The Sunday Shave Just Got Real Simple

There was a bottleneck effect with the ultra-thin, sharp Cloud blade, and I shaved with it very easily in Stella this morning. With these SS blades, the metal erodes quite noticeably at a faster rate from the edge inward, and this clue helped me understand. If you imagine a "natural edge" being ground in the shape of a curve by your face, and that curve progressing inward as the blade wears, that point where the first and second bevel meet presents as the maximum deviation, sticking out beyond the curve. It's going to be a lot less "sharp" there. But now that we're past that, this actually works a lot better for me than the Shark -- though I wouldn't necessarily attribute any higher value, since it wore so quickly.

My new Canoe shave also shaped up most elegantly this morning. Based on my reflections on tissue expansion from the last post, I concluded that a bit of oil in the lather has this inherent value for me, beyond oil cleansing, and beyond serving as a carrier for strong fragrances. So I just loaded my synthetic brush with the correct amount of cold water, set it in my Williams mug, and put a couple drops of baby oil in my non-dominant hand before carefully using the same hand to support the mug from underneath and load the soap. The oil was then incorporated along with the air, in my palm.

This lather was the least irritating I've ever put to my face. Cushion was minimal, only enough to get through first pass -- precisely when needed. I then had two passes worth of protective crema emulsion to work ATG with, within the follicles. The extra protection of the baby oil took some extra work to wipe off with a washcloth (still cold). But this was balanced by the simplicity of a direct splash of Canoe to dissolve the last of the oily residue. I felt the merest warmth on the tendons of my contralateral neck, where the lack of hair has been exposing my skin to the blade a bit much lately. Otherwise, nothing.

In short: I am now sure this is the correct function of aftershave splash. The "healthy burn" is only incidental to incorrect, modern technique, burned into the collective conscience by Skin Bracer ads in the 1970's. Every single element of a shave can be neutral and non-irritating.

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