I know that there is a lot of merit in good pre-shave prep and a face wash is a great way to start. It is said that the accumulated oils can be well removed this way allowing for maximum water penetration to the hair, improving the shave. Seems to work out that way, but I have yet to solidify a standard approach.
I have tried several soaps and tend to gravitate towards glycerin based ones. The jury is out for me though regarding soap type and I gotta admit a prewash is not always done. I am not a hundred percent convinced I need it and tend to only use it if I think I am going to have a tough shave such as with a reconditioned wedge or self sharpened Rolls.
What have you folks tried? What sort of soaps? Any successful routines or do you bypass this step and just lather up and go?
It seems we are on the same level on this issue RM. For many years all I did was soak my beard area with warm water for at least 2 minutes then lathered and shaved. I have tried several glycerin soaps too. One was Mr. Glo but I didn't see any significant differences in my skin condition/shave. Then I tried 365 Unscented Natural Soap which made my skin drier and worse.
Pacific All Shaving Natural Oil was another product I tried it wasn't a pleasant experience. All it did was make my skin too greasy and grimy. In the end I opted for Van Der Hagen Glycerin Soap which was a tad better then the rest but I found out I really didn't need it either. I have oily skin and because of it drier soaps like Williams actually work great for me and I've been able to skip the pre-shave prep.
I'm interested in the advice you are receiving and will keep getting since I am in the same situation as you. All I can tell you is I just hydrate the beard area with warm water for a few minutes then lather and shave.
I'm no scientist, in fact so far from it ... you'd definitely say I wasn't. But, I have two ideas on this.
First, glycerine soaps really soften the skin, potentially revealing more of the hair and so when shaved, you'll get a better result. I think. Don't believe me? Do the opposite and splash alcohol over your face and then shave as normal. I think glycerine is really good and nothing like those horrible gels and foams you can get which turn your skin into mush. Glycerine soaps simply soften. Aftershave toning returns your skin to natural. I think this is a great plan for folks with "normal" skin.
Second, consider the principle of oil dissolves oil. I have both dry and oily skin. When dry, my olive oil soap seems to bring up back to normal. Likewise, when I'm a bit greasy, a good wash with an olive oil soap not only cleans off the oils, but seems to draw out subcutaneous (seborrheic?) oils and condition my skin back to normal. Fat dissolves fat. I also gather that the medium chain triglycerides in oils like palm, olive and coconut are very close in make-up to the oils in our skin; our skin, not our love handles - that's good, honest saturated fat.
Recall I said I was no scientist. Please shoot me down if I'm talking like a quack, but I think there's something in there.
My skin is fairly forgiving. I use one of Scottish Fine Soaps's soap, typically their Male Grooming line one. It effectively removes excess grease (aka the stuff that makes your blade not grab the bristles) while supplying moisture. If you want to take this approach to the extreme, try Dax's vegetable oil shampoo. It will remove even heavy pomade...
The next step would be to apply a pre-shave "thing", but that is black magic, and discussing it will lead to a ????.
Last Edit: Jan 31, 2014 13:24:11 GMT -6 by BeBerlin
One does, indeed. Vividly remember Bauhaus live in Berlin (yes, I am that old). Sterling stuff. Doesn't solve the riddle of the perfect pre shave regiment, though.
That said, Truefitt & Hill's #No 10 Authentic line has a pre shave well worth its money. As does St James, also by Creightons. "Cough up the cash", or send me your shipping details, and I'll ship you samples. If you don't know them already, you will be amazed by the price/performance ratio. Trust me.
Some good thoughts and products mentioned. I am slowly disciplining my pre-shave prep more all the time. What the heck does that mean? I'm using a soap prewash more frequently. I like the sound of the quality product pitches, but so far I have not found additional expense to make a noticeable difference in the shave. The experience is nicer for sure though and that may well be worth it for some.
BeBerlin generously sent me some samples and amongst them was the Esjberg verbena balm. I realize it is an après product, but it was truly special for me. The scent just fit perfectly. So thinking about a fancy pre-shave product may well have a place if an agreeable match is found without too much product buying. I am going to venture to try some pre products out over the next couple of months.
I am a Facial Wash man, although I will use soap when I can. At the moment I am using L'Oreal Daily Purifying Facial Wash (the black one), and next in line is Bulldog Facial Wash. Any decent face wash, be it soap or wash helps I find. It clears the runways, so to speak, of debris, grease, oil etc, etc....
I have very oily skin and a coarse beard. Regular soaps and glycerin soaps did not remove all the oil and this made it very hard to get my beard to absorb water. I tried castile soap and was amazed at how well it cleaned. It completely removed the oil from my beard and the extra hydration made it much easier to cut. If you have oily skin and a coarse beard, castile soap is worth a try.
wchnu: If I liked him more I might actually feel bad about that.
Sept 17, 2017 18:54:02 GMT -6
wchnu: Did I type...THAT... Outloud???? Oops
Sept 17, 2017 18:54:28 GMT -6
birdlives: I hear nothing....I see nothing.....Hospital Koodies.......Yeaagh!!!! A DE with a Derby!!! NOPE!!! I hear nothing...I see nothing...If I go under the anesthesia, I'm taking someone I can trust to WATCH all that business....I can trust you guys, RIGHT ?
Sept 17, 2017 19:18:03 GMT -6
wchnu: Why yessss you can...uhhuh,..sure can...most the time anyway.
Sept 17, 2017 19:35:00 GMT -6
birdlives: What about that Canadian Rocket Dood? Can I trust him too?
Sept 17, 2017 19:38:22 GMT -6
wchnu: Hard to say....but prolly so.
Sept 17, 2017 22:40:17 GMT -6
GarnerPW: I just read what you wrote there Fuzz or should I say Mr. Fuzz. And all this time I thought you liked me.
Sept 18, 2017 4:38:29 GMT -6
GarnerPW: Don't trust him there Bird. You know what they say, "You can't trust the Man/Fuzz". The Canuck, is alright though.
Sept 18, 2017 4:43:20 GMT -6
birdlives: I don't know......Have you seen what that crazy Canuck does in a bath tub?
Sept 18, 2017 13:31:26 GMT -6
GarnerPW: No what???
Sept 18, 2017 13:33:24 GMT -6
Alan: Boy, I thought I was going nuts, so I stared at it for a while and realized Riverruns avatar winks.
Sept 19, 2017 21:29:17 GMT -6
birdlives: ALAN!!.....Uh...Oh....you're right! That could be dangerous! This might be a case for the avatar police! I stretched his avatar as big as my i-Pad screen...Bam! It blinked and I jumped...lol!
Sept 20, 2017 2:04:25 GMT -6
wchnu: Garner..did I type That outloud..darn. the SE dude is a good guy though.
Sept 20, 2017 17:33:32 GMT -6
wchnu: Alan!!! Good to see you. I will check out that avatar. Sounds spooky.
Sept 20, 2017 17:34:08 GMT -6
wchnu: It really does wink!!
Sept 21, 2017 0:47:42 GMT -6