Face First: The 6 Best Aftershaves

Aug 12, 2016

Category: Grooming

Shaving does more than just remove hair, it also leaves your skin marred, its natural oils and protection stripped away as your face is laid bare before the harsh world. Naked, alone, and afraid, your skin needs something to help it survive the shaving experience and give it the tools to thrive. That is where aftershave comes in. It isn’t just there to help alleviate razor burn or shaving bumps, nor is it there to make you smell like a medicine cabinet. It’s there to help your skin recover, like an IV drip after a hard night of drinking out on the Vegas strip.

Getting the perfect one is about knowing what your skin needs. Does it need extra moisture? More antiseptic properties to fight off infection? Should it be pampered so that you look your best and can get in there and crush it or does it need a good hard slap so you don’t end up looking like the Ghost of Shaving’s Past? You’ve got to know your body to choose the proper aftershave, but to help you on the path, we’ve selected the 6 best for any and every man.

Aveeno After Shave Lotion

Aveeno After Shave Lotion

Pro: Very soothing
Con: Does not tighten or reduce pores

Burn Notice: Have you ever found yourself slathering your skin with butter right from the fridge to fight razor burn? You are not alone. An irritating shave not only looks unsightly, it feels wretched the whole day through and can make you dread the next morning’s routine. This natural concoction from Aveeno is meant specifically to fight the suffering and redness of razor burn. Men with overly sensitive skin will find that a quick application of this will be enough to keep them rolling on without making them reek like they took a bath in hand lotion. Using a water and glycerin base this is exceptionally gentle and offers a very high degree of moisture for anyone who lives in a dry climate or suffers from seasonal flaking or dry skin. Won’t firm or tighten pores as well as some, but is an immense relief after dealing with a rough razor. [Purchase: $8]

Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel

Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel

Pro: Excellent for oily skin
Con: Minimal moisturization

The Cooler: For guys with skin that runs a little on the oily side, or dudes who like to burn a few calories and work up a solid sweat after their shave, there is the cooling gel from renowned grooming company Jack Black. While it doesn’t have an alcohol base, it won’t give you extra moisture which can clog up your pores and give you hot flashes if you live in a moist climate. Works well for sensitive skin and won’t cause redness or irritation after shaving. Rather than hitting your skin with harsh chemicals, it employs a botanical mixture of rosemary and sage that smell fresh without being overpowering while fighting off bacteria. Can be worked easily into a larger skin care regimen since it won’t create a slippery residue or interfere with other moisturizing products. Uses witch hazel so any nicks won’t catch fire the moment it touches them. [Purchase: $20]

Mens Soap Shop Aftershave copy

Men’s Soap Shop Aftershave

Pro: Highly antiseptic
Con: Can be harsh on sensitive skin

The Cleaner: The metal flask appearance of this aftershave from the Men’s Soap Shop should give you an idea of the kind of rough trade you are in for when this comes at you. While it certainly isn’t as harsh as cheap, boozy choices, it isn’t there to gently lull you to sleep but to wake you up and prepare you for another day on the front lines. It’s Reveille for your skin. It’s meant to kill off any bacteria looking to infect you with a tangy witch hazel base that closes up your pores, making it perfect for guys who use electric razors which can carry more bacteria than standard blades.. The scents are all designed to be manly without smelling like your grandfather. Select from the options of sandalwood, vetiver, cedar wood and patchouli among others and none of the guys at the gun range or ladies at the bar will give you anything but respect for your refined taste, incomparable style, and total testosterone-fueled gravitas. [Purchase: $25]

Art of Shaving After Shave Lotion Ocean Kelp

Art of Shaving After Shave Lotion Ocean Kelp

Pro: Tightens pores and skin well
Con: Thin consistency requires liberal application

Straight Up: Men who start their day with a cutthroat straight razor to their face have unique skincare needs. After they’ve scraped away their shaving soap, they require something slightly different for their face since the direct blade contact tends to leave the skin exceedingly more raw than some of the kinder options out there. Using a glycerin base that works in conjunction with most of the higher-end creams, this hydrates and reduces your pores to pinpoints which locks in moisture so you won’t feel dryness creeping in after a long day, even if taking a trek through the Mojave. The aroma is breezy but the effect is deadly serious, helping your skin look smoother and more youthful, just begging for that special someone to get a little bit closer. The inclusion of ocean kelp helps fight free radicals and reduce signs of aging. [Purchase: $31]

The Gentlemens Refinery After Shave Balm

The Gentlemens Refinery After Shave Balm

Pro: Can be used repeatedly without irritation
Con: Limited size

Rinse and Repeat: Even the gentlest aftershave can give your face fits if you’re one of those poor hairy devils who need to shave every twelve hours lest the neighbors begin making outlandish Bigfoot claims or use a safety razor which can drag against your flesh. This balm from The Gentleman’s Refinery has all of you follically endowed fellows covered since it can be used time and again without bothering your skin, yet still giving you a smooth, satisfying, cleaner feel to your face. There is nary a hint of alcohol or paraben to be found in this brew since every component is completely natural. The price is a limiting factor, as is the size of the bottle, but you must ask yourself how much the comfort of your face is worth to you. We prefer the simplicity of the unscented version, but you may like the gentle olfactory sensation of any of their line. This is much more of a milk than a true balm, but we’re not going to get bogged down in semantics when our skin feels this tight and toned. [Purchase: $40]

Giorgio Armani Code Lotion

Giorgio Armani Code Lotion

Pro: Subtle but appealing scent
Con: Can cause dryness over time

Strictly Sophisticated: Seductively scented and gentle on the skin, this veritably oozes class. More than that, it reduces redness and helps skin develop a more radiant appearance that is perfect for dazzling a date or impressing the boys on the board. The apple, citrus, and lavender smell has an alluring effect that draws people in and begs to be touched. The intent here is more to entice than to be used on a daily basis for improved skin tautness and moisture, so extended application without the addition of a secondary moisturizer can cause excessive dryness. Men with sensitive skin should use sparingly and supplement with a natural moisturizer. [Purchase: $51]

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