Sunday, January 25, 2009

Razors and Creams and Soaps (Oh my!)

It's been raining here in Southern California for the last couple of days, which I mentioned in my last post is kind of an unusual thing. While normally I love it when it rains, these days I've been rather ambivalent about it. The rain has definitely been nice, but it's also still been pretty warm at the same time. When it rains, I like it to be freezing cold. If mother nature is going to make it bad outside, she might as well go all out. Besides, there's something nice about waking up on a cold rainy morning in a nice warm bed, and going and having a nice hot shower, and of course a good shave.

This morning, I got to thinking about the effect of the weather on me and my Sunday morning shaves. Specifically it got me thinking about using a different shaving soap or cream to shave with depending on the weather. I've read about this a little bit on other shaving sites and blogs, but it never really registered on me until today as it came to me as a sort of revelation.
When I used to shave with cream from a can, I would just have one cream that I would use all the time. No matter what the weather was, either hot or cold, rainy or sunny, it would be pretty much shave with the same can of cream, why would I ever switch around? However this morning it dawned on me as I was lathering up the ol' sandalwood soap that it sure would be an even better shave if the soap or cream I used matched the weather, or heck even my mood.

Now, I'm not much of a collector. I tend to throw out things I don't use much. I've read about the dreaded "Shaving Brush Acquisition Disorder" or SBAD, and I don't pretend to be immune to it, but the idea of having 20 shaving brushes hanging around my bathroom doesn't match up with my personality much. BUT, I can sure see my self succumbing to the SSAD or the SCAD (Shaving Soap Acquisition Disorder and Shaving Cream Acquisition Disorder respectively).
The idea of using a nice eucalyptus shaving cream in the summer to get a cool refreshing shave, or a warm and cozy shave with a sandalwood soap when it is cold outside seems pretty neat. Heck, if I'm feeling sort of in the "Go getter" mood (Which is rare), I could use some sort of equivalent shaving cream or soap to get me going all the more.

So as winter begins to slide into spring, I will be looking for the matching scents and combinations. So far the sandalwood is still my only soap. This is perfectly fine for me for now, as I have been practicing my "lathering technique" using it. So I will be really ready for the new soaps and creams and get the best use out of them when they arrive.

As I mentioned in my last post, I've also been looking into which razor blades to use in my future purchase of a DE razor. I've decided that I will follow other's advice and get a sample pack of blades. From what I've read, the definitive answer to which is the best razor blade is "Whatever feels the best to you".
There are so many different brands of blades out there. The one thing I've never seen on any of the blogs and forums is anything particularly BAD about any one blade. As with the shave soaps and creams, there are different uses for different blades, and from everything that I have read, it all comes down to a matter of preference.
There are some blades that are not as recommended for beginners as others though, and the Feather brand blades come to mind. I've read that they are super sharp and have a tendency to cut first time DE shavers. So I've kept that in mind as I look around at the various on-line shops.

My goal for this blog is not necessarily for it to become a product review blog, or instructional blog. There are tons of other sites and folks out there that do a better job than I and I am certainly no expert, so I won't go into heavy detail about the different brands and benefits of one blade over another.
Suffice to say I'll be getting the Economy Sampler pack from West Coast Shaving that contains the Crystal or "Isreali", Derby Extra, DORCO Platinum, and Red Pack Isreali blades. I'll then be trying them out, and seeing if there are any blades that I enjoy using any more than another.

All of the differences between blades, differences in soaps and creams, differences in razors is one of the things that has really gotten me into the enjoyment of the shaving process, and makes the best day of the week even better.

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