The Items I list below are my default items while testing products not in that category.
To begin I will state that while it may seem a bit extreme or formal for me to follow these steps with my daily shave, but I find it necessary. First, I enjoy my morning ritual. Second, It helps me when trying new products as I am able to substitute an item into any step for review.
1. Start morning with hot shower. First, soaking my face. Followed by applying my home made pre-shave oil to my beard. I leave this on as I shower to moisten and soften the beard. (I will post the recipe I use)
2. After shower, I wash face in sink with Musgo Real Glycerin Lime Oil Soap to remove the remaining shave oil but still moistening skin and hair with glycerin. (Some ask why I remove the oil. I do not like the residue it leaves on my brush and razor, yet I don’t skip the step because it feels to me that the previous step does make a difference.)
3. I then apply a non oil based pre-shave usually Taylor of Old Bond Street Herbal Pre-shave Gel (I am still testing here, as I feel this may be my weakest link, but as of yet this is my preferred product.)
4. I then wet and warm my Kent BLK8 Traditional, Large, Pure Silver Tip Badger Shaving Brush and build up lather with shaving cream of choice. (most of my changes are in this category, I have several I use regularly in rotation and am constantly trying new brands).
5. I make three regular passes. With and Edwin Jagger DE89bl razor and Feather hi-stainless platinum blades.
First pass is with the grain. Please take the time to determine the growth pattern of your beard, it is not the same on everyone. (For years, I hated shaving my neck as my teacher/father told me to shave downward. Well, guess what, the grain on my neck grows upward. For 20+ years I dreaded shaving my neck, I never researched it because I had just assumed that I had sensitive skin. It wasn’t until researching classic wet shaving that this point was clearly explained to me).
Second pass is across the grain. The first two passes are pretty consistent in what you find across most descriptions.
Third pass, Oblique pass. This is the one that varies most with recommended techniques. I am of the mind that against the grain is rough, no matter the equipment and prep (on my face) and the areas that don’t bother me to go against, I really don’t have to. I prefer shaving obliquely or at about a 45 degree angle between the across and against growth. I find this allows me to get in that close pass without the irritation.
Lastly, touch up pass. Usually squeeze out the last very rich and thick lather and applying by hand to the areas that could you a touch up or mild buff.
Keeping in mind that throughout the entire procedure let the razor do the work. Weight of the razor just Guide and let the razor glide (guide and glide). Most of the problems I have helped with have involved people using their double edged safety razors like they used their cartridge razors. This only works to sell more styptic products and toilet paper.
6. Warm water wash followed by cold water wash.
7. Apply Alum (This step is usually used when trying new products so that I may gauge razor burn)
8. Clean and return shaving articles to the proper place.
9. Cold water face wash.
10. Apply undiluted Geo F Trumper Limes skin food to towel dried face. (this is one step I cannot quite explain, I am still working on it. It feels good to me and I notice if I leave this step out, so I just keep doing it. I will go into more detail when I write the review for the product.)
11. Brush teeth while face absorbing skin food.
12. Apply non alcohol aftershave. Workdays Feather Kanwa (unscented) herbal aftershave balm or Taylor of Bond Street “shaving shop” aftershave gel. On non work days when I can splurge on the fragrance then, Castle Forbes Lime essential oil alcohol free aftershave balm.