Pre-Shave Cream: What Does It Do And Do I Need It?

Welcome back to another edition of #BarberTalk by New York Barbers, where you receive professional advice from real, qualified barbers about men’s grooming.

This week we are on the topic of Shaving, in particular using what is called a ‘Pre-Shave’ cream.

We discuss what it actually does, how it will benefit you and reduce the irritation you may experience when you shave.

What Is “Pre-Shave Cream”?

As the name suggests, a Pre-Shave cream is used before shaving and applying the actual shaving cream. It is pretty straightforward, however very effective for a close, comfortable shave. The Pre-Shave Cream prepares for a shave, softening the skin as well as softening your facial hairs, making it easier for the razor blade to glide along as you shave.

At New York Barbers, a Pre-Shave Cream is the first step of our shaving process in the barbershop. It allows us to do all we can to ensure we prep the face before shaving, and avoid the razor pulling the hairs instead of shaving them.

How Will It Benefit Me?

The Pre-Shave Softens the beard before you apply your shaving cream. By the time you start to shave, those hairs have been softened and will be much easier and more comfortable to shave.

This is especially beneficial to men with thick, dense facial hair. Often thick facial hair is harder to shave. It also really helps for those with sensitive skin, who tend to rash up when shaving and have ingrown hairs afterwards.

Skin Irritation From Shaving

For men who are seeking the most comfortable and clean shave, or suffer from sensitivity when shaving - whether it is pulling hairs instead of clean shaving them, razor burn/rash or ingrown hairs, we always recommend a Pre-Shave Cream.

Like getting in shape is 80% Diet and 20% Exercise, a Shave is 80% preparing the skin & hair, and 20% actually shaving. The shaving is a breeze if the skin is well prepared.

So, Which One Do I Use?

Here at New York Barbers, we look no further than Proraso for all of our shaving products. We use and recommend Proraso and have since opening in 2014. Proraso is Made In Italy and a pioneer in the shaving industry.

Their knowledge and experience with shaving products is second to none.

And of course, we use the Proraso Pre & After Shave Cream

From Proraso: “It’s 1948: a small Florentine laboratory is experimenting on formulas that work, studying new products. It’s a time of innovation and change, a time to trust in the future and in a small business that they want to grow. This was the year of the Pre and After Shave Cream, which surprised with its freshness and efficacy: it was first embraced by Italian barbers and then by an ever-growing number of home shavers. The way of shaving changed in an Italy that craved change.”

When it was made, The Proraso Pre-Shave Cream was Known to the locals as the “Pre-Barba Miracolo” –  (The Pre-Shave Miracle)

The Proraso Pre-Shave Cream is a 2 in 1! Not only is it a Pre-Shave Cream, it is also an After-Shave Cream as well, used to soothe, seal and protect the skin.

Like all of it’s shaving products, Proraso offers it’s Pre & After Shave Cream based on your skin\facial hair type.

1: Normal Skin

Their Original Line, The All Rounder. Any Green Labeled Proraso product is part of the ‘Refresh’ range, formulated for Normal Skin/Facial hair with Eucalyptus and Menthol that gives a very refreshing smell and feeling on the skin.

2: Sensitive Skin

One of the top things that sets Proraso above others is their ability to cater to everyone’s different skin type. Any White labeled Proraso Product is part of their ‘Sensitive’ range.

Some guys have more sensitive skin than others and when it comes to shaving, razor burn, rashes and irritation  can be an issue. This is where a Pre-Shave Cream really comes in handy to soften the skin and prepare for a comfortable shave. But it’s even better to have one formulated just for sensitive skin, infused with Green Tea and Oatmeal Extract.

It is a gentle cream with a mild fragrance suitable for the most sensitive skin. With a thick concentrated texture, it softens the beard, helping the razor glide smoothly over the skin to prevent damage and irritation

After shaving, use it to smooth the skin, prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs.

3: Thick Facial Hair

Thick, dense facial is harder to shave as we mentioned before. To ensure a clean, smooth and comfortable shave, preparation is key for thick facial hair and this is where a Pre-Shave Cream really helps.

All Red Proraso Products are within the ‘Nourish’ class and are formulated with Sandalwood and Shea butter for intense moisturising.

Designed to nourish and protect a course beard and dry skin, it is highly concentrated to ensure it softens a thick beard, to help the razor glide smoothly over the skin, preventing damage and irritation.

You can then use it after shaving, to nourish the skin and to protect from irritation and ingrown hairs.


Thank You for reading! We hope this was insightful and can help you have a better and more comfortable shave at home.

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