A close, wet shave doesn’t only remove whiskers – it literally takes a layer of skin off your face leaving it feeling a little raw. Ouch, that sounds painful!
What does aftershave do? Along with making you smell good, aftershave is perfect for disinfecting any little facial injuries incurred whilst shaving. If you are a master shaver who never cuts himself, you can still benefit from aftershave’s soothing effect on your newly exfoliated face!
As your razor blade becomes blunt with age, or if you’re in a hurry, you run the risk of inflicting your face with small nicks and cuts – ideal entry points for bacteria found naturally on human skin.
This is where aftershave comes to the rescue. If you’ve never bothered with it or asked do I need aftershave, you might be compelled to buy some in about 5 minutes time – that’s how long it will take you to digest the rest of this article.
Is Aftershave Necessary?
Aftershave is not necessary but you may be missing out on its many benefits if you don’t bother using it.
If you’ve ever asked what is aftershave for, it has several good purposes. If you’re prone to skin problems such as spots, blackheads, and acne, a well-chosen aftershave can help to minimize these conditions.
Bacteria is partly responsible for acne so destroying it on a regular basis can help to reduce flare-ups. Other facial spots and blackheads result from blocked pores.
Aftershave is an astringent which means it constricts body tissues. Splashing it on your freshly shaved face closes pores to lessen the chance of spots and blackheads developing.
How To Use Aftershave or Aftershave Balm
Everyone has their own shaving regime. Ideally, start with a hot towel or flannel to open your pores. Add a good amount of shaving soap to enable the razor blade to glide easily over the skin as it removes your whiskers.
After your shave is complete, apply a cold flannel to start closing your pores followed by a good splash of aftershave to disinfect and completely tighten your pores.
If your aftershave is a liquid, you may need to apply a moisturizer to make your skin feel supple again. Some aftershaves are more like a gel and contain their own moisturizers, such as aloe vera.
Which Type of Aftershave is Best?
It’s important to choose the right type of aftershave to suit your skin. Aftershave balm suits dry skin and the splash variety suits oily skin. If you have sensitive skin you may have to choose the right one very carefully.
Here are the main aftershave types with examples:
The alcohol used in aftershave is usually ethanol or a purified form of it. The concentration is important if the aftershave is to have an antibiotic effect.
If it’s lower than 60% it is not very efficient at killing bacteria but if it’s higher than 90% it also loses its bacteria destroying potency.
An aftershave with 70% alcohol content it the ideal strength to thoroughly clean a shaved face and stop infections developing in shaving wounds. The alcohol has an astringent effect that tightens pores.
Aftershave with a high alcohol content can make dry skin feel uncomfortably dry, parched and tight. If you suffer from dry skin, you will probably want to apply a facial moisturizer as well.
The alcohol in aftershave is responsible for that stinging sensation you experience as you apply it and this, coupled with a strong fragrance, is sometimes more than some sensitive skins can bear.
Recommendation – Pinaud Clubman
Pinaud Clubman is a well-established old-school aftershave with a masculine lemon fragrance. You may find you want to don a smoking jacket, grab a cigar and seek out a leather chair in a gentleman’s club.
You’ll certainly notice the cleansing zinginess of alcohol as soon as you apply this. See all the details and rave reviews at Amazon.
Alcohol-free aftershave feels nicer if you suffer from dry, sensitive skin as it doesn’t sting in the way alcohol versions do.
Unless it contains another bacteria-killing agent, alcohol-free aftershave will not destroy bacteria with the same efficiency as one with an alcohol base.
Recommendation – The Art of Shaving Sandalwood Aftershave Balm
The Art of Shaving Sandalwood is an alcohol-free aftershave balm that can also be used as a daily moisturizer.
It contains beautifully soothing shea butter to leave skin feeling soft and supple, along with sandalwood essential oil which gives it a classic masculine woody fragrance.
You can see much more information over at Amazon.
Aftershave With Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera can be found in alcohol and non-alcohol-based aftershave. If an aftershave contains aloe vera it will be extra soothing and moisturizing.
Unless it also includes alcohol or another antibacterial product, it will not prevent infections.
Recommendation – Lucky Tiger Aftershave & Face Tonic
Luck Tiger uses aloe vera, calendula, and chamomile to soothe and refresh skin after shaving or whenever you feel the need. It has a light citrus fragrance that is not at all overpowering. You can find out more at Amazon.
Aftershave with Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel is a native North American shrub widely used to relieve inflammation and soothe skin. It’s a natural astringent that reduces redness, stings less, and is less drying than alcohol.
Many people use Witch Hazel to treat acne but its effectiveness in this area isn’t backed up scientifically. It is nice and cooling and helps to reduce the itchiness related to skin flare-ups and razor burns.
If you don’t like using alcohol-based aftershave, try using witch hazel after shaving. Does witch hazel kill bacteria?
It is widely believed that Witch Hazel has natural anti-bacterial properties that will help clean any shaving skin cuts.
Recommendation – Thayers Facial Toner with Witch Hazel
Thayers Witch Hazel Facial Toner is alcohol-free, refreshing, and revitalizing. It has a soothing lavender fragrance and is a great addition to anyone’s bathroom cabinet.
It can be used whether you’ve shaved or not. Use the button below to head over to Amazon to see plenty more product information and over 2,000 customer reviews which give Thayers a rating of 4.7/5.
Aftershave with Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil distilled from the leaves of an Australian plant known as the Melaleuca Alternifolia. It has been used as an antibacterial agent in traditional medicine for many years.
Its strength means tea tree oil must be diluted which is why it works well in aftershave. People swear by its ability to control acne and reduce acne scarring. It is also said to reduce inflammation, soothe eczema and dry out oily skin.
Recommendation – Baxter Aftershave Balm
Baxter of California is an alcohol-free aftershave balm with tea tree oil, glycerin, and aloe vera. It’s the perfect way to moisturize, soothe, and cool skin after a shave.
You can find plenty more information at Amazon via the button below.
Aftershave with Vitamin E
Many people find vitamin E soothes razor burn and itchiness, reduces the appearance of small facial scars, and leaves their skin feeling nourished.
You can buy vitamin E oil to apply directly to your skin or choose an aftershave that contains some.
Recommendation – Health Priority Vitamin E
Vitamin E Enhance is 100% all-natural and organic vitamin E oil, suitable to use on your face. It’s infused with jojoba, avocado, and rice bran oil and comes in versions with or without fragrance.
The fragrance-free version is perfect to use with any other aftershave product without causing a clash of aromas.
Click on the photo or use the button below to discover all the other lovely benefits of this oil.
What Does Aftershave Do? – Conclusion
What is the point of aftershave? Aftershave can be used whether you shave or not. It has a multitude of purposes including cleaning shaving wounds, toning skin, helping to prevent spots, and adding moisture.
Some aftershaves have alcohol and some don’t. Ingredients include aloe vera, witch hazel, tea tree, and vitamin E – to name but a few. Have a look at our recommendations and you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you.