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How much does a blade affect irritation?

So I normally have been shaving with Astra SP's in my Merkur barber pole. I tried switching over to Gillette Silver Blue, and I feel I got a little closer shave with them. I have been getting razor burn from my Astra's more frequently than I would like. A week with the Gillette's didn't give me any burn, but I felt like I got way more irritation. My face felt like it was on fire when I was done. Any other prep I should be doing or are blades really that different?
My prep is:
Shower
lather with TOBS
1 WTG pass, 1 (or 2) XTG passes, and touch up.
warm rinse
cold rinse
nivea asb

Anything else I should really be using?
 
The TOBS is a great soap. Very forgiving and that might be your problem. It's too forgiving. A more moderate soap like cella or ARKO will help you feel the razor more and let you fell the minimization or zero pressure. TOBS works so well you can not feel it till it's too late. What brush? A really scratchy brush can cause irritation. Boar, I would skip the rinses. Just wipe the cream off with a damp cloth. Wait to apply AS. 15-30
Minutes. Try witch hazel instead of Nivea. WH also sanitizes so there is less chance of infection.
 
The TOBS is a great soap. Very forgiving and that might be your problem. It's too forgiving. A more moderate soap like cella or ARKO will help you feel the razor more and let you fell the minimization or zero pressure. TOBS works so well you can not feel it till it's too late. What brush? A really scratchy brush can cause irritation. Boar, I would skip the rinses. Just wipe the cream off with a damp cloth. Wait to apply AS. 15-30
Minutes. Try witch hazel instead of Nivea. WH also sanitizes so there is less chance of infection.
Using the Escali badger brush from Amazon. Sounds like its the same as a tweezerman. Not sure if its actually a good brush or not.
 
Also, how much would something like an Alum block help with the irritation as opposed to just using an ASB?
 
Razor burn is normally caused by an improper blade angle, excessive pressure, or going over the same area too many times. For me, irritation can be caused by a bad blade, but can also be caused by some ingredient in the shaving cream or soap. With the proper technique, you should be able to get a decent shave with most blades, as long as they are not worn out.
 
Alum block does help for me. I do find some blades more forgiving of my less than stellar technique so that could be part of the issue. But as xxvaleria pointed out above too much pressure or repeatedly going over the same spot, especially if devoid of lather, can cause irritation.
 
In my (very limited) experience, I have found that duller blades can lead to more irritation. Blades that are inherently duller, or those that have become dull through doing too many shaves. With these, I have found that personally I apply too much pressure in order to cut through the stubble and to get it down close to the skin as a keen blade can get, leading to razor burn. Conversely, this newbie went VERY GENTLY INDEED with a Feather, given its legendary sharpness!
 
Nailed it. Try another shave cream. Also use a shallower angle and less pressure. That should cure the issue.

Razor burn is normally caused by an improper blade angle, excessive pressure, or going over the same area too many times. For me, irritation can be caused by a bad blade, but can also be caused by some ingredient in the shaving cream or soap. With the proper technique, you should be able to get a decent shave with most blades, as long as they are not worn out.
 

ackvil

Moderator
Razor burn is normally caused by an improper blade angle, excessive pressure, or going over the same area too many times. For me, irritation can be caused by a bad blade, but can also be caused by some ingredient in the shaving cream or soap. With the proper technique, you should be able to get a decent shave with most blades, as long as they are not worn out.
What Steve said. The most common cause of irritation is not the blades but issues with pressure and/or blade angle.
 
I'm just getting through that as well. What people said above is exactly the problem. Too much pressure and too many passes over the same area. What I did to isolate the problem was not allow myself to do clean up passes or buff any areas. I also reduced my daily shaves to two pass shaves. It forced me to focus on my technique during those two passes until I was getting close, comfortable shaves. Two or three weeks was enough time to dial it in and start going for BBS again. It worked. Good luck.
 
Razor burn is normally caused by an improper blade angle, excessive pressure, or going over the same area too many times. For me, irritation can be caused by a bad blade, but can also be caused by some ingredient in the shaving cream or soap. With the proper technique, you should be able to get a decent shave with most blades, as long as they are not worn out.
+2
 
I find the Alum block really helps, I let that sit on for a few minutes and wash it off, then I use nivea ASB once that dries to remoisturize. And if it's a particularly frigid northeastern day I have a different full body moisturizer that I will follow up with. My knicks and cuts are there, but my irritation is very minimal from what it use to be.
 
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