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Cold Water: The Paul Newman Variations

Legend has it (well, I heard him mention it once on The Tonight Show to an astonished Johnny Carson) that the late Paul Newman had a morning ritual that included immersing his face in a basin filled with ice water for something like thirty seconds. This was done as a sort of testosterone-fueled version of a beauty facial, keeping the skin taut and facial muscles limber.

Recalling this a few years back, I decided to try a variation of this for my shave routine. Along with the usual shaving paraphernalia, the key addition was a Water-Pik Shower Massage with a removable (hand-held) shower head. (Which, conveniently, I already possessed.)

After showering, I go through my usual shave prep. After my first pass, I reach for the Shower Massage head, bring the water to a comfortably-warm temperature and, leaning my head over the tub, face-down, bring the shower head about a foot beneath my face, firing upward. This offers a uniform rinse of my face and neck, but I rinse only to the point where my face and neck are ever-so-slightly slick.

I lather up, make a second (ATG) pass, then re-lather my neck for an XTG pass. I repeat the Shower Massage routine, but this time, I rinse my face and neck to the point that all remaining residue is gone. Then, while still rinsing, I shut the hot water completely off, and give my face a 20-to-30-second hit of cold-as-I-can-get-it water. Then I pat my face dry, apply after-shave balm, and I'm done.

This little addition has done quite a bit for both the quality of my shave, and my face in general. Faster than a typical face rinse, and far more thorough. The cold-water spray at the end not only tightens the pores (and keeps any nick-induced bleeding to a minimum), but also gives you that thanks-I-needed-that wake-up slap you might sometimes need. :smile:


- Barrett
 
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The cold-water spray at the end not only tightens the pores (and keeps any nick-induced bleeding to a minimum), but also gives you that thanks-I-needed-that wake-up slap you might sometimes need. :smile:
- Barrett
Speaking of cold water and nick-induced bleeding, I had a sobering experience last night. For some reason beyond my control, my Merkur HD moved in the direction of the blade. This was no ordinary nick; this was a surgical cut! Thank goodness for cold water and styptic podwder. :blushing:
 
I repeat the Shower Massage routine, but this time, I rinse my face and neck to the point that all remaining residue is gone. Then, while still rinsing, I shut the hot water completely off, and give my face a 20-to-30-second hit of cold-as-I-can-get-it water.
This is almost exactly how I finish up after shaving. However, after cooling my face down, I pat it dry with a towel, then hit it with some Thayer's. I apply an ASB of some sort a few minutes later.
 
Speaking of cold water and nick-induced bleeding, I had a sobering experience last night. For some reason beyond my control, my Merkur HD moved in the direction of the blade. This was no ordinary nick; this was a surgical cut! Thank goodness for cold water and styptic podwder. :blushing:
Ouch...

I've done that only three times since getting into the wetshaving thing (and, one of those times was with a cartridge razor, proving that the things aren't entirely idiot-proof). Intrestingly, I never did it in the one year I used nothing but a Pumaster straight...I was probably paranoid enough to pay strict attention during each and every shave. :wink:


- Barrett
 
During the summer here in Dallas, the water from the cold tap stays fairly warm. If I want a good, cold water rinse (especially after a Proraso shave), I add a cup or two of ice cubes to a sink of cold water. Does the job quite nicely!
 
I don't actually rinse after each pass. I just wet my hands and rub them around.

After my last pass I use the removable shower head thing with really warm water. Then hit the alum block. Then back to the shower head with only the cold water on. Then Thayer's.

Pretty much the same deal. I have a sink that sucks for splash rinsing (no counter around it just sink) so I had to come up with something else.
 
I hit the shower for 30 seconds with the water on the coldest setting, which is exceedingly cold.

Works very well - then if I want I splash some AS on, AV mostly.
 
I never thought that I would actually come to like a splash or rinse of ice cold water after a shave, but it really feels good. I leave my face wet and apply either Nivea or eShave ASB.
 
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