It took a while, but men have come to see that they need a beauty routine, too. For most guys, a key part of this daily regimen is the morning shave. And if you want to make that step of the process smoother than ever before, you’ll want to start by using a pre-shave.
Think of the pre-shave as the foundation of your shave. You apply it to your face before shaving cream to ensure that your razor glides smoothly over every curve and cranny. And while that may seem unnecessary at first, it’ll leave your skin feeling smoother than it has since you were a teen. Plus, depending on the product, it can moisturize and rejuvenate your beard and skin as well.
In fact, the results are so effective that you’ll be wondering why it took you so long to add such a quick and easy step to your routine. Don’t wait, then—here are four of the very best pre-shaves to consider.
1. Castle Forbes Pre-Shave
Unlike the majority of pre-shave products you’ll encounter, Castle Forbes’s is oil-free. Dubbed “The Pre Shave,” the Scottish company’s balm is water-based. Despite not consisting of the usual blend of oils, it works much the same as other pre-shaves. It also plays nice with shaving creams and soaps, so there won’t be any residue left behind once you rinse. Plus, it’s scent-free, if that’s something you’re fussy about.
Pros: An oil-free balm that works just like other pre-shaves.
Cons: Some will miss a tell-tale fragrance.
2. Elemis Smooth Result Shave and Beard Oil
Elemis’s balm is a multi-purpose option that will ready your face for shaving and nourish your beard at the same time. As a pre-shave, the balm softens any bristles and prepares your cheeks for a close shave. As a beard oil, its vitamin-rich blend of jojoba, hazelnut and grapeseed oils smooths and moisturizes your skin. No matter how you’re feeling about your face and facial hair, this balm has you covered.
Pros: A multi-purpose balm that prepares you for a shave or nourishes your beard.
Cons: Bottle only holds one ounce of pre-shave.
3. Truefitt & Hill Ultimate Comfort Pre-Shave Oil
With over two centuries of experience, Truefit and Hill knows how to make an effective pre-shave oil. Its mixture is a complex one, with 10 essential oils that’ll have the razor effortlessly gliding over your face. But the company’s product isn’t just a premium lubricant—it’ll also heal your skin with moisturizers, conditioners and an antioxidant, all while softening your beard.
Pros: Features a time-tested mixture of 10 essential oils.
Cons: May be a bit old fashioned for some.
4. The Art of Shaving Sandalwood Pre-Shave Oil
As far as the Art of Shaving is concerned, preparation is one of the key components of a perfect shave. That’s why the company whipped up some sandalwood pre-shave oil. Apply to your face to prepare your skin for a close and comfortable shave. Its formula also protects your cheeks from irritation and razor burn, while softening your beard as well. Plus, the eight ounce bottle means you won’t need a refill anytime soon.
Pros: Eight ounce bottle will last you months.
Cons: Packaging is lacking compared to other premium options.