How Smooth Does a Blade Have to Be?

Getting back in control of my own exfoliation, I surveyed the contents of my little storage box for blades and shavettes and selected Personna Platinum Chrome. It's a little on the picky side for me, usually, but now that I'm clear about pairing such blades with low-angle, Tech-style razors (including the Slim), maybe I'd have better luck. BD191 "Chaoying" is sort of a #1 by default, with the range to do whatever I want, and less hazard than the (more satisfying, in use) Rimei.

The first shave had me thinking maybe I should have tried corking. But the discomfort was all in the act of shaving, itself. Afterward, it wasn't skin-relaxed perfection. Still, it was nice to have a "real" shave, rather than a face planing. There's a degree of stabbing into the follicles that I'm willing to accept, if it means I don't have to be skin-shorn. And who's to say I wasn't still suffering the consequences of the disposables?

I felt injury-free enough to try my flaxseed-pumpkin-WH formula as an aftershave, to see if that wouldn't help thicken my hide. It was definitely pro-inflammatory, deep in the skin, raising an itchy bump in the spot where I am prone to get one. But it also evoked the feeling of the stratum corneum drying down intact. I guess that's why it itched: the differential stretching, within. I evened that out with a coconut oil cleanse.

The second shave, I tried a defensive prep: witch hazel first, then a lipid bilayer approach, with a mineral oil cleanse, and coconut oil in my Williams lather. It was pretty slick, and I held the BBS line, but I still felt the cumulative rawness of consistent follicle picking. It's weird, though. The skin feels really good after a few hours, as if it were just surface injury. Indeed, there was no late-onset burn yesterday, either.

Maybe there are different types of picking. One, where a dull, smooth blade snaps at the skin after sliding too deeply toward the hair root, stabbing straight into the follicle. ("Snakebite" sometimes visible on either side of the follicle.) Another, where a sharp, unsmooth blade takes a small scrape at the same injury site. Or is it a shallow scoop, being a low-angle injury? Yeah, probably.

If you're willing to vary the depth of the shave, you have the option to elevate the edge and avoid it. But if it's to be BBS everyday, the skin is going to be right there on the other side of every cut hair, backing it up. I think I'm going to find this problem inescapable technically. I suppose there is some hope that the blade will tone itself down.

1 comment:

  1. THIRD SHAVE -- Picking limited to ipsilateral neck. Fine tuning exposure on second pass. Pulling hard on the joystick...