Aftershave 101: What Does Aftershave Do? How to Use Aftershave?

Updated Date: by Reet Patel

It seems you care for your skin, which only a few men do. Firstly, this dedication deserves appreciation. Secondly, you must get the right piece of information for what you are looking for.  What does Aftershave do have a long list of things? And we promise to load you with precise information without beating around the bush.

This article consists of:

  • Personal experience with Aftershave
  • Steps to Apply Aftershave
  • A mistake that you must avoid

So, let’s get started.

Is Aftershave Necessary? What is Aftershave For?

It is the most common problem amongst beginners, who are unaware of its potential. From taking care of different skin types to ensuring moisture, using Aftershave becomes necessary for every guy.

It is a lotion, balm, or gel-based substance that soothes and heals your skin from any cuts and nicks you encounter during the shave. Shaving daily causes a loss of moisture, but an aftershave balm retains it.

Even dry and sensitive skin is vulnerable to razor burn, for which the use of Aftershave provides relief by moisturizing it.

Whenever you shave, a razor blade glides through the skin and exfoliates it. Here, it removes dead skin cells from the surface of the face. It makes the skin exposed to unwanted elements that can settle at any time.

Now you might think if it’s all about moisturizing, then why not use a moisturizer? What is the purpose of Aftershave apart from moisturizing?

Well, you can go ahead with moisturizer, but it will nourish your skin. For anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, you have to turn to quality aftershaves.

Now that you know why it is necessary, you must also look at the benefits of using an aftershave.

Benefits Of Aftershave and Is Aftershave Necessary?

benefits of aftershave

This question will even answer the most searched question: what does Aftershave do? Primarily, it heals your skin from cuts and nicks. For acknowledging more benefits, you must know what an aftershave includes?

Many brands introduced alcohol-based aftershaves, which contain Isopropyl alcohol as one of the ingredients. Being astringent-property rich, it acts like sanitizer on the skin, removing all the bacteria from the face. That’s the reason why your skin turns dry and irritative.

On the other hand, aftershaves made with a blend of natural ingredients like Coconut or Jojoba oil and moisturizing lotions like Aloe vera work both ways. It neither dries your skin out nor does it irritate.

Instead, it will soothe your skin and make it more moisturized. Apart from these, there are other several benefits of Aftershave, which are as follows:

Works as Antiseptic

As said, when you shave, a razor blade peels off the first layer of the skin, allowing the external particles to lodge inside. Due to this, it can cause bacterial infections, razor burn breakouts, or razor bumps. Even pores remain open after you shave off, which needs to be closed timely.

You can do these using alcohol-based aftershaves or the ones that contain witch hazel to your shaving routine. The above ingredients work as antiseptic agents to prevent skin irritation and bacteria.

Also, you can use lotion-based aftershaves for any bleeding caused during shaving. It heals at a much faster rate.

Prevents Irritation

Aftershaves that contain astringent properties are the best to soothe the skin. Some aftershaves contain menthol, which relieves you from post-shave burns. Aftershave balms are advisable for dry and sensitive skin to moisturize the skin.

Offers Pleasant Fragrance

Aftershaves come in a variety of fragrances that entice and allure users to buy them. The inclusion of essential oils produces a pleasant and masculine smell.

Also, it won’t clash with cologne. We will discuss the differences between cologne and Aftershave later on in this article.

Cooling Sensation

Shaving causes a burning sensation and redness on the skin. You might have noticed redness and inflammation on the skin post-shave.

You might want to deal with it and soothe your skin but are unable. Applying Aftershave would offer a cooling sensation and escape you from the stinging pain.

Now, you might have read a few ingredients, but that’s not all. There is a blend of natural ingredients that contribute to making an effective aftershave.

What are the Aftershave Ingredients?

Here is the list of ingredients that you might check while buying an aftershave for yourself:

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a natural ingredient obtained from plants that have numerous benefits. It works amazingly well if you combine it with aloe vera and glycerin. Also, it retains moisture and doesn’t let the skin dry out.

Benefits are as follows:

  • Witch Hazel with Anti-inflammatory Properties:

You can also call it a magic spell for irritated skin. Skin irritation is common after shaving, especially with dry sensitive and dry skin types.

Witch Hazel delivers a soothing and calming effect to the skin by treating rashes, burns, or bumps.

  • Witch Hazel with Astringent Properties:

Witch hazel and alcohol-based products come with this property. It binds the skin pores without losing moisture. It is mostly found in grooming products, regardless of gender.

  • Witch Hazel with No Stinging Effect:

What will you choose if you are given a chance between stinging and no stinging product? Of course, a product that doesn’t sting. After all, who likes the hassle and pain, right? Witch hazel is one such natural ingredient that you must look at while buying an aftershave. It neither stings nor does it dry out.

Natural Oils

The natural oils divide into three types, which you must know to understand what each offers and how they are beneficial.

  • Vitamin E:

You are an outdoor person, and it becomes vital to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Due to this, your skin might start showing signs of ageing very early.  

Here, you require an antioxidant grooming product to protect the skin from ageing. The products rich with this property are often costly but are effective.

  • Carrier Oils:

Carrier oils are the primary ingredients of skincare products. They have moisturizing properties essential for the skin. Nuts and seeds are the sources of carrier oils. It caters to the skin’s natural oil produced from sebaceous glands. If your Aftershave has carrier oil, then you don’t need to worry about skin-related problems.

  • Essential Oils

The job of essential oils is to add fragrance to the grooming products. Do not buy the product if any grooming company claims that the essential oil products can cure acne, dry skin issues, and dark spots.

Aloe Vera 

The addition of Aloe vera is specifically to treat various skin issues. If you have dry or acne-prone skin, then having aloe vera based Aftershave is the best for you. Aloe vera is also scientifically proven and is one of the trustworthy ingredients for treating skin.


Glycerin is the reason why you may feel the slickness in the Aftershave. Also, it preserves moisture, helping your skin to remain rash and irritation-free. It adds glow to the skin and reduces wrinkles as well. A glycerin-based aftershave is an excellent deal to crack.

Tea-Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic that removes dirt and other unwanted particles from the skin pores. Also, it soothes skin and reduces redness, inflammation, and swelling. The tea-tree oil also helps in reducing scars, making the skin clean and clear.

Bay Rum

Nowadays, the inclusion of denatured alcohol is no longer acceptable as a natural ingredient. But before this amendment, the Bay Rum aftershave was everyone’s favourite. It can stimulate hair growth, hydrates, and prevent beardruff.

Alcohol-Based (Must read)

This is where most of the men commit mistakes, but after reading this, I’m you won’t. Do not use alcohol-based Aftershave for your skin, no matter what skin type you deal with! These are mostly denatured alcohol that acts as an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial agent.

On the contrary, it kills good bacteria, flushes out everything from skin pores, and the stinging effect lasts long. Ultimately, it dries out your skin, making it prone to rashes, irritated skin, and heavy spending on other skincare products.

Now that you know the benefits, essential, and avoidable ingredients, it’s time to understand how to use Aftershave.

How to Use Aftershave? (Step-wise Distribution)

how to use aftershave

Most of you have seen your barber pouring a few drops of aftershave in hand, rubbing both hands together, and using them to apply on the face.

Step 1: Follow Shaving Routine

Once you decide to shave off your facial hairs, you must have a few things by your side, such as a safety or electric razor/shaver, shaving cream, and an aftershave. Start shaving off your facial hair by shaving with a razor, followed by shaving cream.  Do not apply extra pressure while gliding a razor on the face.

Step 2: Wash Your Face

Once you determine that you got clean-shaven skin, now is the time to wash your face with cold water. It helps you in cleaning the remains of cream and stuff. The cold water helps to close pores.  Gently dab your face with a clean towel.  It will soak all the water from the face.

Step 3: Pour Aftershave

Now, the real game begins. If it is a balm, then scoop out a thumbnail size and gently rub it in your hand. As soon as it melts, gently massage it on the face. If you bring home lotion or gel, pour out 2-3 drops, use a cotton pad, and do the same as you do with balm.

Here is the video tutorial for you to better understand how it works:

If you use aftershave, you get relief from several post-shaving hassles but are these the only hassles, or are there any other?  Keep reading the article to know when you should use Aftershave?

How Much Aftershave to Use and How Often to Use It?

Since the Aftershave offers soothing skin, many men get tempted to use it more.  But trust us, using more can cause harm because some aftershaves contain alcohol.

In our opinion, rubbing 3-4 drops of Aftershave is sufficient to relieve it from razor burn, razor bumps, and skin irritation.

You know the quantity of using aftershave, but do you know how frequently you can use an aftershave?

Aftershave contains moisturizing properties, which will protect skin from irritation and itching, especially sensitive skin.  Aftershave makes your skin better and retains moisture throughout the day.

If you use Aftershave that contains Witch hazel daily, it may tone skin with regular use.

Another question that most men ask is whether to wash off their face after massaging Aftershave.  Read on to know what to do with the Aftershave applied to the face.

Do You Need to Wash off or Remove Aftershave?

The short answer is NO!

The long answer is as to why you don’t need to wash off?

Since aftershave is a combination of moisturizer, disinfectant, and colognes, it is not advisable to wash them off after application.

alcohol aftershave

Here is an in-depth explanation as to what happens if you wash off your face after applying?

Lose Moisturizing Benefits

Whenever you glide a razor blade on your skin, it peels off the moisture layer along with facial hair and shaving cream.  It is one of the reasons for irritated skin, which is why an Aftershave is a must. 

Aftershave that contains natural and organic ingredients retains moisture levels in your skin.  Another benefit is it moisturizes dry skin, prevents fine lines and wrinkles.  Therefore, you should not wash your face post using Aftershave.

Lose Fragrance

Aftershave that contains essential oil offers a mild and pleasant fragrance, which does not even clash with your colognes and dissipates within a few minutes of application as well.

Some men love having fragrance in beard care products, while some men may dislike it due to an irritating effect.  The ones who find the fragrance to be irritating can use the fragrance-free version of Aftershaves.  Rest all the properties like moisturizing, soothing, and nourishing remain the same.

Allows Acne- Causing Bacteria to Settle

Alcohol-based or Witch hazel-containing Aftershave have astringent or anti-microbial properties.  It kills all the bad bacterias that reside in any cuts due to a razor blade and quickly stops bleeding.

The Astringent effect will prevent severe acne and pimples after shaving, which oily skin guys will like the most.  Aftershave containing Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that will prevent bacteria from settling on the skin. Aloe vera is obtained from the Aloe plant, which is one of the natural ingredients used in Aftershave.  If you wash off your face post-applying Aftershave balm, lotion, or gel, it will fail to kill bad bacteria.

Since shaving is primarily related to facial hair, removing chest, pubic, or underarm hair is also considered shaving.  Besides, you will face the same issues that you might face post-shaving your facial hair.  So what’s the solution? Can you use Aftershave on other body parts?

Read on to know more about it.

Is Aftershave Effective on Other Body Parts?

Yes.  You can massage Aftershave on other body parts, such as Chest, Arms, and Pubic areas.  We recommend using fragrance-free aftershave to protect skin from irritation since the other body parts may be more sensitive than the face.

As the name says, it is used after shaving, but have you ever thought of applying it even without shaving?  Let’s know whether it is feasible or not.

What does Facial Cleanser do?

Cleansing your face before using shaving products will uplift the post-shaving results.  It will clear away all the dirt, excess oil, sweat, and pollutants.  Also, it won’t cause any allergic reaction and enhance skin conditions.

Is Dry shaving good or bad?

If you have oily skin, it is good to dry shave, but for other skin types, do not glide razors on the skin without shaving cream.  It not causes ingrown hairs but also welcomes other disasters.  You must use warm water to soften your facial hair, shave using shaving cream, and use specifically formulated Aftershave products to moisturize the skin.

Can One Use Aftershave Without Shaving?

Shaving requires precision, and even after a lot of care, it might injure you.  To quickly heal and cause less pain, Aftershave is suggestible.  Also, most men do not shave it daily, which does not necessarily mean to use Aftershave.

Aftershave contains moisturizing properties, which even a face cream will also offer you.  We do recommend applying Aftershave even when you are not shaving.  It also contains Vitamin E oil, Shea butter, and Aloe vera, which are good for your skincare.

The dead skin cells and pollutants clog up skin pores, which ingredients like Tea tree oil and Witch hazel helps in clearing out.  It results in clear skin pores and prevents acne.

Difference Between Aftershave & Cologne

what is after shave lotion

Aftershave is a skincare product that makes a layer on the skin to soothe post-shave irritation and inflammation. Natural ingredients like shea butter, carrier, and essential oils contribute to offering the results.  

Many might contain alcohol, but it is advisable to use alcohol-free Aftershave. The objective of Aftershave is to quickly heal the shaven skin and kill the harmful bacteria causing infection. If you are just a beginner and running tight on budget, we also have substitutes for aftershave.

On the other hand, cologne is a product made for releasing a fresh scent on the skin. It allows absorbing the natural oil of the skin.  

Tip: Apply cologne on pulse points where your body temperature heats up.

Note: Colognes are merely for emitting a fresh scent and don’t possess the properties of Aftershave. It can never be a replacement for an aftershave.


1. What is Aftershave for?

Aftershave is for pampering the skin post-shaving session. The cuts and nicks, along with burns and redness that skin passes through requiring a healing solution. That’s where Aftershave steps in and escapes you from all the pain and hassle.

2. Does Aftershave burn?

Yes. The presence of antibacterial properties causes a burning sensation as it kills the harmful bacteria on the freshly shaven skin layer. Also, when it comes in contact with cuts and nicks, it causes stings.

3. Do I need Aftershave?

If at all you shave once in a month or two, then you don’t require Aftershave. If you choose a clean-shaven look, you must use Aftershave made from natural and organic ingredients every day. The ingredients like witch hazel, tea tree oil, shea butter, and natural oils will soothe skin and strengthen hair follicles.

4. What’s the point of Aftershave?

As a bearded man, you know how it feels post-shave. That burning and prickly sensation on the freshly shaven skin needs pampering. Already, the skin loses moisture at the time of shaving, so the Aftershave rehydrates it.

5. What does Aftershave do?

Whenever you complete shaving, your skin pores are open, allowing bacteria to settle inside. After this, you will face issues like itching, irritation, and redness, especially to sensitive skin man. If you wash your face with cold water, it will close the skin pores. After this, apply Aftershave on the face to retain moisture and reduce skin issues.

6. Do you leave Aftershave on Your Face?

Yes, you must leave an Aftershave on your face unless it directs you to wash off. Washing away Aftershave may not be beneficial as you might lose some vital skin-soothing properties.

7. Can I shower after using Aftershave?

Taking a shower after using Aftershave will wash off all solutions from the face and do not offer its vital properties. In our opinion, it is not advantageous to use Aftershave post-shower.

8. How to use Aftershave Splash?

Pour 2-3 drops of Aftershave Splash in your hand, rub both palms together, and gently pat on your face. You can also flip the bottle upside down and flip again to its original position. The amount of Aftershave that comes in your hand is sufficient for your use.


How Aftershave performs on the skin depends on the ingredients it includes. So make sure you select natural ingredients that blend Aftershave for yourself. It will soothe the skin, close the pores, and relieve pain.

With this, we end our article and hope it finds you well. Do share your thoughts, suggestions, and feedback. Also, you can subscribe to our website to get the notification in your mailbox.


Published Date: Jul 30, 2021

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