The Aftershave Sensation You Actually Want
Treating your post-shave skin a little nicer can change your entire relationship with it.
Text by Valerie Dayan
Done properly, shaving is an amazing ritual for the skin.
It helps the epidermis renew through mild exfoliation, thus looking supple and healthy. Regardless of your sex and where in your body the action is happening, a good shave requires cleansed, softened skin and an equally clean, sharp razor. What’s so obviously problematic about the process comes right after: The alcohol-based aftershave lotions poured down on the skin at its most sensitive and naked state.
Let me explain.
During my time in the realm of cosmetics, I’ve always tried my best to be nice to my skin. However, a beauty editor is human after all, and yes, of course, there’s been (and will be) many, many incidents when I’ve used ingredients and products that were labeled faux pas by skincare authorities. Still, I cannot imagine torturing my skin by rubbing some alcohol on it when it’s potentially at its most sensitive! It would not only permanently irritate my skin but also lead to other problems such as new sensitivities and local dryness. Excess oil is another result of this habit; alcohol may temporarily dry the skin and close the pores, which may lead to more excessive oiliness in the long run.
I can imagine what you’re thinking at this point so let’s get it out of the way: I’m not a man. But I believe skin is skin and shaving is shaving. (Did I just stumble upon a new slogan for a shaving campaign?)
The biggest favor you can do for your skin (hence for yourself) after shaving is to soothe and nourish with a moisturizing and non-alcoholic aftershave – in lotion, balm, gel, or cream form. It’s also a good idea to prefer fragrance-free products to avoid irritation. Applying a cold compress before this step will also help calm the skin. Browse for aftershave products that will take care of your skin with soothing and moisturizing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or aloe vera.
One last thing: Whatever the result, I know some people just love that sense of slight burning sensation after a good shave. It could happen; nobody’s perfect. Some might consider this as a guilty pleasure in self-care. To them, I recommend using sunscreen (at least SPF 30) right after shaving to avoid spots and adding a moisturizing product to their routine to avoid rashes.