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Can blades "expire?" Have I lost the knack?

I have been wet shaving for about seven years, but never with more trouble than I'm having right now. My routine has barely changed in the past five years or so. I use a synthetic Viking's Blade "fire mare" brush, and I usually use Proraso red, green, or white croap, with a red Personna blade. Last week I had to retire my TTO Krona which started coming loose and return to my old Gilette 1940s superspeed TTO. For the past number of months, I have been getting TERRIBLE razor burn, especially when shaving anywhere outside of my home bathroom. I use the same brush, soap, and razors as at home, but right now my face is on FIRE after a simple WTG pass. The blades I'm using are the last couple of boxes from a pack of 200 I got at the end of 2019. They have stayed in the wax wrapper and cardboard box in my linen closet, away from the humid bathroom, but I'm wondering if it's possible that after two years they've just lost their sharpness.
I've had trouble with hard soaps before when lathering, but Proraso has always been my best standby. Are there any ideas you can think of to help me out? I'm getting tired of crappy shaves and red faces!
 
Stainless steel blades usually last quite a few years. There are people here shaving with vintage blades that are decades old and still perform well.

It's possible something is wrong with just those packs of blades. Blades are cheap these days, it might make sense to just buy some other ones to try out.

Proraso is fine and plenty of people use it with good results.
 
“Last week I had to retire my TTO Krona which started coming loose and return to my old Gilette 1940s superspeed TTO. For the past number of months, I have been getting TERRIBLE razor burn, especially when shaving anywhere outside of my home bathroom.”

My guess this is the nexus of your dilemma, was your TTO Krona. It probably started your problems, odds are it started causing trouble long before you were forced to ditch it.
 
“Last week I had to retire my TTO Krona which started coming loose and return to my old Gilette 1940s superspeed TTO. For the past number of months, I have been getting TERRIBLE razor burn, especially when shaving anywhere outside of my home bathroom.”

My guess this is the nexus of your dilemma, was your TTO Krona. It probably started your problems, odds are it started causing trouble long before you were forced to ditch it.
Thanks, that makes sense. I guess it could have irritated the skin, and the Gillette is just causing it to inflame again? I was using the Gillette this morning when the latest incident happened.
 
Stainless steel blades should last for decades if stored in cool, dry conditions. While it is unlikely that the blades have deteriorated, it is likely that YOU have changed over the past seven years. As we age, beard hairs tend to get coarser and skin tends to get thinner and more sensitive. Thus, the same blades that worked for you several years ago may no longer be sharp enough and smooth enough for todays beard and skin. However, I find the Personna Platinum Israeli blades in the red packaging to be excellent.

If you are getting razor burn, it might help to upgrade your shaving soap. While Proraso is a very popular soap, as you age, it might not provide the level of slickness and cushion that you need to protect your skin. I rate Proraso 8/10 on slickness and 6/10 on cushion/skin protection. Overall I rate Proraso as a C-level soap. As a senior citizen with a coarse, white beard and sensitive skin, I get razor burn if I use Proraso for my shave. When I use one of the A and A+ level soaps in my den, I get near BBS shaves with zero irritation. Those soaps also provide ingredients that leave my skin feeling great for hours after the shave. Check out the shaving soap threads for recommendations on top level soaps or send me a PM if you want my recommendations.
 
The first thing is stop hurting yourself and give your skin a chance to heal.

How do you know it’s actual razor burn? Razor burn being skin damage caused by the razor blade.

Treating razor burn is pretty simple. Stop using that razor/blade combination. Take a break from shaving or use an electric. Wash with gentle cleanser, use a mild moisturizer and apply occlusive layer when feasible.

If you’re getting contact dermatitis from a chemical reaction or have exacerbating factors, like seasonal allergies, different treatments or relief may be needed
 
Thanks for the ideas! I think it must be razor burn but I am not sure - the skin gets red, bumpy, and inflamed, and it stings like hell. The Proraso is brand new so I don't think that's the issue. Right now my Gillette is the only other reliable razor I have. I've been thinking of getting a King C. Gilette for the longer handle. I was having the issue before with the Krona and am still having it with the Gillette. It doesn't happen every time, but I can't figure out what the factor is that does make it happen.
 
Stainless steel blades should last for decades if stored in cool, dry conditions. While it is unlikely that the blades have deteriorated, it is likely that YOU have changed over the past seven years. As we age, beard hairs tend to get coarser and skin tends to get thinner and more sensitive. Thus, the same blades that worked for you several years ago may no longer be sharp enough and smooth enough for todays beard and skin. However, I find the Personna Platinum Israeli blades in the red packaging to be excellent.

If you are getting razor burn, it might help to upgrade your shaving soap. While Proraso is a very popular soap, as you age, it might not provide the level of slickness and cushion that you need to protect your skin. I rate Proraso 8/10 on slickness and 6/10 on cushion/skin protection. Overall I rate Proraso as a C-level soap. As a senior citizen with a coarse, white beard and sensitive skin, I get razor burn if I use Proraso for my shave. When I use one of the A and A+ level soaps in my den, I get near BBS shaves with zero irritation. Those soaps also provide ingredients that leave my skin feeling great for hours after the shave. Check out the shaving soap threads for recommendations on top level soaps or send me a PM if you want my recommendations.
Try another blade. Maybe something not so "sharp", something smooth. And what is your after shave? Something with alcohol? Ditch it for some balm to rehydrate your face. Try a different shave cream, not a soap! Your skin is already dry, don't add to it!
 
Since you're getting worse shaves outside your home, it might be the water. I'm no expert, but lots of folks claim that different water makes a huge difference like softening your whiskers better or improving your lathering quality a bit too.

In my case is quite the opposite - at home, my shaves are not that impressive, but i've shaved multiple times in other places and I couldn't believe that I was able to achieve a much comfortable shave outside my own bathroom. I don't know how to explain it, but the razor just works much better while cutting the whiskers and it feels a bit more comftable and overall much easy than usual and the quality of the leather was also a bit better as well.

At first I thought that it was all in my head, but I don't think so.
 
Plus, this is a time of year when things are cold. Cold air holds far less moisture, and when we warm it up in our houses it can lead to low humidity. How low? I just looked at my humidity meter and I see that we have 3% relative humidity in the house, and 35% outside where it's -20C at the moment.

At those humidities I don't wet-shave. Lather becomes spackle almost immediately. Skin gets ferociously irritated, something otherwise very rare for me. Sucks to use an electric, but at least my skin is comfortable.

O.H.
 
I have shaved with vintage blades, including some great blades from the 1970s. As others note SS blades don’t expire. So something else has changed.
 
Those are all great ideas - I think you may be on to something with the humidity element. I will try keeping the door closed when I shower to trap the steam in there. The water is a possibility too. I've been using both the Bulldog Aftershave and the Nivea Sensitive Skin balm, which have always been good for me.
 
Everything is YMMV, but me and my '53 Gillette Superspeed definitely were a combo for producing razor burn. I gave the '53 away, but still have some TV specials.

These days I mainly use 3 piece DEs, all kinds of Gem SEs, injectors, and SRs without any problems. I still have to be very careful with Gillette Superspeeds to avoid a bad burn. Just saying, that is my situation.
 
It's your face telling you it's time to grow a beard....:lol:

Give your face a few days to heal. Maybe time to investigate some new soap and blades. Make sure you have good prep before shaving as well....very important. I think the response about your old razor starting the issue is most likely correct. Heal up and start fresh. The Super Speed is a great razor and shouldn't be causing lots of razor burn. As you know a light touch is always best. Best of luck.
 
I don't know your age but, in my case, as I got into my mid to upper 60s, my favorite soaps and brushes began irritating my face. A dermatologist told me I had mild rosacea/dermatitus. We didn't get into my shave routine, but I backed off my use of Tabac, sandalwood/cedarwood, some lavenders, & other strongly-scented soaps that caused me irritation. While I loved the scritch of short-lofted badger brushes at that time, I also switched to softer brushes. I even got rid of 2 synths that had some prickliness to them. I now use soaps and brushes that don't irritate my face. I don't think DE and blades were as much of a factor (for me) as brush and soap.
 
Plus, this is a time of year when things are cold. Cold air holds far less moisture, and when we warm it up in our houses it can lead to low humidity. How low? I just looked at my humidity meter and I see that we have 3% relative humidity in the house, and 35% outside where it's -20C at the moment.

At those humidities I don't wet-shave. Lather becomes spackle almost immediately. Skin gets ferociously irritated, something otherwise very rare for me. Sucks to use an electric, but at least my skin is comfortable.

O.H.
Looks like you need a humidifier.
 
I don't know your age but, in my case, as I got into my mid to upper 60s, my favorite soaps and brushes began irritating my face. A dermatologist told me I had mild rosacea/dermatitus. We didn't get into my shave routine, but I backed off my use of Tabac, sandalwood/cedarwood, some lavenders, & other strongly-scented soaps that caused me irritation. While I loved the scritch of short-lofted badger brushes at that time, I also switched to softer brushes. I even got rid of 2 synths that had some prickliness to them. I now use soaps and brushes that don't irritate my face. I don't think DE and blades were as much of a factor (for me) as brush and soap.
Good call on your part. Everyone is hung up on scent in their soap. For what? And because it cost $40+, it supposed to be the best. You are going to put on a scented aftershave anyway! I use Gillette Pure shave cream, $6.00. I shave everyday in the morning, and my face feels great, even with the deep freeze here in Chicagoland. I use a boar brush to apply my cream, never more the 2 passes-WTG, XTG, thats it. Sometimes only WTG. If you shave everyday, you don't need BBS! I use Gillette aftershave gel, mixed with a couple of drops of suntan lotion that has coconut oil as a main ingredient. As far as blades, they have to work well with any given razor, we all have done our homework on that. If not, change your blade. I can't use Vokshods in my razor, makes my face feel windburned, but German Wilkies are great. Close, smooth, no irritation.
 
Checked in after years away because this pack of Astra SP's is giving me no end of trouble, and I wanted to see whether anyone else was experiencing anything similar.

Good call on the seasonal changes.
 
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