Is a Pre-shaving cream worth it?

Standard

The first time I came across a pre-shaving cream I was very skeptical.  The only reason I even looked into it any further was because of the great experience I’ve had with Proraso products in the past.  The reviews for it are great but the description left with some unanswered questions, namely what do you do with it?  I assumed perhaps it was something that you put on and then washed off before applying shaving cream.  This perception only served to increase my skepticism.  After doing some research I learned that you apply it before you shave and your shaving cream goes on top of it.

Proraso Pre-Shave CreamBeing happy with the brand as a whole I decided to take a chance.  It arrives in a very nice little glass jar that has survived many drops from 5 and a half feet without any damage.  Following the advice that I found online I applied the Proraso Pre-Shave Cream first.  It has the consistency of a face cream like Noxema.  Almost immediately I noticed a cooling sensation and within a moment I noticed that the hair felt softer.  I wasn’t sure how well applying shaving cream over the top of it was going to work.  I had imagined that it would simply move it around or wipe it off but I could not have been more wrong.

When applying the shaving cream over the top of the pre-shave cream the lather was much thicker and more full.  I have actually enjoyed shaving since I switched to a safety razor and Proraso Shave Cream, but this felt even better!  The Pre-Shave Cream really does make my skin feel great after I shave.  It doesn’t require much and a single container lasted for over a month.  I am extremely glad I took a chance on this.  I’m looking forward to trying their version with Eucalyptus Oil

So to answer the question.  While I can’t speak for all pre-shave creams, in the case of Proraso the answer is YES it is definitely worth it.

Shaving Brushes

Standard

In the past I was a canned shaving cream or gel kinda guy.  As I mentioned in an earlier post about shaving soap, I’ve recently moved over to using shaving soaps for a richer lather and better experience.  One of the key parts of this system is the shaving brush.  Seeing the old brush and mug always makes me think of Floyd the barber from The Andy Griffith Show.

When I decided to get one I figured one brush was as good as another.  I was wrong.  With a multitude of choices available it was a little difficult at first to know what to look for and why.  For starters I would recommend looking for a 100% Badger Brush at the least.  Why badger?  Badger hair is ideal due its ability to absorb and hold water.

As it turns out, all badger hair is apparently not created equal either.  Qualities of brushes vary depending on where the hair for the brush is harvested from on the animal.  The neck and under regions being of higher quality.  Most of this is best left for elitists to debate about.  What matters, and what you really want to look for is a brush that’s not too stiff that mistake it for a hedgehog doesn’t smell like a wet badger!

The Escali Badger Brusescalih is about $12.95 at time of writing and is a good brush to get started with.  It has no smell to it.  It will be a little stiff at first but breaking it in is as simple as wetting it and pushing it around your hand a bit.  The brushes tend to shed a few bristles at first but if it continues losing them its no good.

For a little more money WSP makes very nice brushes like their High Density Badger Brush or if you desperately need to rid yourself of about $130 you can go for the King of Shaving Brushes.  Feel free to send me one too!  As for shaving bowls, you probably don’t need one.  Most soaps come in a container of some sort and a ceramic mug works just as well if they don’t

Shaving Cream – Proraso Shaving Soap

Standard

Shaving was never an enjoyable experience for me.  From the moment I started in my teens until a few months ago, shaving has always left my neck irritated and red.  I tried many things over the years in my pursuit to minimize the discomfort including various “Sensitive Skin” shaving creams and gels.

Some products like Nivea’s Sensitive Skin Shaving Gel and Aveeno’s Shave Gels seemed to work better than most, but it wasn’t enough to keep my neck from looking red and feeling irritated by the end of a day.  At most I could shave once every 2 to 3 days without doing any serious damage.  Any sooner and I risked prolonged irritation.  Heat and stress only compounded the issue which is why the redness of my neck on our wedding day could only be hidden with the magic of lots of Photoshop.

prorasoShaveCreamIt wasn’t until a year or so I decided to try something new that I had been on the fence about.  I had heard and read a lot of good things about Proraso Shaving Soap, but having been burnt so many times in the past I was skeptical.  After a particularly irritating shave I took the plunge and ordered it from Amazon.  The difference was TREMENDOUS!

Not having tried non-canned creams or gels before I wasn’t sure what to expect.  The consistency is lighter and fluffier than “hockey puck” style soaps I have seen.  A little water a good brush stirs up a really nice lather.  I could tell the difference from anything else as soon as I used it.  The coverage was thicker and my skin actually felt different.  Shaving felt different but the real test would be afterwards.

I chose a Eucalyptus scent which was very subtle when shaving and essentially undetectable afterward.  However they do make an Ultra Sensitive Skin Shave Soap that both my wife and I also like.  After shaving I immediately noticed that I didn’t have the burning sensation that I had become so accustom to, and the irritation and redness at the end of the day were significantly reduced!  My wife who is a tougher critic, also found that it made for a much better shave.

I think my only regret in all of this is that I didn’t discover it sooner and waited so long to try it.  Whether you have sensitive skin or not, if you shave, take the chance and give this a shot and you won’t be disappointed.

You can pick it up in the following 3 variations:

prorasoShaveCream prorasoShaveCream2 prorasoShaveCream3