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Tried exfoliating before my shave

To try something different, I have one of those Japanese exfoliating cloths (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002KC6YHY/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i02?ie=UTF8&psc=1) that I ordered a few weeks ago but have never used. After reading that article on how exfoliation frees more ingrown hairs than brush lathering, I decided to give it a try.

I forget which member here keeps linking to it, but it's a dermatology article about reducing ingrown hairs. For some reason I can't find either the member name or the link. :thumbdown

It's one of those nylon-feeling mesh "cloths" that is meant for body exfoliation as well since it's a long strip that you can wrap around your back. I did a single gentle pass over my neck, chin, jawline, and around my mouth (since per that article most ingrown are on your neck, and then around your mouth).

Well, after one gentle pass my skin felt irritated. I ended up shaving anyway - Gillette Canadian 1932 Tech, 2 passes as usual (WTG, WTG to XTG). Face lathering with Stirling and a 4 day old Voskhod.

Surprisingly, it was an excellent shave - very close and with no extra irritation from the shave. The irritation faded after about 30-60 minutes, and that's about it. My shave may have looked a bit closer than usual, but other than a darn fine shave there is nothing more to report.

I will probably keep trying this - I'm curious if gentle exfoliation a few times a week will improve my skin and/or my shaves. I'm never going to get BBS since I never go ATG or even XTG with reverse XTG, so there's a limit to how good my shaves are going to get (and I think that I'm either there or darn close). It would be nice to get a little closer on my neck, and to see if exfoliating helps those few"trouble" patches look better.

If anyone is interested in exfoliation, I can easily say that the mildest ("moderate", I think) exfoliating cloth will exfoliate anything that you could possibly want. Probably much more than you want, to be honest!
I'm happy to exfoliate before a shave. Sometimes I use cloths; sometimes exfoliating scrubs (currently using Kiehl's). Frees up trapped, potentially ingrown hairs for me. Of course, I also find that shaving well is a tremendous exfoliator -- maybe the best. To my surprise, the skin where I shave is now the softest, smoothest, clearest skin on my face.
If you want to improve your skin condition, you may want to contemplating using unrefined shea butter after your shaves. Great moisturizer.
I've been using a small amount of Clinique for Men facial scrub for years now as part of my shower/pre-shave routine. As you alluded to, scrubbing helps to keep IGHs to a minimum and I've also been successful in freeing up the occasional IGH during my scrub. A point to note, a Dermatologist once told me to avoid using a scrub daily as it will actually degrade your skin over the long term, as you are really abrading your skin at the microscopic level and it will need some time to heal. What i've done is limited myself to only using a small amount of scrub daily on the areas that get shaved, and scrub my whole face three times per week. It has worked out well for me.
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