More Than I Can Chew
July 16, 2005
No matter how good I get at this whole wetshaving routine, I can’t stop monkeying around, it seems. I’ve been so psyched with the shaves I’ve been getting by using a brush with the brushless Cremo Cream that today I think I went one toke over the line, sweet rhesus. I tried shaving with a Feather Platinum DE blade again, after swearing off of them awhile back.
I have a love/hate relationship with the Feather DE blades. They’re clearly the sharpest safety razor blades I’ve ever tried, and in a good razor, they cut so surgically you can barely feel them mowing your whiskers — they just seem to wipe off the layer of stubble without any sensation of actually cutting.
That’s the good news. The bad news, for me at least, is that I’ve never been able to get a consistently good shave without skin irritation. Even if I pay strict attention and avoid bearing down with any pressure at all on the razor, I still get red marks on my neck whenever I use Feather blades in any of my various DE razors. I love how close and smooth the shaves always are, but the red marks suck.
You’d think I’d learn by now. But my shaves with Cremo Cream have been so amazing that, of course, I couldn’t help myself. Since this stuff is so super slick, maybe it would let me get away with using the Feather blades so I could get those crazy-close shaves without the accompanying skin irritation. I broke open a pack of Feather Platinums and loaded one into my Merkur HD.
Today’s shaving routine was identical in rig and rigor to my other recent Cremo shaves — Merkur HD, Vulfix #2235 brush, Trumper Skin Food after to soothe my freshly shaven skin. The only difference was subbing the Feather blade for my usual Merkur.
The shave itself was super, super close. Even my trouble areas like under my chin feel glass smooth. And I didn’t have to go over these areas as many times as I do with other blades to get that kind of closeness. Just a few quick passes and I had glass.
Unfortunately, I also had some tiny red marks on my neck. I rarely get these anymore unless I’m using a hyper-aggressive razor like the Merkur Slant Bar or the Mach3 Power, or a poorly lubricating shaving cream or soap. As long as I use a good cream and my trusty Merkur HD, I don’t worry about red marks on my neck anymore.
I thought the Cremo Cream’s extreme slickness might somehow let the Feathers skate over my skin faster etc so the shave wouldn’t irritate, or something along those lines anyway. Nope. So I’m giving up on the Feather blades for now. They’re great, and lots of shavegeeks seem to get fine results with them. I’m not there yet, and with my skin, I may never be. I’m not Lee Marvin. I have sensitive skin. The Feathers are too much for me.
Maybe a year from now if my technique reaches the Zen point where I close my eyes and shave with a single, unbroken stroke over my entire face and neck without raising the blade till the last whisker falls in slo-mo into the sinkwater, I can revisit the Feathers and use them successfully. For now, I’m staying with the much more forgiving Merkur and Personna blades in my DE.