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Thread: Noobs with “Sensitive Skin”

  1. #21
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    Some people who claim to have sensitive skin may have poor equipment, or poor technique; but some of us really do have sensitive skin.

    I have a hereditary condition called rosacea that is characterized by an abundance of tiny blood vessels just under the skin. My skin is quite thin and easily irritated. i look like I am sun burned, even when I have not been out in the sun. Due to my complexion, I get sunburned easily, but my skin is also easily irritated by wind, by cold, by low humidity, by shaving and by some scents such as lime, clove, and menthol. I bowl lather as my face won't tolerate face lathering. Unfortunately, rosacea is a condition that worsens with age. Having a fast growing, tough, white beard does not help the situation, either.

    I shave with a straight razor and hone my own razors. I can only get 5-6 shaves off an edge before it becomes too dull for my beard or too harsh for my skin. I use 0.5, 0.25 and 0.10 micron CBN after honing to polish the edge. I strop 75 laps on cloth and 100 laps on lather before every shave in an attempt to get the keenest, smoothest edge I can. If everything goes right I do get great shaves.
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  2. #22
    lobeless earcutter's Avatar
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    Rosacea is a thing, and i’m Glad you’re winning! Nice. But I’m pretty sure you knew you had rosacea before you started wet shaving. I’d hesitate to guess you got into wet shaving because of it!

    Either way, congrats!
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    David

  3. #23
    cau
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    My first shaves with the straight resulted in a few nick's and weepers, but no apparent razor burn, until I applied the aftershave... But over time the nick's and stinging neck went away.
    Some seem to believe that beard preparation, slick creamy lather, a shave ready razor, skin stretching, proper blade pressure and angle, stroke dynamics, and post shave treatment are responsible for this amazing change of state. Count them, there are eight variables that a shaver would need to succeed with to get the proverbial CCS. What are the odds of that happening? Assuming a 50/50 chance on any one, the odds of pulling all these off on any given shave is 0.5**8=1/256. Pretty damn slim. Add to that, in order to have a successful shaving career, or whatever one would call it, you would need to maintain the razor in it's shave ready state, requiring successful honing and stropping results. Two more variables. Odds of a successful shaving career: 0.5**10= 1/1024.
    Being the pessimist I am, and seeing this glass as not half empty, but totally empty: I'm with outback, and believe my skin got tougher; the only reasonable conclusion a dimwitted mathematician like myself can come to.
    Last edited by cau; 08-19-2018 at 09:22 PM. Reason: Typo
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  4. #24
    lobeless earcutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cau View Post
    My first shaves with the straight resulted in a few nick's and weepers, but no apparent razor burn, until I applied the aftershave... But over time the nick's and stinging neck went away.
    Some seem to believe that beard preparation, slick creamy lather, a shave ready razor, skin stretching, proper blade pressure and angle, stroke dynamics, and post shave treatment are responsible for this amazing change of state. Count them, there are eight variables that a shaver would need to succeed with to get the proverbial CCS. What are the odds of that happening? Assuming a 50/50 chance on any one, the odds of pulling all these off on any given shave is 0.5**8=1/256. Pretty damn slim. Add to that, in order to have a successful shaving career, or whatever one would call it, you would need to maintain the razor in it's shave ready state, requiring successful honing and stropping results. Two more variables. Odds of a successful shaving career: 0.5**10= 1/1024.
    Being the pessimist I am, and seeing this glass as not half empty, but totally empty: I'm with outback, and believe my skin got tougher; the only reasonable conclusion a dimwitted mathematician like myself can come to.
    Math is sexy, and when you put it that way... well, when you put it that way, no man with a rifle considering all the variables that go into making a kill shot, would be able to hit squat past a mere yard either lol!!! And unless you’re living under a rock, you know that’s just not the case.

    You really ARE a pessimist! It shows in your bias equations. That said, I literally did laugh out load reading your post. Well played. Maybe you and outback are on to something.
    Last edited by earcutter; 08-20-2018 at 12:47 AM.
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    David

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    Quote Originally Posted by earcutter View Post
    Rosacea is a thing, and i’m Glad you’re winning! Nice. But I’m pretty sure you knew you had rosacea before you started wet shaving. I’d hesitate to guess you got into wet shaving because of it!

    Either way, congrats!
    I always knew I had the problem with Rosacea, but never really knew what to call it until I went to an eye doctor who also has Rosacea. He indicated I had ocular Rosacea as well. I certainly get closer, more comfortable shaves using well honed straight razors and great soaps than I ever got with other methods.
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by cau View Post
    Being the pessimist I am, and seeing this glass as not half empty, but totally empty: I'm with outback, and believe my skin got tougher; the only reasonable conclusion a dimwitted mathematician like myself can come to.
    An optimist sees the glass as half full; a pessimist sees the glass as half empty; an engineer sees the glass and concludes that it is twice as big as it needs to be to contain the contents.

    So the answer to the shaving situation is to adjust the size of the glass. That means we learn to control the variables that determine the quality of the shave. It may well take you several years of shaving to optimize the quality of your shave: finding the right razors and shaving techniques, finding the right hones and honing techniques, finding the right strops and stropping techniques, and finding the right soaps, creams, brushes, and lathering techniques. But if you approach the task of shaving as an engineer would, you will eventually determine the right combination to optimize the quality of your shave and your enjoyment of it. There is even a technique called "experimental design" that call allow you to maximize the amount of information gathered on multiple variables in the least number of experiments.

    For those of you who have not already guessed from my posts, I was trained as a chemical engineer.
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  7. #27
    Senior Member Diboll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayClem View Post
    For those of you who have not already guessed from my posts, I was trained as a chemical engineer.
    RayClem,
    Shouldn't that be RayChem instead of RayClem? EE here.
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  8. #28
    Senior Member alex1921's Avatar
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    I am with earcutter on this one. Bad technique and bad edges. I don't buy the skin gets thicker theory. I have been shaving for years since I will be 42 soon and before straights I used DE Feathers for 6 years. First shave with straight burned like hell. Feathers will burn you if you don't use the DE correctly no matter how long have you been shaving. Same with the straight, a bad hone or testing a new stone and the alum wakes me up

    Edges - a well honed straight will leave my face smooth and without irritation. Even when I was at it for couple months and got a razor honed by Glen I could feel the difference.

    Prep - I believe it only takes you to a certain point. Like cutting your nails before or after shower. Keratin, it gets softer with hydration but if you spend the whole day in water your nails wont fall apart. There is a limit to how much you can hydrate. Just my opinion of course.

    Trully sensitive skin - yes, some people have it and they know.

    Bottom line, if a noob complains of sensitive skin I smile and think it's the technique or the edge.
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  10. #29
    Tjh
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoman View Post
    I feel better lathering with focus on better creams and/or soaps has gotten me here.
    OMG this. My first few shaves were terrible. Between my newbish skills, and a "not really the best" soap and brush it was a disaster waiting to happen. I think the one thing I really didn't take into account is - as much skill is more important than equipment, equipment becomes a lot more important when you're skill isn't that refined yet.

    If you're a newbie just learning i think "how good your equipment is" counts for a lot more. I wasn't that good, my skin wasn't used to shaving much - much less with a straight, so having a soap or cream and brush, as well as pre-shave that helps create better lather, or lessens the effect on skin REALLY helps. OFC with better skill, you don't need to rely on ensuring you have the best equipment, but i feel as a newbie it really helps. Honestly the moment I bought a nice brush and soap/cream, rather than a $10 brush and soap i got, it hurt a LOT less. Except for 2 tricky spots i came out with NO blood, literally the previous time I'd shaved i was bleeding all over the place.
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  11. #30
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tjh View Post
    OMG this. My first few shaves were terrible. Between my newbish skills, and a "not really the best" soap and brush it was a disaster waiting to happen. I think the one thing I really didn't take into account is - as much skill is more important than equipment, equipment becomes a lot more important when you're skill isn't that refined yet.

    If you're a newbie just learning i think "how good your equipment is" counts for a lot more. I wasn't that good, my skin wasn't used to shaving much - much less with a straight, so having a soap or cream and brush, as well as pre-shave that helps create better lather, or lessens the effect on skin REALLY helps. OFC with better skill, you don't need to rely on ensuring you have the best equipment, but i feel as a newbie it really helps. Honestly the moment I bought a nice brush and soap/cream, rather than a $10 brush and soap i got, it hurt a LOT less. Except for 2 tricky spots i came out with NO blood, literally the previous time I'd shaved i was bleeding all over the place.
    I guess that is another way of looking at it if you are a beginner as far as "better" gear goes. You could also say that by adding items to your shaving routine, buying "better" brushes, razors and strops may lessen the effect of poor shaving, lathering and stropping technique it could also hide some basic mistakes you are making. It could actually slow your progress toward a consistently good shave too.

    You are right though in that once you get proficient at getting consistently good shaves you will find that revisiting your inexpensive brush and soap combinations that they really do work well. You may even find that you can do away with a pre shave routine as well. It's a catch 22 thing.

    Bob
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