I don’t know much about your facial hair situation, but you should never treat your aftershave as an afterthought. Whether you have a full beard or struggling with the patches, an aftershave is an important part of every man’s grooming routine.
In the good old days, aftershave was a simple alcohol-based product you’d splash on your face after shaving to prevent infections from nicks and those annoying breakouts.
While aftershave still serves the same purpose they did decades ago, you have many options to choose from, not to mention different categories of products work as aftershaves.
Overall, an aftershave soothes the skin while warding off any irritation from shaving. It kills bacteria, prevents the infection of nicked skin, and wards off excessive drying or oiliness, and a good aftershave will leave you smelling really nice.
A good aftershave contains moisturizers to soften the skin while creating a cooling effect. Lastly, by closing the exfoliated pores, a great aftershave prevents post-shave breakouts. Basically, your face will thank you if you invest in the best aftershave.
With all these benefits, which is the best aftershave for men? What do you need to do to find your best aftershave? What are the things you should consider before buying aftershave? Should you buy a cream or liquid aftershave or a balm?
Finding the best aftershave for men
Our needs differ; what works for your buddy might not work for you. Kee the following considerations in mind:
Liquid/ Balm/ Gel/ Splash/ Creams
Your choice over any of these products will depend on your skin type. Balms and creams are perfectly designed to keep your skin moisturized. They also relieve and prevent irritations.
Therefore, if you have dry or sensitive skin, the balm/cream aftershave is ideal for you. A balm aftershave is also essential if you live in a cold and dry climate region.
The liquid aftershave, on the other hand, is ideal for guys with oily skin. This liquid tonic not only tones the skin but also closes up pores, preventing breakouts.
Splashes, gels, and lotions also work well for individuals with oily skin.
A splash aftershave is ideal for normal skin.
Note that if you have sensitive skin, then you need to find a cream or balm that’s made of safe and healthy ingredients free of parabens or alcohol.
If you don’t want to try different products to determine what works for you and what doesn’t, you might want to visit a dermatologist for a skin test.
If you are unsure of your skin type or the best product formulation for your skin, you should do one thing – check the ingredients in the aftershave.
At the end of the day, an aftershave protects your skin which means that you must be extra careful about the ingredients that make up that product. Two things come to mind – alcohol and witch hazel.
Witch Hazel is an all-natural ingredient and something you want in your aftershave. Witch hazel boasts astringent properties, and it’s common in skin products thanks to its ability to constrict your skin pores.
Witch hazel will not dry out the skin. It also boasts anti-inflammatory features which means that this ingredient will soothe your skin; its anti-inflammatory features is the reason why witch hazel is the recommended home remedy for rashes and bug bites.
On top of all these, witch hazel is also a cleansing agent that will flush out bacteria from your skin pores. So, if you have acne, witch hazel will be the end of the annoying acne.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Essential oils are magic on the skin (when used correctly) and tea tree oil is one of the best essential oils for the skin thanks to its antiseptic properties.
Its incorporation in the best aftershaves means you won’t have to struggle with skin infections. And in combination with witch hazel, you will have the most soothing aftershave.
Lactic acid, sorbitol, and glycerol are humectants in aftershave. These humectants reduce the dehydrating effects from any of the other ingredients in the aftershave.
What can’t aloe vera do? Like you, we’ve had this thought a few times, and the interesting bit is that aloe vera is nature’s best gift to humans and it can do (read heal) just about anything. Aftershaves with aloe vera are particularly great thanks to aloe vera’s soothing effects.
So, whether you nicked your skin shaving or your skin is all dried out, aloe vera will take away the discomfort. An aftershave with aloe vera is a win all around.
Mineral extracts and oils – though some people frown upon these ingredients, the mineral oils and mineral extracts give the aftershave a natural fragrance, without causing rashes or any form of irritation.
Natural oils present in the aftershave keep the skin moisturized.
Glycerine moisturizes the skin
The other great ingredients in aftershaves include calendula, chamomile extract, vitamin E, jojoba oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, and apricot kernel oil.
Ingredients to avoid
Even though the aftershave used by guys from the previous decades had alcohol, we’d like to think that alcohol-based aftershaves are what they had at the time and they didn’t know better.
The truth is that alcohol-based aftershaves are not good for the skin. Despite the use of rubbing alcohol across the sexes, running alcohol aggravates any irritation on your skin, it stings, and it will dry out the skin.
You should also watch out for artificial fragrances and chemicals.
Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette, or Cologne
Even before we look at the best aftershaves for men, we need to look at the difference between the three most confusing aftershave products – Eau de Parfum, cologne, and the Eau de Toilette.
Guys, you don’t have to pretend. It’s quite okay if you cannot differentiate these three because the truth is that most of us hardly know the difference, and anything goes; as long as it seems to get the job done.
But being in the business of turning ordinary men into sophisticated and well-groomed gentlemen, we’ll break things down for you. Here’s what we mean:
Eau de Parfum (EDP)– this is the most expensive among the three. Parfum is designed to last for up to 8 hours as it has a high fragrance compound concentration between 15% – 20%.
Eau de Parfum is not only the most common dilution on the market, but it also represents the best option for anyone looking for deeper and richer tones. In this case, less is more, always!
Eau de Toilette (EDT) – Often, this contains about 15% of aromatic essence, and it’s the perfect everyday wear. EDT lasts about 4 hours.
Cologne – Cologne contains a lower concentration of fragrance (1-2%) and lasts for a maximum of 2 hours. It doesn’t have the same effects as EDP or EDT.
Type of fragrance
On top of differentiating between EDT, EDP, and cologne, you also need to know your fragrances. The most common and the best fragrance options for men range from the floral scents to citrus, woody, and oriental scents.
It’s also important to keep in mind that some of the best-quality fragrances will have multilayered fragrances all appealing to your sense of smell in the top, middle, and base layers. Confused?
Well, the top layer of a fragrance is the first scent you smell when you first open that bottle, the middle layer scent is the scent that takes the bigger bulk of your fragrance, while the base layer is the scent that remains after the top and middle scents evaporate.
Don’t forget that aftershaves also differ in sizes and prices; now that we have the technical bits of aftershaves covered, here are our favorite picks
Best aftershaves for men
1. Proraso Aftershave Lotion
Proraso has been around the grooming/ shaving world from 1948, and it’s regarded as the best of Italy’s aftershave brands. The beauty of this Proraso Aftershave lotion lies in its ability to transport you back in time to the age of enthusiastic barbershop visits –the hot towels, straight razors, and beautiful fragrance.
Besides being a reputable brand, this Proraso aftershave lotion has everything you would want in an aftershave: from living up to the Italian culture to the use of all-natural ingredients in its manufacture.
This aftershave is regarded as the best refreshing/ toning lotion, and it also makes a fine aftershave balm that soothes and moisturizes the skin.
Its greatness comes from the incorporation of organic eucalyptus oil, which not only tones the skin; it also purifies both the skin and your facial hair.
The menthol is the source of the refreshed and revitalized feelings that fill you up after you apply the aftershave. On top of these natural ingredients, there is witch hazel which will further soothe the skin while reducing razor burns and rashes.
The best bit is that this aftershave gives you immediate relief after your shave as soon as you put it on.
Besides its all-natural formulation, this aftershave lotion has a beautiful, clean, and mild scent that will not linger all day long. The fragrances evaporate within two hours, and it blends quite well with most colognes.
- It’s priced affordably
- It has no animal-based ingredientsIt offers immediate relief
- 95% of its ingredients are all-natural
- Its scent won’t linger all day long
- It revitalizes and refreshes the skin
- No parabens, silicones, phthalates, and artificial color
- It’s not alcohol-based meaning that it doesn’t have any drying effects.
- The scent feels somewhat medicinal
2. Nivea Men’s post-shave balm – Best for Sensitive Skin
If you are tired of the constant irritation and redness thanks to your sensitive skin, you might want to try Nivea’s Post-Shave balm. This balm is also an excellent choice if you have dry skin. So, if you want to end your struggles or wish to transition from the full-beard, this aftershave balm will make the transition a lot less uncomfortable.
The balm’s formulation promises a moisturize, soothed, refreshed and smooth skin, thanks to its alcohol-free, natural ingredients. Expect a cooling, pleasantly tingling sensation after applying the balm.
Some of the natural and soothing ingredients in this balm include vitamin E, witch hazel, chamomile, and seaweed extract. Besides helping you sleep, chamomile is an excellent ingredient that will soothe, calm, enrich, and replenish your sensitive skin.
Chamomile is the reason for that pleasant, cool, and tingly sensation you feel after applying the balm. Witch hazel has astringent properties which will constrict your pores and prevent breakouts.
Its anti-inflammatory properties will soothe your skin, while its cleansing effects will flush out bacteria from your skin. Vitamin E in the aftershave enhances the overall health of your skin while fighting any potential infections.
Seaweed extract is also important in this aftershave thanks to its ultra-hydrating effects, as well as its soothing and calming effects.
- Alcohol-free formula
- Soothes and moisturizes
- It doesn’t dry up the skin
- Cools and refreshes
- It has natural ingredients
- It doesn’t work that well for guys with normal skin
3. Lucky Tiger’s aftershave
Lucky Tiger is another to the brand of aftershaves and men’s grooming products, and the best part is that it boasts all features you’d want in a top-quality aftershave.
Lucky Tiger is an old brand of men’s aftershaves having been on this market since 1925. Despite technological, fashion, and style changes, this aftershave remains one of the best formulations boasting that classic vintage feel.
Among other features, this aftershave has natural anti-inflammatory ingredients that not only soothe and protect your skin but also enhance the overall health of the skin, while preventing acne and breakouts.
This formulation has a citrusy scent, and it’s free of parabens and alcohol. So, if you have been looking for the best alcohol-free aftershave tonic, Lucky Tiger could be exactly what you need.
An aftershave tonic, Lucky Tiger aftershave is the ideal product for individuals with oily and even sensitive skin. This aftershave is a gentle formulation with aloe vera and witch hazel which are not only friendly to the skin, but also great at preventing the inflammation and the irritation of your skin.
These natural ingredients will also prevent inflammation, acne, or irritation. The citrus scent is cool and pleasant, but not overbearing.
The other ingredients that make this aftershave one of the skin-friendly options include calendula, chamomile, olive fruit oil, and borage oil. These three work in synchrony to prevent the inflammation of the skin. The best part is that they will lock in moisture, without leaving your skin with that greasy feeling.
Chamomile has soothing and calming effects on the skin, and it also replenishes and enriches the skin’s sensitive and dry areas. Calendula has anti-inflammatory and soothing effects.
It also cools down and soothes the skin, while rejuvenating, brightening, and softening the skin; basically everything you have been looking for in skin products.
Borage oil also carries anti-inflammatory effects thanks to gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) found in the oil. GLA is a great moisturizer, and borage oil will penetrate the skin’s surface, keeping your skin healthy and perfectly hydrated.
Olive fruit oil infused in this aftershave is also great for the skin. Olive oil not only lubricates the skin but also protects your skin while allowing you to make close shaves comfortably.
- It’s affordable
- The pleasant and mild citrusy scent
- Ideal for sensitive and oily skin
- Mostly natural ingredients – olive fruit oil, chamomile, witch hazel, aloe vera, and calendula, borage oil.
- No parabens
- The scent doesn’t work for everyone
4. Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel/ Lotion
Every man dreams of a perfect shave and a smooth, breakout-free skin after their daily shave. Unfortunately, most of us only dream of good skin since we often struggle with acne and never healing nicks. Without the right shaving items in the shaving kit, shaving can be quite unforgiving.
The good news, however, is that you could change all that thanks to this Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel. This gel has everything you need to look good and feel great after every shave.
Enriched with all the nice ingredients, this aftershave will push you back to the top of your game. Just make sure that you have a positive attitude and the best shaving soap and razor.
This aftershave by Jack Black is an excellent alcohol-free shaving gel that will end your struggles with shaving irritation, razor burns, or redness. And the best part is that this lotion won’t sting after.
What makes it that good?
This Jack Black aftershave cooling gel is enriched with aloe extracts which end all problems related to skin irritation. It also has witch hazel and chamomile which are known for their cooling and calming effects. These two ingredients also prevent inflammations and infections.
The cooling gel also contains sage which boosts blood circulation, and also promotes the healthy growth of your facial hair. So, if you have been struggling with facial hair and skin, this cooling gel will end all your problems after a few uses.
The other natural ingredient in this aftershave is Lavender oil which boasts antiseptic properties. Lavender oil will heal your skin, especially after one of those rough shaves. It will also reduce redness and pain. Lavender oil is also an excellent antioxidant and healing agent that will heal sunburns if you have any.
This aftershave is also free of artificial fragrance, parabens, and colors. It’s vegan too.
- It’s ideal for normal skin and works for oily skin too
- Protects from UV damage
- It’s vegan
- It has the best natural ingredients
- This lotion calms, hydrates, and heals the skin
- It has sage, aloe vera, witch hazel, lavender oil, and chamomile; all great for your skin
- It has no fragrance at all
5. Thayers’ face toner
If you are thinking of joining the au-naturale bandwagon, you may want to kick off your natural journey with this face toner which boasts the best of both worlds by having the best antiseptic and soothing properties.
This Thayers toner is ideal for oily skin and it promises to keep your skin from infections thanks to witch hazel which is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Witch hazel also bears antibacterial properties, and it will prevent your skin from acne or any other form of breakouts.
This toner works is an excellent alternative to the plain witch hazel water, which has an unpleasant scent even though it works great. In addition to witch hazel, this face toner that doubles as an excellent aftershave has aloe vera to soothe the skin and vitamin E to rejuvenate and enhance the health of your skin.
Together, all these three natural ingredients will soothe and refresh your skin after a shave, especially if your skin is inflamed. Note that there are several variants of Thayers’ toners including the witch hazel toner, the rose petal witch hazel, the aloe-vera original, etc.
If you are looking for toner water from Thayer that offers all the benefits of the toner, you might want to try Thayers’ Alcohol-free Rose petal soothing witch hazel.
- It’s 100% natural
- It works for men and women
- It works for all skin types
- It has a light scent
- It’s alcohol-free
- It’s affordable
- Pleasant rose water smell that doesn’t linger for too long
- It’s free of parabens, humectants, and parabens.
- No masculine fragrance
6. Barberry Coast Bay Rum Aftershave Splash
If you have been looking for a more masculine aftershave that leaves you with images of pirates and sailors said to have sailed the Caribbean centuries ago, you will not go wrong with this Barberry Coast Bay Rum Aftershave Splash.
This splash aftershave is ideal for taming irritated skin, and it also leaves you smelling and fresh. This splash is alcohol-free, and it has glycerin which will keep your skin moisturized and irritation-free.
Besides glycerin, this splash is handcrafted with the best of natural ingredients that have been aged to perfection. This aftershave is the perfect blend of citrus, exotic spices, bay leaves, essential oils, and other exotic plant extracts.
You should expect a quick burning sensation from this aftershave, but it will disappear soon after use.
- All-natural, and nourishing ingredients
- No GMO oils
- No parabens
- It has an exotic scent
- The scent is a little too small for some people
These are the best aftershaves on the market. Remember to choose an aftershave based on your skin’s needs.