I don't have a whole lot to add, now, but I did want to mention a couple of other tips I've stumbled upon since then (one or two came from other Black men in the McDuffie forum):
1) I put rubbing alcohol on a face cloth, and apply to recently-shaved facial areas.
I know that sounds bad, but I think it's made quite a difference for my face, killing anything that might likely infect my vulnerable skin.
2) Right after that dries, I apply Nivea aftershave to pamper my traumatized dermis.
It's a nice alternative to just lotioning up my face (which I do, anyway, once the aftershave dries).
3) I replace the blades on my Gillette Sensor Excel razor after a couple or three times shaving my beard.
I didn't realize how much thicker my facial hair is than the hair on my head (which I also shave while my beard soaks in the applied shaving foam). The beard dulls those blades much more quickly so, after a few days, I find myself wondering if I soaked my beard enough or if I shaved incorrectly... when the real problem is that I can't reuse the blades 20-30 times before discarding them
I hope that helps someone out there. Feel free to share what works for you, in the comments section.