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Shaving is traumatic on your skin. A good aftershave routine will have you feeling a million bucks in no time and ensure your skin is well cared for..

Why aftershave care is important

Why aftershave care?

Shaving is traumatic to your skin. You’ve just heated it up, applied an alkaline foam to it and run a sharp blade across it several times. Now, it needs to recover.

Shaving is traumatic to your skin. You've just heated it up, applied an alkaline foam to it and run a sharp blade across it several times. Now, it needs to recover. Tweet this!

You’ve just removed the top layers of your skin. You may have even chopped yourself up a bit. A good post-shave routine will ensure you give your skin the best chance of recovery .


Aftershave care is about getting your skin back on track. You need to address any wounds and help the skin calm down after the ordeal of shaving. Hopefully you followed our shaving prep guide to ensure your best chance of minimising shave damage.

What needs to be done


aftershave lotions
Aftershave lotions

Various European aftershave lotions

The first step of aftershave care is to rinse your face with cool water. This removes any excess lather and stray hair stubble and signals your skin to close the pores. It also lowers the temperature of the skin helping it to feel less irritated. You may also sip a few handfuls of water while you are at it to help keep yourself hydrated.

Address any open wounds

You may have acquired a nick, weeper or even a nasty cut. If this is the case, you need to stop the bleeding. A small square of tissue paper pressed onto the site of the wound should stick to your face using the blood as an adhesive. Leave it for a few minutes until the blood coagulates.

For minor wounds, a styptic pencil can be applied to help stop the bleeding. Styptic pencils contain alum (aluminum sulfate) which is a compound that constricts blood vessels to quickly stop bleeding. Run cool water over the cut and wipe away most of the blood. Dip the tip of the styptic pencil in water and apply the alum to the wound (it may sting a little).

Apply aftershave

Eau de Cologne

Do not confuse aftershave with cologne. Cologne is a perfume used by men and is not useful as an aftershave care. Aftershave may be scented but it won't linger as long as cologne.

Aftershave is a lotion that is applied to the skin after shaving. It is used to prevent infections and as an astringent (to reduce irritation). Some aftershaves may contain menthol to help cool and numb the skin.

Aftershaves usually include ingredients such as denatured alcohol, stearate citrate and witch hazel.

Choosing products

Aftershave and skin type

There are thousands of aftershave products on the market. The most effective way to narrow this down is to only consider products suited to your skin type. Generally, dry skin works better with balms and oily skins may work better with lotions or splashes. There is no hard-and-fast rule and you may prefer products that don’t fit this philosophy.

Other factors may also come in to consideration such as cost, scent, climate and availability. Cooler, dryer areas may require an aftershave regime that focuses on hydration.


An aftershave balm is a milky-looking lotion that contains oils and moisturisers to help soothe and hydrate skin after shaving. They generally won’t contain alcohol. They are sometimes called Skin Conditioners or Skin Food.

Lotions and splashes

Aftershave lotion is the clear liquid you typically associate with someone splashing on their face after a shave. It usually contains alcohol and is used as an antiseptic and astringent.

Some lotions and splashes contain witch hazel which is a natural antiseptic. Some shavers will use pure witch hazel instead of aftershave lotion.

You may need to apply a moisturiser after the lotion has evaporated from the skin.

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