Guys, writing is a hobby of mine, and I initially wrote this little essay for my own pleasure, but I thought I'd post it here. I'm not trying to come across as an expert or to start world-war three. If you find this thought-provoking, I'm glad, but if I offend anyone, I apologize ahead of time. These are just my opinions, so please just take this for what it's worth to you. Lather Should Have the Consistency of Yogurt I eat yogurt every day and I make lather every day and a half. If I made the lather as thick as the yogurt I eat, it wouldn't contain enough water to soften my whiskers. Also, since I like to spend a little time swiping back and forth with my brush, with each subsequent pass over my face the lather gets a little dryer. If I don't begin the swiping with a runny lather, a moment later it'll be too dry and I'll have to add water anyway. Shaving Brushes Remove Dead Skin Before Shaving I don't know who started this wives' tale, but I'd like to throw a cream pie in his face (and not shaving cream). That's such nonsense. The tips of a shaving brush are purposely made very soft and gentle. Have you ever seen something that's made for exfoliating skin? Whatever it's made from, it's coarse and abrasive. Even a washcloth is a better scrubber than a shaving brush. Apply No Pressure Sorry guys, but I think this is just semantics. I think telling beginners to apply "no pressure" is misleading them, and a better term would be "minimal pressure." What do I mean? I just bought an aluminum razor that's as light as a feather. I find that I have to apply with my arm that tiny amount of pressure a heavier razor provides with its own weight. If I try to shave with just the weight of the razor, it slides right past the whiskers without cutting them. So I guess the secret is to apply the least amount of pressure that will do the job, whether that pressure is provided by the razor's weight or your own muscles. Zamak is Bad I hear a lot of guys on shaving forums expressing disdain for Zamak razors. They wouldn't be caught dead with anything but stainless steel or bronze or unobtanium. But there are some great-shaving, great-looking razors out there with Zamak heads that you can buy for about eight to 40 bucks. As for Zamak being an inferior material, those 50-60 year old Gilletts guys use and prize today are made of Zamak. Just as with steel, the quality of Zamak alloys vary, and there are good ones out there. One tip I can offer to make your Zamak razor last is to be gentle when screwing the handle on the head. Use a real light touch until you're sure the male and female threads are aligned before preceding. I even put a drop of oil on the threads of all my razors after every couple of rotations. I've heard some guys say they want their razors to be able to survive a fall to the bathroom floor. But I'm always slow and careful with my razors, and I don't allow my hands or the razor handle to get soapy. All that seems to work because I don't drop them. The "Healing" Properties of Aftershave Balm Aftershave balms don't heal the skin; they soothe it. Shaving removes some surface-skin, and if you shave too close, it removes enough to irritate it. Balms replace the moisture shaving-soap removes and may contain ingredients like Aloe Vera that reduce inflammation, but only your body itself can "heal" your skin, that is, can replace those cells you scraped off. Aftershaves Made with Alcohol Dry the Skin Alcohol is an antiseptic (it kills germs) and an astringent (it closes the skin's pores). And some of us like the mild burn it produces on our freshly shaven faces. But most aftershaves also contain a moisturizer like castor oil or glycerin which immediately counteracts the drying effect of the alcohol. So in such a case, don't worry about the alcohol.