I thought I had figured out shaving as well as I ever would. But recently I began to notice that my shaves weren't quite up to par. My kit (mostly Trumper and Harris soaps and a Gillette ProGlide) hadn't changed, yet some stubble would remain even after four careful passes, especially beneath the jaw line.
The reason for the decline in shave quality still isn't clear to me. Perhaps I have just become more finicky. Anyway, I searched in my cabinet of cast-off shave goods and found a bottle of Jason's 6-in-1 All Natural Shaving Lotion with Jojoba Beads. This is a slippery nonfoaming brushless cream containing abrasive particles. It is virtually unscented. I pumped a dab into my wet hands and rubbed it vigorously into the bearded area. Then, without rinsing it off, I proceeded to lather up with a favorite soap and shave according to my usual routine.
The improvement was noticeable. My shaves are now as good as they can be, even in that tough area below the chin. I attribute this to the jojoba beads, whose mechanical action apparently isolates the whiskers and makes them stand up to the blade. Previously, it was my practice to rub the beard with my regular lather before shaving, but that lather is smooth and therefore less effective as a pre-shave prep.
Generally I'm in favor of the minimalist approach, but in this case the small extra step seems worth taking. So if you have a brushless cream in your stash, one with jojoba beads in it, consider trying it as a pre-shave and see what happens.