Commercial Superiority


Arko checked out okay on pumpkin compatibility for wiry beard softening. With its somewhat more extensive ingredients list, especially mineral oil, I was concerned the fruit acid would be occluded. I mixed up a piss-poor lather, and the Super Speed was skipping occasionally. Didn't matter (except for some missed hairs): beard like butter.

Some parts were still smooth in the morning, the first tangible improvement in objective terms, and a hopeful affirmation of my investment in the TTO design.

Dove Expert Shave

Commercial creams continued to bat .000 on hair restructuring, though the shave was kind of ambiguous until I got to the middle of my face, where the blade was clearly stopped by hair. I don't know... how do they count a sacrifice bunt? Something was definitely off. The ingredients do include chelating agents, they just seem a bit overpowered by the rest.

I remember how much this clearance bargain impressed me at first. Turns out, its "special surfactants" (my impression at the time) were none other than sodium laureth sulfate, a cleanser most experts scorn, and the probably related sodium lauroyl isoethionate, actually higher in the list. Some people do shave with shampoo. Subsequent shaves have been increasingly caustic, burning in a way Suave certainly never would. Glycerin is the second ingredient. This could wind up as another nicely-scented pit-cleaner for my collection.

As I finished with a skim on the cream's residual slickness, I could clearly feel how every pickup was a trade in flesh, so at least it didn't take much discipline to stop. I still got a great shave, but my standards have clearly risen since last October.

Father's Day Sneak Peek

Amazon delivered early, and while the kids were at their after school program (each will present me with one of the items I ordered, according to my plan), I inspected the razors. The Parker 87R was a "good one," thankfully. I was a little concerned with a chrome blem along a lather channel on the baseplate, which looked like it could deform the edge, but it did not. Blade tightens down very well and even. If there is any flaw, it will be the slight overclamping at the corners, corresponding to the shape in which the doors were ground smooth at the lip. Looks like a big fat pussycat to me, and the parts that show are quite beautiful.

The Atomic Razor, aggressive variant looks like just another crazy flex razor, but I have to say, having received the two together, the presentation matches Parker in every way, and the packaging was significantly better. The drawback to all that flash is an ugly logo on the top cap, but at least it isn't stamped or embossed, just an etch. Like your typical middle eastern razor, it leaves too much play in the blade, and you have to even it out yourself. But in this case, it only accrues to gap, not alignment, so you could just wing it and use the difference to tackle the whiskers under your chin, for example.


You know it! Using a pea-sized squirt as preshave seemed like it couldn't possibly have affected water activity in any way. And yet, with just ten minutes until the beginning of the kids' summer vacation, I pulled off a damn fine shave in two passes, assisted by the pumpkin juice. No hair resistance.

I would subtract a point for lack of hair erection, however, which is reflected in a less velvety feel over what remains. I don't understand why the hair cross-section would round out without hydration sufficient to erect hair, so I'm attributing this to a carbamide effect on the skin. (I'm pretty sure it wasn't the "aloe"!)

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