Sunday, July 20, 2014

Blade Eval: Derby Extra and Two Proprietary Shave Soap Formulations

For the past few days I've been evaluating shave soap and Derby Extra blades.
Back: re-purposed Greek-yogurt containers with proprietary shave soap formulations. Both are similar, but #6 is best.
Front: five-pack of Derby Extra blades, coated for comfort, and which seem to be highly compatible with my slant razor. 

The Derby blades are coated, and I have found my first few shaves pleasant, comfortable, using the first blade out of the box. So I now understand why many praise the Derby Extra brand. With it I have had the best shaves when putting the blade in my slant-bar razor, which (as you may know) tends to optimize the cutting efficiency of the blade. When I used the Derby in my straight-bar Merkur 33C, though I did a three-pass shave, it was not as close as I would have expected. When this morning I put that same blade back into the slant and did a three-pass shave, the outcome was extremely close everywhere -- so that even now, some seven hours later, I can still enjoy the closeness of the shave as I run my hands over my face.

Concurrently I have also been evaluating my latest two shave soap formulations, both of which are on a direct evolutionary line from my earliest soap. I started with a pretty good formula, and have continued to tune and refine so that it is optimally lubricating and non irritating.

Soaps #6 and #7 are two variations of the same formulation. Both are good enough that I have simplified my shaving ritual -- eliminating any pre-shave oils and post shave balms -- and it is now just a few splashes of cold water, lather and shave passes, with a cold-water rinse after each pass, an alum block rub, and a final cold-water rinse. Soap #6 required nothing more, while soap #7 required a bit of moisturizing lotion. So, obviously, given my objectives, soap #6 is the best yet.

I will continue to test and assess soap #6 and ponder any further tweaks to the basic formula before I consider any post-cook additives to test.

Hope your shave today was a good one; mine was.

Happy shaving!

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