Several months back I asked around about what soaps I should try out, and the name that came up the most was Proaso.
Proraso is an Italian shaving cream, sold in either a tub or tube (like toothpaste). It comes in three varieties, green, white, and red, with white and green being the most common. I decided to pick up a tub of green, which is the standard formula. I’d never tried a shaving cream that you mix before, and I was excited to see how well it worked (plus, I’d heard the tub was really useful for travel and mixing once the soap had run out).
I’ve been using it for two months now and I’m happy to say that this stuff is great.
Mixing it is similar to mixing up a shaving soap. You wet the brush, load the soap onto the bristles for 20-30 seconds, then mix up a lather however you prefer. Personally, I apply directly to the face and I’ve found a good loading is plenty for three applications plus extra.
The first thing I noticed was the smell, which I believe is eucalyptus. It was strong and eye opening, much different than the bayrum I was used to. The second thing I noticed was the sensation: this stuff makes your skin tingle. The best I can describe it is it’s like having wet skin with a cool breeze. Not enough to make you cold, but to make you feel crisp. I notice it a little bit on application, but really feel it as the skin is exposed through shaving. This sensation fades some with daily use, but alternating with other soaps means that it’s more noticeable on days you use it.
The cream provides good protection, even with thin applications. It also applies much more evenly than I’ve gotten with shaving soap.
There are a couple downsides to Proraso. First, it can be a bit tricky to get the right mixture of water. Too much and it’s runny, too little and it will dry out on your face before you can get to it. Second, it is stickier on the razor blade, so it takes more effort to clean the blade of soap and hair. Finally, it seems to leave a dusting of soap particles on hard to reach places of the razor, even with a good washing after use.
But these haven’t stopped me from enjoying it thoroughly. With practice the mixture gets more consistent, with warm water the soap and hair cleans easily enough, and a weekly in depth cleaning of the razor when you change the blade keeps everything in order.
Once I run out I will be hard pressed not to run back out and buy more, it’s great stuff and I highly recommend it.