I did a review of Cremo Cream a number of years ago. It fared pretty well, although I found it more suitable to a cartridge razor than a DE, speculating at the time that the thickness of the cream might be clogging up the blade. I remember that, at the time, I loved the packaging and the coconut smell, but found the shave quality just OK. A few weeks ago, the makers of Cremo Cream asked me to do a follow up review, as the product line has changed and expanded. I was pleased to oblige with the usual warning that I could not be bought with a few samples….that would require substantial money in at least the 4 digit range (hey, this is shaving we’re talking about, not smartphones). They didn’t oblige.
The product line has grown nicely with just the right assortment; the makers of Cremo Cream have wisely avoided flooding it with all the crazy shit that high-end brands go for, like eye cream, firming lotion, toner, and a host of other stuff derived from the junk they sell women. Cremo is a straightforward, useful line with shave cream, face wash, and moisturizer. I could see a good clean shampoo and body wash in their future, as valuable line extensions that would fit nicely for men’s grooming.
The main differences between the Men’s and Women’s lines is the scent of the shave cream; Bergamot for men and the original Coconut for women. I liked the original scent and used both in this test series. The Bergamot is very pleasant, as is the Coconut. A nice choice to make on different days (or you could use both, one on each side of your face for a real zing!). The packaging is very distinctive, especially the shave cream, which uses a hefty tube with a good feel to it. Gone is the original red cross, replaced by a crown. Not sure why. Perhaps, the Red Cross complained of brand infringement, or simply having something that signifies a medical emergency might not be creating the best image for a shave cream! I wonder how long the crown will last….perhaps Rolex will complain of brand infringement.
I tend to classify shave products into one of two categories: Modern and Traditional. Modern products tend to be very slick, slippery, and non-drying on the one hand, but they also tend to leave a slight film on the skin on the other. Traditional products tend to be less slick and require a bit more work to get a good lather, but rinse off very cleanly, consistent with their soap base. I use and like both types of products, preferring the Modern when I’m using a cartridge razor; they seem very well mated to each other. I still prefer a good traditional shave soap or cream when using a DE or straight razor. The Modern products are also less drying, a result, I suspect, of the film that is left on the skin. Unlike many who take up traditional shaving, I am not dogmatic. Like good cuisine, I like it all….just because I like Chinese, doesn’t mean I can’t like Greek food equally well. It’s not an either/or situation.
Cremo Cream tends to the Modern, as do the Cremo Wash and the Moisturizer.
The Cremo Wash is effective, although it does leave a hint of film on the skin. On the other hand, it is not at all drying. I would likely appreciate the Cremo Wash more in the colder months where a Canadian Winter will turn your skin into parchment in no time. In the Summer, I prefer a soap as my pre-shave wash because the skin is already pretty oily from the heat and sweat. What I’ve been doing lately, which may sound crazy, is loading up my shaving brush with a good shave soap, and washing my whole face with the brush, prior to reapplying the soap for a shave; a little homemade exfoliation! Works great!
The Shave Cream produces a very nice lather, whether you use a brush or just your fingertips. It loves water and gets very slick. It produces an outstanding shave with a good cartridge razor (my own preference is the Harry’s line; the best of its ilk and close to the DE “feel”). I also used it with a DE and it was fine, although, IMHO, a classic soap or cream still play better with cold steel. I didn’t have the guts to try it with a straight, mainly because I’m still learning and am petrified most of the time. Did I already mention that I really like the scent of Cremo Cream?
The Moisturizer is effective, odourless, goes on easily and dries quickly, It feels in between a balm and a cream, with a slight milky transparency. It’s a very good product, especially if you insist, as I do, on a scentless moisturizer. Clinique’s M-Lotion, my all-time favourite is just slightly better, but I also like variety and would see Cremo Moisturizer as an excellent alternative. Chinese vs. Greek, remember?
Overall, I was very impressed by the evolution of the Cremo line and its performance. It’s a modern line for the traditional shaver. Hey, that’s not a bad tag line. If you eschew the high-end modern stuff as expensive fluff directed at Metros, but want something that offers a taste of the modern while staying close to traditional values, Cremo is a great offering. Enjoy…I’m off to a good Chinese lunch, all this talk of food has made me hungry!