Much like the Taylor of Old Bond Street shaving cream, Proraso’s line up of shaving soaps are among the most popular shaving soaps on the market today.
Having been founded by Ludovico Martelli in Florence, Itlay nearly 90 years ago, Proraso’s shaving soaps and creams have set the gold standard that other shaving creams have been measured against. With so much experience on Proraso’s side, how do they measure up to the more boutique and artisanal brands of today?
Generally they do fairly well.
While we are examining the general use (Green bowl) in this review, Proraso has the following shaving bowls as part of their line up:
- Green – General Use
- White – Sensitive Skin
- Red – Moisturizing & Nourishing (for thicker whiskers)
Creatively enough the colors also make up the same as the Italian flag – where the product is still manufactured to this day.
Regarding the composition of the product itself and the ingredients to make this shaving soap, many are shared with other popular shaving creams on the market today.
One product that stands out to us is Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate – not to be confused with SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate). While both products may be surfactants thats the only attribute they share (along with the same initials). Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, which is in Proraso, is safe for use in cosmetics and is a cleanser and foam booster wear as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a cheap detergent that can actually penetrate the skin and circulate in the body for up to five days.
Therefore there is a lot of misinformation online stating that Proraso contains SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate), which is simply incorrect.
If there is one ingredient that is subject to much debate its the addition of Fragrance (Parfum) within the bowl. Fragrance can actually be comprised of over 3,100 ingredients/chemicals (source)! Leading to many questions of what type of trace elements are actually contained within the product.
Being that Proraso (green) has a heavy menthol scent, we found this to be quite odd given that the product already contains Menthol. Therefore we are unsure what role this ingredient has within the product and the scent that its trying to achieve.
Regarding the performance of this shaving cream there are few techniques to follow in order to achieve optimal results.
When it comes to this shaving cream when compared to others (namely Taylor of Old Bond Street), its a bit on the dryer side and out of the bowl its pretty firm.
Therefore its recommended to let it bloom. Blooming a shaving soap means to fill up the bowl with hot water and let it rest for a couple of minutes (typically you want to take a shower when the soap is blooming).
Once a few minutes have elapsed you will want to empty out the water from the bowl* and want to begin loading a damp shaving brush** (optimally you want to have your shave brush sitting in a separate container of hot water for the same time while the shaving soap blooms) with the shaving soap.
* Some wet shaving enthusiasts may use this excess water and rub down their face before loading the brush.
** A shaving brush is necessary for this product.
Typical load time for this product is anywhere between 30 seconds and a minute.
Once you have a nice load in your brush you can either further mix the cream in a scuttle or within the palm of your hand. Directly applying to your face at this time will be sufficient as well.
After you have built up a sufficient lather, you can test it by making sure that it has some nice peaks when testing the lather (the amount that the shaving cream pulls away from your face).
One thing that you will notice when applying this lather to your face is that it will immediately provide a cooling sensation due to the menthol contained within the product.
If there is a area where the Proraso may fall a bit shorter on the performance will be the amount of lubrication it provides. While we can definitively and objectively measure lubrication of a shaving cream, it is however noticeable when compared to other luxury shaving creams.
Lastly the cushion of the Proraso shaving soap is adequate in order to provide a comfortable shave.
A few notes regarding performance during the shaving process itself. Being that this is a bit of a firmer shave soap and one that tends to run “dry”, you may need to add a little bit of hot water after a few minutes of use.
One issue that is reported by wet shavers far and wide is that this shaving cream does tend to struggle in areas where hard water present. However, these men have creatively gotten around this issue by purchasing glycerin separately and adding a few drops to their shave brush after loading the brush.
Glycerin is a humectant that will assist your skin in retaining moisture. This addition of glycerin will also assist in preventing your skin from feeling dry after using this shaving cream as men both hard and soft water areas have experienced this problem.
Which brings us to our next point:
Given that the Proraso shaving cream just hardly misses the mark when it comes to providing moisture to your face, for many men, a post shave balm or after shave is often required in order to not experience any sort of dryness/ashyness upon using this product.
While many men may feel that a product should often stand on its own and not require additional products in order to enhance its performance – we couldn’t agree more!
This shaving cream is incredibly wallet friendly. With a price tag of only $10, its an incredibly affordable shaving cream that can fit anyones budget. You can expect your shaving bowl to last about 4 months with daily use.
Lastly, this shaving cream can be used on all razor types (cartridge, double edge safety razor, and straight edge razor). However, it is optimally suited for the double edge and straight edge blades.