The Best Aftershaves

Keeping free of irritation and redness after shaving is difficult without the help of aftershave. This cocktail of disinfectants, vitamins, and essential oils meant to restore moisture to freshly shaved skin. While everyone can benefit from its effects, we've found that those with abnormally dry skin will find aftershave a lifesaver. If you're sick of ripping apart tissues every morning to stop the bleeding, we believe that our top aftershave will provide the scent and skin repair you need to leave your face and neck healthier and softer after every brush with your razor.

Bee Bald Heal Post-Shave Healing Balm

Smooth and soothe

This aftershave balm keeps freshly shaved skin free from infection and reinforced against exposure.
Best Overall

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When it comes to aftershave, finding the right combination of scent and protection can be tricky. Thankfully, the natural ingredients in Bee Bald’s healing balm focus on repairing damaged skin without coming up short in the smell department. While traditional aftershaves come in a more liquid format, this product is more of a foaming lather that dissipates quickly. When you’ve finished shaving, squeeze out a dab of balm and massage thoroughly into your skin. We love this product not only for its ability to stop facial irritation but also for legs and scalps that require regular maintenance every day of the week.

Pros:

  • Contains vitamin E and oats for superior skin soothing
  • Subtle fruit and honey smell that lasts all day
  • The product does not leave an unpleasant visible residue

Cons:

  • The tube is poorly packaged

Proraso After Shave Lotion

Forest fresh fragrance

This lotion works to soothe irritated skin and provides a subtle scent that lasts all day.
Best Woodsy Scent

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If supercharging your morning and stopping infections at the source are your priorities, Proraso has a solution for you. While alcohol-based aftershaves have waned in popularity over the years, they haven’t become any less refreshing. This fragrant aftershave will primarily give off a menthol and eucalyptus scent that’s potent at first but slowly dissipates throughout the day. Among its bevy of natural ingredients is anti-inflammatory witch hazel to refresh and refine skin. Although more experienced hands will instantly appreciate this instant shock to the system, if you’re just starting to shave, deeper knicks may burn for quite some time.

Pros:

  • A little goes a long way
  • Cruelty-free
  • Made in Italy

Cons:

  • Boasts a traditional smell that’s not for everyone

Clubman Pinaud After Shave Lotion

Blast from the past

If you want a unique fragrance and unquestionable potency, choose the aftershave that started it all.
Best Classic

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The timeless scent of Pinaud’s aftershave lotion by Clubman has been a staple of salons for generations. What can only be described as the classic “barbershop smell,” Pinaud has a robust, citrus aroma that is quite pronounced. Regardless of whether you shave or not, this lotion has been used as a stand-alone cologne for years because of its one-of-a-kind allure. While the strength of this aftershave is somewhat disappointing, you’re bound to get well into the working day before the Clubman’s presence fades away. If you’re looking for an affordable, classic fragrance that dries quickly and cleans rigorously, Pinaud won’t let you down.

Pros:

  • Fantastic quality for the price
  • Three sizing options available
  • An instant cooling sensation upon application

Cons:

  • The smell dissipates very quickly

Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm

Protect your neck

If dry seasons or settings are putting your face through the wringer, this balm can lock in moisture and repair damage at the source.
Best For Sensitive Skin

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Nivea’s post-shave balm is perfect for those of us with dry, sensitive skin. This three-pack is full of natural ingredients and complex compounds that get right to work on razor burn and flaky skin. What separates this product from other aftershaves above all is the consistency. Whereas most sterilizing splashes can feel like they harm as much as they heal, this balm is thicker, forming a protective layer on your skin that takes some time to evaporate. If you want a scent-free formula with quality botanicals on your side, give your delicate skin a hand with Nivea.

Pros:

  • Promotes quick regeneration of dead skin
  • Free of rubbing alcohol and dyes for better moisture content
  • You can combine it with your shaving cream for added protection

Cons:

  • Overapplication can leave an oily residue

Cremo Cooling Formula Post Shave Balm

Say bye-bye to razor bumps

This aftershave applies evenly and activates instantly to wake you out of your morning fog.
Best Cooling Aftershave

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Fighting your way out of the Monday morning fog is so much easier with Cremo’s cooling post-shave balm. Cremo combines the best of both worlds by offering a product that has the refreshing sensation of alcohol splashes without the sting.  While many “refreshing” aftershaves favor a “feel the burn”-style approach, Cremo uses potent menthol with authentic shea butter and essential oils to moisturize and awaken simultaneously. This composition excels at closing pores, keeping bumps at bay, and reactivating the second your face hits blowing air. Best of all, if you’re not a fan of the menthol odor, evaporation will save your nostrils in record time.

Pros:

  • Helps clear up past razor burn
  • Great value
  • Uses tea tree, baobab, and tamanu essential oils to promote healthy skin

Cons:

  • The cooling effect does not last long

Frequently Asked Questions

How much aftershave do I need to apply for it to be effective?

The amount of aftershave you need varies depending on your shaving habits. If you’re eliminating some five o’clock shadow after a long day at work, a couple of drops should do it. However, if you’ve just cleared off a lumberjack-quality beard, your skin will be extra sensitive. While we’d typically recommend no more than half a teaspoon, you can double than in some situations to avoid irritation and infection. Before applying aftershave, be sure to wash your face thoroughly. Also, for non-liquid aftershave, work the balm or foam into your hands until it coats your hands evenly for best results.

What are the origins of aftershave?

Changes in facial hairstyles at the end of the eighteenth century likely gave rise to the first products resembling aftershave. The British perfumer Charles Lillie began advertising a product by the name of “Persian soap” around that time, which soothed freshly-shaved skin. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, aftershave became much more widespread, primarily due to Louis Pasteur’s discovery of germs and some of the means to kill them. Edouard Pinaud is credited with creating the first alcohol-based aftershave shortly after Pasteur’s discovery, followed by other variations such as bay rum or Jeremiah Taylor’s British line of colognes and aftershave products.