There is no doubt about it! When it comes to shaving, in particular, the gentlemanly art of classic shaving, Proraso is a name that’s synonymous with whipping out a razor and shaving brush.
For over 100 years, products from this Italian birthed company has been gracing dusty barber shop shelves and shaving cabinets around the world.
One of the first products to be created was Proraso Pre-Shave Cream. Known to the locals as “Pre-Barba Miracolo”, the pre-shave miracle. A cream that was claiming to lubricate the face and soften the whiskers before shaving. Making the shaving experience far more pleasurable.
my local barber Guido has had Proraso on his shelves for as long as I can remember. Having next to no knowledge about wet shaving, I’d asked him about Proraso a few times over the years. His heavily accented reply was not rude, but more, dismissive I guess. As far as he was concerned, Proraso was such a staple in Italy, I may as well have been asking about “bread!”
A Little History
In 1926, although considered a relative newcomer to wet shaving, safety razors were becoming more & more popular. Gentleman had a number of products (both home-made and commercial), they could use to soften their whiskers.
The setting is the beautiful Italian city of Florence, and through the efforts of Ludovico Martelli, Proraso was born. In fact the combination of ingredients were so unique, the well guarded formula has been passed down from generation to generation.
Now 90 years on, their line of shaving products can be found around the globe, with their “Pre-Barba Miracolo” Eucalyptus and Menthol Pre-Shave Cream leading the way.
When I first began to delve into the world of classic shaving, Proraso Pre-Shave Cream kept popping up. And to be honest, I didn’t pay all that much attention. It really wasn’t until I was well into classic shaving that I decided to give it go.
So one fine sunny day, I travelled to my local shaving store to buy some. The first thing I noticed was the choices I had. As well as the original Eucalyptus and Menthol, there was also “Sensitive” and “Sandalwood & Shea Butter” as viable options as well.
Although tempted, I decide to stick with my initial choice of Eucalyptus and Menthol. I pick up the jar, turn it around and begin to read. I like to know what I’m slapping on my skin so at this point, I check out the Ingredients and I see as follows:
Aqua (Water), Stearic Acid, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Camphor, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Menthol, Parfum (Fragrance), Geraniol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Coumarin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Eucalyptol, Sodium Benzoate,Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA.
I found nothing particularly alarming and let’s be honest, after nearly a century of production, it’s fair to say that Proraso Pre-Shave is safe to use.
Moment of Truth
I was pretty excited to try out my newly purchased product. I had no hesitation in bolting into my bathroom and preparing my face for the impending razor onslaught. With my face sufficiently hydrated, I began to apply the cream as per instructions.
I rubbed the Proraso liberally into my face, then I went about creating my lather while I gave it time to do its stuff. After a minute or two, I lathered up my visage and made the first stroke with my blade.
At this point I’d love to tell you that my razor gracefully drifted down my cheek with no hint of resistance…but I’d be lying. Now don’t get me wrong, yes it did lubricate my face and make the shave easier, but for me, the difference wasn’t night and day. Interestingly, the difference for some other users however is exactly that. With thousands of reviews across the web, they absolutely swear by this miracle cream’s pre-shave qualities and wouldn’t consider using anything else. A couple of happy users give us their opinion:
“A product that works! Apply very sparingly to the slightly wet face and and give it time to work,say one minute and then lather your face. Your eyes will water a little from the menthol but dont worry it soon wares off. Your shave will be smooth and it will be more productive. There is no need to add more Proraso pre shave cream. For the record I use the Proraso sensitive skin shaving cream. The pre-shave cream can be used as a post shave cream but again use sparingly.”
“The pre-shave cream in combination with authentic Proraso shave cream is simply outstanding, and if you take a moment to prep your skin properly this combination will change your shave for the rest of your life. I have many products from many companies for different smells, feels and moods, but when I want a shave free of razor burn guaranteed, I’m reaching for Proraso.”
Only Half The Story
The story doesn’t end here my friends. As the name suggests, although Proraso is mainly used as a pre-shave, I found it brilliant as a post-shave cream.
As well as being a precursor to my aftershave balm, I found it to provide my skin with a good initial barrier. Secondly, the refreshing punch in the face I got was great. Some blokes might find it too overpowering and won’t particularly enjoy that sensation, but for me…awesome! Particularly here in Australia on a warm summer’s day.
At A Glance:
- Packaging: Jar
- Volume: 100ml (3.6oz)
- Scent: Eucalyptus & Menthol
- Price: Approx $13. Click for Today’s Price at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or West Coast Shaving
- My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
In wrapping up, I found Proraso Pre-Shave to be a great product. Although I didn’t get the pre-shave results I originally envisaged, as a post-shave application, I found it fantastic!
I always have a jar in my shaving cabinet and who knows, I might even be tempted to try some of Proraso’s other pre-shave offerings. I’ll let you know my experience about those in future reviews!
As usual, I’d love to hear about your Proraso thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
Time to get your shave on! 😉