When I think of men's shave cream, all the drugstore classics come to mind - Barbasol, Schick, Gillette. But what makes a shave cream just one step above the rest, and in turn, worth the higher price tag?
I may be a bit biased, but Italians make some pretty great stuff. I was given a Proraso duo at a recent press event and immediately passed it over to my dad to try out. This authentic barbershop line from Florence has nearly a century of history, and some awesome men's shaving products to boot.
Proraso offers 4 distinct ranges tailored to fit different skin types and accompanying beards:
- Green, the first line developed by Proraso, is suitable for all beards and skin types, formulated with refreshing eucalyptus and mint
- White is for the most sensitive skin, as it prevents razor burn with ingredients like oatmeal and green tea
- Blue is for those wanting a close, comfortable shave followed by hydrated skin. It has a modern, spicy fragrance and is formulated with aloe vera, vitamin e and liquorice extract
- Red is meant for tough beards, and includes soothing shea butter and aromatic sandalwood oil
1. It's a light-as-air mousse with a detectable fragrance that isn't offensive
2. The spout is clean and precise, so it doesn't continue to dispense after initial application
3. Cool, convenient packaging and an under $10 price tag for most of the range
Dad says: "This foam is a very good value since a small amount is effective. The precise dispensing of a rich and fragrant foam means that it can be applied evenly. The foam is also perfect consistency so it doesn't clog our modern multi-blade razors, while still ensuring no skin irritation. The foam rinses easily, leaving the skin feeling refreshed. It's a pleasure to use!"
Irritation: 5/5 (none)
Precise dispense: 5/5
Residue left on razor: 5/5 (none)
This particular Red line is Proraso’s richest and most hydrating formula. These products (shaving soap, cream and foam) have been designed to soften coarse hair and soothe the skin underneath.
The key ingredients include:
Shea butter: highly moisturizing and softening, protects the skin from dryness in addition to healing nicks and scrapes
Sandalwood: has anti-itching and moisturizing properties that soothe the skin despite repeated scraping
Cocoa butter: rich in antioxidants, vitamin E and polyphenols, provides healing, softening, repairing and anti-inflammatory properties
(Ingredient list from Proraso.com)
The shave cream (in a tube) is a smooth lotion which foams up when you rub it into the skin. My dad prefers an aerosol foam, though the cream performs just as well. It really comes down to personal preference.
You can purchase Proraso products online from Nail Polish Canada (linked here) or in-store at Shoppers Drug Mart, Adonis Scarborough, Men Essentials on The Danforth, various specialty pharmacies and some health food stores.