What To Look For In A Killer Aftershave…
Because the gentleman finishes with a bang!
You’ve done all the groundwork. You’ve done your research to find the peerless razor, the ideal shaving soap, and the consummate wet shaving brush. You always whip your lather to perfection; the end result a silky-smooth face and the shave of your life.
But there is still the finishing touch, the cherry on top of the sundae, the frosting on the cake. What is it? The aftershave.
These are the product(s) you apply immediately after shaving that relieve skin irritation and moisturize your skin. They also serve to protect your skin from the elements.
It’s important to choose an aftershave that addresses all the needs of your skin. We’re here to help you choose the right aftershave so you can ensure not only an amazing shave, but that it stays that way.
Aftershave Balms and Splashes
Let’s divide aftershave into two categories: balms and splashes. “What is the difference?” you may ask. Balms tend to have a creamy consistency and provide more relief if your skin is prone to irritation, razor burn, and dryness. If you live in a cold climate, or if you have sensitive skin, balms are definitely the best option.
Splashes are liquid. They generally include tingly-feeling astringents, toners to condition the pores, and hydrosols to protect your skin. They are anti-septic, antibacterial, and cleanse your pores of oils. Splashes are a better option if you have oily skin or live in a hot and humid climate. In addition, they also have a lingering scent that’ll keep your face smelling fresh all day.
Here’s what to look out for:
#1 Humectants –
Manufactures use Humectants in products to retain moisture, which assists in amplifying the effectiveness of other ingredients. In order for humectants to be effective, they not only have to attract hydration from within your skin, but they also must replenish your skin.
Humectants that don’t replenish the skin of moisture actually have a negative effect in the long run and can cause dryness and premature aging. To avoid looking like a raisin, stay away from synthetic humectants such as propylene glycol, Polyethylene Glycols (PEGs), Silicone, and Urea. Instead, choose natural options which include aloe, honey, or Hyaluronic acid.
#2 Toners and Astringents –
Toners and astringents are included to cleanse the skin and temporarily shrink the appearance of pores. Toners are especially effective for oily skin. Astringents, on the other hand, will dry and protect the skin by coagulating dermis proteins such as keratin, elastin, and collagen. When searching for an astringent and/or toner, look for ingredients like alum, oatmeal, acacia, yarrow, witch hazel, and distilled vinegar.
Distillation of aromatic plants create Hydrosols. When essential oils are produced, water and oil are separated in the distillate. The skimming of the essential oils leaves an after-product of water infused with diluted essential oils and all the benefits that go along with them.
Because they are produced at such high temperatures, they are somewhat antiseptic and antibacterial (depending on the type of hydrosol i.e. rose distillate vs lavender distillate). They are also acidic in nature, assisting skin in balancing its pH levels.
Moisturizers are designed to keep your external layers of skin hydrated. They achieve this by reducing evaporation from your skin’s surface, which in turn dries out your dermis. Moisturizers are created by combining ingredients, such as humectants and oils, to achieve different levels and types of lubrication.
Be sure to study the different lotions depending on your skin type (normal, oily, dry, sensitive, or combination). Beneficial ingredients include coconut oil, raw honey, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, sea salt, avocado, argan oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, almond oil, and castor oil.
Although citrus fruits have beneficial properties, avoid using them for skin care (especially facial). Their acidic content can have whitening properties and make skin more susceptible to the sun.
What’s your favorite aftershave and why? Share in the comments below!