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Thread: Razor burn and sensitive upper lip - advice?

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    Default Razor burn and sensitive upper lip - advice?

    Switching to a wet shave has been great - the closeness of the shaves and the condition of my skin has been absolutely worth it. However.... my upper lip has always been very sensitive - on closer inspection i think i have scar tissue from all of the "close" shaves with multi-blades over the years. It's not difficult to get razor burn on the upper lip, as i have some stubborn stubble.

    WTG is fine, but it doesn't give me the closeness that i like, and i still feel some stubble. ATG works somewhat, but i need more than 2-3 strokes to get close. XTG works, but i know I'll get the red splotchy burn.

    I shave after showers, and have found through my first few months that i get some relief by spending an extra couple of minutes lathering (typically Taylor of OBS soap). I use a Merkur Classic with Shark blades (Started with Merkur blades, and then grabbed a sampler). I rinse, use witch hazel, rinse again and then an after shave - usually the traditional Bay Rum. I found that Trumpers Skin Food seems to help as well, but the red blotchiness tends to stay for a while.

    Any ideas or wisdom from the crowd? Thanks in advance!

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    Tap your ultimate reserves of care and patience when it comes to the upper lip. Make sure it has well-hydrated lather. Go very slowly, with painstaking attention to blade angles. Above all, no pressure!

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    Have you mapped your hair growth on your upper lip? Part of mine grows nose to lip, and part grows cheek to nose. You may not be getting WTG, ATG, XTG, in the direction you think you are. That will cause the extra passes and more irritation.

    I said the hell with it a long time ago. I now have a moustache and Goatee.
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    Try with the grain, followed by 2 across grain in opposite directions, skip against the grain on your upper lip.
    AFSOC “First There . . . That Others May Live”

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    +1 to John and Scott's comments
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDStreetGlide View Post
    I said the hell with it a long time ago. I now have a moustache and Goatee.
    You're not the only one. Except I have a nasty scar under my chin. I have no feeling there which makes shaving an "adventure."
    I said the hell with it, too, and went with the 'stache and goatee a long time ago.

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    The advice above is right on.

    There are certain areas of the face that are hard to shave: the mustache, chin, and neck. Preparation, lather, no pressure and blade angle are vital to a good, irritation free shave. DE shaving is different from cartridge shaving in that you must be sure you are not putting any pressure on the blade. Let the weight of the razor do the work for you. To assure this I use two fingers and my thumb to hold the razor with my pinky resting on the tip of the handle. This results in holding the razor very lightly with no pressure on the razor. You want to hold the razor as lightly as you can without it falling from your hand. And as others have said you may want to avoid going ATG for a while.

    After you finish shaving their are steps you can take that will help minimize any discomfort casued by razor burn. First, I wash off my face with a wash cloth dipped in warm water to get rid of all of the remaining lather. Next, I soak a wash cloth in cold water and put in on my face for about 30 seconds. Next I apply a splash of WH. I use Thayer’s Rose Petal WH. It is alcohol free and does not sting when it goes on but provides soothing relief to my skin. I then use a skin moisturizer to provide relief. I like GFT’s skin food products and also a moisturizer I borrow from my wife. My wife’s moisturizer always provides me with relief. It contains something called hyaluronic acid, which according to the pamphlet that came with it, holds more than 1,000 times its weight in moisture. If there is no soreness on my neck I use Neutrogena Men Triple Protect Face Lotion, SPF 20 in place of the moisturizer but I apply it otherwise after the moisturizer for additional skin protection. There are many other after shave balms that will provide relief for your irritation and sensitive skin.
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    Quote Originally Posted by diverdoug View Post
    Try with the grain, followed by 2 across grain in opposite directions, skip against the grain on your upper lip.
    If I go XTG I get razor burn on my upper lip everytime, but if I do the above there's no issues at all.

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    Pebcak, I think you and the original poster might be confusing XTG as the abbreviation for against the grain?
    ATG= Against the Grain
    XTG= Across the grain
    AFSOC “First There . . . That Others May Live”

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    thanks for the help, everyone! - i figured that there is as much to this as just playing around with technique and pre/post prep. When i used the multi-blades I could count on it all of the time, at least now it is mitigated and somewhat controllable.

    to answer a previous question, the grain on the upper lip goes all in the same direction, it is more the pores and skin sensitivity that get me as i try to get closer shaves.

    thanks for the help!

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    Quote Originally Posted by diverdoug View Post
    Pebcak, I think you and the original poster might be confusing XTG as the abbreviation for against the grain?
    ATG= Against the Grain
    XTG= Across the grain
    I thought that, too. Good call.
    My name is David, but you can call me Jim, if you prefer. My mileage does vary, however.

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