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How can I minimize nicks and abrasions with Merkur DE?


Here's my two cents. I've shaved with a Gillette M3 Power now for 3 years or so until January, when I discovered wetshaving and this forum. I plunged in like I do with everything: bought all the razors, tons of creams, oils and soaps. I tried them all, changing products and trying different combinations almost every day. Filled my bathroom cupboard with product, emptied my wallet several times, and still got lousy shaves. Really discouraging....

About 2 or 3 weeks ago, I ran out of energy and combinations and settle into using a Merkur Futur on a low setting of "2", along with a Feather blade, which seemed to cut my beard best. I skipped the oil, softened my beard at the sink with hot water at the sink for a full 4 minutes, then applied Will G's soap with my brush and worked it on my beard for a good two minutes.

I kept the proper angle, shaved no more than a 1" of beard at a time, and always let the razor weight do the work -- NO PRESSURE AT ALL! I also gave no consideration for closeness -- just concentrated on angle and no pressure, and never cut an unlathered area. I tried not to worry about shave quality and stopped shaving whenever I started to feel irritation.

Now I am finally able to do 3 or 4 passes with no irritation, and my shave has been getting better each day. In the last week, my shaves have been GREAT!

And, FINALLY, better than my M3P shaves -- but it has taken 3 months. I feel great, my shave looks good, and most importantly, I ENJOY SHAVING!! It used to be a CHORE that I wanted to SKIP each day. Now I can't WAIT to SHAVE!

THAT is what this is all about for me -- to ENJOY it!

And it helps to have everyone here to share it with. THANK YOU!
Good for you, Tom. I know that you (like most of us) struggled some early on. Congratulations, and I hope your shaves continue to get better and better.
Well, I guess I jumped to conclusions there. I shaved again with the M3 and got the same nicks and scratches on the left side of my face that I was getting with the DE. Then switched back to the DE the last couple of times and have been getting no problems, although mostly this is due to not going for a super close shave.

When you speak of 4 minutes at the sink with hot water... what is your technique? I have a lot of small towels for steaming, but I don't really get HOW to steam.

My main problem areas are just below the jawline halfway between the throat and ear, and the bottom of the neck. I am making progress, though.
Here it is what I recommend:

1. Get a Merkur Progess and use only Merkur blades always with a low setting, like 1 to 1,5 .
2. Wet your face with very hot water during some 3 to 4 minutes and clean with a glycerine soap; Not advisable to shower before. You will get better results applying very hot running water on your face during several minutes;
3. Use Proraso eucaliptus (or Omega Shaving cream as it is the same and even cheaper than Proraso) shaking well the hot water from your brush before putting on the cream and then add some drops of water to get a dense but wet shiny past in your face. It must be not translucide on your face;
4. Make 3 passes: one N/S, one across the grain and the last against the grain all with no pressure at all;After each pass use hot water and relather your face;
5. Rinse with plenty of cold water;
6. Tap dry with a soft towel and apply a good after-shave balm like Anthony.
7. Take your shower;
8. Then put on a great moisturizer like Total Care from Biotherm (expensive but fantastic at some 40 USD);
9. Dress up and before leaving home put another and stronger moisturizer like the best I know: Anthony SPF 15 (expensive like Biotherm about 30 to 40 USD).

I hope this help!

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