Although many men are averse to all things skincare, aftershave has been something that men have embraced for decades. After a good shave, it’s easy to just slap on some aftershave and smell good (never mind the intense burning).
Aftershave certainly has its place in shaving. Traditionally it’s a liquid, gel or lotion that is applied to the skin after shaving. It’s intended to soothe skin and treat the tiny cuts from shaving. It’s definitely a good idea to use aftershave as it can help you prevent any irritation from shaving. With that being said, it’s important to embrace a natural approach to this type of skincare. Our natural brand of choice is Lather & Wood’s aftershave balm.
- Why Traditional Aftershaves are Bad for Skin
- What to look for in Aftershave
- The Top Brands
- How to Use Aftershave
What a lot of men don’t realize is that the aftershave they’ve been using on their face is actually making their skin worse. Most commercial brands are loaded with alcohols and other chemicals that aren’t good for retaining moisture and keeping skin healthy.
There are a number of reasons why traditional, commercial aftershaves are bad for men:
- Fragrance: One of the main purposes of using aftershave was to smell good. While this is a nice touch, it comes at the expense of your skin. Perfume does not soothe skin, it only irritates it.
- Alcohol: Alcohol is used as an antiseptic to treat cuts, but its main role is to kill bacteria and prevent infection- not to soothe skin. Alcohol should not be a primary substance in your skin care routine as it slows down the healing process and increases the aging process.
- Added Chemicals: You can expect to fine fragrances, emulsifiers, dyes and other chemicals in aftershaves. These are for convenience, not for improving your skin.
You must be diligent when buying aftershave. Always read the labels carefully to make sure that the product you are buying is not loaded with junk.
The primary purpose of using an aftershave should be to restore moisture to your skin and to help soothe and heal the redness and nicks on your skin. This is best done by using aftershave balms that forego using harsh chemicals and instead use natural ingredients.
These products should include natural moisturizers like shea butter or coconut oil. These substances will help leave your skin feeling soft and smooth, whereas alcohol leaves skin dry and flaky. As for an astringent used to treat cuts, stick with something like therapeutic grade tea tree oil. This will help get rid of any bacteria growth that can potentially get into your pores.
Though fragrances are usually best avoided, if they come from a natural source then that’s fine. Look for products that have essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus.
These brands consistently put out high-quality, natural skincare products. Their aftershaves are no exception:
|Lather & Wood||2 oz.||$$$$||5|
|Rugged & Dapper||4 oz.||$$||4.5|
|Bull Dog||2.5 oz.||$$||4|
|Herban Cowboy||3.4 oz.||$||4|
1. Lather & Wood Shaving Co.
The aftershave balm from Lather & Wood offers a classic shaving experience without the irritation and frustration of commercial brands.
This brand self-proclaims itself as the best aftershave balm on the market. Its claim is marked by its alcohol-free formula, which not only doesn’t irritate skin, but moisturizes skin and offers an unparalleled soothing sensation. Leather & Wood’s balm will keep your skin feeling fresh and healthy all day long, without being overly greasy.
For men who are tired of having dried out skin, the Lather and Wood balm moisturizes like a body lotion, leaving skin cool and calm even after a rough shave. The company offers an unscented version, as well as a ‘sandalwood’ smell for those who want a little fragrance with their aftershave.
2. Rugged and Dapper
The folks at Rugged and Dapper offer the most versatile facial moisturizer on the market. In addition to using it as an aftershave, you can also use it as a general moisturizer, an anti-aging cream, and as a skin hydrator. It’s truly an all-in-one skin care solution, and an excellent addition to any skincare regimen.
The Rugged and Dapper facial moisturizer is perfect for even the most sensitive skin types, and helps to prevent irritation from shaving as well as damage from the sun and environment.
The ingredients are the key to this product’s effectiveness. Their formula contains a powerful, nutrient rich blend: Jojoba oil, Aloe Vera and Shea butter for moisturizing, Hyaluronic Acid for anti-aging, plus green tea for antioxidants. This blend works together to soothe, hydrate, and defend all at once. It absorbs quickly so forget about the aftershave sitting heavily on your face for the entire day.
3. Bull Dog
Bull Dog has become quite a popular skincare line. But don’t let the marketing fool you, they’re more than just a cool name…
Bull Dog’s original aftershave balm is formulated with sensitive skin in mind. For men who have suffered for years from irritation and dryness at the hands of commercial aftershave balms, look no further than this product.
BullDog’s aftershave balm is formulated with aloe vera, shea butter, jojoba and sunflower oil- essential oils that make for a smooth, comfortable shave. It also contains green tea extracts, vitamin E and rosehip oil to help keep skin strong and to prevent irritation. Bull Dog’s aftershave is indeed one of the best in terms of pain relief, so if regular irritation is something you experience then this product is perfect for you.
It’s part of the company’s mission to use natural, cruelty free, vegan products so you can rest assured this product is made on good terms. It’s also free of SLS, colors, dyes, fragrances, parabens- everything you don’t want on your face.
4. Herban Cowboy
Herban Cowboy offers a unique twist on aftershaves. Their brand features a creamy, rich blend of carrot and cucumber, with shea butter for maximum conditioning.
The wonderful smell consists of a combination of cinnamon, cedar and vanilla. These ingredients are what give it the masculine scent. The notes are distinct, yet not overpowering. This makes it great to use just before a date. But be careful not to put too much on your face, if you do then the scent can be quite strong.
The Herban Cowboy Dusk Aftershave Balm is completely free of alcohol, dyes, and chemicals. Therefore you won’t experience any irritation with this product. It’s also made in the USA.
Using aftershave is more than just slapping some balm on your face after shaving. There are a few things you should keep in mind.
First of all, your face should still be moist from your shaving cream. This way you will need less product as it will be able to spread around easier. To apply the aftershave, add a few squirts of the balm to your hands, rub your hands together gently, and then massage the balm into your skin.
You should also choose aftershaves based on your skin type. For those with normal skin really anything goes, whereas those with sensitive skin must be diligent in checking for any ingredients that may cause irritation.
For those with dry skin, look for a balm that emphasizes moisturizing over antiseptic qualities. And for those with oily skin, you’ll want to use a lighter aftershave preferably with a toner to cut down on oil production.
Traditionally, a man’s post-shaving routine was to just splash some alcohol-based aftershave on their skin and then head off to work. But what your skin really craves after shaving is moisture, so splashing on a product that will dry out your skin is a bad idea. A better approach is to use a soothing moisturizer-based aftershave that will deliver the hydration your skin so desperately needs. One of the above products will do just that, so we recommend that you try one out.