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What Is The Best Aftershave In 2019? An Illustrated Guide

There’s a shocking quantity of selection in aftershave products, and lots of extensively out there aftershaves are literally fairly good (in all probability as a result of many “megamart” razors and shaving lotions are so dangerous). Here’s a take a look at the several types of aftershaves and a few that rise above the remaining.  This can be a 2019 replace of an article that first appeared on Sharpologist several years ago.

What Is Aftershave?

Aftershaves are the products which might be utilized immediately after shaving to offer some combination of irritation aid, pores and skin moisturizing, and protection from the elements.

Although references to after shave preparations (for hygienic slightly than cosmetic purposes) go back to the ancient Roman Empire (some say even earlier), the fashionable “aftershave” can in all probability be traced back to about 1830.  The Hungarian Cavalry was busy spending months within the subject far from the eye of barbers, but laws required them to be clear shaven. Pores and skin infections have been a very real drawback for them. A well known fragrance and cologne maker from Paris, Edouard Pinaud was contacted to see if he might provide you with one thing to make life just a little extra pleasant for the troops. This resulted within the creation of one of the first, longest-lived, and greatest liked males’s fragrances commercially obtainable…Lilac Vegetal. It could possibly be used both as an aftershave, and a physique splash between baths, and was wildly profitable, so much that it is nonetheless in production right now, virtually 200 years later. There are some that dispute the story but Napoleon III granted the title of “Royale Parfumer” to Pinuad soon after, so he should have accomplished something proper.

Balm vs. Splash vs. ?

Aftershaves may be divided into two broad categories: balms and splashes. Balms have a thicker consistency and sometimes present more irritation aid and act as a moisturizer to the pores and skin (notably in chilly or dry climates).  Usually, just a little goes a great distance on the skin.

Splashes are more watery and usually include a mixture of toners, astringents, and hydrosols to cleanse and provide a point of antiseptic or antibacterial safety to the pores and skin. They’re extra fashionable with these with oily pores and skin or in scorching, humid climates.

A moisturizer isn’t a single ingredient but a mixture of elements–like oils and humectants–working collectively. Moisturizers are specifically designed to make the exterior layers of the pores and skin softer and extra pliable by growing the skin’s water content. It does that not by placing water into the skin, however by decreasing evaporation.

Both balms and splashes typically use some sort of humectant to extend the effectiveness of different components. A humectant is an ingredient used to extend the skin penetration and exercise time of one other ingredient. They’re also used to attenuate the dehydrating impact of some other lively ingredient. Examples of humectants embrace glycerol, propylene glycol, sorbitol, lactic acid and urea.

There are additionally “cross-over” elements that is perhaps used in a balm or a splash. A moisturizer is just not the same as an aftershave balm: an aftershave balm incorporates further components.

There are additionally a some sub-categories, like milks and gels. An aftershave milk usually has a consistency between that of a balm and a splash, and often has some specialised elements. An aftershave gel is (perhaps counter-intuitively) lighter-feeling than a balm as nicely and usually has a “weaker” ingredient power (though this may be not at all a “bad” factor).

Toners and astringents are designed to cleanse the skin and shrink the looks of pores. Astringents are the strongest type of toner, containing a high proportion of alcohol (20-60%). Delicate astringent options are used in the aid of minor skin irritations like superficial cuts, rash from allergic reactions, insect bites, or fungal infections like athlete’s foot. They will additionally help heal scars.

They are commonly really helpful for greasy skin as they’re drying, but needless to say the removing of oil from the pores and skin can result in excess oil manufacturing as the pores and skin tries to compensate and stop moisture loss. Topically utilized astringents trigger a light coagulation of skin proteins and can dry, harden, and shield the pores and skin.

Astringents are greatest utilized solely to drawback areas of pores and skin to stop extreme drying.

Some widespread toners embrace alum, oatmeal, acacia, yarrow, witch hazel, distilled vinegar. Astringent preparations embrace silver nitrate, potassium permanganate, zinc oxide, zinc sulfate, and alcohol.

Hydrosols are the product of important oils (Wikipedia. Right here is one other nice article about important oils from Higher Thoughts Physique Soul) often obtained by steam distillation from fragrant crops. Hydrosols go by different names including floral water, natural distillates, hydrolate, herbal water and important water. Because hydrosols are produced at excessive temperatures and are somewhat acidic, they have a tendency to inhibit bacterial progress–but they’re not sterile.

Hydrosols may also help the skin get again a traditional pH by being more acidic, where shaving soaps and lotions may be more alkaline. The conventional hydrosols most related to shaving are rose and lavender. Rose distillates are recognized to be mildly antibacterial, whereas lavender distillates are mildly antiseptic.

By the best way, its a good suggestion to maintain hydrosols refrigerated, like milk. They’ll last longer, they usually can feel good in the heat of the summer time.

“Good” vs. “Bad” Components

Over the previous few years there have been many additions to the listing of elements that could be present in higher aftershave merchandise (notably balms).  Components to search for: aloe vera, chamomile, tea tree oil, calendula, witch hazel, lavender, jojoba oil, rose oil distillate, and numerous vitamins, Shea butter, fractionated coconut oil, glycerin, squaline, allatoin, panthenol, pea extract, green tea, sodium lactate, panthenol, hyaluronic acid, oat protein.

Elements to keep away from: excessive concentrations of alcohol, camphor, or eucalyptus; grapefruit (should you’re going to be outdoor so much) and grapefruit seed extract; and lemon oil (in case you have delicate skin), lanolin.

(Click For Full Measurement Picture)

Some readers might disagree with grapefruit seed extract being on the “avoid” record, but hear me out.  While grapefruit seed extract does have some common well being benefit, they’re minimal in an aftershave’s topical skin software. Grapefruit seed extract can also be typically produced using chemical preservatives like Methylparaben and Triclosan.

I feel alcohol particularly must be treated with caution.  There are a number of aftershave preparations on the market–notably within the “splash” class–that include means an excessive amount of alcohol. Sure, some males have been taught to “love the burn” and yes, alcohol might help clear and kill surface bacteria from a shaving minimize.  But far too many alcohol-based aftershave products do little or nothing to nourish the pores and skin.  Don’t agree?  Change my mind within the comments part.

What Are The Best Aftershaves?

As I discussed at first of this article, there are actually plenty of good aftershaves out there. I will little question neglect some from this listing (be happy to recommend options in the feedback part!).  There are additionally some ideas for specific circumstances. My standards for selecting these products embrace:

  1. Superior efficiency (based mostly alone experience and what I’ve researched on evaluate websites and forums).
  2. Out there in quite a lot of scents (you gained’t use even the most effective product in the event you don’t look after it’s odor) or no scent in any respect.
  3. Time available on the market.
  4. Availability.
  5. Worth.

Merchandise are listed in alphabetical order.  I’ve listed the product elements when found on the model’s website.

Amazon and PAA hyperlinks are affiliate.


Let’s first listing some really good balms.  As mentioned earlier a balm has a thicker consistency and is usually white in shade.  There’s sometimes little or no alcohol, although other components with antiseptic properties is perhaps included.  Balms are fairly widespread so this part of the record is divided into merchandise that extra extensively obtainable (“megamarts,” drugstores/chemists, and some mid-tier retailers) and usually relatively cheap, and products which might be extra probably within the “specialty” area of interest’ and more generally obtainable from online sources vs. “brick and mortar” stores.


Baxter of California After Shave Balm. Mildly cooling with Menthol, it also options tea tree oil, aloe vera and allantoin.  Persistently highly-rated, reasonably priced, and revered. Components: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 80, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Triethanolamine, Methyl Gluceth-20, Parfum / Perfume, Menthol, Allantoin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Linalool, Tetrasodium Edta, Citral, Benzophenone-Four, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Limonene, Peg-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Trideceth-6, Geraniol, Citronellol, Coumarin, Ci 42053 / Inexperienced 3, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid

Cremo Skin Clearing Submit Shave Balm.  Unscented to attenuate potential skin reactions this balm also encompasses a affordable quantity of glycerin plus aloe and just a bit Salicylic Acid for its skin-clearing properties. Components: Water (Aqua), Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Carbomer, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Aminomethyl Propanol, Allantoin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Tocopheryl Acetate, Isopentyldiol, Salicylic Acid, Polyacylate-13, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20.

Cremo Cooling Publish Shave Balm is a private favourite of mine within the scorching/humid Summer time months where I reside.  Just enough Menthol to offer a light cooling impact with out over-doing it, plus Tea Tree and Shea butter for moisturization.  Components: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Glyceryl Dilaurate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Dimethicone, Methyl Gluceth-20, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Calophyllum Inophylum (Tahitian Tamanu) Seed Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil, Menthol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Isopentyldiol, Disodium EDTA-Copper, Fragrance (Parfum).

Nivea For Males Publish Shave Balm – Delicate. This unscented balm is extensively obtainable and in addition considered a superb value (“best bang for the buck”) for its efficiency. Elements: Water, Glycerin, Isopropyl Palmitate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract , Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Bark/Leaf Extract , Tocopheryl Acetate, Tapioca Starch, Triceteareth-Four Phosphate, Maltodextrin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Piroctone Olamine, Fragrance.  Further Info.

Pacific Shaving Company Caffeinated Aftershave Balm. Another more extensively obtainable product that circumstances the pores and skin very properly.  I reviewed this product a number of years in the past.  Elements: Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Plant derived), Glyceryl Stearate (Plant derived), Cetearyl Alcohol (Plant derived), Glycerin (Plant derived), Cetearyl Glucoside (Sugar/Corn derived), Caffeine, Argania Spinosa Kernal (Organic Argan) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Natural Jojoba) Seed Oil, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Crambe Abyssinica (Abyssinian) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Camellia Oleifera Leaf (Green Tea) Extract, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate (Coconut derived), Xanthan Gum (Pure thickener), Menthol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin

The Artwork of Shaving After-Shave Balm. Obtainable in their lately expanded line of scents, plus Unscented. The Art of Shaving typically takes some heat from the shave nerd group but their aftershave balms are literally pretty properly thought-of. They have a number of “good” elements and not too many “bad” elements, and work nicely for calming irritated skin. Components (Unscented): Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Isohexadecane, PEG-4 Olivate, Isopropyl Isostearate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Silica, Tapioca Starch, Chondrus Crispus Powder, Sodium Citrate, Xanthan Gum, Cetyl Lactate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sodium PCA, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Cera/Wax, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, PEG-Four Dilaurate, PEG-Four Laurate, Centella Asiatica Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, PEG-Four, Equisetum Hiemale Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caramel


Burke Avenue Three-In-1 Face Balm.  Produced by “Craig The Barber” Whitely (who wrote an article for Sharpologist about his experiences creating the brand), Burke Avenue Three-in-1 Face Balm is just a bit heavy for me personally in probably the most humid Summer time months however these things is completely superb for dry pores and skin or for those in dry climates! Components (partial): Aloe Vera & Peppermint Oil, Avocado Oil, Carrageenan Extract & Squalene, CoQ10, Vitamin E, Sodium Hyaluronate & Inexperienced Tea Leaf Extract, Lemon Peel Oil & Geranium Oil.

Fort Forbes Aftershave Balm.  Obtainable in Lavender, Lime, Cedarwood/Sandalwood, and 1445 scents, Citadel Forbes’ balms strike an virtually good stability for me and others between scent, skin feel (not “sticky” in any respect!), and performance.  Should you usually don’t use a “regular” fragrance (cologne or EdT) I feel these balms (notably 1445) can provide a somewhat persistent but delicate background scent for you.

Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements (PAA) “Mysterium Serum.”  PAA provides a seven day money-back assure in case you are not glad with it.  Components:  Water, Aloe Vera Juice, Shea Butter, Fractionated Coconut Oil, Olive Squalane, Vegetable Glycerin, Natural Vegetable Emulsifying Wax, Vegetable Stearic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Allatoin, Pea Extract, DL Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B), Safflower Oil, MSM, Inexperienced Tea Extract, Silver Dihydrogen Citrate, Citiric Acid

Proraso Aftershave Balm for Sensitive Skin.  Not to be confused with their Aftershave Lotion (which is actually more like a splash). Proraso’s delicate pores and skin balm has a little bit of an odd ingredient mix but is surprisingly good and relatively inexpensive.  Components: Aqua (Water/Eau), Eythylhexyl Palmitate, Octyldodecanol, Glycerin, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Candy Almond) Oil, Tochopheryl Acetate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Menthyl Lactate, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Carbomer, BHT, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylpenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Coumarin, Isoeugenol.

The Stray Whisker “After Balm And Submit Shave Moisturizer“ created fairly a stir within the niche’ group when it debuted in 2016.  Though other wonderful competing products have appeared since, and a few have a problem with the amount of alcohol within the combine, it continues to take care of a superb popularity with a faithful fan base.  Very mildly cooling with just a bit of Menthol.  Components: Purified Water, Alcohol, Almond Sweet Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Vegetable Glycerine, Caprylic Triglyceride, Shea Butter, Macadamia Oil, Jojoba Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Stearic Acid, Aloe Vera Juice, Caprylyl Glycol, Witch Hazel Extract, Carbomer, Ceteareth 20, Perfume, Mono-Diglyceride, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Vitamin B5, Vitamin E Acetate, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydrolysed Marine Collagen, Menthol

Village Barber Aftershave Balm. One other long-established, wonderful artisan product.  I first tried it in 2012 and it still has a spot in my shave den. Components: Purified Water, Sunflower, Vegetable, Oil, Vegetable, Glycerin, Cetearyl, Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric, Triglyceride, Almond, Sweet, Vegetable, Oil, Shea, Vegetable, Butter, Natural, Vitamin, E, Macadamia, Vegetable, Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Stearic, Acid, Caprylyl, Glycol, Carbomer, Ceteareth-20, Dimethicone, Sodium, Hydroxide, Lavender, Lavandula, angustifolia, Juniper, Juniperus, communis, Patchouli, Pogostemon, cablin, Geranium, Pelargonium, graveolens, Chamomile, Anthemis, nobilis, Benzoin, Styrax, benzoin, Sandalwood, Santalum, album, Myrrh, Commiphora, myrrha, Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus, globulus, Frankincense, Boswellia, carterii, Clove, Eugenia, caryophyllus, Cypress, Cupressus, sempervirens, Peppermint, Mentha, piperita, Thyme, Thymus, serpillum.


Splashes might have a “runnier” consistency compared to balms, and lots of have levels of alcohol that could be thought-about too high for good skin well being.  Nevertheless there are some wonderful low/no alcohol splashes:

Ariana & Evans (A&E) Aftershave Splash & Pores and skin Food.   A&E continues their shaving line that’s notable for his or her scents into their aftershave line as properly.  They’re choc-full of skin-friendly parts.  Elements: Aloe, Glycerin, Rose water, Emulsifying Wax, Rosehip Seed Oil, DMAE, MSM, Vitamin E, Sunflower Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Hibiscus Sabdariffa, Natural White Willow Bark Extract (Salix Alba), Tea Tree Leaf Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia), Provitamin A, Vitamin B3, Vitamin C Ester, Provitamin B5, Organic Neem Seed Oil, Natural Rosemary Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus, Lecithin, Natural Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate

Fortunate Tiger Aftershave And Face Tonic.  Sharpologist has discussed Fortunate Tiger before, and this splash works very nicely as each a cleanser to select up any lather residue after the shave and as a moisturizer.

Taconic.  Taconic’s line of aftershave splashes are comparatively delicate however nonetheless quite pleasant and efficient.  I take pleasure in them in the Summer time months once I’m on the lookout for one thing “light” to start out the day with.  Components: Natural Herbal Extract (Aloe Vera infused with Witch Hazel, Japanese Honeysuckle, Chamomile Flower, Willow Bark, Calendula Flowers, Goldenseal, and Lavender Buds), Glycerin, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Allantoin, Proprietary Fragrance/Essential Oil Mix, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol and Menthol.

The Rest

Some aftershave products resist “pigeonholing.”

DR Harris Aftershave Milk. Usually “below the radar” and maybe not fairly nearly as good as it was earlier than a reformulation a number of years ago, DR Harris’ Aftershave Milk nonetheless has a faithful following.

PAA Star Jelly.  Obtainable in quite a few PAA’s long listing of scents, Star Jelly seems like a balm happening but then dries on the skin like a splash.

St. James Of London Aftershave Gel. Out there in Black Pepper & Lime, Lavender & Geranium, Cedarwood & Clarysage, Mandarin & Patchouli, Tonka & Tobacco Flower, and Sandalwood & Bergamont scents.  I typically take a small bottle of St. James Of London aftershave gel once I journey: it seems to be probably the most “tolerant” of all kinds of environmental circumstances and situations.  A unique skin-feel for me.


Correct aftershave choice and care is a part of an important shaving routine.  Don’t simply seize for the most cost effective “faceburner” in the grocery store; contemplate your pores and skin sort and environmental circumstances, then choose a product that may work with you and for you.  The products on this record will provide you with great results.

Have you learnt of a terrific performing aftershave? Depart a remark under!