When I was a kid, it was easy to locate a barbershop thanks to the telltale barber’s pole located on the outside of each establishment. And I always wanted to crack that barber pole open and see what it felt like, it’s texture, assuming that its taste was not that far off from a peppermint.
Most barber poles are gone now, but the sentiment, style and quality of a bygone era is thankfully still maintained by the gents at Proraso.
Proraso is an Italian company that has been specializing in men’s shaving for over 80 years. In many ways, it is a remnant of how seriously men used to take the duty of shaving; it was an experience to be enjoyed, not a task to be hurried through.
The first thing I noticed about the pre-shave cream was the texture. It isn’t a cream in the gloppy, lotion sense. When you stick your finger in, it doesn’t necessarily cover your finger, but rather encompasses it – it has a feeling akin to something lighter than air, really. Loaded with eucalyptus and menthol, you can feel the refreshing sensation that is in store for your skin the minute you remove the lid and catch a whiff, before you even apply it.
Once you do apply it, your skin begins to tingle within a few seconds. Honestly, it felt great to just leave the pre-shave cream on and hang out for a few minutes, letting it settle before I added the shaving cream.
Shaving cream gets a bad rap these days, thanks to the cheap stuff in a can that you can get at almost any store. That stuff is so light and airy, in many cases, it feels as though you’ve barely applied any of it to your face prior to dragging a razor across it, which makes for a substandard shave. But the Proraso shave foam had a different volume, felt heavier yet still light, and had its own texture as well. It is a foam, not a cream.
It’s the kind of shave foam that a barber would lather the back of your neck up with after a haircut and annihilate the hair with a straight razor, before that was outlawed.
I could feel the same refreshing, clean, open skin feeling for a full 20 minutes after the shave. It evoked the kind of feeling that makes you want to rub your hand across your freshly shaved skin because it feels so crisp and alive. And it left a clean surface with no stubble or whisker untamed. Also, my skin didn’t feel dried out or scaly after that feeling abated; instead my skin felt protected and solid.
I really like the old school appearance and feel of Proraso. Don’t let the canister fool you – it isn’t the bland, “Brand X” canister you can get at any store for $5 dollars. This is like your grandfathers shaving cream: bold, full-bodied, and undaunted by the fact that it’s a legit, old school shaving cream in a time of gels and other gimmicks.