Don't Forget The Oil

As the summer seemed to be starting in earnest, I tried directly sowing some pepper seeds that need 85-degree Fahrenheit soil temperature to germinate. Ha ha, joke's on me -- back in the 40's at night this week! But it was enough of a taste to get me interested in Stirling Coconut again, as I used it to wash my armpits in the heat.

And then I realized, with all the pumpkin juice experimenting, it's been awhile since I used shaving oil. The evening after using Barbasol, I did an oil cleanse, and it was quite dramatic, like the first time I tried an oil cleanse. Like a facelift. If you think of oil as a primitive moisturizer, it's a bit counterintuitive to apply in the summer. But really, it's the best way to get that dry winter feel back.

This morning I changed gears and put together a less hair-softening, more neotraditional shave, with oil -- wouldn't use glycerin soap without it -- AND a bit of lather as preshave. I was going to try the pumpkin juice with that, but forgot. It made for a higher-traction reduction. Luckily, I haven't forgotten how to shave entirely.

I added the pumpkin for pass 2, and it didn't seem to do much. It was a nice, smooth shave, though. I imagine it was like a normal person using a cartridge, after a week of DE shaving: a bit of a face planing. Maybe that's what glycerin's all about.

Since I had the pumpkin juice out, and it was a rainy day, I used that as aftershave, too.

Not so often, maybe

When I took my son swimming indoors, that oiled patch on my face was still noticeably hardened against the chlorine, and the just-like-Neutrogena soap that I use to pre-hydrate as a chlorine defense. Noxzema at night seemed to be the right answer to lingering chloramines.

In the morning, I felt oily enough already, and so gave Stirling a fair shot at the latest pumpkin method, without oil. It might have been a bit softer, but still high-traction at the midline, noticeably moreso than with the Dove Expert Shave.

My response was simple -- instead of going two passes with tension alignment, I used the traction minimizing, XTG/barber's approach for three, and a DFS. Skin was much less damaged than previously: alum picked up a couple prickles on my neck.


  1. I've been using shave secret about a week now as a pre shave oil. It sure has helped on the tougher chin whiskers that I have on sensitive skin. The other day I even picked up a bottle of Somersets shave oil. Both do good at softening up the beard bugged menthol content just about puts me ove the edge. I'm going to be experimenting on non menthol oils soon and see if I can get just as good of results.

    My chin is the hardest to shave. Often getting shave bumbs and razor burn in that area.

  2. "Bugged" should be "but the"

    I hate auto correct sometimes....

    1. Yeah, Shave Secret is about as much menthol as I can stand, in a good way -- less than Skin Bracer, say. If you invest in a bottle of castor oil, you can have shaving/cleansing oil forever. Mix it with other oils you may already have, like sunflower or olive, or go fancy with argan or jojoba.

      I recently got a red slice mark on my chin, so maybe I'm not the best advisor there, but I favor oblique strokes at a moderate or steep pitch. It's certainly a danger zone. Perhaps the key is to take it easier on the first pass, sliding in on Gillette's prescribed vector instead of directly WTG.