Aftershaves may be the champion of the post-shaving world, but it’s important to keep an eye on all the other players. There are a variety of post-shave products on the market, including balms and lotions, designed to protect and enhance the quality of your skin. We’ve broken down the main differences to help you better decide which product to use.
The traditional aftershave splash aims to prevent irritation from minor cuts and is usually alcohol-based, causing that slight sting when applied. Thankfully the sting only lasts few seconds before it transforms into that wonderful refreshing and cooling sensation. If you’re prone to cuts, aftershaves have great antiseptic properties but can also dry out your skin so opt for something that is alcohol-free. Strong and long-lasting fragrances are also typical of aftershaves.
More on aftershaves and colognes here.
For a milder post-shave option, an aftershave balm is a great choice. Balms, also referred to as creams, are typically alcohol-free and are formulated from oils and beeswax, giving them a thicker consistency. You’ll also find aftershave balms stacked with natural nourishing ingredients like Vitamin E and Witch Hazel to minimize the irritations caused by shaving. These are great for adding hydration and moisture back to skin and are suitable for men with dry or sensitive skin. Unlike an aftershave splash, balms are lightly scented and give off a very faint fragrance.
Aftershave lotions are best described as a mixture of a between a splash and a balm. Lotions can be formulated with a number of ingredients such as shea butter, glycerin, aloe vera, and even a low concentration of alcohol. They have a mild to soft scent and their natural counterparts will feature moisturizing agents to calm and sooth skin.
Post-shave, your skin is raw and most vulnerable post-shave. If you’re prone to irritation and nicks, an alum block or styptic pencil are wise investments. Use these products to treat minor nicks and cuts before applying the aftershave product of your choice – splash, balm, or lotion.
All in all, if you don’t want to end up with those obnoxious razor bumps or other signs of irritation, it’s important to develop a good post-shave routine. Prevention is your best defense.