Saturday, July 25, 2015

Saturday Summary: Rapira PL Blade, Std 2-Pass Shave, Going Where No Man Has Gone...

Another shave week is over -- this time with the Rapira Platinum Lux blade. It's more than adequately sharp, but I find the blade to be slightly irritating against my skin even in just a two-pass shave -- though admittedly my second pass against grain is a fairly aggressive move even with the mild Tech razors that I prefer.

However, moving forward I'm going where no man has gone before.... well, actually, where I've never gone before, and that is that I'm going to start using blades until they no longer shave well. When they start to pull or tug, I'll replace them. There are several reasons for this, and they are listed below in no particular order:

  • I've gone to fewer shaving passes per week, which is less wear and tear on the blades
  • I will be able to get a better idea of the relative durability of the various blades that I use
  • Thinking ecologically, why recycle (or worse, throw in the landfill) a blade that still has perfectly good use left in it?
  • Why waste money (even pennies) on disposing of a product while it's still useful?

My standard daily shave with my beloved Tech razor heads is now a two-pass shave. Though not  baby smooth, it still has its benefits:
  • Good looking shave
  • Rewarding to the hand
  • Prolongs useful blade life
  • Saves time
  • Less abuse on sensitive skin

I have found my after-shave admixture of  fragrance-free Aveeno moisturizing lotion combined with a few drops of a desired after-shave lotion to be quite effective.

The benefits are as follows:
  • Great moisturization
  • I can get any fragrance available in an after-shave lotion; I'm not limited to those available as a balm
  • Less expensive than most after-shave balms
The only drawback might be the following:
  • The balm admixture of lotion and after shave doesn't dry silky smooth on the skin as do some balms; there is a residual moisture on the skin (which I think is a good thing, but some might not)

The experiment of face lathering and not rinsing the brush out after the shave has been so successful that I no longer consider it an experiment; it's now a daily practice, part of my ritual. I don't see myself going back to bowl lathering any time soon except perhaps to use up bits of shave stick when they've gotten used up to that point. Even then, I'll perhaps load the brush with soap from a small bowl, but then will simply face lather as has become my norm. I will certainly never again rinse the lather from a brush except for when circumstances suggest it such as in certain travel situations.


The experiment of not soaking the brush has also transitioned from test to normal. In fact, let me take a moment and list some of the practices espoused by many as required that I would suggest are merely choices, options:
  • Pre-shave soaking of a natural-bristled brush in hot water -- or any water, for that matter. Totally not necessary and merely a choice if one prefers a hot shave. I, myself, prefer a cool-water shave, which may be less prone to rinse away precious skin oils. I simply run some cool water into an inverted brush (that is, bristles up), turn it over and let the excess run out, and then get on with face lathering.
  • Rinsing lather from the brush and carefully grooming the brush to dry after the shave. Of course not: just leave the lather in the brush, and set or hang it to dry as is until the next shave.
  • Elaborate beard preparation with pre-shave shower; hot, wet towels; face washing; or other fussy hair-wetting rituals. Nope, I find that just rubbing in some cool water right out of the cold-water tap works fine. I typically will rub cool water into my beard when I begin getting ready for the shave, and then one more time just before I begin to apply shave stick on my beard for the face lathering process.
  • The "standard" three-pass shave: nope, as explained above. I will use a single with-grain pass when in an extreme hurry or when I'll be soon after applying sunscreen. Two passes are my new normal, and three passes are reserved for when I choose to shave extra close.
Happy shaving!

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