What is an After Shave for Men?

Shaving as a ritual is a necessary for a well groomed man. But it is a harsh process of cutting the facial hair with sharp blade running against the delicate surface of your skin. Think of aftershaves as the final step to your shaving ritual, offering soothing benefits and a fresh clean scent.

The earliest form of aftershave for men was concocted by barbers. It was typically a heavily alcohol based liquid, slightly perfumed and applied to freshly shaven areas. Its purpose was not only to soothe the skin but also to disinfect nicks and cuts.

handsome man using men's aftershave, urth

The purpose of an aftershave has evolved from generation to generation. I can still remember my father and his fresh Old Spice after shave scent on days he shaved. In his generation it was not only about soothing the skin but also about smelling fresh and clean.

In modern days, after shave for men have evolved to a level of sophistication with skin soothing ingredients, variety of scents (or fragrance free), and some infused with skincare ingredients to treat razor burn, razor bumps and ingrown hairs. 

What to Consider When Choosing a Men’s After Shave?

There is a plethora of men’s after shave offerings on the market today.  When selecting an aftershave, consider the scent preference, your skin type, and ingredients.  Difference in formulations caters to skin type needs from those with sensitive skin, to oily and dry skin men.  Formulations can also cater to those prone to specific conditions such as razor bumps and ingrown hairs.  

Types of After Shave for Men

All aftershaves are meant as the soothing final step to your shave routine. In the past few decades it has evolved and expanded to include tonics, balms, gels and serums.

Traditional Aftershave Splash and Tonics 

Provides a refreshing, invigorating sensation. Think, your dad’s Old Spice but better. The after shave splash has evolved to include a variety of “fresh” scents as well as ones that are alcohol-free or infused with soothing ingredients such as aloe, witch hazel and green tea. Splashes and tonics are commonly used at barber shops.

Aftershave Balms and Lotions

It’s a hybrid of aftershave and moisturizer.  It is meant to hydrate and soothe those with dry or sensitive skin and includes traditional skincare ingredients like aloe and chamomile.

Aftershave Gels

Soothing, lightweight and non-greasy, ideal for men with oily skin. It soothes and hydrates the clean shaven area without leaving a heavy feel to the skin.  

Aftershave Serums

A lightweight serum to soothe post shaven skin. It can be scented or unscented and has ingredients to target specific skin concerns such as irritation, bumps and ingrown hairs.  Some even include anti aging ingredients like vitamins C and Vitamin E. 

Choose the Aftershave Based on Your Skin Type

Your skin type and specific skincare needs should be considered when deciding on a men’s after shave.

Dry Skin

Opt for hydrating balms or lotions with skincare ingredients. Look for nourishing ingredients like shea butter, squalene, and safflower oil to hydrate and moisturize dry skin.

Oily Skin

Select oil-free, lightweight gel formulas to avoid clogging pores. Look for ingredients like salicylic acid and niacinamide that can help control and minimize excess sebum production.

Sensitive Skin

Look for fragrance-free splash or tonic with hypoallergenic options to minimize irritation. Look for gentle and soothing ingredients like aloe, chamomile, and squalene. 

Combination Skin

Balance hydration and oil control with a combination of nourishing vitamins, dry oils, and plant ingredients like aloe, green tea and ginseng. 

Problem Skin

man using aftershave for men with salicylic acid, urth

Those prone to razor bumps and ingrown hairs should have a more comprehensive shave ritual to minimize flare ups.  Look for an aftershave with salicylic acid infused with nourishing plant ingredients like chamomile and aloe. Salicylic acid in the formulation will help minimize bumps and ingrown hairs. 

How to Use an Aftershave for Men

Aftershave is meant to be the soothing finale to the shaving ritual and should be used whether you wet shave with a razor or dry shave with an electric shaver.  After shaving, splash your face with cold water to rinse area clean of shaving residue and to close the pores.  Splash the tonic or apply the balm or gel to the freshly shaven facial area and down the neck.  Let it absorb and dry before following up with your daily moisturizer.  

Shaving is self care men's grooming ritual. urth has curated "The Amazing" Men's Shave Kit to level up men's shaving routine. These plant powered men’s skin care products are formulated with chamomile, green tea, ginseng and pure essential oils to hydrate, nourish and soothe skin. Replenished, revitalized and better skin after every shave. Perfect for all skin types - including men with sensitive, dry, combo, and oily skin.