Kiss My Face moisture shave didn't soften the wire of my curly beard, but Barbasol did, suggesting that its triethanolamine was sequestering the calcium away from my hair, in my stratum corneum, so pumpkin juice could do its magic. Triethanolamine is also the last listed ingredient in Van der Hagen Select, which I use as the microwave melting base for KMF-VDH croap.

I know I've equated VDH and Barbasol before, but there's a huge difference, in that triethanolamine seems to be the major moisturizing ingredient in Barbasol, whereas VDH features propylene glycol. (Both more tolerable to my skin than glycerin.) Might this extreme dilution be sufficient for the juice treatment?

In terms of tactile sensations during the shave, I'd have to say no. There was plenty of loud resistance from the hair.  And yet... what a nice shave! When I finished, I knew the blade was about done (after two weeks, five days). I could feel missed stubble spaced evenly around my face. But after alum, dilute Skin Bracer, and a couple hours, I don't notice that unless I press pretty firmly. My skin, liking these moisturizers, rebounded so nicely that it could pass for BBS. I take this to mean that the differential between closeness and exfoliation is at its maximum. I should add, my preshave was simply a cleanse with witch hazel solution, no extra oil.

This is exactly how you would want to finish a blade, but you know I can't leave well enough alone. We'll see how this dying blade performs with a proven softening set-up, a soap that employs glycerin to the max and compromises nothing, Pre de Provence No. 62.

New Trick of the Week 

Aiming for BBS, I didn't want anything on the skin surface. But I still felt I needed oil to protect me from glycerin. Solution: oil cleanse first, THEN witch hazel. Witch hazel alone is powerful, but this seemed to suck the shaving oil residue deep into my skin. I lathered an extra time unnecessarily, because I forgot the pumpkin juice at first, and the glycerin still couldn't touch me.

Hair was softened to the extra degree, but with the old Personna blade tracking to the max, I was still able to take it down to the root, with no misses this time. I knew the third pass was too much for my skin as I was doing it, and alum's prickles congealed lightly into a burn in confirmation. That's okay, because I think the first pass would have been good enough. I'll have to see what a two-pass shave looks like in the morning to be sure, but...

The blade lives! I don't have to look to tell you, there ain't no gleam left on that edge: it's just the one bevel now. When I hit skin, I feel the back of the blade like an ice scraper at my SC. New territory, opened to exploration by attention to prep.

The back of my neck was due for a shave, too. Rough going, but I still had a Racer loaded in the Weishi to take care of that.

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