August 16, 2023 by Jack

What is Aftershave? 

Shaving requires pre- and post-care to maximize the results, so when you think about your product lineup, does it include aftershave for men? If you’re using a razor, then it’s essential to add it to your routine. To be clear, we’re not talking about that stingy old-school splash your grandfather used. Today’s men’s aftershave has skin-friendly benefits to help keep your face smooth and bump-free. Let’s dive deeper into this classic toiletry product's advantages and different types, along with the proper application techniques to intensify its effects. 

What is Aftershave? 

Aftershave encompasses various products designed to be put on your skin after shaving to disinfect and hydrate. It’s a men’s grooming product that’s come a long way since the harsh alcohol-based formulas of yesteryear — remember that face-slapping scene from Home Alone? Today you’ll find soothing gels, balms, and splashes that won’t strip the skin of its natural oils. 

What Does Aftershave Do? 

Did you ever ask yourself, “Why does it itch after I shave?” Shaving is a form of exfoliation, so the reason typically has to do with how the blades glide over your skin. A razor can cause irritation — dull blades can also be the culprit. Razor burn usually goes away within two or three days, but bumps can last two weeks-plus. Check out our post on Common Shaving Problems and How to Solve Them

The best aftershave for men helps reduce irritation and bumps caused by shaving while providing hydration. It works by zapping any bacteria that may have been present on your face or blade, 

The Benefits of Using Men’s Aftershave 

Don’t overlook aftershave when contemplating what to put on your face after shaving. Remember that it’s an addition to your grooming routine, not a replacement. You should still use other post-shave products like a face serum and moisturizer

Notable benefits of using aftershave include: 

  • Soothes and calms the skin post-shaving, especially where razor burn, and bumps are present. 
  • Reduces itching and swelling caused by ingrown hairs and irritated skin. 
  • Promotes healthy skin regeneration. 
  • Prevents folliculitis (inflamed hair follicles) by protecting the pores with a layer of product infused with soothing ingredients. 
  • Speeds up the healing process of cuts and nicks. 
  • Tightens pores to help prevent an invasion of dirt, excess oils, and bacteria.

Different Types of Aftershave Products

When choosing an aftershave, consider your skin type and current state to maintain its health — even with regular shaving. 

Traditional Aftershave Splash

A liquid-based formula is considered the original aftershave and is the easiest to decipher. While it’s typically formulated with alcohol (around 70%), newer versions have substantially less — or none. Alcohol is included because it helps kill bacteria associated with shaving while tightening the pores. It also provides a “tingling” sensation. Other vital ingredients include glycerin and allantois to provide hydration and reduce skin inflammation. An alcohol-based aftershave splash may not be for you if you have dry or sensitive skin. Sound like you? Read our tips on How to Shave With Sensitive Skin

Aftershave Lotion

Aftershave lotion has a light and creamy consistency and helps eliminate dryness post-shaving. It typically doesn’t contain alcohol, as the main goal is to reduce dryness by moisturizing the skin. Lotions are an excellent option for those wanting a lighter formula than a balm. 

Aftershave Balm 

Balms have the thickest consistency of all aftershaves and typically contain little or no alcohol content. They work to nourish and protect the skin while healing razor burns and irritation. Notable key ingredients are Shea Butter, Allantoin, Aloe Vera, Glycerin, and Jojoba Oil. A balm is an excellent choice for those with dry, sensitive skin and coarse hair. 

Aftershave Gel

An aftershave gel is extremely light and easily absorbed. Unlike a lotion or balm, it doesn’t contain any oil. Jack Black Post-Shave Cooling Gel is a soothing, fragrance- and alcohol-free formula that soothes razor burn and irritation associated with shaving. Aloe Leaf Juice and Chamomile work to soothe, calm, and hydrate the skin. You only need to apply a small amount on your face and neck post-shaving to reap the benefits. As a bonus, it’s also great for soothing redness and discomfort caused by sunburn. 

How to Apply Aftershave

Preparing the Skin for Aftershave

Follow your usual shaving routine. Thoroughly rinse your face until you’ve removed all traces of shaving cream, gel, or soap. If you’re not shaving that day, wash thoroughly with lukewarm water and Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser. Gently pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Avoid any rubbing action as it can irritate freshly shaven skin. 

Step-By-Step Application Process

No matter your chosen formula, the application process is relatively the same. 

  • There’s no need to use a large amount of product. Place roughly a dime-sized amount of Jack Black Post-Shave Cooling Gel into the palm of your hand. 
  • Rub the gel between your hands until it’s evenly distributed. 
  • Pat the product evenly onto the shaved, sensitive areas before gently rubbing it into the skin. 

How to Get the Most Out of Your Aftershave

The best time to apply your aftershave is right after you’ve showered or shaved when the skin is still warm and slightly damp because it helps it absorb more effectively. 

Addressing Common Misconceptions

Does Aftershave Prevent Razor Burn?

Shaving creams and gels are designed to prevent razor burn, while aftershave soothes any potential irritation that may develop. However, with regular use, you can keep harmful bacteria at bay, which can help negate this problem — all the more reason to add it to your daily grooming routine. Of course, technique is also essential when it comes to preventing nicks, cuts, bumps, and redness. Check out our post on How to Get a Close Shave

Aftershave Vs. Cologne

Aftershave is different from cologne, which is designed with the sole purpose of making you smell good. It doesn’t contain any active ingredients to soothe or hydrate the skin. Cologne also has a higher level of fragrance. 

Aftershave is an essential grooming product if you shave regularly because it soothes and calms the skin post-shaving, especially where razor burn, and bumps are present. It also reduces itching and swelling caused by ingrown hairs and irritated skin. It’s most effective when applied right after shaving or hopping out of the shower when the skin is warm and slightly damp. 

While there are different formulas to choose from, Jack Black Post-Shave Cooling Gel is alcohol- and fragrance-free, so that it won’t cause any irritation. Instead, it relies on Aloe Leaf Juice and Chamomile to soothe razor burn and irritation associated with shaving. Remember that aftershave is meant to be a part of your complete grooming routine, not a replacement for other products.