Some time ago, thanks to some good advice I received here, I switched to a DE razor. Unfortunately, I was never able to get the shave quite right. It was better than any other shave I'd tried, but still left me with a fair amount of razor burn, such that the discomfort doesn't fade entirely until late in the evening. (And this was actually an improvement -- with my old Gillette Mach 3, my face didn't feel normal again until the next morning.) I gave up shaving entirely for a while because of this, but I look terrible with a beard, and I never cared for the three-day-stubble look, even though the electric beard trimmer was the closest I ever came to a painless shave. So now I'm shaving again, and hoping I can get some help figuring out how to stop hating it.
Here's what I'm using: Van der Haagen glycerin shave soap, whipped into the closest thing to a lather my hard water will allow; Merkur 1904 razor with Iridium Super blades (which I note have come back into circulation at last); Ogalalla Bay Rum aftershave; and Thayer's Cucumber Witch Hazel to finish things off.
Complications: I have annoyingly sensitive skin, and I have allergies and chemical sensitivities that can make it difficult to find products I can use. If there's even a trace of sandalwood, for instance, I get to walk around all day with a bright red rash and a splitting headache.
And I should say that I know not to apply pressure when using this type of razor. Given the way my face reacts, it probably sounds as if I'm bearing down like I'm trying to strip paint, but I assure you I'm not. I hold the razor very lightly with my fingertips, and if I were to try to loosen my grip or apply even less pressure, the razor would fall from my fingers and probably do me a mischief on the way down.
Any suggestions for a returning newbie?