Aftershaves started off simple enough. After a shave, your barber would splash some of the refreshing liquid onto your face to prevent infection from nicks and cuts while leaving you with that ‘just back from the barbershop’ scent. Since then, we’ve learned that traditional aftershave – which used to approach almost 100% alcohol – is not necessarily suited to every guy.
Now you’ll find a wide variety of aftershaves on the market, which can make the process of finding the right aftershave a bit daunting. No matter what a bottle may claim, use this as a general rule: you must choose an aftershave formulated specifically for your skin type. Failure to do so will cause imbalance in your skin, aggravating inflammation, redness, and razor burn.
Continue reading to learn how to select the best aftershave for your skin type.
When you shave, you’re taking off a layer of skin (and with it, your skin’s natural protective barrier), an act that is tremendously irritating for men with sensitive skin. To replenish moisture while reducing redness and burning, try a rich aftershave balm like The Daimon Barber Cooling Post-Shave Balm. A combination of fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants soothe skin so it’s strong and supple. Plus, menthol cools the skin, leaving you feeling refreshed.
In general, avoid products with fragrance if possible.
SHOP: The Daimon Barber Cooling Post-Shave Balm
Look for a lightweight (read: non-greasy) lotion.
Proraso Moisturizing & Nourishing After Shave Lotion contains alcohol to disinfect, and is enriched with shea butter to reduce irritation. Its super lightweight texture means you don’t have to worry about pores getting clogged.
If you feel a lotion is still too thick for your oily skin, use an aftershave splash instead, which is usually based in antiseptics like alcohol or witch hazel to prevent infection. We like Geo F Trumper Aftershave in Spanish Leather, a rich, woody scent that’ll double as a subtle cologne.
SHOP: Proraso Moisturizing & Nourishing After Shave Lotion
You have two options:
- Apply a product designed for sensitive/dry skin on your cheeks, and a product designed for oily skin on your T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin).
- Use a product designed specifically for combination skin. Imperial Barber Products Bergamot After-Shave is safe for use on all skin types but does everything you need an aftershave to do: disinfect, calm, and condition the skin.
SHOP: Imperial Barber Products Bergamot After-Shave
An aftershave balm will be your ultimate aly, especially if you tend to get nicks. Balms coat the surface of the skin with a protective layer, preventing moisture loss. Apply only what you need, however, since balms are the thickest of the aftershave lot and can clog pores if used in excess.
Avoid products containing alcohol, especially astringents, the strongest form of toner. Astringents typically contain 20 – 60% alcohol and are better suited for oily skin.
Baxter of California After Shave Balm is alcohol-free and contains a nice mix of tea tree oil (anti-microbial) and glycerin (lubricant).
Tip: Do you have dry, aging skin? If so, follow your aftershave balm with a hydrating moisturizer afterwards, like Taylor of Old Bond Street Dry Skin Cream for Men, which protects your skin’s elasticity with UV filters.
SHOP: Baxter of California After Shave Balm
Lucky you – you can use just about any type of aftershave you want! If you’re keen to keep hydrated, glycerin-based Geo F Trumper Skin Food absorbs quickly and can double as a pre-shave treatment.
If you use an aftershave with alcohol, replenish moisture with an all-around lotion like Ernest Supplies Protective Matte Moisturizer. This all-natural, fragrance-free moisturizer is loaded with vitamins A, C, and E to defend against signs of aging.
SHOP: Geo F Trumper Skin Food