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How do I deal with skin irritation above the corners of my mouth, ATG pass?

Thanks, I have two Henson Milds, the Winning razor and the Merica razor, and I think all of those are pretty rigid in design. I will pay attention to the points you mentioned.
Try a more blade forward razor (not a Henson, I know you tried the medium) with no pressure and ride the cap. Sharp blade is also a must for me. I can easily pull this off with a Carbon .68 Ti razor, BB Ti, Yates 921 M or H. I know better than to go for it all with my Henson, too mild. If you can do it with a 34C, you can do it more razors with better, longer lasting results.
 
A few years ago I started getting irritation in the corners of my mouth. My dentist said I was unconsciously clenching my teeth in my sleep, which caused a gap to open and let saliva ooze out, leading to a bacterial infection. He prescribed a $160 antibiotic cream that didn't work. Vasoline did a better job. Babies often get this problem and it's called thrush. When elderly men are affected, it's called drooling.
 
I’m not sure if this was mentioned yet so apologies if this is redundant.

That’s a problem area for me too. The soap/cream on our upper lips dries faster because of our breathing. I know for me, the concentration required for a good shave makes me inhale and exhale slowly and deeply. This ends up drying the soap on the upper lip. I was always taught to shave that area last in order to let the soap/cream do it’s work on the tougher areas.

I now make a special point to re-lather and moisten my moustache area and take it verrrry slowwww on the final pass. I do as much of an ATG pass as I can but it’s really just a modified XTG pass. If that makes sense. 🤔
 
Try a more blade forward razor (not a Henson, I know you tried the medium) with no pressure and ride the cap. Sharp blade is also a must for me. I can easily pull this off with a Carbon .68 Ti razor, BB Ti, Yates 921 M or H. I know better than to go for it all with my Henson, too mild. If you can do it with a 34C, you can do it more razors with better, longer lasting r
Try a more blade forward razor (not a Henson, I know you tried the medium) with no pressure and ride the cap. Sharp blade is also a must for me. I can easily pull this off with a Carbon .68 Ti razor, BB Ti, Yates 921 M or H. I know better than to go for it all with my Henson, too mild. If you can do it with a 34C, you can do it more razors with better, longer lasting results.
Forgive my ignorance, but I'm not sure what you mean by "blade forward."
 
I’d recommend shaving with cool water. I never shower before shaving I shower right after to get a better rinse of my face after shaving, and apply aftershave after a quick shower. I wash my face with soap and water before brushing on cream or shave soap. What I have noticed from using cool water:

-I actually can get noticeably closer on the first pass, I don’t know why exactly but I do.

-My skin feels better throughout the shave, no itching, no redness.

-No visible nicks or cuts ever.

-Less shaving cream/shaving soap required. In fact just recently I basically ran out of cream by the 3rd pass and it was pretty much just residue from the brush thinly wiped over my face. Went against the grain smoothly and comfortably still.

-No burn from aftershave.

For me, hot water just does not do my skin any good and doesn’t make my shave any better at all. Neither did showering beforehand. I can get away with using hot or warm water from time to time but I shave daily these days. When I’d shave anywhere from once every two days to once a week, sometimes longer, the hot or warm water wasn’t an issue and this was always how I was led to believe shaving was done. Sort of found this out on accident..went a good while without access to hot water and I was worried that shaving with cool or cold water would be tuggy and not a close shave. But that was not the case for me at all. I was also shaving daily at that time and my skin was looking better/healthier. Just something you might want to try sometime in case you haven’t.
 
Pre-prep! Wet the whiskers long time. At least 3-4 minutes.

First pass N-S, leave the stache untouched.

Second pass. Relather, S-N, leave the stache untouched!

Third pass, against the grain, leave the stache last, get everything in one go!

In fact, if you have the patience, one pass ATG is the best in terms of effiency. Makes no difference how much beard is reduced, one pass means least amount of blade on skin.

Key words: pre-prep, wet, wait!
 
I use a shavette to solely shave the corners of my mouth WTG (N-S). -All DE and Carts' invariably give me irritation in this area
 

musicman1951

three-tu-tu, three-tu-tu
It's possible it's a technique problem, but if you're getting a fine BBS everywhere else that makes me wonder. It's possible that it's an equipment problem, but the same conclusion as the first sentence makes me wonder about that one, too.

I'm just guessing, but it's also possible you have an area of the face that refuses to tolerate ATG - and you won't be the first shaver with this predicament. Try everything mentioned, heck - try anything, but consider that the best solution might be blade buffing XTG for the third pass. This can produce results very close to ATG (and you'll still have a face).

Good luck.
 
The skin might not be tight enough for ATG.

Sometimes ATG isn't for everyone, like myself. I found WTG and XTG x 2 in either direction is just as effective without ATG for me.
 
It might help to do a cold water clean up pass. It can also help if you use short sliding strokes (Gillette slide). All my mild razor does require some creative strokes to get difficult areas. A more efficient razor usually helps too, but the same principle applies.
 
You don't have to do the same thing everywhere. I don't do any ATG in all areas of my face and I only do ATG in other parts. Once you know your beard growth angles and what each section of your face can handle, you can do different things in different areas.

For instance, I do not do ATG on my mustache and I do three ATG passes on parts of my neck. Most other places get one ATG pass.
 
Congrats on your progress!

I reiterate what others have said, ‘ATG is not required.’

I also suggest you map your beard in the problem areas to understand precisely what you are doing.
You're absolutely right. My only problem area is above the corners of my lips. No atg shaving there, and I'm ok.
 
Mike,

A lot of good things have already been said and I saw the Gillette Slide pass by as well. I have sensitive skin in that area too. My WTG is a slightly slanted stroke so I go N-S but with the razor NE-SW. Then I do XTG using the Gillette Slide NW-SE. My ATG is actually a reversed slanted stroke - so I do W-E strokes with my razor held NW-SE. This way you go ATG in a milder fashion. This final pass I do like this for the entire moustache area (so I cross the left/right divide if you will) coming in from the left and when I do my right side coming in from the right.

I either leave it that way or when I feel I can I continue S-N as you would.

All directions are for my left side only so for the right side you would need to mirror those.

My 2cts - and so far it has worked with every razor I have. OC and SB. With maybe the exception of the Razorine Flatboy because it’s flat design is more prone to cut me when I use these strokes.

Guido
 
I do a standard 3 pass shave, except I don’t do the mustache area, or the corners of the mouth on the 3rd pass. It is not needed, and can lead to irritation. Also remember that the grain on the corners of your mouth, and everywhere else for that matter, may not be growing in the same direction as your cheeks etc. That is the case with me. I need to change my shaving direction to accommodate the direction of the gain in all areas. Doing a thorough mapping of one’s beard is a critical step in the process of getting better shave results.
 
Sharp blade with thin slick lather and very light touch, with one long stroke. May not work for you but allows me to go over areas repeatedly without irritation.
 
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