05-31-2013, 10:05 PM
User Info
Have you ever wondered how much of our different experiences with the same shave goods has to do with the following (and similar)?

-skin characteristics
-beard density, rigidity
-shaver's technique (prep, lathering, razoring, etc)
-water characteristics
-shaving frequency
-quality of post-shave care
-equipment maintenance (brush cleaning, blade stropping, etc)

Even leaving out the technique-related variables and those that a shaver chooses, there are still factors that I think may really influence the shave but are difficult or almost impossible to control. Perhaps a gentleman a state or country away could have a very different experience than you may have with the same gear.

What say you? Agree or disagree? Other factors you can think of?

48 1,269
 06-01-2013, 12:04 AM
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
User Info
I agree and the list of variables is excellent.

The two that strike me are skin characteristics which I think is a significant difference between shavers but largely ignored.

Also rigidity /density which to me means coarseness. I think most posts must be written from the point of view of light to normal bearded people because as someone with a very coarse beard I have used the same blades and razors and gotten dissimilar results.

15 541
 06-01-2013, 02:20 AM
User Info


-effectiveness of the combo

For example a razor could get a bad rap because of a blade, a blade because of an allergic reaction to a cream, etc...


-Air temperature and humidity
-degree of distractions
-objective of the shaver
-prior shaves

Oh and

-conflict of interest (eg: misleading review)

-variation in product (eg: PermaSharp in cardboard, vs Plastic, r41 2011/2013, batches of soaps, fake blades)

-misuse of product (eg: over tightening bakelite razor)

-us. We are organic, imperfect, and full of notions we may discover later are faulty to the point of comedy. Eg: putting boiling towels on our faces and wondering why DE shaving makes our faces red, when goo and multiblades didn't

-health/cleanliness... Eg: bacteria in brushes, in soap dishes, or already on face

-old product (Cella that has "turned")

3 285
 06-01-2013, 06:16 AM
  • Dino
  • Member
  • St Helens, England
User Info
I suppose climate will affect the skin of said person, as my skin does vary alot with the UK weather.

And yes I agree there are a lot of variables.

1 68
 06-01-2013, 06:25 AM
User Info
I think our own personal expectation plays into YMMV as well. We have preconceived notions of a product based on opinions and reviews posted by others.

1 346
 06-01-2013, 08:06 AM
User Info
Great points by all. I especially like the one about wet shavers having different goals: for one, a great shave may equal BBS even allowing for irritation while another may not tolerate irritation and focus on using minimal product, etc.

48 1,269
 06-01-2013, 10:14 AM
User Info
Tom, you bring up some very good points and i concur with them.
Amazing how two, otherwise, similar individuals can have dissimilar results with the same gear!
The joy of life.

87 21,180
 06-01-2013, 12:34 PM
  • OldDog23
  • Senior Member
  • BeanTown MetroWest
User Info
Mr. Dermis has the last word. evey time. His way or the Highway.

0 1,291
 06-03-2013, 03:13 AM
User Info
(06-01-2013, 12:34 PM)OldDog23 Wrote: Mr. Dermis has the last word. evey time. His way or the Highway.

Steven, I think that is very important as well. Early on, I always had at least a low-level, baseline post-shave irritation which made the next shave less comfortable and made some brush knots feel scrubbier or even prickly on the irritated skin.

Here's one I forgot to include until now: length of time the brush is soaked. There is such great variability, from running the brush under water prior to lathering to 15-20 minutes soaking or even hours. I think it can drastically change the perceived backbone of a brush.

48 1,269
 06-03-2013, 11:31 AM
User Info
(06-03-2013, 03:13 AM)kentclark Wrote: Here's one I forgot to include until now: length of time the brush is soaked. There is such great variability, from running the brush under water prior to lathering to 15-20 minutes soaking or even hours. I think it can drastically change the perceived backbone of a brush.

Agreed to that.

Since I moved from a condo to my fathers house and in 2 months will be moving to a new condo, I have experienced what soaking a brush in my brush scuttle compared to just running it on under the water means.

You can literally make a very rough brush feel soft by soaking it for 4-5 minutes extra in tepid water. You can also make an already too soft brush almost unusable by soaking it too long.......

Unfortunately these YMMV points combined with the experience I now have in this game makes me post quite a bit less in here and on shaving forums in general as I did the first two years of my new wet shaving adventure.

At the same time I feel I know most of what I need to know about my skin, beard and taste in different products and I own almost all the luxury brushes, creams, soaps, razors and after shave products I longed for in the beginning of my journey, so I need far far less advice - in fact I almost never asks for advice these days Undecided

YMMV points makes it quite hard to stay true and dedicated as active on certain parts of the shaving forums IMHO - but I still enjoy reading posts in here, so I stay logged in Smile - but almost never read the advice and suggestion threads any more.....

As always YMMV Tongue

25 6,185
 06-18-2013, 06:47 PM
User Info
I neglected to include that equipment can certainly vary. Some manufacturers tend to be more thorough with their QC than others. I have tried multiples of the same brush and razor sometimes with different results. Virtually all DE/SE shavers will encounter a bad blade...always give it another shot with a new blade!

I suppose this is a tangent of Aimsport's point above.

48 1,269
 06-18-2013, 11:33 PM
  • celar36
  • Enjoying Life 1 shave at time
  • London, UK
User Info
YMMV is a definitive Full stop.

There is not a two people shaving the same way and therefore experience varies.

Why? Is like life. We learn new things all the way through it. Things we couldn't achieve early after time become easier and easier.

To use all the products we need to be experienced, trained and have knowledge. In two words be competent person. Then and only then we can achieve nirvana Smile

Therefore, I like to come back to products I didnt like always after couple of months to retest it.


Forums are great source of advice and be patience, things comes with time.

11 881
 06-19-2013, 03:01 AM
User Info
Great post, Jack. Thank you.

Like you said, it ultimately comes down to an individual's personal experience, and patience is certainly handy!

48 1,269
 06-22-2013, 03:46 PM
User Info
Even if we used the same exact razor and brush and soap, the way we feel things is going to be different.

Everything is relative. Relative to past experiences with brushes. Relative to old scars. Relative to our individual skin characteristics.

While a product may return the same tactile feeling to the senses, the brain will interpret them according to how it relates to previous experiences.

Of course, people with tougher skin v. people with really sensitive skin are going to experience the intensity of a brush differently. Less sensitive skin will not experience the prickle as it is below the threshold of tolerance. Etc etc.


9 3,045
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)