So, to start, I have been shaving for the past three years almost everyday. I've always been facinated by shaving. I used to watch my dad shave with his disposables and his VDH Boar hair brush and puck in awe. Before that, I watched him shave with his electric in wonder. I always thought of it as a sort of right of passage. I had these ideas of my dad showing me how to shave in the double sinked bathroom at our cabin. This sort of stuck in my head for a long time. When I noticed my first whiskers at 14, a cry of happiness was let out because I knew that it was time. I waited until the following weekend when we were up at the cabin, and I approached my dad telling him it was time I shave. He reached into his dopp kit and pulled out a blue double blade disposable along with some generic goop in a can. I was shocked, wondering where the new mug, soap and brush were, considering that is what I had seen him use most recently. Stunned, I walked away to my bathroom, alone, and proceeded to cut my face up pretty good. It didn't feel right at all, and just plain hurt. Yet I laboured through it, daily, thinking that is what I had to do considering I was now man who shaved. Well I didn't know anything.
Slowly those cuts and nicks became razor bumps, and pus filled leisions on my face. Then my face really broke out in full force, with cystic acne. I thought it was my hormones at the time, not even suspecting that it was all shaving related. Afterall, everyman I saw with a smooth face, didn't have acne, or so that I was aware of. I had no idea that it was all because of my razor and goop. It also probably didn't help that my dad purchased me a year's supply of disposable razors at costco, thinking he was doing me a lot of good. I have to give him credit for that, because it was what he knew. So, I began treating with face washes, and highly advertised acne systems. They worked okay.
Eventually, I asked my dad, about electric razors. Somewhere along the line I had read that electrics don't nick, cut, or irritate. This perked my attention because I had realized that it had to be my disposables cutting open my acne. Well, because he heard me talking about electrics my dad purchased one for me on my following birthday. It worked really well, for a time. My acne seemed to have subsided because I wasn't cutting them open and spreading the bacteria around. Yet, for the first time, I had a ton of irritation on my neck, and cheeks where I didn't have any acne. This bothered me. But the real problems didn't begin occuring until the fourth month I had the razor. This is when I realized that much of my problem was ingrown hairs. I had let one of the pustules dry up and I was trying to see what caused it when out popped a curly hair.
I then knew it was time to look for an alternative to electric shaving. So, I began looking online and in books. I came across DE shaving in a couple of books, and found a couple of places that said DE shaving would help, if not cure my acne. So I watched all of the mantic59 videos over the course of a month. After that, I knew deep in my heart that DE shaving was the answer. Yet, I held off for a long time thinking that it would be way too expensive to get started with a kit. I browsed ebay forever looking for an economical non-chinese made brand new razor. I even purchased a boar hair brush and puck of VDH soap thinking that it was good enough. Then I watched the mantic videos again and saw that he wasn't using a brand new razor all the time. Some of them were older Gillette models.
Needless to say, I expanded my search on ebay to antiques. Before long, I had my first DE razor on the way. It was a Gillette made around 1970, absolutely beautiful. I went down to Walgreens and picked up a pack of blades. Over the next week, the razor finally arrived. It wasn't quite what I was expecting. It was actually a travel safety razor. Nevertheless, I used it for about a month. Then it was time for father's day. I really wanted to give dad something special and something I cared strongly about.
So, I bought him a Gillete Blue Tip, a VDH premium brush, pinaud aftershave, blades, and some VDH Luxury soap. That was the coaxing he needed to share his shaving expiriences with me, and how his dad shaved, etc. It was truly an enlightening day. He told me stories about shaving that his father told him, and his father before him. Granted, the whole shaving expirience does not run very far since most of them were loggers in California. It was my Grandfather's group that really began with the smooth facedness, except for his pencil moustache.
I then purchased another safety razor, this one a Gillete butterfly open from around the 1950s. This is the one I have been using since. Great shaves and near BBS. My acne is not visible anymore, almost cured. Then with help from B&B and what appears to be a very supportive and caring membership base, I have come to love shaving again, and not hate it.
So, I want to thank everyone here for being who they are and for creating such a good community.
P.S. I still haven't purchased anything like Poraso. I'm currently using William's soap. Any recommedations for creams or soaps? I feel I am getting quite a good shave from my 1950s Gillette, and my Personna generic blades. The William's is great. I almost like it better than the VDH they carry at Walgreens, but I would like to economically upgrade my shave with a cream or soap. Thank you.