Going Creamy

I've been very defensive of my skin this past year, to the exclusion of high-glycerin soap. But Dove Expert Shave, with its modern surfactant formula, left me nice and dry. I actually looked like I needed a shave today, at the 24-hour mark, but felt overtired and lazy.

How about some Barbasol? It's proven to be more work than lathering, trying to hydrate the dry foam -- but at least the process is pretty mindless. The now gentled blade seemed to call for it, and I switched to BD177 "Stella" as well.

Surely it is possible to pick up the right amount of water in the brush to start, but I haven't gotten that far. I just wet the brushtip and put half a squirt of the foam on top. It went on dry, and I had to go back to the basin several times for a dip, because the foam prevents picking up much, once it's worked in. With real lather, you start with slippery soap solution and work for the cushion, waiting for the brush feel to recede. With Barbasol, you start with impenetrable foam and work for the slickness, waiting for the stickiness to yield.

When I got there, it wasn't so impressive as it looked to start -- an opaque, but thin layer of something obviously not soap. I was concerned I had overshot, and lost the cushion. But it still had that fart-like sound when slapped, and looked far better than what McConaughey was working with, in that Lincoln commercial...

Three passes later, the stuff I was squeezing out of the brush was very much like the crema I was accustomed to in my year of Stirling. Stella helped me dig deep, yet I remembered to use leverage under my jaw and force a lower angle. Chaoying had made me touch up dry, but Stella got it all.

But, I already feel like I'm losing efficiency. I remember not getting a month out of these Swedish steel blades before, so I may have aimed rather too high, saying I'd stick with it for all of March. The cross strokes mean I'm shaving the skin at least five times over, despite keeping it to three passes. I can't lift the edge off completely and still cut hair, now that the blade is broken in.

Anticipating failure, I'm going to work on this cream thing, see if I can't get it right. If I ditch the balm and go to a dilute splash, I think I can keep my skin from turning to goo.

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