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#1

Member
San Francisco
A number of times now I've seen members here and on other forums (SharpSpine, you come to mind, for instance) mention having a combination of pretty thick whiskers, but sensitive skin. I always nodded my head at the thick whiskers part, as I do think I have pretty coarse dark, Northern European barbs, but I hadn't considered whether my skin would be "sensitive."

Now I'm wondering if this "yet sensitive" idea would partly explain why I have more trouble with certain razors (the Mongoose, my brief stint with an ATT H2) and run into weepers (and sometimes irritation) rather easily, unless I'm nice and careful. Now, I realize anyone can get weepers or irritation with poor technique, but I do think I've developed pretty good technique in my 15-or-so months of traditional shaving.

I also notice it's not uncommon for me to get minor, slightly pink raised bumps on my face. Not pimples, nothing so prominent, but almost like minor irritation around a hair follicle, perhaps? Is this also a sign of sensitive skin?

The reason I'm wondering about this is that the recognition of my coarse whiskers helped me discover the benefits of especially sharp blades that are especially rigid. That's explained why SE razors and certain DEs like the Wolfman or the ATT slant have worked well for me. But now I'm wondering, if I do have this "sensitive" skin (more prone to injury from a razor, if that's a fair way to describe it?), maybe I shouldn't worry about mastering these more-aggressive razors that others seem to get on well with, and realize that mild-yet-effective designs like the OneBlade, Wolfman, and possibly Feather AS-D2 are just the sort of razors for me.

In fact, I'm thinking of trying an experiment of sticking with the OneBlade, which is very kind to my skin, for at least 14 days exclusively, just to see if it changes my skin (no small bumps, etc.). Could be I've gotten used to small injury as a "new normal."

Thoughts from others on all this?
David : DE shaving since Nov 2014. Nowadays giving in to the single-edge siren call.
#2
My coarse stubble I came to the conclusion on when I saw how much better the SE shave is for me compared to a DE. The sensitive skin part started to become clear as I tried many different soaps. Certain brands would bother me amongst several of their scents, while other brands didn't seem to bother me at all.

This is also what drove me to understand lather better and come up with the UltraLather concept thanks to Brian Krampert (ShadowsDad). Getting the best out of my lather certainly helped, but didn't eliminate my problems. It wasn't until I switched to soaps with simpler ingredients that I really saw an improvement, one reason why I prefer artisans. MdC and vegan soaps from both Barrister & Mann as well as Soap Commander really made a difference for me. Once I started to truly realize how sensitive my skin was, I decided to keep things simple. I went through an entire jar of MdC during this period (136 shaves for those interested). I then started looking for soaps that were MdC-like; Tiki, Catie's Bubbles, Dapper Dragon, WSP, etc. All of these worked pretty well for me. But it was Will reaching out to me as a challenge that led me to see what a quality artisan soap can bring even with tallow and lanolin for a guy with sensitive skin.

So, sensitive skin or not irritation is always possible and it has 2 causes; the soap or the razor. If there is something in the soap that bothers your skin then it won't matter which razor/blade you use. Also, you'll be more likely to notice irritation everywhere the soap was and not just in certain "tough" areas. If it's the razor/blade that is bothering you then it will usually show up in the "tough" spots first; jawline, lower neck, etc.

The best advise I can give you is to simplify and find a setup that works well for you with no irritation. Use this for a couple weeks to allow your skin to heal fully. Then, change one thing at a time and see what happens. After a few shaves with the new variable go back to your baseline for a few shaves before changing a different variable. This may sound tedious but I know that you will be amazed at how well things can work when you use them for awhile and how great your skin can get when really taken care of. It will also be eye opening to see exactly what things your skin doesn't like and even which things it can tolerate for a shave or two, but not for an entire week.

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>>> Brian <<<
Happy beeps, buddy! Happy beeps!
#3
(03-09-2016, 02:41 AM)SharpSpine Wrote: This is also what drove me to understand lather better and come up with the UltraLather concept thanks to Brian Krampert (ShadowsDad).

Is this the same thing as, "Uberlather?"
#4
(03-09-2016, 02:47 AM)EFDan Wrote:
(03-09-2016, 02:41 AM)SharpSpine Wrote: This is also what drove me to understand lather better and come up with the UltraLather concept thanks to Brian Krampert (ShadowsDad).

Is this the same thing as, "Uberlather?"

No. Überlather is the combination of soap, cream, and added glycerin.

UltraLather is the term I cooked for the lather that Brian Krampert helped me to achieve. It's basically a lather full of soap solids with as little air as possible and just the amount of water needed to make it slick. If the lather "explodes" then you've gone past the point of an UltraLather.

onethinline likes this post
>>> Brian <<<
Happy beeps, buddy! Happy beeps!
#5
(03-09-2016, 12:59 AM)onethinline Wrote: A number of times now I've seen members here and on other forums (SharpSpine, you come to mind, for instance) mention having a combination of pretty thick whiskers, but sensitive skin. I always nodded my head at the thick whiskers part, as I do think I have pretty coarse dark, Northern European barbs, but I hadn't considered whether my skin would be "sensitive."

Now I'm wondering if this "yet sensitive" idea would partly explain why I have more trouble with certain razors (the Mongoose, my brief stint with an ATT H2) and run into weepers (and sometimes irritation) rather easily, unless I'm nice and careful. Now, I realize anyone can get weepers or irritation with poor technique, but I do think I've developed pretty good technique in my 15-or-so months of traditional shaving.

I also notice it's not uncommon for me to get minor, slightly pink raised bumps on my face. Not pimples, nothing so prominent, but almost like minor irritation around a hair follicle, perhaps? Is this also a sign of sensitive skin?

The reason I'm wondering about this is that the recognition of my coarse whiskers helped me discover the benefits of especially sharp blades that are especially rigid. That's explained why SE razors and certain DEs like the Wolfman or the ATT slant have worked well for me. But now I'm wondering, if I do have this "sensitive" skin (more prone to injury from a razor, if that's a fair way to describe it?), maybe I shouldn't worry about mastering these more-aggressive razors that others seem to get on well with, and realize that mild-yet-effective designs like the OneBlade, Wolfman, and possibly Feather AS-D2 are just the sort of razors for me.

In fact, I'm thinking of trying an experiment of sticking with the OneBlade, which is very kind to my skin, for at least 14 days exclusively, just to see if it changes my skin (no small bumps, etc.). Could be I've gotten used to small injury as a "new normal."

Thoughts from others on all this?

I have the same problem with coarse whiskers, a fairly thick beard that grows fast, and sensitive skin especially on my neck. I tried several razors from moderate to aggressive and in the end I have found that the Feather AS-D2 is perfect for me. I have enjoyed clear skin and no red bumps on my neck ever since using it. However, I also make sure to use soaps that provide excellent slickness. If a soap isn't slick enough then I have issues on my neck and get red bumps and/or ingrown hairs.

My recommendation to anyone with sensitive skin that cannot tolerate overly aggressive razors is the Feather AS-D2, or if that is too expensive then the Edwin Jagger DE89. Also, I know a lot of people say the Feather is very mild but, from experience I can say that is absolutely false. The AS-D2 razor just requires good technique, much more than other razors I've tried and, when used properly it is actually quite efficient.
#6

Member
San Francisco
Thanks SharpSpine, that's quite helpful. I haven't noticed problems with soaps (as in, nothing has irritated my whole face), but instead if I have trouble it's in the "tough" spots you mention. Realizing that Feathers (and other very sharp blades) cause FEWER problems for me was a minor revelation, and understanding that blade rigidity created "smoothness" with my whiskers was another. Your suggestion to stick with one problem-free set-up for a few weeks is a good one — sort of what I was thinking in sticking with the OneBlade for a while. That should give me a baseline to judge other razors and what my skin's like when it's healthy and undamaged, yet shaven.

Hobbyist I admit I'm slightly tempted by the Feather AS-D2 despite having the OneBlade and the Wolfman, just because it seems to be another razor that offers mildness while still being effective. If you've used a Wolfman, or perhaps an ATT M1/M2, can you compare it to those razors? I suspect I'm fine with the Wolfman as my go-to DE (it's relatively mild and smooth for me), but I'm curious how the Feather would stack up.

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David : DE shaving since Nov 2014. Nowadays giving in to the single-edge siren call.
#7
(This post was last modified: 03-09-2016, 05:17 AM by celestino.)
David, the Feather AS-D2 is an extremely mild shaver. I haven't tried the OneBlade, but I would surmise the AS-D2 is milder. Angel
I am not sure if you would get on with the Feather seeing as you find the Wolfman a mild shaver.
Personally, I found the regular-gap Wolfman (0.65mm) a tad aggressive. I have a reduced-gap Wolfman (0.41mm) and I find it very nice and smooth. I would have to classify it as a mild, but very effective shaver. However, it is still greatly more effective than the AS-D2. To put things in perspective, I have very coarse hair with mildly sensitive skin and I tried the AS-D2, twice and the AS-D1, three times with no success as they were both just too mild for me.
I was almost contemplating getting it a third time to see if my technique has improved, though. Big Grin


Regarding your sensitive skin, I would highly suggest continuing with the OneBlade for a few months along with your best soap to see how consistent and successful your results are in eliminating those 'red bumps'. Afterwards, you can experiment with the same soap and a different razor for a few weeks to a few months to see if you can achieve similar results.

Good luck. Shy

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Celestino
Love, Laughter & Shaving  Heart
#8
I have this exact beard type (coarse whiskers with extremely sensitive skin), which is what makes me want to get a Wolfman. So far the best products for me have been the ATT slants, and I have no complaints. I am not even sure if the Wolfman will be an improvement, however I can't imagine that I will be disappointed considering the quality of the product and the combination of efficiency and comfort (which is also a strength of the ATT slants).

onethinline likes this post
#9
(03-09-2016, 03:17 AM)onethinline Wrote: Thanks SharpSpine, that's quite helpful. I haven't noticed problems with soaps (as in, nothing has irritated my whole face), but instead if I have trouble it's in the "tough" spots you mention. Realizing that Feathers (and other very sharp blades) cause FEWER problems for me was a minor revelation, and understanding that blade rigidity created "smoothness" with my whiskers was another. Your suggestion to stick with one problem-free set-up for a few weeks is a good one — sort of what I was thinking in sticking with the OneBlade for a while. That should give me a baseline to judge other razors and what my skin's like when it's healthy and undamaged, yet shaven.

Hobbyist I admit I'm slightly tempted by the Feather AS-D2 despite having the OneBlade and the Wolfman, just because it seems to be another razor that offers mildness while still being effective. If you've used a Wolfman, or perhaps an ATT M1/M2, can you compare it to those razors? I suspect I'm fine with the Wolfman as my go-to DE (it's relatively mild and smooth for me), but I'm curious how the Feather would stack up.

David, I haven't used either of those razors so I cannot compare the AS-D2 to them. I have owned 8 or 10 different razors and the only two I kept are the DE89 and Feather AS-D2. My skin became irritated more often than not from the several razors I tried so, I decided to try a mild razor, the AS-D2. In this case mild does not mean inefficient, it's simply a more forgiving razor than any other razors I've used. I use the terms aggressive and mild to describe the face feel while shaving. I realize a lot of people like to replace aggressive with efficient and mild with inefficient however, that would not be accurate when describing the AS-D2. This razor is very forgiving and feels mild on the skin but it actually cuts through the hair with very good efficiency. I usually do a 2 pass shave and a touchup, or if I want a BBS I do 3 full passes. I have compared the AS-D2 to the EJ with the same blades alternating razors during the same passes and, the AS-D2 is smoother while cutting the hair almost as efficient. The main thing to be aware of if you buy one is that you have to find the effective cutting angle and maintain that angle throughout your shave. There is not much play with the effective cutting angle. With that said, I was able to find that angle very quickly and, with practice it began feeling natural after about a week of shaving.

onethinline likes this post
#10
SharpSpine has nailed it, IMHO. You can approach the "sensitive" term, referred to your skin, from two directions. One is sensitiviness to chemicals or ingredients present in soap/creams, the other one is razor/blade caused sensitiviness. My case is more related to the second cause than the first one. I've had, nonetheless, reactions on my skin caused by certain brands. First that comes to mind is the Nivea regular after shave balm. Face full of red and pink spots right after use, a feeling of burn and itches. Had to wash my face thoroughly and apply a thick coat of pure Aloe Vera gel that calmed it down quite quickly. It went down the toilet. Never again, Nivea. No problem so far with soaps, whether tallow or vegetable oils based, or lanolin present in their formula or not. Time will tell, though, which ones I tolerate better than others.

My problem is a thin skin, and a very dense and coarse beard. Just to make things a bit more complicated, my whiskers grow very flat, almost parallel to my skin. I get the occasional ingrown that is dealt with easily with a needle without much hassle, I guess my thin skin helps in this. Another good point is that my skin type is mixed, tending more to an oily type rather than a dry kind of skin. Since I'm into traditional DE shaving my skin has improved a lot. Really, a lot. Before I could shave two or three times a week and now I can tolerate four or five. My technique has improved to the point that with two passes with my Edwin Jagger I go far beyond "presentable" and almost reach BBS. The third pass is for special occasions now. I do need sharp blades and use Astra (blue box), Gillette (green and yellow) and Feather. Now that I've developed a solid technique, I seldom get the bumps in the lower neck area around my Adam's apple. No pressure is the secret. It took some time to get rid of that bad habit from the multiblades times, but I eventually did. And the use of slick and protective creams helps quite a bit. I still keep some of my cheap soaps (Lea and La Toja) and whenever I give them a go I can quickly feel the difference between them and my Lea Classic or Alvarez Gómez creams. Investing in a quality product is investing in the health of your skin. Worth it, definitely.

As I say, my EJ is my only razor so far so I can't compare with others, but if it does work on a beard like mine, this razor has to be good. Some say its mild yet effective and I have to agree, even based in my short experience. A few fellows have suggested me to try a Slant and it will, quite likely, be my next purchase. Feel free to chime in with your say on this, if you wish to.

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