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Shave Creams Burning?


First I am very new to the art of DE shaving. I do not have too many shaving creams... yet. But I have noticed that the few that I do have that come in the tubs tend start burning my face a little. Either, if I'm beginning a 2nd pass or if the cream remains on my face for too long. The cream flavors are Rose and Lemon Cedar so far...

1. Is this normal or is my skin sensitive to some type of ingredient?
2. Will my skin adjust?
3. Are the shave soaps (cakes) milder?

It COULD be a sensitivity issue, but I'd wager it is removing too much skin on the first pass. Keep the razor pressure almost to nothing and make sure the angle is correct.
Try some of the cream on a spot without shaving and see if it burns. If you have a real sensitivity, you should feel it.
Also, you might want to tinker with the cream/water ratio. Most creams are very concentrated and have to be diluted with lots of water. When I started using creams (Trumper rose for instance :mad3: )and couldn't whip up good lather I had tremendous irritation. Soaps are chemically less complex so are less prone to cause spots/burn/wounds/scars...Good luck.
Not to be difficult, but I would disagree with both assertions. You should be able to use any water ratio you want without feeling irritation. In principle, you don't even need to use a brush with creams, but can smear them on your face (not what I would do, but to each their own). As for soaps being more complex than creams, that is untrue as well. The simple substitution of sodium for potassium in the alkaline ingredients used to saponify the fats cause the consistency to be either soap-like or cream like. I don't think you can generalize to soaps being less complex than creams. Read the ingredients and you will see there is little difference.
Well, I sure don't have a degree in chemistry, so I'll admit to having quoted someone else :)blushing: ), namely the research panel of the German magazine Oeko-Test. These guys most certainly have degrees in chemistry and/or dermatology and over here in Europe their judgement is held in high regard. Even huge companies like Nivea have changed their formulas after a negative rating by Oeko-Test.
On their website they literally state that in general 'traditional shave soaps have a more simple formula than creams and thus are less prone to cause irritation and skin problems'. Check it out at www.oeko-test.de

One possibility is that they were mainly talking about the cheap drugstore brands, which often contain stuff that is a danger to sensitive skin. But even the higher end brands contain ingredients that have been criticized. Take Trumper for example: apart from the colouring and scent, their creams also contain parabens (conserving agents?) which have met criticism from some scientists. In general however, the top brands are probabely safer.

On the water cream ratio: Isn't it somewhat logical that the less concentrated a product reaches the surface of your skin, the less likely you are going to suffer irritation? Also, I didn't mean diluting creams before making lather; what i intended to say was that lather in itself is a form of dilution (or am I yet again mistaking -I've always been weak in the sciences...)
So I'm to believe that it is either
1. My skin being sensitive
2. My shaving technique ??????????
I was not trying to be combative, merely stating my position on the subject. I don't speak German, so I can't comment on your link, but I would guess you are correct that the reference was to drugstore-type products rather than the upper-crust shave products we generally use. I don't have any packages in front of me, but I think that if you compare the ingredient list for a soap versus cream for something like a Trumper, Harris, etc. you will find that the ingredient lists are very similar. I'll take a look when I get home tonight.

As for parabens, I think there is lots of discussion out there on them. If you want your product to be shelf-stable you don't have much choice but to use small amounts of these products (or you need to refrigerate the product). Regardless on whether you eschew the use of products with parabens, it is sort of a moot point with regard to irritation. If you have an allergy/sensitivity, more than likely any amount of water you use in your lather won't prevent you from having the reaction. My only point was to use the un-lathered cream to test whether your skin is sensitive to it. If it is, I wouldn't use it regardless of any dilution argument.

Of course, none of this is helping poor Tito :redface: . My suggestion again is to do a test on unshaven skin and see if any irritation occurs. If it doesn't, there is some interaction with the shaving process going on.
Oh my a coworker in my office just said "Why are you so red?"

Now here I thought I was beginning to get good shaves and now I'm walking around glowing like neon. What gives?
Scotto/Dr. Sample,
Thank you for this little chemistry course. Good point that we should answer questions of members having problems in the first place. Your suggestions sure seem very sound to me.
The theory behind it all still intrigues me, though. It's like I'm a blindfolded alchemist desperately trying to make eternal lather...:001_smile
Tito said:
Oh my a coworker in my office just said "Why are you so red?"

Now here I thought I was beginning to get good shaves and now I'm walking around glowing like neon. What gives?

I know how you feel...Conks Bay Rum Soap doesn't burn me, but leaves my facing turning red. The first time I used it I had everyone in my office asking me what was wrong...I hadn't noticed when I left what it had done...

Too bad because I really enjoy the scent...


Stjynnkii membörd dummpsjterd
First they started burning books. Now they're burning shaving cream. The bastards!:cursing:

I really gotta start reading these threads before I post a reply.

Try a lighter hand with the razor on your next shave and see what happens. It sounds to me like you are trying for too much beard reduction on your early passes. Just take it easy and see if you get less iritation next time out.

And it couldn't hurt to try a patch test, too. :biggrin:
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