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Do You Really Need Pre-Shave .....

I used to swear by proraso pre shave, and I used up a container about once a month or so, I then decided to just give it a break and go without for a few days just to see what it would be like, and what do you know, nothing changed in my results, so I just stopped using it all together. I do like the scent of Proraso soaps, all three colors, so having the matching preshave was great since it really added to the overall scent of the product.

I don't think I'll ever go back to a preshave, but I do have a container left of the proraso red with a decent amount left in it, should I ever change my mind.
 
Hi 59
You are correct regarding the price of a PAA Cube in the States is $6, however in the UK it cost over $15 and a good quality bar of glycerin soap, Pears, cost only $1.30.
Also are you sure that the Cube will better or are you making an assumption.
Many Thanks for your reply.
Yes, I have used the Cube and also the glycerin soap from Whole Foods Market. Let's just say after getting the Cube, I don't use the other one. The Cube is slick enough that you could lather it up with a brush and shave with it alone. It would not be a thick lather, but a very slick one.

Pears as made in India I am not too fond of anymore (seems more harsh and dries out the skin). Maybe try Glyce or if that is not available there is the Neutrogena face bar, or equivalent where you live.

If you are the DIY sort, you could melt the plain glycerin soap and add 10-20 drops of castor oil.

Note that if your glycerin soap is harsh and dries out the skin, this totally defeats the purpose. Your skin should feel clean and smooth.

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I understand to pay more for a product just to support the very few companies that make our narrow niche products. So, I would gladly pay the $6 for a soap made by PAA to support them rather than buying Pears for a buck. I did try regular bath/face soaps just out of curiosity but I shave with specialised products. And I understand to pay the price.
 
In my opinion, only use it if you're soap/cream has subpar slickness. Otherwise, there's no real need. Most higher quality soaps have enough slickness to provide a nice glide for your razor. It doesn't hurt to use it either way though. I used PAA Cube 2.0 for months when I first started wet shaving.
 
As others have said, there is no *need* for a specific pre-shave product. I have a Proraso pre-shave at the moment. I bought it just to try it out (and I like the scent of the red). Prior to that, the only pre-shave ritual for a bit of luxury would have been lathering up my face and putting a warm, wet towel on it for a while, then wiping the lather off and maybe doing it a second time if I thought "oh, that was nice."
 
I love the scent of Proraso Green so I like to add that "layer" to the experience, especially during a straight razor shave where I'm really trying to take my time and leave no stone unturned. Can I live without it? Yes. Does it add to my enjoyment? Yes. Can it hurt? No.


I agree on the additional ‘layer’ of experience and a pre-shave cream can be helpful in the beginning of one’s shaving career.

Regarding the ‘cannot hurt’ statement, Proraso pre-shave cream turned out to be one of the very few products that I came across in the last 20 or so year that prompted a skin rash response and is one of the reasons that Proraso dropped out of my rotation eons ago.

B.
 
I agree on the additional ‘layer’ of experience and a pre-shave cream can be helpful in the beginning of one’s shaving career.

Regarding the ‘cannot hurt’ statement, Proraso pre-shave cream turned out to be one of the very few products that I came across in the last 20 or so year that prompted a skin rash response and is one of the reasons that Proraso dropped out of my rotation eons ago.

B.

I think the caveat is that pre-shave as a routine practice cannot hurt, rather than claiming a specific product or brand cannot hurt.
 
I agree on the additional ‘layer’ of experience and a pre-shave cream can be helpful in the beginning of one’s shaving career.

Regarding the ‘cannot hurt’ statement, Proraso pre-shave cream turned out to be one of the very few products that I came across in the last 20 or so year that prompted a skin rash response and is one of the reasons that Proraso dropped out of my rotation eons ago.

B.
Oof, sorry to hear!! I stand corrected :)
 
I went out for a 6mi run this morning. I didn't want to sit in my stench all day, so I took a shower. I'm planning on shaving this evening though, and I'm a cold water shaver too. I find the Proraso Blue pre-shave to be beneficial in this situation. It looks really cool next to my sink, smells amazing, and didn't cost me much either. I also like the pre-shave performance slightly better than Ach. Brito or Stirling oil. YMMV.
 
Been shaving for almost 60 years. My "pre-shave" over the years with electric, injector, cart and DE has always been just a quick face wash and rinse with my face soap of choice at the time.

Experimenting in my first year of DE was loads of fun. Try it all. If it works for you, use it. My credit card will attest that I have tried (too) many products recommended here in the past dozen years, but not many pre-shaves. I once got a sample of a "high-end", pre-shave oil with a British soap order and found it gross. I had to re-wash my face, clean my brush and start over. Unless it's motor oil or grease from working on a car, lawnmower, etc, I don't like the feel of other oils (even cooking oils) on my hands, skin or face.
 
My pre-shave ritual is Nivea Maximum Hydration face scrub. It leaves my skin slick and hydrated. I could probably live without it but it enhances my shave.
 
I generally caution new shavers against pre-shave products.

1. It can mask poor lathering skills
2. Some pre-shave items cause build up on your brush and razor
3. Scrub-type pre-shave products can damage skin, since exfoliation also happens during shaving (i.e. the blade).

I just use a splash of water as my pre-shave routine.

If you think you need a pre-shave to give more slickness to your lathers, my advice is to work on your lather skills, or get a quality soap.

But once you get your lathers sorted out, use a pre-shave if you want. Some like the extra scent layer that they provide.

Truly sensitive skin folks may need them, I don't know.

I find they usually slow down my razor with more drag, myself.

Also, I'm just talking about pre-shave oils and creams here. Not soaps.

I think a standard glycerin soap is a great pre-shave method. I just choose to not add in that extra step myself. I let my first lather pass clean my face.

(Sent from mobile)
 
Can someone please explain what are the benefits of pre-shave?

Do you have to buy a pre-shave produced by a shaving company or is standard glycerin based soap just as good?

If you are convinced that pre-shave is an advantage, then, are artisan soaps like PAA CK6 really that good?

Which is better pre-shave or bloom water and excess lather in soap puck after loading the brush?

If you read the ingredients and instructions on a pre-shave soap it’s very similar to shave stick. Therefore can you use a cheap shave stick as a pre-shave?

I’m be interested to hear answers from the community, I’m getting confused with marketing and advertising.
I use pre-shave before every shave for a few reasons. I only use pre-shave oils or creams though, I really couldn't speak to the efficacy of pre-shave soap. My face is often a little drier in the morning. My hair is a lot rougher too. I use either pre-shave oil or pre-shave cream which I let sit for 30sec to a minute before applying my lather on top. I find that they are very inexpensive in the long run. You aren't meant to use tonnes of it. They help with moisturising my face, providing a bit of protection and adding some slickness. Oil adds more protection, cream adds more slickness (if we're comparing the two). I find that they help a lot with reducing irritation and keeping my skin healthy. They are also all water soluable and don't make a mess or clog the razor or intefere with the lather. They don't make me break out, leave greasy residue or anything negative really. They just work for me.
 
Nowadays, shaving before my shower, I wash my face and throat with either the soap I have at the sink, or one of my shave sticks like Tabac, La Toja, or Arko. I leave the soap on my wet face for a bit while I soak and squeeze out my brush. Then I apply the soap or cream I plan to shave with. I face-lather, let that sit for 3 minutes (usually massaging the soap into my beard barber-style with fingertips and then applying with the brush again), and then wield the razor. So buying a pre-shave product to me seems a bit of a waste.
 
I'm experiencing great improvement in the shave quality and post shave feel ever since I started doing Hot Towel soak on face before shaving.

It is a bit hot at the beginning, within a few seconds it becomes pleasant and prepares my stubble for shaving.

I shifted to using warm water for shaving, that also helped.

I suffered a lot of irritation recently and I'll not take any more chances by shaving without any pre shave routine.

In my case, I need some preparation before shaving.
 
I soak my face with a washcloth while in the shower for 2 minutes, then wash it with Noxema Classic. Seems to work, but I just started using the Proraso preshave (green) as a test after getting it on sale. I used it when I started wetshaving, then dumped it. Thought I'd try it again and see what happens.
 
Hi 59
You are correct regarding the price of a PAA Cube in the States is $6, however in the UK it cost over $15 and a good quality bar of glycerin soap, Pears, cost only $1.30.
Also are you sure that the Cube will better or are you making an assumption.
Many Thanks for your reply.
Of course even water costs something, in addition to being in increasingly short supply in many places. Just a matter of curiosity, why are folks talking about glycerin soap? I like Pears, but my regular is Yardley's lavender. I was thinking, for the sake of science, of trying my usual hot water pre-shave with the addition of soap.
 
Just a matter of curiosity, why are folks talking about glycerin soap?
I like Pears, but my regular is Yardley's lavender.


Various claims are made for glycerine soaps to be hypoallergenic, suitable for all skin types, moisturising, dermatologist recommended, and suitable as cleanser and face wash.

Musgo/Musgo Real GLYCE in particular has historically been sold as a pre-shave soap in many countries and is described on a North American website as being “especially made for cleaning the skin before shaving. Ingredients include coconut oil, lime oil, and castor oil great for softening the whiskers, but also works as a moisturizing cleanser.”
In fact, if you Google “Musgo GLYCE” it is difficult NOT to find an article that describes it as a pre-shave soap.


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Here in Portugal, where Musgo/Musgo Real is produced, it is however sold as a much more mundane (€3.16 / $3.74 a puck) ‘Ach. Brito sabonete de glicerina’ (glycerine soap), which led me to conclude that if it is not handy (or too expensive) one might use just about any other glycerine soap for the same purpose.





It’s no magic, in a nutshell all you do is wash your face with a glycerine soap and wait a moment to soften the whiskers, isn’t it?


B.

(images courtesy Ach. Brito Loja de Sabonetes factory store)
 
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