Preshave gel: increases comfort, decreases closeness?

Discussion in 'Shave School' started by MaxG, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. MaxG

    MaxG Well-Known Member

    For the last week or two, I've begun using aloe vera gel as a preshave on my neck to preemptively deal with a small bit of irritation I sometimes notice. The results: the shaves have been super comfortable, no irritation, and, less close than before.

    Is this a coincidence? Or is adding another layer of stuff between the razor and my skin just keeping the blade that tiny bit further away, thus leaving more behind than it would otherwise, which sounds logical to me?

    To be clear, my shaves are perfectly acceptable; just not as close as before. I definitely notice stubble sooner after a shave now that I"m using the gel.

    Your thoughts, gentlemen?


    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
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  2. BigMark83

    BigMark83 [...........] this space intentionally left blank

    Well aloe vera gel is thick. I don't use a preshave anyway besides taking a shower. I don't feel they are necessary, but YMMV.
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  3. MaxG

    MaxG Well-Known Member

    I never used any either, until I read a posting by another member that recommended it. I had some redness on my lower neck that really didn't bother me, in fact I couldn't even feel it, but it was there and I'd rather it not be.

    It makes sense that there's an inverse relationship between the amount of stuff on top of your skin and how close the razor can shave you, but I don't recall anyone ever saying that. Maybe it's just too obvious.

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  4. Hembree

    Hembree Not as pretty smelling

    I do not use pre-shave oil. I though I would smart one day and try a little coconut oil before I lathered up. It did not work. It felt like is created a suction between the razor and my skin and hindered the glide to the max. With a good shave soap shave oil it not necessary but that is just me.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
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  5. PLAla

    PLAla Bit Shy of a Full Puck

    Less is more. I think aloe would be thick and a little sticky on dry down. Focus on angle and shaving with the grain on your neck. Pre shave products are not the end-all-be-all. Technique trumps tools.
  6. Leclec13

    Leclec13 Well-Known Member

    I like pre shave products.
    It is much about hydrating facial hair in preparation to be cut.
    Try the aloe but with thinner application or dilute
    Try aloe as a post shave.
    Try a light coat of pre shave oil... most kitchen oils, olive oil/avocado oil will work
    +1 on technique
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  7. MR41

    MR41 Well-Known Member

    @OP- my experience with pre-shaves is the same as yours. I’ve wondered if pure glycerin might be comfortable and still close.
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  8. MaxG

    MaxG Well-Known Member

    Good thought...
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  9. Norcalnewb

    Norcalnewb Magnanimous Moos

    Is the reduced irritation due to less exfoliating going on since the shave was not as close? In my experience, pre-shaves have little to no effect on the shave.
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  10. MaxG

    MaxG Well-Known Member

    That's what I suspect, as I've used the same blades and mostly the same razors during this time. The question is, are the shaves less close due to the preshave gel. I suspect the answer is yes.

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  11. Norcalnewb

    Norcalnewb Magnanimous Moos

    I suspect it was a slight change in technique. There is no reason for the pre-shave oil to change how the razor cuts the hair. That is a angle of attack issue.
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  12. BigMark83

    BigMark83 [...........] this space intentionally left blank

    Dude, he uses Aloe Vera gel.
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  13. Norcalnewb

    Norcalnewb Magnanimous Moos

    Same difference when it comes to effect on the razor.
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  14. BigMark83

    BigMark83 [...........] this space intentionally left blank

    :happy088:, if you say so.
  15. ordinaryshaver

    ordinaryshaver Well-Known Member

    @OP have you considered using witch hazel instead if the aloe vera?
    Perhaps on or before the against the grain pass, try a modified pass with only using witch hazel.
    May not work, but couldn't hurt.
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  16. brit

    brit in a box

    where have i heard this before...
  17. ordinaryshaver

    ordinaryshaver Well-Known Member

    Well, when it's a good idea, it's a good idea.
    I'm just gonna claim that I came up with it.
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  18. Sara-s

    Sara-s This Pun for Hire

    I’ve never used aloe, but always use a pre-shave oil. I find it very helpful in reducing razor friction. My husband gets the same result.
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  19. brit

    brit in a box

    i 'll say i heard of it from fuzzy a couple of years good..
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  20. RyX

    RyX DoH!

    I've had good results using two glycerin based products after reading the ingredients of a number of items. I find these leave my skin in better condition post shave.

    I purchased Proraso Green Pre & Post shave cream because I like the eucalyptus & menthol of the tubbed soap , and the scent of the AS lotion. After wetting my stubble I scrub in an almond sized dose of the soft soap. Right away I enjoy the menthol cooling effect. Leaving it on as I prepare my lather, then lather directly over the preshave soap. Unlike the only preshave oil (Shave Secret) I've tried this product enhances the slip and glide of my soap and razor. I also have Proraso's Red sandalwood soap & AS lotion and plan to purchase the matching preshave cream. The maker suggest the pre shave can also be used as a post shave balm but I haven't tried that.

    I tried an experiment with a similar product - Colonel Conk lime scented soap. Using my brush I applied a somewhat thick coat of the glycerin based lather. Thick as in not hydrated the way it would be if I was using it as my primary lather. Over that I applied RazoRock Lime Burst (What The Puck; Italian triple milled tallow soap) hydrated to my normal slightly wetter, just right for a SR shave lather. In this case it also seemed to give an extra bit of slipperiness.

    Shave Secret pre shave oil? I tried it for a month. It didn't give me any added benefit. Seemed to gunk up my razors. It also had a slightly bay rum-ish scent which is one I don't enjoy.
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