Climatic Concerns

Posted: September 18, 2016 in Shaving Articles

A phrase that is often used in the shaving world is “your mileage may vary.” There are a lot of reasons that this is said. Different people, with different faces, different stubble, different razors, different blades. Sigh…using different soap with differing amounts of water mixed in. Pant…with different technique, and different levels of expectation in regard to how close the shave must be.

One thing we rarely consider, I believe, is the actual climate in which we are shaving. Is it wet, dry, cold, hot…these things play a big part in how our skin reacts to the shaving process. In my normal environment of the Mountain West, it’s predominantly dry. This means that products with a higher content in humectants and moisturizers seem to work better.

On my trip to Maine, I’ve noticed that I need little to no extra moisture on my face. Just washing off Arko soap, I notice that the tallow from the soap stays, and my face is comfortable and hydrated. Even the small amount of glycerin from the Aqua Velva aftershave ends up sticking around, sometimes being fully present and palpable on my face for a long time. I’ve had a sense of glide and hydration in my shaves that is not always present with a fairly “bare bones” prep when I’m out west.

I believe these differences are primarily because the level of humidity here is much higher. I don’t know if my skin would adapt to this humidity after a while, and the differences would fade away. I don’t have enough time to make that determination. But suffice to say, if you move to a totally different climate, you might find that some of your “software” might work differently in your new locale. Perhaps better, perhaps worse. Maybe just a small wrinkle that changes your opinion.

This is why, when we recommend a product that we’re over the moon about, it might not be quite the same when it comes to your door. If I’m having great luck with a soap, for instance, in the high desert, it might not be quite what you need in the Midlands of England, or in Singapore, or in Anchorage.

Hardware shouldn’t change, which is nice. I believe that you will either like or dislike a razor, or a blade regardless of your physical location. Then again, over time, you’ll sometimes see your tastes change. You might be on the outs with a particular razor, then find you really connect with it at some time in the future. It depends on feel. Both emotional and physical. As we get old and gray, the hair gets coarse and difficult, and that can change what razors work best for you, too. But, as they say, that is another story.

Happy Shaving.

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