Get out of the archives, the dust is gonna make your acne flair up again!
Try adding an extra pump to your lather and see what it does. That cream should be a benchmark for slickness.Initial thoughts after a few shaves…
The two soaps I’ve been using for the last year-and-a-bit are Mystic Water Sensitive Skin and Barrister & Mann’s Unscented in the Soft Heart Series base. These are two pretty decent benchmarks.
I’ve been off scented shaving soap for yonks. Partly because it doesn’t do my skin any favours. Partly because I’m bored of the artisan scene. Partly because I actually prefer it. KMF smells of fragrance-free cosmetics. While MW and, to a lesser extent B&M, smell of underlying ingredients like tallow and calendula, KMF just smells plainly of ‘chemicals’ (I know, a meaningless turn of phrase as everything is chemicals). I had expected something a little more discernible as there are a collection of plant extracts and oils low down in the ingredients list but no - utilitarian, functional minimalism. I like that.
There is a drop off in performance. Mystic Water has been a benchmark in slickness - for those who bothered to learn its intricacies, before and after reformulation - for several years. Barrister & Mann’s Soft Series is, in my opinion, their best formula to date. Its composition is more ‘contemporary’ than the MW with a different structure (sorry) to the lather.
Again, only a few shaves in, but KMF doesn’t play in the same league. I’ve played around a little bit but even when dialled in I can’t see it being able to offer high levels of cushion and residual slickness. But, perhaps weirdly, I see some virtue in its plainness. It’s just so functional; pump dispenser, no frills lather, clean rinse, done. To be honest, the lack of residual slickness and density mean that I forego some of my bad habits - namely buffing - and have stuck to two (mostly) WTG passes. Tellingly, the shaves so far have been as close and comfortable as ever.
I even quite like the fact that, without a shed load of superfats, the face feel is so neutral. I need to moisturise after using it - I would anyway since I have slightly dry skin. I reckon people with oily skin would appreciate the fact that it doesn’t strip but doesn’t overly feed either. An addendum to that being that those who are prone to acne or spots ought to be aware that the second ingredient in the list is myristic acid which is comedogenic.
Anyway… so far so good. It’s not revolutionary but it’s good, honest stuff.