Aftershave is an essential grooming product for men that helps soothe and hydrate the skin after shaving. It also adds a pleasant scent to the skin, making it a popular choice for men of all ages. In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about aftershave, including its benefits, types, ingredients, application, and more.
Aftershave is a liquid or balm that is applied to the skin after shaving to soothe, hydrate, and protect it. The use of aftershave dates back to ancient times when men used various natural ingredients to soothe their skin after shaving. Today, aftershave is available in various types, including alcohol-based, non-alcohol-based, and aftershave balm.
Types of Aftershave
There are three main types of aftershave: alcohol-based, non-alcohol-based, and aftershave balm. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Alcohol-based aftershave is the most common type of aftershave. It typically contains a high percentage of alcohol, which helps to disinfect the skin after shaving. However, alcohol-based aftershave can be drying and irritating to the skin, especially if you have sensitive skin.
- Disinfects the skin
- Provides a refreshing sensation
- Can be drying and irritating to the skin
- Not recommended for people with sensitive skin
Non-alcohol based aftershave
Non-alcohol-based aftershave is a gentler alternative to alcohol-based aftershave. It typically contains soothing ingredients such as aloe vera, chamomile, and witch hazel. Non-alcohol-based aftershave is recommended for people with sensitive skin or those who experience irritation from alcohol-based aftershave.
- Soothes and hydrates the skin
- Suitable for people with sensitive skin
- May not provide the same level of disinfection as alcohol-based aftershave
Aftershave balm is a thicker, creamier alternative to traditional aftershave. It typically contains moisturizing ingredients such as shea butter, glycerin, and jojoba oil. Aftershave balm is recommended for people with dry or sensitive skin, as it provides extra hydration and nourishment.
- Soothes and hydrates the skin
- Suitable for people with dry or sensitive skin
- May not provide the same level of disinfection as alcohol-based aftershave
What is Aftershave For?
Aftershave is a cosmetic product that is typically applied to the face after shaving. Its main purpose is to soothe and moisturize the skin, as well as to disinfect any small nicks or cuts that may have occurred during the shaving process.
Aftershave can also have a refreshing and pleasant scent, which can help to mask any unpleasant odors that may result from shaving. Some types of aftershave may also contain ingredients that can help to tighten the pores and reduce the appearance of razor burn and other skin irritation.
Choosing the Right Aftershave
Choosing the right aftershave depends on your skin type and concerns, fragrance preferences, budget, and brand reputation. Here are some factors to consider when choosing an aftershave:
- Skin type and concerns: If you have dry or sensitive skin, choose a non-alcohol-based aftershave or aftershave balm. If you have oily skin, an alcohol-based aftershave may be more suitable.
- Fragrance: Choose an aftershave with a fragrance that you enjoy and that complements your personal style.
- Budget: Aftershave prices can vary widely depending on the brand, type, and size. Decide on a budget before shopping for aftershave.
- Brand reputation: Look for well-established and reputable brands with positive reviews and a track record of producing high-quality grooming products.
Best Aftershave Products
There are several types of aftershave products available on the market. The best product for you will depend on your skin type and personal preferences. Here are some of the most popular types of aftershave products:
- Splash Aftershave: Splash aftershave is the most traditional form of aftershave. It is a liquid that is poured onto the palm of the hand and then splashed onto the face. Splash aftershave usually contains alcohol, which can help to disinfect any nicks or cuts, tighten the pores, and provide a refreshing sensation. However, splash aftershaves can be drying and irritating to some skin types.
- Lotion Aftershave: Lotion aftershave is a thicker, creamier consistency than splash aftershave. It is usually oil-based, which can help to moisturize and soothe the skin. Lotion aftershaves are less likely to contain alcohol than splash aftershaves, which makes them less drying and less likely to irritate sensitive skin.
- Balm Aftershave: Balm aftershave is a thicker, creamier consistency than lotion aftershave. It is designed to provide maximum moisturization and soothing for the skin. Balm aftershaves are usually non-alcoholic and contain ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, and vitamin E to calm and hydrate the skin. Balm aftershaves are particularly helpful for those with dry or sensitive skin.
- Gel Aftershave: Gel aftershave is a lightweight, cooling formula that is easy to apply. It is designed to quickly absorb into the skin, leaving a refreshing sensation. Gel aftershaves are usually alcohol-free and contain ingredients like menthol and tea tree oil, which can help to soothe and disinfect the skin.
- Tonic Aftershave: Tonic aftershave is a liquid formula that is designed to be sprayed onto the face. It usually contains a blend of botanical extracts, like witch hazel, that can help to soothe and tone the skin. Tonic aftershaves are usually non-alcoholic and can be particularly beneficial for those with oily or acne-prone skin.
The best aftershave product for you will depend on your skin type and personal preferences. Splash, lotion, balm, gel, and tonic aftershaves are all popular options, each with their own unique benefits.
When choosing an aftershave product, be sure to read the ingredients carefully and choose a product that is appropriate for your skin type and personal preferences.
Benefits of Aftershave and is Aftershave Necessary?
For many men, aftershave is an afterthought, or even something they skip altogether. However, using aftershave can have many benefits for your skin and overall shaving experience. Here are some of the top benefits of aftershave:
- Aftershave Helps to Disinfect Nicks and Cuts
One of the most obvious benefits of aftershave is that it can help to disinfect any nicks or cuts that may occur during shaving. Aftershave often contains alcohol, which can kill bacteria and prevent infections. By using aftershave, you can help to ensure that any small cuts or nicks heal quickly and without complications.
- Aftershave Can Help to Close Pores
When you shave, your pores can become enlarged and more visible. This can lead to a rough, uneven complexion. Aftershave can help to close your pores, giving your skin a smoother, more even appearance. This is particularly important for those with oily or acne-prone skin, as enlarged pores can lead to increased oil production and breakouts.
- Aftershave Can Provide a Refreshing Sensation
Many aftershaves contain ingredients like menthol or peppermint oil, which can provide a refreshing, cooling sensation on the skin. This can be particularly beneficial on hot summer days, or after a particularly close or uncomfortable shave. The cooling sensation can help to soothe any irritation or inflammation, leaving your skin feeling refreshed and invigorated.
- Aftershave Can Help to Hydrate and Soothe the Skin
Depending on the type of aftershave you use, it can also help to hydrate and soothe your skin. Aftershaves that contain ingredients like aloe vera or chamomile can help to calm any irritation or redness, while also providing much-needed moisture to the skin. This can be particularly helpful for those with dry or sensitive skin, who may experience tightness or discomfort after shaving.
- Aftershave Can Add a Pleasant Scent
Finally, many aftershaves are scented, adding a pleasant fragrance to your skin. This can help you feel more confident and put-together, and can also be a nice complement to your cologne or other grooming products. Just be sure to choose an aftershave with a scent that complements your personal style and preferences.
Aftershave is not necessary for everyone. It depends on your skin type, shaving technique, and personal preferences. However, for many people, aftershave can be a useful addition to their grooming routine.
Aftershave can provide several benefits such as soothing and moisturizing the skin, disinfecting any small nicks or cuts, and helping to reduce razor burn and other skin irritation. Additionally, some aftershaves have antiseptic properties that can prevent infection and keep the skin healthy.
However, if you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies, some aftershaves may cause irritation, redness, or breakouts. In such cases, it is best to avoid using aftershave or to choose a product specifically designed for sensitive skin.
What are the Aftershave Ingredients?
Aftershave can contain a variety of ingredients depending on the type and brand. Some common ingredients include:
- Alcohol: Found in alcohol-based aftershaves, alcohol helps to disinfect the skin and provide a refreshing sensation.
- Aloe vera: A soothing ingredient that helps to hydrate and calm the skin.
- Witch hazel: A natural astringent that can help reduce inflammation and tighten pores.
- Chamomile: A calming ingredient that can help soothe irritated skin.
- Shea butter: A moisturizing ingredient that helps to hydrate and nourish the skin.
- Glycerin: A humectant that helps to retain moisture in the skin.
How to Use Aftershave? (Step-wise Distribution)
To use aftershave, follow these simple steps:
- Shave as you normally would. Rinse your face with warm water to remove any shaving cream or foam.
- Pat your face dry with a clean towel.
- Take a small amount of aftershave (usually a dime-sized amount) in the palm of your hand.
- Rub your hands together to warm the aftershave and distribute it evenly.
- Apply the aftershave to your face using gentle upward motions. Focus on any areas that may be irritated or have cuts or nicks from shaving.
- Allow the aftershave to dry completely before applying any additional products like moisturizer or sunscreen.
- Clean any excess aftershave from your hands and the bottle before storing it.
Some aftershaves come in a spray bottle, in which case you can simply spray it directly onto your face and neck.
In summary, aftershave is applied to the face after shaving using gentle upward motions, focusing on any irritated or cut areas. Allow it to dry completely before applying any additional products.
How Much Aftershave to Use and How Often to Use It?
The amount of aftershave to use depends on the type and brand. Generally, a dime-sized amount of aftershave is sufficient for most people. Apply more if needed, but avoid over-applying, as this can lead to skin irritation.
As for how often to use aftershave, it depends on your personal preference and how often you shave. If you shave daily, it is recommended to use aftershave after each shave. If you shave less frequently, you may only need to use aftershave on the days you shave.
Do You Need to Wash off or Remove Aftershave?
No, you do not need to wash off or remove aftershave. Aftershave is designed to absorb into the skin and provide hydration and protection. However, if you experience any irritation or discomfort after applying aftershave, you can rinse it off with water.
Is Aftershave Effective on Other Body Parts?
Yes, aftershave can be effective on other body parts besides the face. It can help soothe and hydrate the skin after shaving any area of the body, such as the legs, chest, or underarms.
Can One Use Aftershave Without Shaving?
Yes, you can use aftershave without shaving. Aftershave can be used as a refreshing and hydrating splash for the face or body, even if you have not shaved. However, keep in mind that some aftershaves contain alcohol, which can be drying on the skin if used excessively.
Difference between Aftershave & Cologne
Aftershave and cologne are two different products, although they are often confused. Here are the main differences between aftershave and cologne:
- Purpose: Aftershave is designed to soothe and hydrate the skin after shaving, while cologne is designed to provide a pleasant fragrance.
- Ingredients: Aftershave contains ingredients such as aloe vera and glycerin that are beneficial for the skin, while cologne contains fragrance oils and alcohol.
- Application: Aftershave is applied directly to the skin after shaving, while cologne is applied to the pulse points (such as the wrists and neck) to release its fragrance throughout the day.
It is important to note that while some aftershaves have a pleasant scent, they are not a substitute for cologne or other fragrances. If you want to use a fragrance, it is recommended to apply it after the aftershave has fully absorbed into the skin.
In conclusion, aftershave is a beneficial product for anyone who shaves regularly. It can help soothe and hydrate the skin, reduce irritation and redness, and provide a pleasant scent. When shopping for aftershave, consider your skin type, budget, and brand reputation. Remember to follow the instructions for use and apply only a small amount to avoid skin irritation. With the right aftershave, you can achieve a smooth and comfortable shave every time.
Bradley Martyn is a lead Product tester at Trimmereo. Previously he has been in consumer products industry for 8+ years. His passion for helping people flows through in the expert reviews he provides.