6 Best Pre-Shave Cream for All Skin Types: Your In-Depth Buying Guide

by Jay Kang | Posted on September 17th, 2023
pre shave cream

Do you cringe at the thought of shaving, anticipating the skin irritation that follows? Or perhaps you’re a shaving enthusiast keen on maximizing comfort and achieving that perfect, smooth shave? Either way, choosing the right pre-shave cream is a game-changer, and you’ve come to the right place to learn exactly how to do that.


Let’s guide you through the science and subtleties of pre-shave creams and oils, transforming your shave from a dreaded chore to a comfortable, enjoyable experience.

Recognizing Sensitive Skin: Your First Step

Let’s kick off this in-depth guide by answering a question that can revolutionize your shaving experience: Do you have sensitive skin? You might be quick to dismiss it, but there’s more to sensitive skin than obvious irritation. Here are some signs you should consider:

  • Redness and itchiness after shaving: These are often mistaken for ‘regular’ post-shave discomfort but could indicate a higher sensitivity level.
  • Adverse reactions to fragrances or soaps: Notice a sting or itch when you apply a new soap or aftershave? It might be more than just disliking the scent.
  • A tingling sensation from alcohol-based products: Alcohol strips the skin of its natural oils, and if you experience an unusually intense tingling or burning, you probably have sensitive skin.
  • Skin dryness and flakiness: This could be a general condition, but if it’s worse after shaving, then your skin might need more care.
  • Frequent sunburns and breakouts: If your skin tends to react more severely to UV rays or is prone to acne, it likely has a lower threshold for irritation.

Understanding your skin type is the cornerstone of not just choosing the right pre-shave cream but also of an effective skincare routine.

Pre-Shave Creams and Oils: What Are They, Really?

So you’ve heard of pre-shave creams and oils but are still a bit fuzzy on the details. No worries, let’s dig deep. At their core, pre-shave creams and oils aim to prepare your skin and facial hair for what’s to come: the actual shaving. But how exactly do they accomplish this?

  • Lubrication: Think of it as creating a frictionless slide for your razor. The less drag you have, the smoother the shave and the lower the risk of post-shave irritation.
  • Conditioning: Top-notch pre-shave products come packed with a blend of beneficial oils like sweet almond, olive, or grapeseed oils. These not only keep your skin moisturized but also have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

Don’t let the extra step in your routine put you off. A better shaving experience is well worth those extra seconds.

The Fundamentals of Choosing Your Pre-Shave Product

Now that we’re all on the same page about what pre-shave creams and oils do, let’s talk about what makes one product superior to another.

Ingredients You’d Want:

  • Carrier Oils: Unlike essential oils, carrier oils like grapeseed and sweet almond oil are less concentrated but deeply moisturizing.
  • Beneficial Essential Oils: Essential oils like lavender and chamomile are gentle on the skin and offer a soothing fragrance without the bite of chemical additives.

What to Avoid:

  • Parabens: Far from preserving your skin, these preservatives can potentially mess with your hormone levels.
  • Petroleum byproducts: Always check to see if the petroleum in your pre-shave oil is refined and free of carcinogenic compounds.
  • Artificial fragrances: For sensitive skin, synthetic scents can be a recipe for disaster, triggering everything from irritation to outright allergic reactions.

Size and Affordability:

Though you’ll use only a tiny amount each time you shave, considering the volume of the product is important. Think about how often you shave and how long a bottle or jar will last you. While cost-saving is good, remember to first do a patch test to avoid potential allergic reactions.

The Top Picks: Recommendations You Can Trust

Let’s get into the heart of the matter—here are some pre-shave products that are making waves.


The Art of Shaving Sandalwood Pre Shave Oil

  • Best For: Premium Skin Protection

Why You Should Consider This:
The Art of Shaving’s Sandalwood Pre-Shave Oil offers a luxurious blend of essential oils designed to guard against common shaving woes like razor burns and ingrown hairs. Its signature sandalwood scent turns a mundane routine into an invigorating ritual.

Additional Buying Insights:
This product excels in moisturizing the skin, thus creating a smoother shaving surface. The essential oils have natural antiseptic properties, making it a wise choice for those prone to skin irritations or infections.


The Art of Shaving Pre-Shaving Gel – High-Quality Gel

  • Best For: Versatility and Lubrication

Why You Should Consider This:
For gel aficionados, The Art of Shaving brings you a high-quality pre-shave gel that stands apart. Its premium formula provides excellent lubrication and moisturization.

Additional Buying Insights:
This gel is well-suited for all skin types, providing a versatile option if you’re looking for a change from oils or creams. Its lightweight texture also makes it easy to wash off, making your grooming routine a breeze.


Proraso White Pre-Shaving Cream

  • Best For: Sensitive Skin

Why You Should Consider This:
If sensitive skin has been your bane, Proraso White Pre-Shaving Cream is the reprieve you’ve been waiting for. Formulated with oats, green tea, and coconut oil, this product offers a soothing shave that won’t irritate the skin.

Additional Buying Insights:
The cream’s unique combination of ingredients serves a dual purpose: calming skin while also moisturizing it. The subtle, fruity scent is an added bonus, invigorating your senses during the morning shave.


Proraso Pre-Shave Cream (Green) – Refreshing

  • Best For: All Skin Types, Morning Routine

Why You Should Consider This:
Looking for a universal pre-shave product that adds a zest to your mornings? Proraso’s green-cap version contains menthol and eucalyptus, designed to open pores and tone the skin for a refreshing start.

Additional Buying Insights:
Menthol serves as an antiseptic, which means it helps in preventing post-shave irritations. This cream is versatile enough to suit all skin types, making it a sensible choice for households with multiple users.


Proraso Pre-Shave Cream (Red) – Manly Smell

  • Best For: Coarse Beard, Versatile Use

Why You Should Consider This:
For those grappling with a coarse beard, this red-cap variety from Proraso is your best ally. Shea butter is the star ingredient here, designed to soften tougher hair follicles for a smoother shave.

Additional Buying Insights:
The mild sandalwood scent adds a manly touch without being overpowering. Being suitable for all skin types, you can use this pre-shave cream without worry, no matter your skin’s particular needs.


Proraso Pre-Shave Cream (Blue) – Good for Dry Skin

  • Best For: Dry Skin, Protective Shave

Why You Should Consider This:
Proraso’s blue-cap version offers an extra layer of protection against irritations, making it ideal for those with dry skin. A formulation rich in aloe vera, vitamin E, and licorice root extract ensures a comforting shave.

Additional Buying Insights:
The cream’s thickness adds an extra layer of defense against razor burns. Plus, the added vitamins and natural extracts promote skin health, so you’re getting skincare benefits as well.


Concluding Thoughts

Selecting the right pre-shave cream or oil is more than just a checkbox in your grooming routine; it’s an investment in your skincare. Whether you have sensitive skin or are just seeking a more comfortable shave, the proper pre-shave product can make all the difference. Remember to factor in your skin type, read through the ingredient list carefully, and, most importantly, listen to what your skin is telling you. With this guide, you’re well on your way to a far better shaving experience.

Last update on 2024-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links.

Jay Kang

Just because i'm asian does not mean I don't need shaving. I always wanted to grow a beard when I was young, now I need to shave because hair growth for me is a problem. I'm going through what every man will and has gone through before.

A note to our visitors

This website has updated its privacy policy in compliance with changes to European Union data protection law, for all members globally. We’ve also updated our Privacy Policy to give you more information about your rights and responsibilities with respect to your privacy and personal information. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our updated privacy policy.