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Trying to diagnose razorburn

I've been having some razorburn lately and trying to figure out what is causing it. I honestly do not think it is my technique anymore, since I have been DE shaving for three months now and have the routine pretty down-pat, and before the irritation started happening, my technique was the same so I do not think it could be that. However, I could be wrong and I digress. The burn only appears on my neck, in that annoyingly tough spot to reach yet also incredibly sensitive area under my jawline. Last week I finished up the Cella that I had been using (which I don't recall getting the burn while using) and started a sample of Soap Commander soap (it's an orange-ish color, I forget the name). That is when I started noticing the razorburn. It comes as red patches in the aforementioned area that hurt even when I casually and lightly stroke my neck while focusing or thinking. I only shave every 2-3 days, and when the burn appears after I shave on, say, a Wednesday morning, by Friday morning it is STILL there, albeit a little less inflamed and not as painful. Could it be the soap? Has anyone else been really sensitive to Soap Commander's stuff? I used the sample for the last time yesterday morning with only a little left in the bottom of my soap bowl and just decided to chuck it because I'm convinced that is causing the burn and I wasn't a fan of that scent anyway. I have another sample of SC, again the name escapes me, but I think it is a greenish or grey color (I'm terribly colorblind so don't hold me to that). I'm wary to try that, so I held off from putting that in my bowl and instead will be using some Arko tomorrow morning because that is my go to. Sorry for such a long post and I hope someone can help. Oh, and by the way, I sometimes either use Noxzema right before I go to bed the night before a shave to cleanse my skin or if I do not do that I scrub my face with regular soap right before I shave. Maybe that is it. I do EMR scanning for a dermatologist and I recall her saying once that exfoliating products like Noxzema strip away the top layer of skin and maybe that is what is making it sensitive. Thanks again gentlemen!
 
Don't chuck your Soap Commander yet. As you say, switch to Arko for a few weeks and see what happens. Some folks start out fine with a soap but then what seems like a slow allergic reaction takes place after a while. It could be an EO or FO in the soap or it could be a core ingredient.
 
I shaved through a couple of tubs of Cella before developing a sensitivity to it. It could be that your skin is sensitive to the fragrance oils in the soaps. Its actually really common for people to have sensitivity to fragrances. Citrus fragrances are some of the biggest offenders. It could be something else in the soap too. The actual soap itself could just not agree with your skin. Simpson's unscented cream lit my face on fire and so did TOBS Jermyn Street which is supposedly for sensitive skin.

It sounds to me like the trouble your having is directly related to your actual shave. The only way to find out what's causing the trouble is to change one thing at a time until you eliminate the problem. I would start with the soaps. Also, ditch the Noxmea. Just wash your face and neck with a washcloth and soap. That will do plenty of exfoliating.

What soaps do you have in your collection at the moment. Maybe we can suggest one to try out to see if the results are better.
 
Every time I get a little razor burn, I know it's my technique -- usually going back over an area without fully re-lathering. That might work with some soaps (like Tabac, whose residue is still slick), but not a good idea in general. And it is -- of course -- always on my neck area, which is always challenging as regards angle and pressure. As I said, it's always been me. :blushing:
 
Every time I get a little razor burn, I know it's my technique -- usually going back over an area without fully re-lathering. That might work with some soaps (like Tabac, whose residue is still slick), but not a good idea in general. And it is -- of course -- always on my neck area, which is always challenging as regards angle and pressure. As I said, it's always been me. :blushing:

Agreed, for me it is either, going over the area too many times, lather issues (including soap reactions) or pressure.
 
What soaps do you have in your collection at the moment.

I have the other sample of SC, the two sticks of Arko I grated into my soap bowl that I'm using currently, about a third of a puck of Col Conk Amber, a puck of VDH Premium soap, and three other pucks of Col Conk - Bay Rum, Almond, and Lime. I guess I should also mention that I'm using a Derby blade, which does not give me nearly as close of a shave as a Feather or even an Astra SP. That might also be causing the irritation. And I also am of the habit of re-stroking an area a second time without soap but with some water splashed in that area.
 
I would relather areas that you are going to go over again rather than just using water. That might help. I would also stay away from the almond scented stuff for now. In fact, I would skip VDH and Conk because they are both more detergents than soaps. In fact, bay rum, lime, and almond can all cause issues for those with skin sensitivities.

Rockviper made a good suggestion. Try the Arko for a while and see what happens. Also, use the blades that work best for you. Pick one blade and use it exclusively with the Arko for a while and see if the issue clears up. If it does, then try adding a new soap and see what happens.
 
I think I have solved the problem. For yesterday morning's shave, I scrubbed some regular hand soap onto my face a few minutes before I shaved (I have had a suspicion that this was what was irritating my skin) and sure enough, when I went to rinse it off before applying lather, the left side of my neck was bright red. Although not itchy or tender, I think this soap for some reason irritates it. I also was on my second shave with a Derby blade, which I hate anyway but try to use because I don't like to just waste things by throwing them in the trash, and it tore up that side of my neck and made it swollen and painful. The rest of the Derbies went in the trash! I'm still going to continue with Arko because I love it in general but I'm happy I found what the issue was (probably).
 
It was just regular Equate liquid hand soap that was in a dispenser that turns it into a foam. It has never irritated my skin anywhere else it's been put, but I guess I gradually built up a reaction to it. Weird.
 
Ouch! Are you going to take a shave break this weekend and let it heal up? That always helps me when I have irritation.

I do every weekend, actually. I only shave Mon Wed Fri and abstain Sat and Sun. Tomorrow evening I have to escort SWMBO to a formal dance and she is very particular about my face being BBS for things like this, so I'll have to shave tomorrow morning but I'm going to use a tried and true blade that won't leave me with the burn (probably a Feather or an Astra SP) and the aforementioned Arko. But this weekend my face is going to be given time to recuperate.
 
I think I have solved the problem. For yesterday morning's shave, I scrubbed some regular hand soap onto my face a few minutes before I shaved (I have had a suspicion that this was what was irritating my skin) and sure enough, when I went to rinse it off before applying lather, the left side of my neck was bright red. Although not itchy or tender, I think this soap for some reason irritates it. I also was on my second shave with a Derby blade, which I hate anyway but try to use because I don't like to just waste things by throwing them in the trash, and it tore up that side of my neck and made it swollen and painful. The rest of the Derbies went in the trash! I'm still going to continue with Arko because I love it in general but I'm happy I found what the issue was (probably).
You might consider this for a face-washing soap: Tom's of Maine Sensitive Natural Beauty Bar Soap with Soothing Chamomile

Pretty basic ingredients, no bad stuff, no fragrance. Very gentle to the skin.
 
You might consider this for a face-washing soap: Tom's of Maine Sensitive Natural Beauty Bar Soap with Soothing Chamomile

Pretty basic ingredients, no bad stuff, no fragrance. Very gentle to the skin.

Awesome, thanks. I'll be in Maine this summer and I've seen Tom's products in the supermarkets there before so I'll make a note to pick some up.
 
Awesome, thanks. I'll be in Maine this summer and I've seen Tom's products in the supermarkets there before so I'll make a note to pick some up.
Maine is especially nice in the summer...enjoy!

You don't have to wait to get to Maine to buy this. I see you're in Towson. This soap is carried locally: Wegman's in Hunt Valley, and ShopRite in Jacksonville for sure.

Or it is available (like just about everything) on Amazon.
 
Maine is especially nice in the summer...enjoy!

You don't have to wait to get to Maine to buy this. I see you're in Towson. This soap is carried locally: Wegman's in Hunt Valley, and ShopRite in Jacksonville for sure.

Or it is available (like just about everything) on Amazon.

Amen, brother. I love Maine in the summertime. Thanks for the info, I always love an excuse to walk around Wegman's!
 
One thing about Arko is that it's cheap, so you can lather it up and keep applying it every pass, or for buffings and touch-ups, so you can have lather coverage throughout the shave. When I suspect I may be falling into bad habits with pressure, I return to handling the blade by the very end of the handle. That forces balance and light pressure. Other than that, the soap is what changed so it is what is most suspect. Also look for if you had any blade changes, or any extra blade mileage compared to your usual.
 
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