While it may seem relatively straightforward, there's actually a lot more to aftershave that meets the eye. Coming in a variety of different forms, it's important to consider your skin type when choosing the right product. Let's take a look at what's best for you, as well as how you should be applying aftershave properly.
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What is Aftershave?
So what does aftershave do, and what is aftershave for? Well, aftershave is typically a man's thing, but it is very similar to women's perfume or body sprays.
While it may not comes as news to most, the difference between aftershave and cologne, perfume, etc, is that an aftershave is more focused on adding a small amount of fragrance (1-2% vs. cologne's 4-6%) as well as some post-shave nourishment. While the most popular are liquid or lotion, aftershave also comes in the form of scented balms, creams and gels.
What does Aftershave do?
So, what is aftershave for exactly? Why use aftershave when you could just use a great smelling eau de toilette instead? While the original term meant, quite literally, that aftershave after shaving was the best use of the product, this has since changed.
The official purpose of aftershave is to serve as a fragrance enriched product that contains moisturising, anti-bacterial and soothing ingredients. This term has since become open to interpretation with many budget fragrances now adopting the name and, as such, diluting the meaning of the phrase.
How to Use Aftershave
So what is aftershave used for? Well, assuming you've picked yourself up a proper aftershave product and not a simply an overdiluted, misnamed bottle off the market that is essentially slightly scented water; aftershave is actually a great addition to any man's shaving routine.
Depending on what skin type you have, you can tailor what to use after shaving; from balm to oils, creams and lotions. If you're wondering how to apply aftershave, there's a slight process to maximise the benefits:
- First, put the product into your hands and rub them together, this will spread the products evenly and generate a little heat which will make application easier.
- Open your palms and allow some of the alcohol to evaporate. This will prevent excessive burning as well stopping your skin drying out.
- Gently apply the aftershave to your face, moving in a downward motion from your cheekbones to your jawline and down to the neck - ensuring to rub in thoroughly all around.
- If you're still feeling a little dry/irritable, apply another layer using slightly less product than before.
Best Aftershaves for Men
While aftershave can come in numerous different forms, we've selected the three most popular with a little information on which skin type they'll suit best.
Aftershave balms are ever increasing in popularity for many reasons; primarily their softer, silkier feel and creamy texture is extremely soothing to the skin after shaving, particularly for those with sensitive skin. The best aftershave balms are well suited to colder climates, or in winter weather due to their thicker consistency - giving skin a more substantial boost of moisture.
Best Suited Skin Type: The heavier consistency is extra friendly to sensitive, dry or dull skin that often occurs in chilly temperatures.
An aftershave lotion has a watery consistency, which is good for men with an oily skin type. This is because water is naturally a lot lighter than a cream or balm, so has the ability to absorb faster into the skin instead of leaving a greasy shiny layer. A lot of aftershave lotions also contain toners and antiseptics which help to cleanse the skin deeply while giving post-shave nourishment.
Best Suited Skin Type: While a lotion is suited to most skin types, those with oily skin will notice it'll give less of a greasy finish than heavier creams or balms.
Aftershave creams can be thick or thin in consistency, so it's best to check before you purchase. Thicker creams are often better at soothing irritation but can leave the skin greasy so aren't the best bet for men with naturally oily skin. Thinner aftershave creams are better for the oilier man, as they take less time to soak into the skin and will leave a drier finish.
Best Suited Skin Type: Depends on consistency, thicker creams suit those with dry or irritable skin, thinner creams are best suited to those with oily skin but will work well for most other skin types also.
Best Aftershave Products
- Aftershave Balm: With a thicker consistency, aftershave balm is best suited to dry, sensitive or irritant prone skin.
- Aftershave Lotion: With a higher water content, aftershave lotion is best suited to oilier skin types.
- Aftershave Cream: Varies depending on consistency, thin typically for oily, thinner for dryer skin.
On That Note
From some of the best aftershaves for sensitive skin to those for oilier gents, whether you want a smooth, scented finish or something a little thicker to nourish dry skin. There are plenty of different types out there for you to choose from - use them correctly and in keeping with your skin type, and you can't possibly go wrong.