itself a throwback to an earlier era), and from the reviews of that, finally to Barbasol, I found myself squirting a dab into the tip of my synthetic brush. I overshot, the dab expanding to enough for three shaves. Clearly, the time has come to reconsider the true value of the $1 can. 

Since I know how to lather soap, and am mindful of transient osmotic gradients against the skin barrier, I knew how to wet my face first, and how much water to add to make that foam slick, reducing the volume somewhat. Not nearly enough, though: first pass left shaving cream icebergs floating in my sink basin. That dull Merkur blade is definitely going right to the skin on first pass, now; pre-shaving the sulcus "exception areas" WTG before sliding in on my "V" pattern was absolutely critical.

It really did look like XTG, when I turned the strokes far enough to catch hair again, shaving by ear; but if I were following that cookbook, it wouldn't have worked the same. Third pass was more mixed, about half composed of strokes that would be called ATG. Some of those were repeats on residual slickness, or soap scooped off the bottom of the razor, to avoid a fourth pass.

People worry about parabens and sulfates, but I worry more about the aftershave; either way, alum was the right call for astringent, minimizing penetration. Followed, of course, by Skin Bracer. I feel like (I just saved myself) a hundred bucks!

"The sleeper has awakened!"

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