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Classic wet shaving requires a good shaving cream or soap to soften the beard hairs and prepare the skin for shaving.
For a really classic wet shave, you should use a shaving brush to lather up your soap or cream. Then, apply the lather using circular movements to soften up the beard. This action is also exfoliating, removing dead skin cells. A good lather will completely surround even the smallest hairs and help provide a truly close shave. Let's take a look at the choices you've got.
While a pre-shave is not absolutely necessary for a good shave, it substantially reduces any irritation that you might feel during or after shaving. Pre-shave cream moisturizes your skin and helps lift the stubble to make your skin ready for shaving.
Dates back to the 19th century, shaving soap is an integral part of a classic wet shave. Unfortunately, for the vast majority of shavers today, real shaving soap has been usurped by synthetic supermarket foam in a can, which we feel is a crying shame.
Real shaving soap contains a lot of fats that soften and lubricate your skin while shaving. It helps provide a close shave with less skin irritation. Shaving soaps vary in hardness from product to product and are most often sold in round bars. Proraso makes great shaving soaps that are slightly softer but form a rich lather very quickly. Soap is always harder than shaving cream, but they both work in basically the same way.
Shaving cream works largely in the same manner as shaving soap, but is somewhat easier to use as it's usually dispensed from a tube. You can apply shaving cream with either your hands or a shaving brush, although we strongly recommend a brush as it's got all of the advantages previously mentioned.
Shaving oil is perfect for those with sensitive skin because the oil both softens and moisturizes. Shaving oil is incredibly easy to use. Just dab it on your face before shaving and let it penetrate your skin. Shaving oil will eliminate any annoying burning sensations that you may get after shaving.
After shaving, and especially if you haven't used any pre-shave cream or oil, your skin will require some kind of moisturizer to prevent skin irritation. A good aftershave will reduce the risk of red buds, beard plague, and redness.
If you have sensitive skin or other skin issues, we always recommend the use of a completely neutral aftershave that doesn't have perfume.