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Skin irratation no matter what! Please help

Hello shavers,

to be honest, I'm really desperate and I don't know how to shave anymore, because I've tried everything and nothing seems to work - I still get irritation. Gillete 5, shavette, safety razor. I decided to go with the safety razor, because I like the long-time costs are low and it's easier than shavette. I get irritated skin (as shown on pictures 1, 2, and 3) no matter what, so I'm sure I do something wrong and I'd like an insight of professionals to tell me what. I have sensitive skin (on my neck). I spent like 6 hours going through every ingredient of every single product (picture 4) I have to have the right chemicals.

My routine: hot shower, cleanse with CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, I let my badger hair brush sit in warm water to soak (from AliExpress, Qshave brand), warm up my face again, put on Morgan's pre-shave oil, let it soak in and prepare my lather of Taylor of Old Bond Street Aloe Vera shaving cream, then I get my face a bit wet again with the Morgan's pre-shave oil already on, I put on the lather, prepare my safety razor loaded with new or only once used Wilkinson Sword blade, the lather gets time to soften my beard, I shave with the grain, wash my face with warm water, put on oil again (otherwise the blade tends to skip and cause razor burn, maybe this is the problem?), I put on lather again and shave against the grain (leaving out the along the grain, because my beard grown different direction on each inch of my face haha), then I wash my face with warm water, then with cold water or piece of ice to close pores, secure any cuts with the alum stick, pat my skin dry, put on Taylor of Old Bond Street aftershave balm for sensitive skin (witch hazel etc, alcohol free ofc), put on moisturiser, disassamble my safety razor, wash every part and let it dry and I throw the blade to the can (if it's the 2nd use) or I let it dry (if it's the 1st use of it).

Now tell me please - is my routine bad? What would you suggest to change? Is my products bad? Should I go for different blade?

Just want to say that I want to shave against the grain to get the smoothest shave possible altho I know it might be a part of the problem. My beard grows pretty fast tho and I don't want to shave every morning.

The safety razor I'm using is also from Qshave from AliExpress (closed comb), because I wanted to give it a shot before investing into a proper one. I have to make a bit of a pressure to get the shave done, because the whole safety razor weighs about 50g which is pretty light. I'm thinking about buying Mühle R89 or Merkur 33C (I like the 3-part safety razor). Would this make a difference in the quality of my shave? Is the aggresivnes on my current safety razor (pictures 5, 6 and 7) too big or too little? And would it be better switching to one of the two mentioned?

Thanks alot for your answers and help beforehand, shavers!

Sincerely, Dante

Pictures:
Number 1: 1.jpeg
Number 2: 2.jpeg
Number 3:3.jpeg
Number 4:4.jpeg
Number 5:5.jpeg
Number 6:6.jpeg
Number 7:7.jpeg
 
The neck is a notoriously sensitive area to shave. You are not alone.

Before spending money on a new razor, I suggest:

1. Take a break and let the red heal completely for a day or three.
2. Reduce the shower temp as much as you can stand. Hot water can inflame the skin and pave the way to irritation.
3. Focus on the light touch, not applying pressure.
4. Glide the razor only once over the skin per pass. Resist the urge to shave over and over a spot without lather; get it in the next pass.
 
The neck is a notoriously sensitive area to shave. You are not alone.

Before spending money on a new razor, I suggest:

1. Take a break and let the red heal completely for a day or three.
2. Reduce the shower temp as much as you can stand. Hot water can inflame the skin and pave the way to irritation.
3. Focus on the light touch, not applying pressure.
4. Glide the razor only once over the skin per pass. Resist the urge to shave over and over a spot without lather; get it in the next pass.

1. I always wait 2-3 days to let the razor bumps and irritation to heal. I always come back after the waiting period and I'm like "alright, now it's gonna be perfect shave!" and it isn't, again.
2. I don't use hot water, I can't withstand it. I use slightly hotter, just a bit more warm water. I'll try to reduce it down, thanks for that.
3. I try to give it a light touch, on the other hand the safety razor is light (50 grams) so I need to apply a bit of a pressure. But I'll try to shave completely without it.
4. I always shave the place only once when there's lather. Oncethe lather is gone, I do it in the next pass after next lather-round or I just lather the place again, if it's the last pass.

Thanks for your suggestions tho, much appreciated.
 
Sounds like you have the basics down, and that's really all I know. Someone more experienced than me will likely be able to help. If you are looking for a new razor, the Gillette Heritage, King C. Gillette, and Edwin Jagger 89 share in head geometry as the two you are considering (EJ and Muhle collaborated on the original design in 1989). The Merkur 34C is another one thrown in and often recommended as a mild way to go.
 
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Sounds like you have the basics down, and that's really all I know. Someone more experienced than me will likely be able to help. If you are looking for a new razor, the Gillette Heritage, King C. Gillette, and Edwin Jagger 89 share in head geometry as the two you are considering (EJ and Muhle collaborated on the original design in 1989). The Merkur 34C is another one thrown in and often recommended as a mild way to go.

Oh, thanks for the compliment, it's nice to know what I know at least the basics of wet shaving haha. Alright, will try to look into them. I though of 34C, but I don't like it being two-part and the handle is slightly longer than 33C and I use the DE for my whole body (underarm, chest, belly and my junk), so I'd like to stay with the shorter handle.

Thanks alot for your contribution to this thread of a desperate man tho haha. I'll hope that some wet shaving vetaran will answer all my questions.
 
I had the same problem.
My solution is, not to shave against the grain and use Proraso white preshave.
Ok, you will not BBS. But you feel great after the shave.
Furthermore, I was lucky enough to find a perfect combination of razor, blade and soap for my face.
I was told that WTG, XTG and ATG is the way to go.
Then I found this and tried it.

When I shave against the grain, I ride the cap like Geofatboy.
At 12:17 min it starts

Hope this helps
 
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First, welcome to B&B Dante.

There are certain places that are very difficult to get a BBS shave on. For many, it's the mustache area, chin, and neck. The chin and neck present a problem because unlike most cheeks they are not flat and it is difficult to maintain the right angle for the razor.

Irritation usually is caused by poor blade angle and too much pressure on the razor. No matter how light the razor is, NO PRESSURE. The neck is a tricky area to shave because keeping the right blade angle and little pressure is a challenge. The usual advice is to let the weight of the razor do the job - not put pressure on the blade. To put that in action I have found that using the two fingers and my thumb to hold the razor with another finger resting on the tip of the handle. This results in holding the razor very lightly with no pressure on the razor. You want to hold the razor as lightly as you can without it falling from your hand. I have found that using the right grip on your razor goes a long way in keeping pressure off of the blade. The wiki deals with holding a razor and may help you. You may have to click on each photo to load it.

For information about blade angle, look here in the wiki.

Some additional suggestions.
  • Be sure your lather has sufficient water in it. This makes your shave smoother.
  • Be sure your face is sufficiently hydrated whether you use warm or cold water. If your face is wet before you apply lather for each pass, IMHO, your shaves will be better.
  • Take a washcloth and dip it in cold water and then place it on your face after your last pass
  • Use WH on your face after you do step 3 above. Use an aftershave balm that is a good moisturizer.
  • At night, before retiring apply a good quality moisturizer to your face. I use CeraVe but there are other good ones out there, too. Look for a product that has ceramides and hyaluronic acid.
 
Stop shaving at least 2-3 days..

You have many ingrown hairs. The red big pimples.!!!
Do something for your ingrown hairs... (Dermatological intervention !!)

Once you get rid of the ingrowns you may continue reading about the shave routine suggestions;

1- I suggest to NOT shave after the shower

2- Use pre shave oil once just before the shave and wash your face. The oil residue may decrease the quality of your lather (protectiveness). I highly recommend to not use pre-shave oil !!!

3- Never apply ATG on your face. Do not try to achive BBS. Just stick to DFS (at least 2-3 years) which is better for you.

4- If the brush irritate your face during the face lathering, use bowl lathering method

5- Don't shave daily. 2-3 Days growth will be better for you.
 
One last suggestion: as you want your razor to cover more real estate, maybe look into the mild Henson Al13. Very efficient, very mild, very comfortable to use. It was my second razor after starting with the 34C (which I found too inefficient). First BBS head shave I ever got was my first shave with the Henson.
 
I switched to cold water shaves and it entirely fixed my skin irritation issues. My skin seems much more able to take things if I don't heat it first. I shave with a straight, which is supposed to be the gentlest method.

I was getting general inflammation, though. The only time I got razor bumps was early in my shave journey, when I was using way too much pressure with the straight.
 
It's unfortunate, but some people just have very sensitive skin!

A few things worth trying out:

1. Try cold water shaving.

2. Don't count on the lather to "soften" your beard. Apply and shave as soon as possible. Slickness decreases exponentially with time.

3. Try a more watery lather, almost to the point where it starts dripping off your face. You will feel the slickness difference.

4. Get a different milder razor. Yours have positive blade exposure ie the blade edge extends beyond the imaginary line between the top cap and safety bar, might be a small gap, but exposure makes more difference than blade gap.

5. As others have said, low pressure.

6. Shallower cutting angle, you want to slice as much as you can, not scrape.

7. Try a different aftershave. This may be controversial, but I find antiseptic properties of an alcohol based aftershave better for irritation on the long run, even if it burns a bit.

Of course, wait a few days before shaving again.
 
3. I try to give it a light touch, on the other hand the safety razor is light (50 grams) so I need to apply a bit of a pressure. But I'll try to shave completely without it.

It could be a combination of things causing your irritation.

I would take a break from shaving for a few days to let your neck heal.

You should only need enough pressure to keep the blade in contact with your face. On the rare occasion I use an aluminium handled tech (about 35 grammes or so) I have to remind myself not to use too much pressure.

You could also be using the wrong angle, leading to scraping your beard. Using a DE razor, you are in control of maintaining the angle. I would suggest "riding the cap". This means start with the razor handle at right angles to your face and slowly lower the handle until you see or feel the blade touch your face. That way you should be cutting the hair and not scraping the hair.

You might benefit from using your non shaving hand to pull or stretch the skin to give the blade a flat surface. This technique is used by straight razor users, but it also applies to DE. It helps with keeping the angle of the blade constant.

As @ackvil said, you might want to change how you hold the razor to help control the pressure.

Good luck.
 
Another vote to give the Henson AL13 a try. They are fantastic razors with no irritation. Also pay attention to your soap or cream or lotion. Shaving can open the skin up to irritation from things that normally wouldn’t cause an issue.
 
@DanteB, first of all young man, not all hope is lost and welcome to B&B! 😀

Many good suggestions above already. I'll start with the obvious: that razor right there, that belongs to trash-can.

With a gap like that and that blade angle, no wonder it gives you irritation-no-matter-what.

You have some great TOBS cream, nice brush, your prep is fine. The culprit is that Chinese scraper, piece of garbage.

You don't have to spend hundreds of € / $ / £!

If I were you, I'd get a mild/moderate RazoRock DE or SE razor. One of the best/smoothest ones is SLOC and it costs around $25. The aluminum Hawk is another mild, yet efficient shaver. The classics like Merkur 34c or Muhle/EJ 89 will do you justice, too.

These are tried and tested safety razors that you cannot go wrong with. The new King C Gillette, is essentially the 89 head on a longer handle. You can buy it in any supermarket nowadays. Blades are excellent, too.

You're 24, your beard is visibly not coarse and your growth is sparse. You can (still) shave with anything.

Give yourself a week off from shaving or two weeks, as those nasty red bumps need to heal properly, otherwise it will never be good. It won't heal by just skipping 1 or 2 days. Be patient.

Nothing wrong with shaving before shower, millions of guys do it that way. Some of us prefer it the other way round. Both methods work just as fine, as long as your whiskers are properly hydrated/softened. Beware though, not to make your skin overly supple. Excess use of oils and moisturizers and whatnot will make your skin overly soft and prone to dmage.

Keep it simple!

Wash face with warm water or take a shower, lather up and shave. You do not need any pre-shave oil or cream. With top notch product it will add no benefit. Again, your TOBS cream is excellent, it's all you need. Warm rinse, cold rinse. Splash or balm and you're done. If your skin is dry/sensitive, avoid products with high %-age of alcohol, use balms instead. If your skin is oily, avoid balms, use splash.

Keep us posted!



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The time to acquire a good technic, i suggest you like others wrote earlier to stop shaving the time your face came to normality.
For some weeks do only one pass shave. For my experience pre-shave and wich hazel give me redness like those you have. I only use soap or cream and balm after cold water rinse.
 
I concur with SteelSchaben above. First give yourself a couple days off and in the meantime order a new razor, RazoRock DE, RazoRock GC .68, Muehle R89 or something else in that catagory. I also would do away with the oil pre shave. If you feel you need something, try a pre shave soap, I use Stirling unscented Pre Shave Soap and it seems to help me. I have also used Crown Pre Shave gel and Proraso White Pre Shave. I wash my face with my bath wash then before I am ready to quit showering I use the Stirling and let it set for a couple minutes before rinsing off. Then after drying off, I shave, first wetting my face, making my lather in a bowl with a brush then painting my face. TOBS is nice, but I found some soaps I prefer for better slickness. Stirling, particularly their Mutton Tallow line and their regular soaps, Barrester & Mann and Arianna & Evans are my go to's. Between passes I only rinse my face with the water in the sink. After my shave I do a cold water rinse, use unscented Witch Hazel, Nivea Unscented Shave Balm and then an after shave usually an EDT.

I also might mention trying a blade sampler pack. Not sure if I missed it but what blade do you use? That also could be a source of your irritation, besides the razor.
 
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