I've been using a Gillette Mach 3 since the late 1990s. I've also been having bad post-shave irritation since about that time. Every time I shave, the day or two after I get this red, itchy rash on my neck. I don't think it's razor burn, I think it's ingrown hairs. I shave in the shower every Sunday morning, and it takes almost a week until the irritation is gone and I can shave again. Some believe that multi-blade razors are the culprit with this irritation, and that a double-edged safety razor is the cure. My last Mach3 cartridge is approaching the end of its usefulness, and I'm ready to re-evaluate my life's choices. I've read some stuff on the Internet about safety razors, but a lot of the blogs and sites are a bit over-the-top hipster stuff. Most of them are thinly-veiled advertisements for this brand or that. I'm also irrationally annoyed by the term "wet shaving" applied to safety razors or straight razors because I've been doing that with cartridge razors for 22-effin' years. Maybe I'm both wrong and a bad person. Okay! I'm looking at the Merkur 33c and the 23c. Only difference I can see is the latter has another inch of handle. I saw some blog that mentioned short handles are better for beginners, another said longer handles are better. Another site said some model of Edwin Jagger is actually better than any Merkur, but I can't find that one again. (It was also the most pretentious site I had read). I've actually been safety-razor-curious for several years, but I'm nervous about cutting myself. Back in the 90s I worked with a Nice Young Lady(tm) who would use her husband's safety razor to shave her legs. It was a regular occurrence where she'd lift up her dress or skirt and show me how bad she flayed herself open with it. So I want to do this right, with the right 'starter' razor for those who are new and impressionable. I'll buy a variety pack of blades to try out. Lots of them on Amazon. Sounds like blades are akin to guitar strings- different brands/styles/etc work for different people. I'm not 100% ready to buy a brush and shaving soap just yet. Here's why: 1) I still have a bunch of barbasol shaving cream left. Will it work? 2) I have sensitive skin regarding fragrances. Every time I use a new soap, shampoo, bodywash, etc it's a dice roll. If I use the wrong thing, I'll break out in hives for two weeks. It looks like most shaving soaps are on the end of adding fragrance. Maybe there are some that are completely fragrance-free, but I don't know. 3) Does it have to be "shaving soap"? What if I lathered up regular old Dove Sensitive Skin bar soap and used that as a lubricant? 4) I'm not looking to start using a safety razor to brag about my manliness or make some sort of fashion statement. I'm just looking to get the weak scrubble off my face with ease and lack of irritation. The cost savings and lesser environmental impact are a bonus. Any advice or tips from those in the trenches who use a safety razor is most appreciated.