Preshave gel: increases comfort, decreases closeness?

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

  1. MaxG

    MaxG Well-Known Member

    My new strategy is to apply aloe vera at night before bed and nothing preshave. I really don't think my technique changed coincidentally at the same time I started using a preshave.

    Time will tell.

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  2. b1hart

    b1hart Speed Racer

    I don't think an extra liquid layer will have an overall affect on the length of a hair shaft that gets cut, only the blade angle (technique) would change the length of hairs cut. But, I'm a math guy.....

    I like to use (and everyone in the 30DC thread knows :happy097:) Proraso Preshave Cream. $13 delivered via Amazon Prime (even less when ordered via the Subscribe and Save process). A jar lasts me over 3 months. I also have 3 preshave oils....each that I have tried 1, maybe 2 times. To me, it's about 'slickness'. The oils I have don't feel as slick as the Proraso product, and I can feel the difference with even mild razors I have. I also can tell immediately if I forget the Proraso preshave. I don't consider myself to have sensitive skin, but rather very thick hair shafts (every barber tells me this). When I don't go through my ritual of scrubbing and softening the facial hair, making things slick, the overall movement of the razor head is very 'tuggy' or 'drags' even with sharp blades on their first use. Whether or not any of this is placebo effect....don't know. But preshave cream works for my technique (and has a bonus of a great scent that almost works as well as coffee to wake me up :lyrtuy5: ).
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  3. MR41

    MR41 Well-Known Member

    Now that I think about it...I have a bottle of pure glycerine. It seems like it might be ok, but I used to have a dollar store shave gel that must have been pretty close to pure glycerine. it helped to a point,but could also gum up a razor( especially a tto).
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  4. brit

    brit in a box

    i have and like proraso pre shave.. don't usually shave in the mornings so it slickens things up a little , winter mostly as well.lately have been going without preshave for more realistic soap trial purposes..i like it either way..adds to the shave overall in a few ways for me..
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
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  5. Ron R

    Ron R Well-Known Member

    I have been using Aloe Vera Gel for many years for my hair and when I started to DE traditional shave I incorporated it into my preshave and it helps IMO for the last 2 + years.
    Aloe helps to sooth the skin and hydrate the whiskers and is inexpensive.

    Preshave is a grey area for some and I believe it can help the person shaving get a even better shave and the skin feeling great. It has taken me a while to find the right products and procedure to attain the desired results. This little procedure will give you excellent results and tweek it to your liking or don't use it at all!
    Aloe Vera Gel is one of the best natural moisturizes for hair and skin know to man, moistened whiskers means easier slicing for razor blade edge & there by reducing irritation and other undesirables .

    This will improve your shave to a more closer one in a Low humidity winter place especially or any environment if you are not having daily showers.
    1- wet the face with water and let it stay on wet.
    2- brush the teeth (2 minutes)
    3-wet face-put a hot or warm wet face cloth on the beard for 30-40 seconds and do it again for 30-40 seconds.(That is relaxing:happy108:)
    4- wet the face with water again.
    5- put some clear Aloe vera Gel ($ quarter Size)on the balm of your hands and rube it on the beard area.(this hydrates the beard to maximum)>(I bought this Aloe Vera Gel at Walmart)
    6- leave the aloe on the beard while mixing up the lather to let the hair follicles soak it up for optimum results.
    7- Put the Shave lather(Tabac-Arko....) right over the Aloe and shave with a rinsed warm wet razor!
    (I was applying the Aloe Gel on 1st step:rolleyes005:and its not as effective-apply on the 5th step for better results IMO):rolleyes:
    NOTE: if you just had a shower just apply the aloe vera gel over beard area and then mix lather and brush right over the beard and you should have one of your best shaves with good post shave results.
    This sequence of steps have given me excellent results in a cold dry climate like Northern Canada, it will work in any climate.
    Worth trying if you are not getting the good results with same shaving equipment in the summer months when humidity is higher-adds a few minutes to the shave if time is available. Check your humidity gauge if you have one:shocked003:
    Aloe has been a known for centuries as a healing agent for burns, minor cuts and moisturizer of skin and hair, heck even the cartridge manufactures have a Aloe moisturizer wear strips on their latest generation of blades. Its my new pre-shave holy grail, you can add a little oil to this to do trials and I have used Nivea natural Argan & joba oils body lotion. The skin just loves it with just a straight application of Aloe vera gel and I'm getting excellent close shaves with good skin tone.
    This clear Aloe Vera gel was hard to find, the Pharmacist asked me what I was searching for , he found it in the essential natural oils area not in the maze of body lotions at our local Walmart. Ask if you can not find it there, just a great product. I have been using different brands of Aloe Vera gel for my hair(dry hair problems) also over the last 20 years and it moisturizes my hair my greatly.
    Lots of folks are not sold on Pre-shave products because they shower every day and hydrate the beard whiskers some what and when they apply the pre-shave they do not notice much change IMO. For people who do not shower daily it will help soften the beard whiskers for the razor edge to slice them if a pre-shave product are used-law of physics "softer is easier to slice".
    Zykris, MaxG, MR41 and 2 others like this.
  6. Demidog

    Demidog Well-Known Member

    I shower daily and I typically shave right after I shower but I still feel that I benefit quite a bit from a good pre-shave. It's not so much about any added protection or slickness but more so about a quick-acting moisturizer that makes my skin feel a bit smoother and more supple. I have very dry skin in the winter so I feel like the pre-shave really helps to reduce friction.

    I can get a good shave without pre-shave and I can have a terrible shave even after using pre-shave. However if poor technique isn't a factor, then the pre-shave is like an extra layer of insurance that really helps to reduce razor burn. I don't know about gels but the cream that I use is really excellent. I tried a bunch before settling on my preferred one. Oils are cumbersome and cheap creams get washed off too easily without doing much.

    As always, it depends on the person - if pre-shave works for you, don't let anyone tell you otherwise and vice versa.
    brit likes this.
  7. MR41

    MR41 Well-Known Member

    It sounds like it’d be a pretty decent balm as well. Have you used it that way? Any comparisons to other readily available balms?
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  8. Ron R

    Ron R Well-Known Member

    I have used Aloe Vera gel a couple of times as a balm but I usually like my Nivea balm. If my face has been weather beaten it does give some comfort.
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  9. MR41

    MR41 Well-Known Member

    I’ve now used it and I think it’s great as a balm!
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  10. Carson West

    Carson West Well-Known Member

    I know that lubricants work by keeping two surfaces separated by a small fraction of an inch, as with piston and cylinder and blade and skin. I always shave after my evening shower, and my chin always gets red but not painful. Since the redness in gone by morning, I prefer not to add another layer of lube and to enjoy the closer shave that results.

    But if you intentionally wanted a shave that was slightly less close, I suppose you could save time and money simply by making two passes instead of three, or one pass instead of two, and foregoing the pre-shave.
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
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  11. MaxG

    MaxG Well-Known Member

    I agree. I don't see how you can add a layer of, really anything, between the blade and your skin and not have it reduce closeness. By definition that's really what you're doing.

    I'm skipping the gel as a preshave now, and just applying it at night before bed.

    Had my second roughest shave ever today, but it was my first time using my new to me Gem 1912. Gonna take some practice.

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  12. Carson West

    Carson West Well-Known Member

    I have a 1912. I bought some new blades for it and tried it a couple times, but it was also rough on my skin. I'll try it a couple more times before giving up on it.
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  13. MaxG

    MaxG Well-Known Member

    I've heard so many guys say it's their favorite I'm not going to give up yet. My first shave with my Slim looked like a slasher movie. Every shave after that was very good.

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  14. NTR

    NTR Well-Known Member

    I have 2 Proraso pre shave creams, one omega pre shave balm, and one L’Occitane pre shave oil. The oil does nothing for me. The others, I’m just not sure. After a lot of reading here, I stopped using them for the most part and I believe my shaves are better without. That said, I’ll break them out sometimes for fun - they smell good and feel good going on - but not the oil. I’ll probably never use that again.
    brit likes this.
  15. brit

    brit in a box

    i like and use the proraso pre shaves , not needed these days but fun to use up..
  16. canoeroller

    canoeroller Well-Known Member

    In my experience, Aloe added to a soap, will reduce irritation, and decrease the amount of slip in a soap. So it is a fine addition if your goal is to reduce the redness and itchiness. So it is a fine choice if you are hoping to avoid the rash that frequently goes along with Baby's Bottom Smoothness.
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  17. jimjo1031

    jimjo1031 never bloomed myself

    I used to use pre shave oils all the time, but discovered that with many soaps, it's not really needed. But saying that, I have sensitive skin and there are some times when my skin is a little red from the heat and humidity, I will put some on.
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  18. BigD

    BigD Well-Known Member

    Hmmm, anybody just use the excess bloom water for a pre-shave? Just poor what you need in your lather bowl, the rest to put on your face, and lather up in the bowl of bloom water after loading the brush?

    I was thinking of getting the Proraso pre/post shave creams to use as a post shave balm. Anyone use it as such? Does it work for post shave?
    brit likes this.
  19. brit

    brit in a box

    done all of the above, works well..all fun..
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  20. Paul Turner

    Paul Turner outside the quote(s) now

    I suppose one could count "in-shower bodywashes" as pre-shave gels. Most of them come out thick, just like a gel. And in my experience, they do get the whiskers ready to be shaved.
    brit likes this.

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