Remember the scene in Home Alone where Macaulay Culkin carefully shaves his pre-pubescent face, slaps on a little aftershave, and then shrieks in pain? I doubt there was an adult male member of the audience who didn’t completely relate to the kid at that moment.
But if aftershave can be such a pain in the…er…face, why is it such an important part of men’s skin care? There are several reasons.
Benefits of Aftershave
Much as it might sting, the alcohol in aftershave is there for a reason. It is supposed to clean small cuts and nicks and prevent infection. Furthermore, alcohol will eventually numb irritated skin, making you more rather than less comfortable.
Aftershave is also an important part of men’s skin care because it contains moisturizers that keep the skin feeling soft and smooth despite the constant assault of being scraped with a sharp metal object.
Finally, if you choose to wear scented aftershave, you can small wonderful throughout the day.
Aftershave is available at every pharmacy, department store, and chain store you could name, cheap aftershaves usually costs around ten dollars a bottle, give or take a buck or two. But as part of your men’s skin care routine, it’s important to select the aftershave that is right for you. The best aftershave for you can be a cheap aftershave, price and quality does not always correlate.
Skin types and Aftershave
Before I go deeper into the different types of aftershave that are best for you, I recommend you to figuring out your skin type first. A friend of yours might recommend you an aftershave that does wonders for him. That does not mean it will work well on you, it might even cause your skin to go very dry or give you acne outbreaks.
Normal skin is the easiest for finding a good aftershave, you have the most flexible skin type of all. You can go for balms, alum block and even lotion. Althought you should still be careful when using an aftershave with alcohol in it. It can go from 0 to 100 real fast. If you do decide to go for a alcohol based lotion, make sure to moisturize well.
With oily skin you can go for the alcohol based lotions, splashes and alum blocks. I would like to remind you that having an oily skin, does not always mean it's overly hydrated. You can have both oily skin and a dry dermis at the same time. Use a light moisturizer afterwards to make sure your skin stays healthy.
Avoid any alcohol based aftershaves, your best bet is to go for a balm as it is the most moisturizing. If you do decide to go for something more drying, make sure you apply a well hydrating moisturizer afterwards. You don't want to run around with cracked skin, do you?
Finding the best aftershave for sensitive skin can be difficult. Someone can be more sensitive to one ingredient while your sensitive skin can handle it with no problems. It is best to avoid alcohol based aftershaves and those with added fragrances. Using "natural" products might also cause skin irritation as you might be sensitive to certain herbs and plants.
Types of aftershave
An alum block is a solid rock consisting of Mineral Salts and Alum. There are two techniques to use the alum block. You can either rub it over your face while still wet. But you can also wet the block instead. Just remember to dry the block after usage.
Advantages of Alum Block
- Stops the bloodflow from nicks
- Smooth & tight skin
- No fragrance
- Lasts for a long time
- Cheap (internet)
Disadvantages of Alum Block
- Has to dry after use
- Does not taste good
- Can be drying
- Have to store in ziploc bag
- Expensive (locally)
A more thick and creamy aftershave with a low percentage of alcohol (or none) to help hydrate your skin. Use it like a moisturizer by smoothing it over your wet face.
Advantages of Balm
- Moisturizing, great for dry skin
- No alcohol
- Often includes sunscreen
Disadvantages of Balm
- Can be too moisturizing for some skin types
A lotion or splash is based on either alcohol or witch hazel. They are very simple to use, just splash them on your face after drying your skin. Lotion is antiseptic and will help prevent infection from nicks and cuts.
Advantages of Lotion
- Quick & easy
- Cooling effect
Disadvantages of Lotion
- Can be drying
- Burning effect
- Irritations on sensitive skin
A lotion made from the bark and leaves of the Hamamelis virginiana tree. Similar usage as alcohol based lotions.
Advantages of Witch Hazel
- Low alcohol
- No added glycerin/menthol
- Great for sensitive skin
Disadvantages of Lotion
- Can be drying
- Have to apply hydrating cream afterwards on dry skin
Aftershave gift sets
Looking for a gift for a friend or relative? Why not get them a good aftershave gift set. It works for all men! If the recipient spends a lot of time in the bathroom, he will love to try out a new aftershave. Otherwise he will learn to get a good shaving routine and appreciate the gift as it taught him something he might not have known about before!
There is no top 10 mens aftershave gift sets. If you already know the skin type of the recipient you can narrow down the search for sets. If you have no clue about the skin type, try to minimize the alcohol percentage in the aftershave. Alcohol is drying and will not go well with an already dry skin person!
The best aftershave
So men, here’s the bottom line. If men’s skin care concerns you at all (no, you don’t have to be metrosexual to answer yes to that question), take a few minutes and find the aftershave that works best for your skin type. You’ll be happy you did.