Congratulations!! Great to find a solution that works!!
I wash my face with Cerave cleanser, then proceed to pat with tap water for about two minutes. Then I apply the bloomed water that had been sitting on the soap as a preshave and proceed to bowl lather, then apply the lather to my face. Interesting to note, even the bloomed water from Tabac and DR Harris was enough to give me a burning sensation. I tried with a preshave glyceryn soap, but also got burning and redness
That said, when I was starting out years back my technique was not the best (like everyone) and I would get some residual irritation from the previous shaves. So whatever I put on my face after that would sting a bit. Not sure if you have that going on or not.
After over a year of ordering Stirling shave soaps, I was looking for something truly high end, because I wanted to see if a higher end soap, could produce a better lather, over that of a mid-tier soap. This is when a friend recommended me to SV shave soap. Since I love the scent of Creed Aventus, I asked them which scent would most closely match up with that from SV, and they recommended Opuntia.
I felt performance wise, SV soap tends to be creamier when well hydrated, over that of Stirling soap. And you can most certainly facial lather with it, which is my SOP in using SV soap, in order to conserve on soap usage, because its so expensive. I leave bowl lathering to my Stirling soaps, where I just scoop up the soap with a bouillon spoon, and then work up a lather in a bowl with it. But with SV soaps, I load the brush from the tin.
Incase you didn't know this trick, since SV soaps are tripple milled hard soaps, I find its best to always bloom the soap first, with a couple teaspoons of warm/hot water, on top of the soap. Starting with only a damp brush, I start loading the brush from the tin, while the bloom water is still there. I am using a Manchurian badger brush from Zenith, so it just soaks it all up.
Scent wise, I am very pleased with Opuntia, its a wonderful dupe of the original Creed Aventus. And the soap scent alone lasts longer in a day then you'd expect. Having said that however, I always apply the matching aftershave, which is EDP grade BTW, and that will last all day almost. And then I can spray myself with the EDP cologne, to secure the deal.
Another tip and trick when using SV soaps, they are thirsty soaps, probably due to the fact they are triple milled hard soaps. If you don't want the lather to dry to quickly in-between passes, make sure to spray the lather on your face with a mister spray bottle, as you begin working up the lather on your face, after that. Remember, your goal is to insure that the lather stays a creamy yogurt consistency, if its foamy, that means its airy, and thats bad. Creamy yogurt is the skin protection you are looking for.
And lastly, I am happy to hear that you are really enjoying the fact, that SV soaps do not burn your face off, that is an excellent deal. And while for legal reasons, we always have to put the disclaimer that were not providing medical advice, you and I both know, that its always excellent advice to tell someone to stop using a product, if its causing contact burning! When considering the upper echelon costs of SV accoutrements, I am happy to hear that you get along with them. I am posting my Opuntia collection now!
PS: I'd like to get their bath soap and shampoo soap next for the Opuntia line, but its expensive, got to pace oneself.
I would suggest trying MdC (natural), and maybe Canada Shaving Soap. Both are unscented using top notch ingredients.
Maybe I should have approached the soap suggestions as less being more. The two soaps suggested are both unscented, and per you MdC lacking moisturizing ingredients. They both share a minimum of ingredients (top notch my assumption), so for someone with irritation issues fewer ingredients would seem like a good place to start.I know MdC and CSS have a fan following...but what is top notch about stearic acid and coconut oil?
(Personally, MdC was one of the most skin drying soaps I've ever used, due to high coconut oil and a lack of moisturizing ingredients)
Maybe I should have approached the soap suggestions as less being more. The two soaps suggested are both unscented, and per you MdC lacking moisturizing ingredients. They both share a minimum of ingredients (top notch my assumption), so for someone with irritation issues fewer ingredients would seem like a good place to start.
As for as your dry skin using MdC, try some Bart’s balm. Best balm I’ve found.