When you shave, do you finish up with aftershave balm or nothing? The state of health of your skin and face would depend largely on whether or not you use aftershave and the type you use. You may lose freshness and smoothness on your face as a result of not using an aftershave or using a form that’s not suited for your skin type.
When you shave, you scrap your face with a razor, removing up to two layers of outer skin. This can be potentially damaging and irritating to your skin – removing the outer protective layers. Think of the possible consequences of this exposure – the germs, the irritations and all.
Something else has to come in immediately after a shave to reestablish the protective quality of the skin. That something is called aftershave.
Aftershave is a liquid, lotion, or gel designed to be applied after a gentleman shaves his face to soothe chafed skin. After-shave products have been used historically to prevent infections that arise from any possible minor nicks/cuts on the face after shaving. It locks in moisture and helps defends skin by keeping the unwanted elements out. When skin is not in peak condition, it can exacerbate the look of aging; to combat this, it’s so important to prep your skin before your shave and to treat it after you shave.
A good after-shave replenishes the moisture lost while shaving, leaving a protective layer to combat shaving irritations like razor bumps, razor burns and ingrown hairs.
There are two broad categories of aftershave: aftershave splash and aftershave balm. Splashes are watery and generally contain a combination of toners, astringents and hydrosols to cleanse and provide a degree of antiseptic or antibacterial protection to the skin. Balms are heavier-feeling on the skin and typically provide more moisture and irritation relief for the skin – particularly in cold or dry climates.
Which, therefore, should you use, aftershave or aftershave balm? That would depend on the contents as it relates to your skin type, geography, and your personal likes/dislikes.
Regular aftershave tends to have strong, overpowering smell that might not mix well with other scents like colognes, the alcohol content in alcohol-based aftershaves will most likely irritate your face, cause redness and itching, and make your facial skin dry out. It’s also quite cumbersome to apply, because you have to “splash” it over your face, which can be messy and lead you to apply too much, and then it just doesn’t provide as much moisture as the other alternative. So while it does kill bacteria, its protective and moisturizing powers are quite limited especially for people with dry and sensitive skin.
Aftershave balm on the other hand has a mild scent that would not interfere with other scents worn on your body, is more application friendly since you can apply just the amount you want on your palms and spread it evenly across your face, doesn’t contain alcohol, so you can skip the itchiness and irritations of alcohol-based aftershaves, and perhaps its greatest gift is its moisturizing properties. Sufficient hydration provides for healthy feelings, a good looking facial skin, and a good aftershave balm contains ingredients that can both kills germs and provide an extra layer of protection for your skin against outside elements.
I’ll recommend aftershave balm for most guys – especially those of you with dry and sensitive skins and those in cold or dry climates as these need as little exposure to alcohol based facial treatment as possible.