To apply Pre-shave or not


Forum GOD!
I am a Noob (well, a returnee, after 30 years) to DE shaving.
Amongst other purchases, I bought some Proraso Eucalyptus Oil and Menthol Pre Shave Cream,
but am wondering by the third pass, whether this is really adding anything.
The obvious answer is to stop using it and see if I feel a difference, but due to my relative inexperience, all shaves feel different and though my technique is improving, I am far from feeling a “standard” shave.

I wonder if there are any long time safety razor users still applying preshave?


I use it if I have more than two days growth, or if I have not had a shower immediately prior to shaving.
The proraso is great, if a little heavy, but I like the sensation it my face.
Sometimes I use it on its own on a third pass.


Grumpy old man
Maybe just wait until you are getting good shaves consistently and then experiment with using pre shaves. By then you should be able to tell easily if it is improving your shaves or not.

Been wet shaving on and off for about 50 years now but a few years back tried some pre shaves out. For me it did not add anything to the shaves I was getting so I do not use them. That is not to say others would not find pre shaves add to their shaving results. Everyone is different so you may find pre shaves helpful if you try them after you are getting good shaves consistently.



Forum GOD!
I think the idea is to hydrate the beard. If I shave after a shower & a face wash I use no pre shave, but if I am doing a stand alone shave I might wet my face and work some Noxzema face cleansing cream into my beard, leave it there for a minute, rinse most of it off, & then lather. Or I will begin a face lather, leave it on my face while I return to the mug to rake some more soap, & then return to my face.

All that said, I have gotten hundreds of excellent shaves without any preshave ritual other than a splash of water. Try it all sorts of ways; you'll discover what you like, & what works best for you.


Eats steel for lunch
I think (doesn’t mean I’m right) the idea of the preshave is to capture the moisture in your beard, once you’ve hydrated it with a face wash, a hot towel, a shower, etc. The oil/grease then seals it in the whiskers and doesn’t let them dry out, either by air, or the soap. This in theory means an easier and closer shave. In theory.....

Some preshaves claim to add slickness to your shave, but I doubt oils would do it (they do not in my case, they only stand in the way). Creams such as Proraso do, of that I’m certain - again, my experience only.

As stated, you gotta figure it out for yourself. I wouldn’t worry about it too much though - if you have some, use it, no point of it sitting on a shelf. If you get annoyed by it clogging your razor (for example), you’ll quickly stop using it. :wink:


Forum GOD!
Staff member
In my honest opinion, preshave adds an element of slickness which is useful when using straight razors. However this could also be down to my technique. As with DE razors, I started of with a pre shave till my technique surpassed the need for it.

Now I only own Murdock pre shave oil and I only buy it when on offer (£5 large bottle).


Forum GOD!
Thank you all for your replies.
There’s a lot of stuff out there and I wonder if some of it is “smoke and mirrors”.
Just the fact that some are using this with a great deal more experience keeps it on the list for me.
Obviously, everything is subjective for us all and I will be experimenting, but the beauty of a friendly forum is the ability to sort the wheat from the chaff far more quickly.
Thank you for sharing your experience and I apologise if some of my questions are naive.


Forum GOD!
Staff member
It's such a personal hobby that some may feel pre shave is a necessity. At the end of the day if it's works for you, it's your face, therefore who is to say otherwise :)


Forum GOD!
My skin is very dry by nature and a medical treatment with cortison didn't helped either. But since I apply organic coconut oil (less than a fingernail amount) every day (after cleaning my face with warm to hot water first, hydrating my stubble too) my skin and my shaves got much better! I combine the coconut oil with the Proraso pre-shave cream, as it adds to the smoothness (for me). In the end, I want a comfortable shave (mostly every day) and these two help it.

Steve Bowles

There are two downsides to pre-shave oil: 1) the expense of using something your soap/cream should be handling; 2) the fact that most oils will clog up your razor with oil, stubble, and soap/cream. As long as you remember to loosen the razor heads and really rinse off the crud that's built up, you should have no problems. Or, you could use Panna Crema Nuavia and not worry about it.