09-02-2018, 08:24 AM
#1
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
User Info
Like most of you, I've tried a number of pre-shave products, including creams, lotions and oils. Back in 2012, when I started this wonderful journey, they were recommended by many shavers, so I thought it'd be nice to give them a try. Also, it was easy to find them here, so no online purchases for them.

With the exception of some oils I tried and stopped almost immediately using, some creams and lotions( p.e. Proraso and EJ) gave me a nice feeling. The ones I tried had a nice menthol touch. As a beginner I thought that they play a role in the efficiency of the shave itself, except of the nice and refreshing feeling. For some reason, I used to feel safer back then when using them. They worked as a placebo, if I can say that.

At some point, I stopped using any of them, gave them to friends to choose for themself if they work or not. I understood that they don't really play any role, except of the nice feeling. You won't have a better or closer shave. That's what I truly believe. It's all about the shaving technique after all. I haven't used any pre-shave product for years now and I never actually needed them since then.

All I do now is to apply warm water to the shaving area with my hands or the brush I'm about to use and work the lather for about a minute on my face before start shaving. Pretty simple I'd say. And that's it. I never face-lather, the warm lather you get from a scuttle is out of competition, really. I just work for some time the lather to prepare the beard. I found that it's enough to prepare you beard for a great shave. My shaves now are better than ever, leaving any pre-shave product out of the den.

To me, it's interesting that when a beginner faces some problems and asks for answers/ suggestions on forums, most gents ask about the pre-shave routine, instead of recommending him to improve his technque, stop buying new products, and focus on those he already has. Money won't buy the techinque you look for...


So, in my honest opinion, they are redundant. And that's just an opinion based on my experience. I'd save my money for other products.



What's your opinion? Do they work for you? Would you say that they offer a superior, closer shave?

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 09-02-2018, 10:05 AM
#2
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In my experience, pre shave products are unecessary if you do a proper pre shave prep.  However, if you enjoy them as part of your routine, go ahead and use them.

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 09-02-2018, 10:59 AM
#3
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I've tried a few products, and they seemed to have no effect on the shave.  So I shrugged and quit trying them.

I do moisturize my face after showering, but that doesn't improve the shave as far as I can tell.

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 09-02-2018, 11:40 AM
#4
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I only ever tried the AOS oil that came with my kit. I used it 2 or 3 times and it was worse than when I skipped it (made my skin sticky, not slick). AOS was cool though, they let me trade it for full credit towards a second aftershave balm (which are fantastic in my opinion).

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 09-02-2018, 11:47 AM
#5
  • DanLaw
  • Just an old slow fat man
  • Peachtree City, GA
User Info
Have been using the preproduction preshave in various iterations for past month or two. Was reticent to test the product as Grooming Dept. soaps had made every shave issue disappear even on my extremely sensitive skin so that when combined with the rest of cherry picked shave products (Simpson brush, Wolfman razor, Thayers Medicated witch hazel, Pitralon AS, ABC AS balm) am able to shave daily for first time in life without looking as though the loser of a Marseilles Docks razor fight.


A simple to the point assessment is: be prepared to be amazed. Any areas that might cause irritation such as the coup d'grace stroke under the nose are made brainless, efficient and drag free. The only caution is that this preshave works so well, it masks a weak soap's inefficiencies. Guys you absolutely have to try this! As impossible as it may seem, it even makes Grooming Dept soaps perform better - for example, no longer need bother holding the laryngeal prominence to one side, ha!


Getting a couple for me and one for a friend when available

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 09-02-2018, 12:54 PM
#6
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
User Info
(09-02-2018, 11:47 AM)DanLaw Wrote: Have been using the preproduction preshave in various iterations for past month or two. Was reticent to test the product as Grooming Dept. soaps had made every shave issue disappear even on my extremely sensitive skin so that when combined with the rest of cherry picked shave products (Simpson brush, Wolfman razor, Thayers Medicated witch hazel, Pitralon AS, ABC AS balm) am able to shave daily for first time in life without looking as though the loser of a Marseilles Docks razor fight.


A simple to the point assessment is: be prepared to be amazed. Any areas that might cause irritation such as the coup d'grace stroke under the nose are made brainless, efficient and drag free. The only caution is that this preshave works so well, it masks a weak soap's inefficiencies. Guys you absolutely have to try this! As impossible as it may seem, it even makes Grooming Dept soaps perform better - for example, no longer need bother holding the laryngeal prominence to one side, ha!


Getting a couple for me and one for a friend when available

So you're a reviewer of a preproduction preshave? Sounds good.

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 09-02-2018, 12:57 PM
#7
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
User Info
Something that worked for me in the past was the hot towels preshave preparation. It's very relaxing too. Unfortunately, it's time consuming. I don't want to spend more than 20 minutes on a shave, including the cleaning time of the equipment.

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 09-02-2018, 01:17 PM
#8
  • DannyZ
  • Member
  • Harker Heights, TX
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I wash my face with warm water and simply take my time face lathering.  Sometimes I spend 4-5 minutes lathering my face.  That's all the pre shave I need.

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 09-02-2018, 02:24 PM
#9
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I use one, sometimes, because I bought one. When I finish it, I'm finished with pre-shaves...... Sad

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 09-02-2018, 03:18 PM
#10
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I use a moisturizer with glycerin as a preshave treatment occasionally for about 2-3 minutes before building my lather, usually on the first shave or two of a new blade.  It may just be my imagination, but the moisturizer seems to smooth out the harshness slightly as the blade is breaking in.  (But then again, I also hand strop a new blade a few times.)

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 09-02-2018, 08:00 PM
#11
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My preshave routine is a good was with a good soap... but when I tried out the barbershop at an almost-local mall, he used an oil and hot towels to soften my whiskers. Luxurious, but time consuming and not something I could easily replicate at home.

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 09-02-2018, 08:29 PM
#12
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
User Info
I use the Proraso Sandalwood pre-post more for the scent of it than any shave related benefit. Smells nice, doesn’t do much else.

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 09-02-2018, 09:51 PM
#13
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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Pre-shave products just add time to the shave in my opinion and do not seem to have any impact on the end results.

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 09-02-2018, 10:32 PM
#14
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Mind you Phil, if you have the time it can be nice to extend the self-pampering Wink

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 09-02-2018, 10:47 PM
#15
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(09-02-2018, 10:32 PM)WegianWarrior Wrote: Mind you Phil, if you have the time it can be nice to extend the self-pampering Wink

True. I think hot towels and the like can help the beard prep but I have not noticed any improvement of the shave from the use of pre-shave oils or creams.

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 09-03-2018, 05:54 AM
#16
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I've been using pre-shave oil before every shave since I started traditional wet shaving about 3 years ago.  I always shave after a hot shower which may be all the prep I need.  But when I've forgotten to use the oil, I do notice a difference, albeit somewhat slight, in the quality of my shaves.  The first oil I used was Art of Shaving's Sandalwood pre shave oil which came in the kit my wife bought me to start me on this hobby.  I found AOS to be way to thick and heavy.  It gunked up the sink and it was expensive.  Tried TOBS and while it was thinner, it also was pretty expensive.  I have some Caswell Massey pre shave oil that I've been using and it has been the best so far.  And I have a bottle from another company and once it's finished, I'll just make my own using olive, grapeseed, almond, castor and jojoba oils in equal proportion.  I learned that castor oil is thick so too much of it is not so great.

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 09-03-2018, 05:59 AM
#17
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my 0.02. imho it may depend on weather. If you live in very cold, the pre-shave may be beneficial.

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 09-03-2018, 10:38 AM
#18
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(09-02-2018, 08:24 AM)nikos.a Wrote: Like most of you, I've tried a number of pre-shave products,

At some point, I stopped using any of them, gave them to friends to choose for themself if they work or not. I understood that they don't really play any role, except of the nice feeling. You won't have a better or closer shave. That's what I truly believe.

What's your opinion? Do they work for you? Would you say that they offer a superior, closer shave?

I have an empirical basis to testify of the efficacy.  

However, I do not have in my home any product labeled “pre-shave (anything).”  Like you, I am skeptical that the commercial products marketed specifically for shaving prep (other than the actual shaving soaps and creams are efficacious by themselves.  

However, I am completely convinced that a good soaking before shaving will produce a better shaving experience, and, ultimately, a closer, smoother shave with minimized irritation.  Professional barbers have not, for centuries, draped their customers’ faces with damp, hot towels before shaving for no reason.  

To the end of moisturizing my beard, and without the production equipment in my bathroom to heat the towel and lie back nearly horizontal with the towel laid on my face, I have found some very inexpensive commercial products aid me to moisturize my beard deeply before applying the shaving lather:  

1.  At the beginning of taking my shower before shaving, I wet my face and then rub a drop or two of ordinary hair conditioner between my palms and apply it to my beard area, leaving it there while I wash my body; then, at the end of my shower, I apply a soaking wet hot wash cloth to the beard area and hold it there for a few seconds before wiping the residual conditioner off.  Burt’s Bees More Moisture Baobab Conditioner is what happens to be in our shower at the moment, but I think that any other conditioner would perform the same function.

2.  After drying off, and while running the hot water into the sink for the shave, I run my fingertips across the top of a jar of Noxzema Classic Clean Original Deep Cleansing Cream, and apply the thinnest possible layer onto my beard area.  I do not wash the Noxzema off; I simply lather right over it.  I buy the Noxzema in the 12 oz. jar size for somewhere between $3.50 and $4.00, and a jar that size, its contents used daily, lasts well over six months, very possibly over a year:  the materials cost is so insignificant that I do not keep close track of it.   I know that on the days I am in a real hurry and skip the Noxzema step, the following shave is neither as comfortable nor as close as it is when I take the time to apply the Noxzema.

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 09-03-2018, 11:06 AM
#19
  • Steelman
  • SUPPORT OUR POLICE OFFICERS
  • Delaware
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I’ve tried more than a few. Most times I just use what’s left in my soap tin (as pre-shave) after my brush is loaded.

One product I continue to use is Baume.be pre shave. The only pre-shave that felt as though it helped with blade glide. And I like the smell and consistency. Not an oil - a clear gel with a little bit of oil - so it disappears easily. I don’t use it every shave. Mostly on weekends when I have more time. But I don’t consider it essential kit. Just indulgence.

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 09-03-2018, 11:58 AM
#20
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The pre shave oils work well for me. I have coarse hair and for me, it softens the hairs up for the shave. There is a noticeable difference for me.

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