Prep in a Jar

Prep Cream - An Italian Classic

I picked up a few jars of Prep cream in Italy a couple of years back. I couldn't resist the jar or the name. They look lovely positioned on the bathroom shelf. With my rudimentary grasp of Italian, from the description on the jar I believed it could be used for post-shave soothing of the skin. It's heavy on the menthol and seems to work.

Since then I could find nothing on the company - I wasn't really looking - but little pieces of information are starting to appear. Apparently, it's common in Italian households and has numerous uses because of its healing and soothing properties. This includes shaving, where it can be used as an alcohol-free pre-shave and post-shave cream. I also read that it contains an antiseptic that calms rashes and stops nicks. All good then. However, I have also read that it's used to treat dry and cracked heels. Maybe that's what it's for? Perhaps I'm putting foot cream on my face? Not to worry, I'll continue to use it for shaving until I hear that I'm doing untold damage. You may think it's all Battenberg cake and Al Bowlly records at Tweed Towers, but we like to live dangerously.

Prep Cream - Originally an American Classic?

Stories abound that Prep was originally formulated in the U.S. in 1860. I'm not sure, but it appears that the brand was bought by Italian consumer healthcare manufacturer Coswell (1961) in 2009, who describe it as a classic Made in Italy brand. There's something winningly 60s and Amalfi coast about the design of Prep. I'll get young Mrs Tweed to find out more. Or, dear reader, you might be able to enlighten?


  1. We have some small old clear glass jars with metal lids, with a dark background and yellow writing saying "have you tried PREP for other uses" and it goes on to say Rash, Chafing, insect bites. The bottom of the jar is embossed with "MARK W. (or H.) ALLEN&CO DETROIT USA" around the perimter with PREP in the center. I was trying to figure out how old they were, but it does seem to suggest that PREP was in the US sometime ago. Would you like me to try to send a picture?

  2. Hello, and thanks for your note. We'd love to see a picture. You can email us at Perfect timing too as we've been doing some investigation on Prep recently. So stay tuned for a related post.

  3. Follow up the case on The Curious Case of Prep Cream at

    #Coswell #Grooming #JeremyBrett #MadeinItaly #Prep #Shaving #SherlockHolmes #TheTweedPig


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