You don’t want to spend the time and effort getting a close, clean shave without finishing the process. Your aftershave process is very important in your overall shaving and skincare routine. Whether you are new to shaving or have been shaving for years, many people don’t know the actual purpose and benefits of aftershave. When you shave, your skin goes through a lot. It loses some of its moisture, and you may experience irritation, razor bumps or even nicks. It’s important to help your skin recover and rehydrate by following with an aftershave. While you have most likely heard of aftershave lotion or splash, there are actually other types of aftershave available as well. This article explains the differences and benefits of each type of aftershave so you can choose the aftershave product that is best for your skin.
When you think of the term aftershave, you are most likely thinking of the traditional lotion or splash that were the most commonly used type of aftershave for years. Both lotions and splashes are made with a liquid base and usually contain alcohol. A splash usually has a higher concentration of alcohol and a stronger scent, while lotions usually contain less alcohol and have a lighter scent. While lotions traditionally were made with a fairly strong scent, there are now many different types of lotion formulas available, some even available in unscented.
The alcohol in splashes and lotions acts as an antiseptic on your skin. The antiseptic provides a significant benefit. When you shave the warm water opens your pores, which also makes infections more likely. If bacteria enter your pores or if you get any cuts while shaving, you are more prone to infection. Splashes and lotions include antiseptic to help prevent infections in any cuts or nicks that may have happened while shaving. The antiseptic also seals your pores quickly, reducing the chance of infection. It’s important to treat any cuts or nicks with either an alcohol aftershave or disinfectant product to keep your skin healthy. Remember to clean your shaving tools thoroughly and regularly to avoid any germs or bacteria from building up as well.
The alcohol in splashes and lotions also helps seal your pores quickly. This tightens the skin and is also responsible for the light sting that you feel when you first apply it. While some prefer to use formulas with alcohol to tighten their skin and achieve that distinct, invigorating experience, it can also lead to ingrown hairs. If you experience ingrown hairs regularly, make sure you are using proper technique. A double edge safety razor is also more gentle on your skin and less likely to cause ingrown hairs. If you are still experiencing ingrown hairs frequently, you may want to switch to a balm or look for a lotion that doesn’t contain alcohol.
While the antiseptic properties can be very beneficial, alcohol naturally dries out your skin. If you have naturally dry or sensitive skin, be careful when using a lotion or splash. The alcohol can worsen your dry skin or irritate sensitive skin. Luckily, aftershave formulas have evolved and improved in the last few years. You can now find aftershave lotions that are designed to work better for those with sensitive skin. If you prefer the lotion formula but have dry skin, there are even alcohol-free lotions now available. Look for a base that includes aloe vera or other natural ingredients that will help hydrate your skin. You’ll be able to experience the benefit of clean skin and tight pores, with a more hydrating and gentle formula. If you still prefer to use a lotion with alcohol, apply a moisturizer to help hydrate your skin and relieve the drying affect from the alcohol. If these issues persist or get worse, your skin may not respond well to alcohol. If this is the case, you may want to consider a balm.
As men’s shaving and skincare products have advanced, aftershave products have also improved. Aftershave balms were created to offer a more hydrating and gentle aftershave option. There are many different kinds of aftershave balms and creams available for those who need a little extra moisture and relief after shaving. Balms have a thicker consistency than lotions or splashes and are applied like a cream. Most are specifically formulated with carrier oils such as coconut, jojoba, or argon oil. These naturally derived oils offer amazing benefits for your skin and are more gentle. The formula is designed to protect, soothe and nourish your skin, which can be the perfect way to help your skin recover after shaving. Balms are either unscented or have a very mild and light scent.
Due to their unique formula, balms are better at helping to relieve common shaving issues such as razor burn or bumps. Balms are also better for beginners or those with sensitive skin as they are more hydrating and gentle. When you first start shaving, you may be more prone to common shaving issues. If you are new to shaving check out our beginner’s guide for a solid foundation of the best shaving process. Once you have a good understanding of the proper technique and best products, you will be able to choose the best aftershave for you. As you begin to shave more often, you will become more comfortable with your technique and less likely to experience issues or nicks.
For those with oily skin, balms may create an even more oily appearance due to the added carrier oils. If you have oily skin, make sure to only apply a small amount of balm to your skin. Look for an options that doesn’t contain added essential oils. The more oils it contains, the more likely it will exaggerate your oily skin. If you notice that the balm makes your skin too oily, consider switching to an alcohol-free aftershave lotion.
For some, it may come down to skin type. Certain skin types, such as dry or sensitive, are naturally more susceptible to redness, dryness, irritation, or razor bumps. If you have one of these skin types, choose an aftershave balm or cream. If you have very oily skin, a lotion may work better. Make sure to finish your shave properly every time with the aftershave product that suits your skin best.
Whether you prefer a splash, lotion or balm, we’ve gathered some of our favorite and best-selling aftershave products to help you find the best aftershave for you.
One of Clubman’s most popular items, the Clubman After Shave Lotion offers a more traditional aftershave with the distinct invigorating feeling on your skin and a classic robust fragrance. With all the benefits of a traditional lotion, this aftershave soothes and exhilarates the skin, while the alcohol helps heal any razor nicks and seals your pores. The fragrance includes lighter notes of orange, bergamot and lemon combined with warm, deep tones of musk to provide the perfect scent. If you are looking for a traditional aftershave, this Clubman Aftershave is the preferred choice.
If you prefer a traditional lotion feeling but alcohol irritates your skin, this Alcohol-Free Aftershave from Taylor of Old Bond Street provides you with the perfect solution. Specifically formulated without alcohol to offer a gentle and soothing option in a lotion form. The classic Sandalwood fragrance offers a strong scent comprised of fresh herbal and warm wood tones.
For those with sensitive skin looking for an aftershave lotion, the Jermyn Street Collection Alcohol-Free Aftershave is the perfect aftershave. Specifically formulated for those with sensitive skin, the Jermyn Street Collection includes an allergen-free fragrance and is made with gentle ingredients. This aftershave provides relief and soothes your skin after shaving without the stinging and drying effects of alcohol. The allergen-free fragrance provides a very light, fresh scent that won’t bother your skin.
Another favorite aftershave from Clubman, the Lilac Vegetal After Shave Lotion offers a traditional lotion experience with a distinct fragrance. The fragrance is light without being overwhelming and includes notes of lilac and floral tones to provide a fresh scent that is perfect for everyday wear. When applied, the lotion cools and tones your skin for a refreshing feeling. Perfect for the classic aftershave experience.
If you have dry or sensitive skin, or alcohol irritates you, an aftershave balm is the best option. The Muhle Organic Aftershave Balm is the optimal hydrating and moisturizing balm. Made entirely from Organic, natural ingredients, it is gentle on the skin and includes ingredients such as Argan Oil, Aloe Vera, and Avocado Oil to protect the skin’s barrier and replenish moisture. The formula also has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties to refresh and calm your skin.
This aftershave balm from Taylor of Old Bond Street is formulated to instantly reduce razor burn and irritation from shaving. The formula includes Witch Hazel which provides both soothing anti-inflammatory benefits and also helps protect the skin and reduce infections. This offers the benefits of antiseptic without any harsh alcohol. Very lightly fragranced with the classic Mr. Taylor scent, the balm leaves you with a light and pleasant scent.
This Mondial Aftershave Gel provides instant hydrating and anti-inflammatory effects to your skin. A blend of Menthol essential oils helps to soften and tone your skin and relieve any irritation from shaving. The gel formula is easily applied and is gentle enough for all skin types. It is lightly fragranced to provide a fresh, pleasant scent without being too strong.
Like all aftershave balms and creams, this aftershave cream from Piccadilly soothes and moisturizes your skin for a comfortable aftershave experience. The unique formula is paraben and alcohol-free and includes no added colors, making it perfect for those with sensitive skin. This cream combines the gentle and hydrating formula of an aftershave cream with the classic Sandalwood scent. You only need to apply a small amount to your face and neck for instant hydration and relief.