Which aftershaves are the best?
Barbers first started using aftershave in the late 1700s to kill bacteria and reduce the chances of infection. It also helped people smell nice at a time when bathing wasn’t as common as it is today.
These original aftershaves were often harsh on the skin and stung badly for a short period of time. While you still can find aftershave like this, the majority of formulas on the market these days are designed to be pleasant to apply and both soothing and hydrating for skin.
Lather & Wood Shaving Co. Aftershave Balm is one such option. It has a very low alcohol content, relying on mostly organic and natural ingredients such as witch hazel and rosemary for their astringent properties. It also contains jojoba oil and aloe vera to leave your skin feeling soft and refreshed.
What to know before you buy an aftershave
Types of aftershaves
Aftershaves can be categorized into three types. All offer the same main benefit of disinfecting the skin after shaving, but some are more soothing than others.
Splashes: These used to be the most common form of aftershave and are what most people think of when picturing it. They have a thin, liquid consistency, tend to have high alcohol content and often provide that harsh sting some users prefer. This means they are very effective at disinfecting the skin and closing the pores but can be overly harsh and drying.
Lotions: These also tend to have high alcohol content but are thicker than splashes. This can make them easier to apply and also means they have good antiseptic properties. Most lotions also incorporate moisturizing ingredients to help combat the dryness alcohol causes.
Balms: These are the most gentle and hydrate the skin while disinfecting it. They have little or no alcohol content, relying on natural ingredients such as essential oils for their antiseptic properties. This makes them popular choices and ideal for those with sensitive skin who often experience razor burn.
Alcohol vs. non-alcohol
Aftershaves may be alcohol or non-alcohol-based. Those that don’t contain alcohol rely on other ingredients for their astringent properties. Some users prefer alcohol-based aftershaves because they feel like those aftershaves are better at disinfecting the skin and offer that familiar burning sensation. However, some alcohol-based aftershaves are very harsh and drying, which can lead to more irritation. If you prefer to use an alcohol-based aftershave, choose one with low alcohol content.
What to look for in a quality aftershave
Aftershaves are available in scented and unscented formulas. If you want a scented option, consider fragrances that work well with your natural body chemistry and any other products you use on a daily basis. Common fragrances for aftershaves are citrusy, herbal, woodsy and spicy.
Aftershaves are made with a range of synthetic and natural ingredients that are beneficial for the skin. Aloe vera, shea butter, jojoba oil, almond oil and coconut oil are common natural oils and botanicals used to soothe and hydrate the skin or help with wound healing. Natural astringents such as witch hazel, ginger and grapefruit and other citrus oils also help with wound healing and killing bacteria. They often are in alcohol-free formulas.
The fragrance comes from essential oils such as bergamot or sandalwood as well as artificial scents. Those fragrances that use artificial ingredients often have longer-lasting scents but are more likely to cause irritation.
How much you can expect to spend on an aftershave
Aftershaves vary greatly in price and there are options to suit every budget. Some cost as little as $1 an ounce, while others may be as much as $20 an ounce. Most individuals can find a suitable option with high-quality ingredients between $5-$10 an ounce.
Should women use aftershave?
A. “Aftershave” is a term used mostly for mens’ skin care products, and the majority of the products labeled as aftershaves on the market are intended for those who identify as men. That said, many women use moisturizers and other products after shaving that serve a similar purpose as aftershave.
Do I need to use aftershave if I use an electric shaver?
A. Yes. For some people, electric razors can be just as irritating as using a traditional razor. Aftershave can help soothe the irritation no matter which kind of razor caused it.
What is the best aftershave to buy?
What you need to know: This aftershave balm is made with mostly organic materials and leaves skin feeling smooth and soft.
What you’ll love: It has low alcohol content and rarely causes irritation, even for those with sensitive skin. It is backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.
What you should consider: Some may find the sandalwood scent too strong.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top aftershave for the money
What you need to know: Shaved Ice doesn’t contain any alcohol and has a cooling effect, which those prone to irritation from shaving will appreciate.
What you’ll love: Its gel-based formula is easy to spread, and it is free of parabens and other questionable ingredients. It also helps to restore the natural pH of your skin to keep it healthy.
What you should consider: It can leave behind a slightly greasy texture that takes a while to dry.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: With hydrating ingredients including shea butter and jojoba oil, this balm is ideal for those with dry and flaky skin.
What you’ll love: It has a slightly sweet and spicy fragrance that many will find appealing. It is very effective for soothing irritation, making it a good choice for those who often experience razor burn.
What you should consider: Its fragrance doesn’t last as long as some people might like.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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