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The value of preshave products ...

While I have tried a couple different preshave products I never found them helpful. I get excellent results without a preshave, and don't feel any need to add unnecessary products or steps to my routine.


Abandoned By Gypsies.
This great thread generated an “ah-ha” moment this morning.

Nice to see Proraso preshave getting some love. The menthol green is a favorite. Always assumed it was softening my whiskers. But recently questioned this effect, since I also shower before shaving.

I now realize the shower is softening my beard, but body wash is stripping skin oil. This is especially noticeable in our Midwest’s dry cool months. Proraso preshave helps replace skin oils lost in the shower, and maybe even creates a protection barrier for shave shave soaps that leave my face feeling tight (e.g., Williams, Arko). Ah-ha!

I have become a ‘minimalist’ when it comes to preshave products. For me, a shower then a face wash with a good cleanser (such as CeraVe) is just fine.

However, many swear by them so give a few preshaves a try to see if you are in that camp.
You may want to read this.

I use my own concoction preshave oil. It helps but it is also for my skin. The first time I used preshave oil my wife asks "what did you do your face looks so much better".
Excellent! I did the same. I e used it for pre-shave and general beard oil since they share so many ingredients. I think I had some jojoba, almond, and Shea but oils in it. It works well but I don't really love the feeling of oil on my face. I'm planning to try one of the pre-shave soaps at some point. Say, for instance, the Stirling one. Recommendations are welcome.
You may want to read this.

This was a very unscientific experiment. The bias favoring pre-shave products was evident in his writing. BUT, that’s not the point; he had happy shaves and that’s all that matters.
I never like prorasos take on a preshave it worked better as an aftershave for me.

I do like paa cubes and stirlings pre shave soap though. For me these work especially with a hot towel.

In the shower I would use a sisal scrub spongue with some soap

In winter time using some night cream also makes a smoother shave in the morning.
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I've used the ones blended with grapeseed and several other oils. The ones I use are thick. They do provide an extra protection against Nick's and irritation. So as a beginner, any extra things that helps is helpful. However when you become sensitive to the things that actually cause Nick's and irritation, ie poor technique, lather not mixed or applied well, a blade you used one time too many, etc. Then these preshave products become less necessary. When I don't shower before a shave I just apply a hot washcloth to my face for a minute.
So, today I shaved with 4 days growth - so a pretty good chunk of whiskers for me (granted, I don't have a heavy beard).

A took a warm shower with CeraVe Moisturizing facial soap, followed by Proraso Red pre-shave. I found it softened my whiskers and I had a smooth comfortable shave.

I was skeptical of preshave products. They just seemed gimmicky to me.
However, I stumbled across a jar of Proraso white preshave for $4 at TjMaxx the other day. I love every Proraso product I've tried so far, so I decided to give it a whirl.
I am impressed! Not a huge difference during the shave. The blade seemed to be cutting a bit more easily. The big difference was that I had no irritation afterwards, even on my neck where there is almost always some soreness post shave.
Definitely more experimentation needed as this was just the first use though.
I suppose I should make my thoughts more clear. There are preshave products that can help with slickness for soaps that are not top performers. Products like The Cube/Tube I wash my face with in the shower even if I don't use them as preshaves. The mentholated ones are an extra treat in that they can add menthol to soaps without menthol. Sometimes very nice indeed. I would rather use a mentholated Cube/Tube to add to my soap than menthol drops. Proraso green may not add much slickness, but, it provides a nice menthol blast and it is probably good for the skin. I have struggled with a few A&E soaps and have found A&E's Slick Stick product helps those soaps out a lot. Are they necessary? No they are not, but, they can help under the right conditions. It is an additional tool. I don't use my top performing soaps every day. I get enjoyment out of scents and these products help me to enjoy my non top tier, or even middle tier soaps. Admittedly not everyone cares about this stuff, but, they can help those of us who do.
For slickness, Ach Brito makes a glycerin soap that really works. I don't use it daily, but with several days growth I'll shower, wash my face and head with the Glyce soap, rinse and then lather. I believe it really adds slickness. As was mentioned in the OP, most of the pre-shave products are to help hydrate the skin, not make your razor glide. Hydrated skin is more flexible and less likely to rip or tear. Hydrating the skin has been going on for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians used skin treatments to cleanse and soften (in addition to drinking beer with a straw). Moisturizing should be part of any daily skin care, particularly as one ages. It can be done anytime, not necessarily pre-shave.


Goose Poop Connoisseur
I’ve never used pre-shave product but now that the weather is cooling and the dry heat permeates the house, I rub on a bit of Nivea before lathering then before my aftershave.
Currently dry rubbing a CeraVe bar against the beard, wetting, then adding a squirt of Elegance Plus gel as a pre-shave routine. Seems to help wet and slicken my beard before lathering, but I'm not sure to what degree.

May just can the whole non-scientific "experiment" and return to simply lathering up. Hell, trying (and abandoning) different things is a big part of the hobby aspect of wet shaving. Who knows? I may actually come up with something that works.


Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
I’m surprised no one uses Amazon’s store version of Cremo as a pre-shave as the first three ingredients are water, dimethicone, and glycerin. It might even work as a shaving cream, but I’m only mumbling about pre-shave stuff.
Put me in the "meh, can't be bothered" camp :p

I only ever shave after showering, and when I towel off, I dry everything but my face and neck. Then I lather it up, shave it, apply alum, leave while cleaning up, then rinse off before applying some witch hazel followed by moisturiser.

That whole ritual feels decadent enough...
I use the Proraso Green preshave with the Proraso Green cream on my neck which is suceptible to irritation. This probably credits outstanding marketing by Proraso. :smile:
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