Finally: The Fundamentals

I recently observed that my peculiar constitution has required me to learn everything about shaving in reverse order. Thus, my final success is what most beginners are aiming for: a BBS shave with artisan soap and a brand-new, sharp blade. It felt as though I were relinquishing not only the sense of tension alignment, but even the two-dimensional grain, as reduction was completely dedicated to traction control -- what the num-nums call "no pressure." But I -- yes, even I -- actually passed the cotton ball test. Hey, normal people -- this may be the only time we'll ever be on the same page, so let's make the most of it! There are two main facts I wish to impress upon you:

1. Oil protects living skin cells from glycerin soap

Mindfulness had gone too far, apparently, when I got into the anti-habit of assessing skin integrity before selecting a preshave. Three drops of oil are needed as a barrier defense against hyperosmotic insult to the living cells of my epidermis, if I'm using a high-glycerin soap, period. 

The only technical refinement I can suggest to this conventional pairing, for beginners, is to wipe it off -- that is, make it a half-assed oil cleanse. (I use cold water to shave, always.) Today, I could actually see the stubble sticking out further after the procedure, demonstrating not how the hair was swollen, I believe, but how the skin was reduced in volume. I don't think that would happen if you were to just coat the skin and leave it there.

Probably the real key to my success today was that hair softening amendments were effective, for once, despite the high glycerin. Water and fruit acids were simply prevented from flowing along the usual path of least resistance, into my skin. Therefore, more got into my hair.

2. Moisturizer is really a special-purpose cleanser

Being an emulsion of water and various moisturizers makes Men's Lubricating 3-in-1 Lotion (Dollar Tree) the ideal intermediate between having glycerin shaving soap on your face, and nothing -- the natural state of man. After shaving, rinse as much soap off as you can, dab off excess water with a damp cloth, and apply the moisturizer. If it feels like a good shaving medium to you, go ahead -- that's how I got to the roots without hurting myself, but I'm certainly exfoliated. Then wipe it off, rinse and dry.

I have oily skin, so I like to follow that with an alcohol splash, further eliminating the heinous, artificial "moisture" from my flesh. Even so, my face won't be actually dry to the touch all day, exfoliated and oozing. It's kinda okay, because there isn't a single bit of stubble dragging on my fingertips. It's not a burn, just... not comfortable. It's like I've played the cartridges' game, and beaten them, but it's still not any good. I prefer having a layer of skin where they want to put a layer of cosmetics.

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