What Does Aftershave Do?

Shaving may seem like a simple process on the surface but actually, it’s a lot more complex than we originally thought.

It’s much more than just trying to cut off hair using a razor and there are lots of products you will be recommended to use – including aftershave. 

What Does Aftershave Do (1)

However, some guys are never explained what aftershave is or what it does and this leads them to completely skip out on using it either down to laziness or trying to save a quick buck. Big mistake! 

Aftershave is actually an important step in the shaving process – so what does it do? 

If you’re wondering what aftershave does and if you really need to use it, then don’t worry – we’ve got your back.

We are going to answer all of your questions surrounding aftershave so you don’t have to remain in the dark any longer. So, check out the guide below! 

What Is Aftershave? 

The term ‘aftershave’ actually applies to a range of different products that all share one thing in  common: they are to be applied to your skin after you shave. The clue is in the name! 

Most aftershaves are some kind of liquid that is made from alcohol and other traditional ingredients such as witch hazel, tea tree oil, and more.

Some aftershaves come in the form of a lotion instead, and some with strong scents that many compare to colognes. 

Once you are done shaving, you are meant to massage it onto the areas of skin you have recently shaved.

Some guys slap it on (like that one scene in Home Alone), others rub it in gently – just do you when it comes to application.

Simply use your hands (no towels needed) and spread the aftershave evenly over your skin. 

Overall, aftershave is always recommended as part of the shaving process – but why? What does aftershave actually do? 

What Does Aftershave Do? 

Due to the strong scents associated with aftershave, many assume that the purpose of aftershave is to act like a cologne.

This means that a lot of guys skip using aftershave and pick up their favorite cologne instead – but this is not the real purpose of aftershave. Sure, it smells nice but that’s just a bonus. 

The real purpose of aftershave is to help your skin recover after shaving. 

You see, when you shave your skin, you are actually taking away a lot more than hair.

The blades can scrape the skin and take away parts of the top layer of your skin.

Although this is not enough to cause bleeding or permanent damage (as long as you are using the blade correctly), it does irritate your skin and also leave you vulnerable for bacterial infections.

Shaving will always leave your face red and inflamed for a short time but by using aftershave, you are helping your top layer of skin stay clean and reduce the chances of bacteria entering any nicks. 

This is because aftershave contains astringents (such as alcohol) which helps kill bacteria, stop any bleeding, and disinfect the area you apply it to.

These astringents are great for killing the kind of bacteria that causes acne.

Some aftershaves even use calming ingredients such as aloe vera to help reduce redness and soothe your skin’s irritation.

So, aftershave is not all about applying a great smell to your face – it’s actually a hygiene product that helps keep your facial skin in great condition after shaving. 

Do You Need To Use Aftershave?

What Does Aftershave Do?

It’s definitely recommended that you use aftershave but you can get away without using it sometimes.

If you’ve shaved your face then realized you’re out of aftershave – then no worries!

However, if you avoid using aftershave altogether, you may be putting yourself at risk of further skin irritations such as acne and rashes. 

Despite this, some guys have other skin issues that make them uncertain whether or not they should use aftershave – but there are tons of aftershaves out there with different ingredients to help suit different types of skin! 

If you are prone to skin irritation after shaving, then you should definitely pick up a gentle aftershave to try out.

Find one that contains aloe vera and this will help you reduce your chances of getting acne while also moisturizing your face.

This way you get all the benefits of using aftershave while preventing further irritation.

If you have extremely sensitive or dry skin, then using an alcohol-based aftershave can sometimes do more damage than good.

Alcohol is pretty harsh and can dry out your skin even though it helps kill off any bacteria.

So, switching to a witch hazel based aftershave instead will help you avoid getting acne while still being gentle on your skin.

So, no matter your skin condition, there’s an aftershave out there for you somewhere. 

Can You Use Aftershave On Your Body?

Although most aftershave ads show the guy applying the aftershave to his face, aftershave can actually be used on any skin that you have recently shaved.

This includes your legs, arms, chest, pits, and more. 

This is because aftershave is designed to help protect your skin and reduce any irritations caused by shaving – no matter where you have shaved.

It’s antiseptic and helps your skin recover, no matter whether it’s on your face or on your legs. 

Of course, you should only apply it to your outer skin but aftershave can still be used on sensitive areas like your testicles.

However, you can use a more gentle antiseptic balm instead if you don’t like the sting of aftershave. 

The only issue with this is that most aftershaves come in small or medium sized bottles – and they can quickly run dry if you use them all over your bodies.

You might be able to find balms or creams in bigger tubs that are more affordable and efficient to use, and just keep the aftershave for your face. It’s your choice! 

Final Thoughts

So, aftershave is more than just a nice smelling product. It actually contains lots of important ingredients which aim to help heal and protect your skin post-shave, so don’t skip it next time you shave!

If you liked this article, you might enjoy our post, ‘What You Need To Know About Aftershave‘.

Matt Park
Latest posts by Matt Park (see all)