Last updated: September 26, 2020

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Our skin, which is the only barrier between our internal habitat and outside surroundings, is susceptible to a number of external hazards such as solar radiation, pollution, and severe temperature changes. All of this takes a toll on the health of our skin, and especially in sensitive areas like the face. For this reason, we must take the proper steps in protecting the vitality of this part of our body. For men, shaving is another activity that has the potential to cause damage to the ski, it can burden the skin with irritation, cuts, bumps, and rashes.

Aftershave is a formula designed to soothe, refresh and protect the skin after shaving. By applying this product, we can ease and reduce irritation caused by the blades from razors or electric shavers. It helps prevent redness, razor burn and the appearance of bumps and cuts. In this guide, we explain everything you need to know about aftershave, answer the most commonly asked questions, and provide you with a list of the top-rated products on the U.S. market so you can pick the one that will work the best on your skin.

Key Facts

  • Many aftershave products contain alcohol, which is included to clean and sterilize the skin, helping prevent infection. Many lotions that people use in their everyday lives, no matter what kind, include alcohol within their formula. Aftershave, however, is usually not quite as moisturizing and tends to have a more penetrating odor. Those with sensitive skin should always avoid cream products that contain alcohol as it can sting or burn, creating a very uncomfortable sensation.
  • There are many varieties of aftershave, so it’s important to choose wisely. There are liquid formulas, moisturizing lotion formulas or balms that have a thicker and creamier texture, among many others. Choose according to your needs and taste. If you don’t like greasy textures, for example, it would be better to buy a more traditional lotion aftershave.
  • Some aftershave brands manufacture their products using only natural ingredients. These lotions tend to be soft and with a creamier texture. These types of aftershave products are ideal for those who prefer 100% all-natural options and want to avoid using potentially harmful, man-made chemicals and substances.

Our Selection of the Best Aftershave Products in the U.S. Market

Aftershave is a product that has been used amongst men across the world for decades. Razors and electric shavers often dry and irritate the skin, making it essential to care for it before and after shaving. Aftershave formulas provide hydration and relief to facial skin; and because there are so many varieties, brands and varying levels of quality among formulations, we’ve compiled a list of the best aftershave products available in the United States.

The Coolest Aftershave

Lather & Wood has created an after-shave balm that calms irritation and eliminates signs of razor burn. This balm gives an unsurpassed coolness and refreshing finish to your shave. Since it is non-drying, it does not sting or burn even the most sensitive of skin.

The special non-drying formula moisturizes the skin, leaving your freshly shaven face with a smooth healthy glow. It is a non-greasy formula that goes on easily and smoothly without clogging the pores. This 60 ml bottle of aftershave will last months, as you only need to apply a small amount to experience maximum results.

The Best Aftershave Overall

Proraso’s aftershave lotion has a nutrient-rich formula infused with eucalyptus oil and menthol. It soothes itching, moisturizes and protects the skin of the face and neck. Thanks to its lightweight formulation, it does not clog pores or irritate the skin, making it ideal for sensitive and reactive skin.

This aftershave lotion has been a favorite of Italian barbers for three generations and is Amazon’s choice for aftershave products. It’s refreshing and toning for the skin and immediately produces a cooler feel after shaving. Consumers love its fresh smell and how long-lasting it is.

The Best Caffeinated Aftershave

Unlike other shaving creams, Pacific Shaving Company created products that are made with safe, natural and organic ingredients. This shaving cream leaves the skin feeling moisturized and healthy-looking, making the most out of your shave. It’s natural ingredients make this aftershave product great for sensitive skin.

The innovative and highly effective formula includes organic argan oil and spearmint that soothes the skin, reducing bumps, irritation and other signs of razor burn. The caffeine present within this shaving cream helps reduce the appearance of redness. This product is paraben-free, vegan and made with no animal testing.

The Best Moisturizing Aftershave

This 5-pack of Gilette’s aftershave gel is one of the best products for the best value. For less than $15 you can get aftershave that will last you for years. It is formulated especially for sensitive skin in a cooling and easy-to-apply gel.

This light scented gel instantly cools and refreshes newly shaved skin. It has a non-greasy formula that will leave the face feeling smooth without clogging the pores, giving you a fresh feel all day long. Although this product was made to apply after you shave, it’s a great moisturizing product that can be used at any time whenever your skin needs a boost of cool energy.

The Best Aftershave for Sensitive Skin

For years Nivea has been producing quality cosmetic products just for men. This product is one of them, it has a gentle, fast-absorbing formula that improves the skin’s condition over time. With chamomile, vitamin E and witch hazel extract, it effectively calms the skin, instantly reducing shaving irritation.

This creamy, light-textured lotion is formulated without alcohol, which tends to dry out the skin. It is made to prevent skin from over-tightening and flaking after shaving, leaving it clean, fresh and smooth. It is dermatologically tested, and it’s proved suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive. The end result will be well cared for and healthy-looking skin.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Aftershave

Before buying any aftershave lotion or balm, it is important to inform yourself about all aspects of the product and its ingredients. There are many different kinds of aftershave formulas, all with varying effects. In the next part of the guide, we’ve broken down and laid out all the key factors and characteristics to consider when looking for an aftershave. Read on to get answers to the most frequently asked questions among buyers.

The secrete to a perfect shave is using the right aftershave.
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What is aftershave exactly?

Aftershave, or post-shave lotion, is a liquid, gel, or balm that is used by men after shaving to reduce the razor burn and irritation brought on by razors or electric shavers. They may contain antiseptic agents such as alcohol to prevent infection and relieve itching. Many of them double as moisturizing creams to enhance the natural vitality of the skin and combat dryness.

Some are even infused with ingredients to not only give the skin a fresh feel but a fresh scent as well. The highest quality formulas are based on natural ingredients that moisturize, refresh and soothe the skin from the inside out; tackling irritation deep within the skin cells. Many aftershave products contain elements that work to strengthen and protect, creating more resilient skin.

Did you know that aftershave-like substances were used in Ancient Egypt during burial rituals? Over time these lotions and creams evolved, proving to be useful in the day-to-day lives of people all over the world.

Why should I use aftershave?

The skin of men is much different from that of women, especially facial skin. Not only does it produce more facial hair than women, but it also tends to be thicker. Generally speaking, men’s skin is firmer and tends to secrete more oil, producing more grease to encourage the growth of hair. Men’s skin is usually more resistant and does not suffer the effects of aging as much and as quick as women’s.

Aftershave is essential for proper skin care. The consistent and adequate application of these products will help prevent dryness and extreme tightness. These special lotions have properties that restore flexibility and smoothness to the skin, reducing fine lines, redness, inflammation and other sources of irritation. All in all, aftershave balms work wonders to keep the skin soft, moisturized and healthy.

Perfume de hombre

Never overlook aftershave products as parts of a proper personal care routine.
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What are the benefits of aftershave?

Over time, the cheeks, neck, and chin area suffer greatly from shaving. These areas tend to become very dry and tight in addition to developing redness, inflammation, and pimples, which often appear after frequent shaving. If the skin is not cared for properly, an infection can set into the pores, which makes the skin becomes more susceptible to cuts.

Aftershave is designed to alleviate and reduce all the negative reactions associated with daily shaving. Some lotions have extra moisturizing properties, preventing excessive tightness that can lead to clogged pores and damaged skin cells. Aftershave refreshes and soothes the skin, increasing the natural elasticity and resilience of the skin.

What are the effects of aftershave?

Aftershave usually has calming and refreshing effects on the skin. It creates a moisturizing layer that brightens the face, keeping it looking young, healthy and bright. It also keeps the area hydrated and clear of pimples and infections. To give you a quick glance, here’s a summary of all the benefits that aftershave formulas can offer:

  • Deep hydration
  • Refreshes the skin
  • Enhances elasticity
  • Prevents the appearance of bumps and hair follicles
  • Refreshing scent
  • Calming properties that relieve shaving irritation
  • Helps prevent infection from small cuts and acne
Tip: In addition to having moisturizing and irritation prevention qualities, we suggest looking for creams that also incorporate sunblock to protect you from sun radiation.

How do aftershave formulas work?

These formulas have beneficial properties that are absorbed topically and care for and soothe the skin. In order to reap all their benefits, one must apply aftershave right after shaving. Once the face is clean, you simply apply the product evenly throughout the areas of the face and neck. The effects are often felt immediately, allowing you to instantly enjoy fresher and healthier skin.

Aftershave ingredients create a protective layer on the skin. Aside from protecting the skin from external harmful agents, this layer provides freshness and relieves the dryness and irritation caused by shaving. These products provide extra hydration and they are often made with antiseptic elements that prevent the appearance of pimples. Soothing the skin and working to restore its balance.

Aftershave will help you avoid razor burn and irritation after shaving.
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What ingredients should aftershave formulas contain?

We highly recommend that you look at the components and ingredients that make up an aftershave product. Balms formulated with chamomile, aloe vera extracts or other natural compounds are extremely beneficial to the health of our skin. These ingredients effectively and safely moisturize and alleviate the skin. Furthermore, they prevent the appearance of spots, redness, and scars by enhancing and promoting the natural rejuvenating power within skin cells.

The table below includes a list of the most common ingredients of aftershave formulas and their functions:

Ingredient Function
Chamomile Extract Soothes skin, relieves irritation, depurative and detoxifying.
Aloe Vera Soothes stinging, relieves irritation and removes scarring caused by acne and shaving.
Thyme Extract Provides a sensation of freshness and relieves stinging and irritation.
Menthol Provides sensations of freshness, while it calms irritation and lightly perfumes the skin.
Alcohol Disinfects and provides a soothing and cooling sensation, heals small cuts and prevents the appearance of acne.
Vitamin E Nourishes the skin after shaving and provides long-lasting protection.
Birch Sap Extract Soothing, antiseptic and healing effects.
Eucalyptus Promotes hydration, has antibacterial properties and relieves skin irritation.

What types of aftershaves are there?

On the market, there are a variety of aftershave products that have slightly varying formulas and effects. There are traditional aftershave liquids and balms that have an alcohol base. They tend to have a stronger scent and provide instant relief as well as a pleasantly cool sensation.

However, the potential downside is that because alcohol is a strong disinfecting agent, they can cause negative reactions in very sensitive or dry skin. It is always advisable to choose alcohol-free and natural lotions if you know you have reactive skin. Meaning it is important to take into consideration your skin type as well.

There are multifunctional aftershave products which serve more than just one purpose. These – in addition to protecting the skin and helping you avoid irritation – can eliminate dryness or excess oil. If you have oil-prone skin, these products are a great option. Some aftershave formulas can even be used as an alternative to facial creams.

Are all aftershave products good for my skin?

Just like it occurs with traditional facial creams, there are plenty of aftershave products that are made for every skin type. However, some products will be more appropriate for more specific skin types, tendencies, and problems. It will always be important to properly inform yourself about each product carefully.

If you have oily skin, a very rich lotion could create more issues, like seborrhea, and become counterproductive. The same goes for dry skin; choosing a product that will moisturize instead of dry out the skin further will be super important. Make sure that you choose a product according to your skin and individual needs.

Below is a table with the main types of aftershave available on the market:

Type of aftershave Properties
Normal Skin Hydrating formulas with moisture regulating properties.
Dry Skin Lotions with ingredients for intense hydration.
Combination Skin Sebum regulating formulas with moisturizing properties.
Sensitive Skin Formulas with natural and organic ingredients. With no added chemicals and 0% alcohol.
Oily Skin Formulas that regulate oil within the pores.
Invigorating Products that leave you feeling fresh and clean.
With Alcohol These are traditional formulas. They leave you feeling fresh and often come with crisp and strong scents or perfumes.
Hydrating These formulas facilitate the absorption and retention of water in skin cells. They help soothe and calm itchy or irritated skin while providing intense hydration.
Balms These have a very rich texture, and they provide ultimate soothing and care for the skin. Great for calming irritation and intense hydration.

How should I apply aftershave?

When thinking of applying aftershave, a funny image may come to mind, Macaulay Culkin in the famous “Home Alone” movie, applying aftershave with his hands, slapping his face and screaming. Barbers used to apply lotions in this manner, utilizing light tapping so that the skin would open and absorb the formula better. They would then apply alcohol to close the pores and lock in the components of the aftershave for them to take full effect.

This is one way to do it, of course, but it’s not the only way. It is best to apply these products right after shaving. When you’re done with the razor, wash your face with warm to hot water in order to open up the pores. It is important that the skin is clean and free of foam residues. Once this is done, you can apply the aftershave. Just put a little in your hand and spread, massaging the shaved area.

Remember that caring for the skin is a very important aspect of caring for our overall health.
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Does aftershave have adverse effects?

Aftershave does not usually have any adverse effects. These lotions are designed to be used on irritated and reddened skin after shaving. Therefore, its ingredients and properties are ideal for the care of all skin types. However, it is possible that someone with allergies or sensitivities may have adverse reactions to specific components in the aftershave.

That said, if you have sensitive, atopic skin or suffer from allergies, you should opt for alcohol-free lotions and those made specifically hypoallergenic. Remember that those made with alcohol can irritate the skin or cause more redness, and in the worst case even cracks and wounds. If your skin is sensitive, always choose all-natural and organic aftershaves, free of chemicals and parabens.

Here is a list of advantages and disadvantages of using aftershave products:

  • Hydration
  • Sensation of freshness
  • Relief of irritation
  • Caring for the skin
  • Possible allergic reactions

Shopping Criteria

When choosing an aftershave, it is essential that you evaluate certain aspects of the product. The following is a guide with the most important purchase criteria. Don’t rush, there are many aftershaves and many brands on the market. If you want to choose a quality lotion, follow these criteria:


After-shave lotion has been the cosmetic product traditionally used by men. These are liquids, lotions or balms that prevent irritation, while calming and relieving the skin after shaving. The lotions are similar to cologne, so they usually contain alcohol. Alcohol closes pores and prevents infection.

Balms are less aggressive on the skin. They usually don’t contain alcohol or only contain alcohol in very small amounts. They tend to have richer textures, like a gel or cream and are very similar to facial serums. Balms moisturize deeply and provide the skin with nutrients to reinforce youth and radiance.

Skin Type

It is best to always choose an alcohol-free aftershave. However, you may prefer a traditional lotion that does contain it for its antiseptic properties. In these cases, you should evaluate your skin type and what you need to take care of it and keep it clean. If you have sensitive skin, it is best not to buy a lotion due to their added fragrances, no matter how much you like aroma.

There are some aftershaves that are ideal for sensitive and atopic skins. There are also special brands and types available specifically for oily and dry skin. These days, there is a multitude of multipurpose aftershave products. These have all the benefits of aftershave and can also function as a male facial cream. You can use them daily for above and beyond skin protection.


Ingredients are essential when choosing the best aftershave for you. Traditional lotions usually contain extracts of menthol and eucalyptus. These lotions have very unique and special perfume qualities. On the other hand, they tend to incorporate a lot of alcohol, which can be harmful to sensitive skins.

The most modern balms and aftershaves, which look like facial creams, contain natural elements. Many ingredients include aloe vera, chamomile, and thyme. These natural botanicals soothe the skin after shaving and prevent redness. They provide greater hydration and care and are especially good for those with sensitive skin.


Aftershave, like any product, has an expiration date. Shaving daily is not the same as shaving weekly or even monthly. Choose aftershave according to your needs. If you’re not going to use it a lot, choose small bottles that you can use before they expire. This will prevent you from overpaying and wasting your money.

If you don’t shave every day, your skin will be more sensitive to shaving, requiring a balm that moisturizes and protects. If you shave every day and don’t have problems with dryness, the best option is a lotion that comes in a large bottle with a subtle fresh scent.


There are many types of aftershave. As we’ve already explained, each one is ideal for certain skin types. Among the many products, we can find in the market, are aftershaves that act as toning agents and astringents, specially designed to cleanse and tone the pores. These are not recommended for sensitive or dry skin.

The hydrosol aftershaves are those containing essential oils and herbal distillates. These are usually perfumed and somewhat acidic. You’ll also find moisturizers, which maintain skin’s suppleness and softness. And finally, you have the moisturizers, which contain ingredients to increase the hydration of the skin.


Familiarizing yourself with the formula of your aftershave will help you understand it’s effects and benefits. It will also keep you aware of any chemical agent or filler. This is especially important if you have atopic skin or allergies. Among the different formulas, there are those that are special for sensitive and hypoallergenic skin.

The consistency of the product also depends heavily on the formula. Some products are completely liquid, much like cologne. While balms, thanks to their ingredients that give calming properties, tend to be thicker.

We recommend looking for formulas with birch sap, as it is soothing, antiseptic and healing.

Consumer Reviews

Knowing the opinions and ratings of other consumers is also a key factor in making your decision. When we shop on the Internet, we can’t help but take this into account. Thanks to the reviews of other buyers, you can be informed on specific experiences, effects, and details that are not usually included in the product descriptions.

Evaluations are extremely important. You should never buy a product with bad ratings. Taking all this into consideration will allow you a more realistic view of the product. Within reviews and comments, you may discover an important factor that you would have otherwise overlooked.


Shaving puts a great deal of stress on your face. Over time, the skin experiences added wear and tear, requiring special care. Aftershave is a traditional and necessary cosmetic product for men that has been used for ages. These lotions protect and disinfect the skin, relieving itching and irritation. They also provide hydration and extra care, to keep the skin looking young and fresh.

Using aftershave post-shaving prevents the secretion of excess oil and the appearance of pimples and redness that come with it. In this article, we have reviewed everything you need to know to buy the best aftershave for your needs. We’ve made sure to explain everything from formulas, types, and textures. The rest is completely up to you, so, what aftershave are you opting for?

If you liked this article, leave a comment with your thoughts or share with your friends and family so they too can buy the best aftershave on the market.

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