What's new

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


Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
Losing track of time in the shower and realizing I’ve fallen asleep or was daydreaming works best for my whiskers, but it’s so wasteful.

A hot shower or a damp towel and waterboarding followed by paying attention to angles and pressure during the shave gives the same results without putting undue wear on the furnace.
Don’t think I need it but I like using it. At weekends I use Proraso green or Trumpers sandalwood skin food. Both great products with great scent and I map the beard growth as I rub it in.
I wash my face with the neutrogena bar and then partially rinse. My face is wet, warm and appreciably slick before applying shaving creme.

I might add that the neutrogena bar is a glycerine based soap.
I enjoy a pre-shave routine, however it is not a need. What is needed is a generally good skin care regimen. Moisturizer, sun block, mild soaps, clean shaving equipment, are all important. I've incorporated many of these things into a "pre-shave" routine, but some could be used at any hour, just so long as I use them.
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.


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?


(images courtesy Ach. Brito Loja de Sabonetes factory store)
It's a fantastic, mild soap for washing prior to shaving. I have neutrogena and glyce in my den and find both to be excellent. It's funny how many threads there are on B&B with this same question and the same people saying "nay" and "yay."
I was leery of Pre-shave products when I first started tradional wet shaving 4 years ago. Oily pre shave products I thought would gum up my shave equipment so if I was going to use anything it was going be less oily.
I was using Aloe Vera clear gel on my hair as a moisturizer 30 + years ago after shampooing my hair in the shower and there is no doubt it works so I started experimenting with wetting the face and applying a dollop after cleaning my face.
Then I was experiencing 7 yrs ago my eyes seemed dry and acidic in certain times of the year with the large forest fires around & allergies in our area, the smoke just drove a person kook-a-lo days on end. Eye drops helped for about 10 minutes or so and back to agitated eyes and so I lucked out 2+ years ago doing a little research about CeraVe cleanser bar that is a milder soap(nothing worse than harsh mass produced soap suds in you eyes) that did wonders for cleaning my face. Women use it also for cleaning eye make up and what ever else they put on their faces with great results so it's been proven to work.
So took the whole experiment one step more and used a dedicated 24mm Yaqi Cashmere synthetic soft knot and now brush wash my whole face around the eyes for sure with the CeraVe hand bar cleanser followed with just a dollop of clear Aloe Vera gel on the cleaned beard area only. The whole process takes about 2 minutes and it is recommended by Gillette decades ago to exfoliate the beard before shaving anyways. Most folks wash their face in the morning with soap, might as well use a superior bar of soap.
So many positive results came with this simple little procedure, it seemed to clear up my dry eye issue, my face is cleaned for the shave lather to do its part, my beard is fully hydrated for the razor & blade to shave the whiskers easier and my shave gear does not get gummed up at all and I also believe it gives me a little better shave results.
I use to put a warm towel on the face for a few minutes to soften up the whiskers but I will always use CeraVe hand bar cleanser with a good soft brush hands down before other methods because it feels great with a warm water lathered brush to wash the face.
I even did a shave with just using the CeraVe hand bar cleanser once and the results were OK also.
Another thing to mention is the CeraVe cleanser bar lasts a long time with just using a shaving brush(make sure the soap can dry out in the proper dish), lasts approximately 10-12 months and that is a great deal IMO.
Z-Pre shave products (2).jpg
Have some great shaves!
Last edited:
Preshaves are nice but not necessary. At the bottom of the scale, just lather up and shave. Next up the ladder, a splash of warm water will suffice. Take it up a notch and you have bloom water and drugstore glycerine soap like Pears or Neutrogena. Then there are items like Proraso preshave cream. A nice addition to a leisurely shave. I usually just use a warm water splash, but when the mood hits, I break out the Proraso.
If you like it, or you think it does a good job for you, you should do it no matter what anybody else here or anywhere has to say about it.
It's your shave and you should enjoy it as much as you possibly can.
Just because I don't, doesn't mean you shouldn't.

Maybe "needed" isn't really the issue.
Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE has some type of pre-shave routine.
Whether that be setting out their equipment, or splashing warm water on their face, or soaking in a hot towel, or using a product they like, it's all set up and tasking prior to putting blade to face, and thus "pre-shave".

This is the exact inference of YMMV.
Like many have said, I've had great results with a charcoal soap. This one also has tea tree and peppermint oil. Going to try the PAA cube next. Eliminating all the other variables I've been getting much better shaves since using it, unlike pre shave oils which really didn't seem to make a difference.

I don't use one (nothing against, just don't), sometimes? I'll prewash/smear a bit of my facial cleanser (spectro jel) but it doesn't seem to make much difference.

I will say that the cube preshave (regardless of brand, theres two or three versions) does look pretty neat. Although I dunno about holding a slippery cube. I think @Atlantic59 puts his in a shave tube, which is super neat.
For all who have replied, many thanks for comments much appreciated. In the meantime I have been doing a few experiments my self on the use of pre-shave soap and cream, sorry but I’ve not used pre-shave oil due to the issues associated with clogging boar or badger brushes. Findings are as follows;

1) A glycerin based pre-shave soap works much better than a pre-shave cream. You need to apply lots of cream to achieve the same advantages as soap, which makes soap far more cost effective.
2) Any glycerin based soap perform as well as the next, don’t believe the hype regarding added ingredients in shave companies pre-shave soap, it’s pre-shave not shaving soap. Also try to buy a scent free soap. You’ve paid a fortune for the scent of the shaving soap, so why a have a menthol or eucalyptus scent which overpowers it.
3) Washing the face with the pre-shave soap prior to shaving has minimal effect to the shave. Just rinsing the face with warm water is more than enough.
4) Bowl Lathering. If you bowl lather, a pre-shave soap will definitely improve the overall slickness of the lather on face. There’s been much debatable whether or not pre-shave soap is required but I found significant improvement in slickness, glide, residual slickness which improves the overall shaving experience.
5) Face Lathering. If you face lather, a pre-shave soap improves the shave but not to the level as bowl lathering. I believe the action of face lathering, hydrating the soap and massaging it into the skin promotes a better lather and slickness. However there were noticeable improvements.
6) Tallow based Soap v Glycerin based Soap. I believe that glycerin based soap respond better with pre-shave soap. The improvement were less with tallow based soap.

Conclusions; If you use a standard shaving soap and you suffers from slickness or sensitivity issues, then I definitely recommend you try pre-shaving. On the other hand, if you use a good quality shaving soap and you are happy with your results without pre-shave soap then carry on, but I will be using a pre-shave soap from now on.
I personnaly get a more comfortable shave when using a pre-shave product, proraso preshave cream works great for example and also a glycerin based soap works well.
I also recommend 2 volumes of aloe vera gel mixed with 1 volume olive oil (or other oil),after mixing it becomes a really slick paste, looks like snot though, lol. U can add drops of oil like eucalyptus, menthol, tea tree oil, ... whatever u like the smell of.

Try it out for yourself and let us know what u think. Cheers.
Top Bottom