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what I found that works

Here it goes guys . The shaving journey I took and now take daily .

1. Brushes -
I bought four different types/brands with various knot sizes . As one might imagine they all provided different things that each one did the best . So I never found the holy grail of brushes "for me" anyway . I have a hand made in England Silvertip badger to natural bristle synthetic cheap-o brushes . Some scrub the face and others spread the soap . I liked a scrubbing type brush like boar or natural synthetic . Badger never felt it was doing anything but spreading slag .

2. Shaving soaps -
I have found and read that anything called soap , dries the skin . We don't want dry skin while shaving . I know most add glycerine and other fats to make the soap more luxurious . I found most soaps mimic shaving creams . Since these are soaps , I don't use them at all . This is an unbalanced product . One strips moisture and one replaces it , all in one bar . Most importantly the lube film strength is pretty weak against the blade and face .

3. Shaving creams -
Most are better than ordinary or glycerin (animal fat) based soaps for sure . They seem to contain more moisturizers to lube the skin . So with creams you are heading in the right direction anyway . The best cream I found was from the Body Shop found at almost every local mall . Mine was having a 50% off sale so I bought 3 Maca Root and one old formula . Even at full price these best most others on my face anyway . Better lubrication for the blade and face . I tried many creams and gave a LOT of them away to friends and family .

4. Blades -
I've only used Astra superior D/E stainless blades . I found they work fine and are low cost . I bought a 100 pack for $5.20 US Dollars . You read that right . All factory sealed and so on. These provide a nice clean shave and are pretty darn sharp . They also seem to last about 5-6 shaves on my fairly tough beard . These work for me . I see no reason to try another brand so far .

5. Razor - I have numerous Gillette antiques . I use the slims mostly because of the adjustability feature . When the blade dulls down just turn up the number one or two steps . Keep shaving like it was a new blade for an extra day or two .

Now for what I found being the most simple and economical shaving method of all . I read a web page about "shaving with olive oil" .

I now use the (OCM) or oil cleaning method and then shave , IN THE SHOWER . I leave the oils on my face to lube the blade and moisturize the skin . I use cold processed extra virgin oilive oil and castor oil mix in a 50/50 ratio . This oil mixture adds vitamin E and antioxidants to the skin . Also the highest film strength for the blade and face of all products I've used by far . No need for any preshave , during shave or after shave anything . This cleans , moisturizes and provides the closest most comfortable shaves I found . I must say I have fairly sensitive skin that knicks easily around my neck . Not anymore with the OCM mix . You can feel the blade float over the skin . Most of the time I have to rinse the blade to see if any hairs come out . Thinking the blade isn't cutting but it was .

One bottle of EVOO and castor oil will last numerous months . And cost a LOT less than soaps and creams . So no need for brushes and soaps anymore . I wasted probably $450 on brushes alone . Can one think of a better cheaper way to clean , moisturize and finally get a clean shave ? I'm sold .

Welcome to B&B. I'm glad you found something that works for you. I was ultimately unsuccessful with OCM.
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