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One trouble spot when shaving

Hi everyone.

I have been DE shaving for a few years now. I have one trouble spot that I find particularly hard to shave, which is under my left nostril, just above my lip. There's no doubt that the whiskers in this area are tougher than the rest of my face. I definitely require more work to remove the stubble here, but the "more work" means going over the area too much, and almost always leads to razor burn and redness. This is an issue across different razors (Merkur 34C, 37C, 15C, Progress and EJ DE89), different soaps, blades etc. I tend to get best results with the 15C in this region for some reason (less redness and irritation).

If possible I would like to overcome this issue and any advice, tips, help etc. would be very appreciated.

Thank you.
 
One problem with this area is keeping it flat so you get full contact with the blade. Another problem is that the whiskers are tougher.

Have you tried stretching the skin?

Have you tried making two passes across the grain in different directions?

Can you go against the grain? Do not go against the grain unless the whiskers have been reduced to minimal length by previous passes. This may require skin stretching and using a mild razor in the "riding the cap" position. If you can't go against the grain without irritation, just avoid it.

To minimize irritation, avoid going over an area without lather. Avoid using much pressure. Three passes is normally enough. Make sure your whiskers have been softened with adequate shave prep.
 
Only one problem area? You're doing good. I think I have 3. One is going ATG near the left nostril. Knowing it's a problem area for me, I take it slow and make sure the soap and blade is up to the job. That's one reason I toss my blades after 2 uses.
 
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Problem solved! 😉
 
Above both ears (head shave).
Haven't found the solution yet.

THAT I may be able to help you with. I don't shave all my face, so the OP's question is one I can't answer.

I have two identical ridges on my skull, and I've had all kinds of struggle getting them clean with just about any razor. The problem is that there is a radical change of curvature, and maintaining proper shave angle over that part is almost impossible.

What I generally do is to leave those areas 'til last so I can give my head a good rinse. Then I paint more lather on a ridge and take a careful pass XTG going front to back, then more lather and a careful XTG pass going back to front. Then another dose of lather, pick up a folded washcloth for traction, and do an ATG pass with firm stretching. That pulls the area right over the ridge up onto the more gently curved part of my skull where I can finish the job without "shaving out of the window."

Fiddly, but it works.

O.H.
 
Hi everyone.

Atlantic59, yes I'm still here. Most times I will post a "thank you" after a few replies. This can mean that after many replies, there will be about 4 or 5 "thank yous" solely on page 1 of the thread, which may be a little tedious to read. This time I thought I may wait a while.

Thanks to all respondents. I can respond as follows :

Atlantic59 : I have used most if not all of the tips in your reply No3. It helps a little. I am wondering if I should give my skin a break and maybe not shave for a couple of weeks - maybe it just needs some healing time ?

santamariasteve : I'm right handed, and mostly use right hand for shaving.

ShavingPanda : XTG still leaves too much stubble. I do the standard three passes.

rbscebu : I have just purchased a Proraso shavette with the Walnut handle. I'm waiting for it to arrive. I will give this a go.

Just wondering : if I take my Merkur Progress, and do all three passes as WTG, but increase the number with each pass (2 for 1st pass, 3 for second and 5 for third) will that get a DFS or BBS without the redness issue ?

Many thanks again.
 
Hi everyone.

Atlantic59, yes I'm still here. Most times I will post a "thank you" after a few replies. This can mean that after many replies, there will be about 4 or 5 "thank yous" solely on page 1 of the thread, which may be a little tedious to read. This time I thought I may wait a while.

Thanks to all respondents. I can respond as follows :

Atlantic59 : I have used most if not all of the tips in your reply No3. It helps a little. I am wondering if I should give my skin a break and maybe not shave for a couple of weeks - maybe it just needs some healing time ?

santamariasteve : I'm right handed, and mostly use right hand for shaving.

ShavingPanda : XTG still leaves too much stubble. I do the standard three passes.

rbscebu : I have just purchased a Proraso shavette with the Walnut handle. I'm waiting for it to arrive. I will give this a go.

Just wondering : if I take my Merkur Progress, and do all three passes as WTG, but increase the number with each pass (2 for 1st pass, 3 for second and 5 for third) will that get a DFS or BBS without the redness issue ?

Many thanks again.
A couple of weeks is a long healing time, unless you have an underlying medical condition. Normally 2 or 3 days should be plenty.

When using a Merkur Futur adjustable, I would start with setting 5 for the first pass (WTG), 3 for the second pass (XTG) and 1 or 2 for the final pass (ATG).

That being said, I still think that the shavette used with almost no pressure (just enough to remove the lather) and a very low shave angle will solve your problem.
 
rbscebu. Thanks for that. When you refer to a low shave angle, you mean the blade almost parallel to the face ?
Yes, depending on the shavette's spine thickness you shave with a gap between the spine and your skin of about one spine thickness. Start with a flatter angle and slightly increase it until it cleanly shaves the lather off your face. Don't worry about cutting your whiskers, they will come off with the lather.
 
Thank you rbscebu. I dare say I will initially only shave parts of my face with the shavette. Maybe one cheek or the moustache area.
Start with the cheek area and shave with the grain, normally north to south. As you get over your initial preconceived and ill-founded fear, you can start to become adventurous.

If you like you can later venture into traditional SR shaving. That is easier to shave with and blade maintenance takes almost no skill and just a few minutes per shave. A decent traditional SR shaving setup can be had new for about USD 100.

If you later decided on a traditional SR shaving setup, let me know and I will guide you.
 
rbscebu, Your offer of guidance is very generous. Thank you. Much appreciated. I may take you up on that at some point.

I always thought setting up to use a straight razor was expensive. Going by Australian dollars (I'm in Oz), I thought about $300 for a good Dovo razor, then about $400 for a set of 3 sharpening stones, then the strop and maybe some stropping paste.
 
@Pappa Piccolino, in AUD today:

Titan ACRM-2 SR = $29 incl. shipping
Strop = $11 incl. shipping
Professional honing = about $35
Diamond pasted balsa strops materials = about $60

That's $135 total.

This is what I started on and still often shave with years later. Of course you can spend more (and even a little less) but there is no need to do so.

No whetstones are required unless you want to go down that rabbit hole. SR's with a properly prepared shave-ready edge can be maintained indefinitely with just diamond pasted balsa strops and clean leather stropping. My first SR, a Titan ACRM-2, is still perfect to shave with just being maintained this way.
 
rbscebu, thanks for that. I'd never heard of the Titan straight razor, and I've just watched a couple of videos on making your own balsa strops. I won't waste any more of your time on the SR issue. You have been super helpful, but I think straight razors are still a long way off for me.

Thanks again.
 
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