A plethora of benefits, from skin hydration, to an effective deterrent in removing skin irritations post-shave, but can you use aftershave on your beard?
You can put aftershave on your beard just like you would beard oil. For optimal skin health and to prevent itching/skin dryness, it would be best to opt for a more natural aftershave when applying it to your beard.
Typical aftershaves contain alcohol, which dries the skin out exponentially, you don’t want that. But there are a few things to look out for when deciding what aftershave is best to smother on that sweet beard of yours.
Let’s start with the basics…
What is aftershave?
Now first off, shaving is a treacherous job, glazing and gliding sharp things against your supple soft skin… it’s daunting stuff. And, as a result, good ol science since way back has found ways to mitigate the nuisance that shaving usually entails, one of many ways of which, is through the use of aftershave.
Aftershave is a specially formulated substance that can come in many forms such as liquids/oils and gels. It’s main purpose being to help treat and disinfect your skin post-shave.
What does aftershave do?
Like I said, shaving is treacherous stuff, and to top it all off…humans are silly. And sometimes on the job, we end up cutting ourselves in the process, leaving our skin exposed to harmful bacteria.
To help combat vulnerabilities such as these, people have generally used aftershave as a disinfecting agent, due to its alcoholic properties. The alcohol aids in the closing of pores opened during the shaving process (hence why it is favorable to shave with hot or warm water – to open the pores, making it easier to shave.)
Typical ingredients of classic aftershaves include isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol, ingredients similar to that used in hand sanitizer products, and rubbing alcohol. Hence the infamous “sting” you’ve felt if you’ve ever tried slapping some aftershave on your bare baked skin after a fresh shave…painful stuff.
But this isn’t the case with beards now is it?
What to look out for in your beard aftershave?
Aftershave’s first and foremost are used as an antibacterial agent, which if used on open pours can be quite damaging to the skin in of itself. But don’t think the skin beneath your beard is safe just because it ain’t sliced open.
The same rules apply as they do with anything involving topical sh*t going on your sensitive face…which is to avoid ones containing alcohol.
You want your beard to smell good for bae, but you don’t want your entire face to turn all “pomodoro red” before you go see her…which is likely to happen if you use aftershave-containing alcohol.
Style tip: Shaven or not, alcohol is usually never the best option for anything face-related, especially post-shaven, but also on your beard. It most likely will create skin irritations as it seeps from your beard into your skin. You most certainly can use aftershave on your beard, but try looking for ones containing little to no alcohol firstly.
While all have been tried and tested by even the most stringent of FDA standards (provided you didn’t buy a “fake variation” of sorts), some fragrances may contain certain components that may elicit certain allergic reactions, irritations, or sensitivities towards certain people.
This is especially true with ones laden with artificial fragrances in them, and why you’d be best to stay clear of them when selecting your aftershave.
Best types of aftershave ingredients for your beard
I hope my blog to be that of a global hub for men within the diaspora of all nationalities and ethnicities. That being said, it’s reasonable to think that whatever I suggest may not be available in certain countries. And so below are ingredients to look out for when choosing the perfect aftershave to put in your beard, hopefully, your country should have at least one or two of these options.
Best types of aftershave ingredients for your beard
- Aloe Vera (I’ve talked about the all-around health wonders that this ingredient promotes in a previous post.)
- Essential oils (such as lavender and eucalyptus oil – which also promote increased blood vessel dilation and increased blood flow.)
- Shea butter (nut-based moisturizer.)
- Glycerin (cuz why not moisten the skin under that hairy sweet mane while you’re at it?)
- Chamomile extract (not just for tea lovers.)
- Vitamin E oil (for painting healthy skin)
- Witch Hazel (a plant-based astringent formula used to remove irritants from the skin’s surface – an especially good alternative to alcohol.)
How to use aftershave on your beard
Much like my post on beard oils and if you can use them in your hair, aftershave as such can indeed also be used as a multipurpose grooming tool, if you so choose it be.
And just like most of our propensities in life to naturally wanna make things overly complicated, this is one thing that needn’t be all that hard to figure out.
Simply dab a little on your beard, face, and neck, and voila! A thimbleful amount, or more depending on how vivacious you’d prefer your scent to be, just don’t go drenching half your face in the stuff.
In terms of actual technique there isn’t much to it, simply replicate what you did when your face was bare. However, if this is your first time, simply douse a little on your hand, and gently massage the liquid into your beard and around your face area, any direction, any technique…don’t overcomplicate things.
Beneftis of using aftershave without shaving?
To relegate certain habits to being used only during times advertised on the packaging (like only using aftershave when you’ve shaven), this while the advisable the majority of the time, isn’t always necessary.
A lot, (however not all) aftershaves already contain proponents conducive to better overall facial care (ingredients like humectants, essential oils and proteins.)
So to use aftershaves sparingly on your beard would prove beneficial, as there are some positive benefits that could be taken into account:
Promoting healthy beard growth
With the multitude of oils and ingredients like argon oil, jojoba oils, hemp, and seed oils, a lot of these will promote hair growth by ensuring optimal healthy facial conditions, and by ensuring the skin beneath your beard remains smooth, moistened, and hydrated.
Keeping your skin hydrated
Speaking of…now this one I can relate to. Whether your are constantly shaving, trimming, or even just letting your scruff grow out entirely, your beard and skin around that area is constantly exposed to stress (not to mention if you live in polluted Asia ripe full of humidity…well that doesn’t exactly help your condition either.)
So by picking the right aftershave, not only can it help soothe your skin, but also lock in the moisture and provide some semblance of relief to the stress-ridden skin on your face. This can also play into retaining more of your youth over time, so win-win.
As mentioned above on the things to look for in your aftershave, certain things like essential oils are great for trapping the moisture already present in your face, almost through stasis, trapping and binding all that moisture, right onto your juicy mug…all day long, baby.
Smell like your daddy’s daddy – with a more masculine scent
A lot of the time as opposed to colognes and perfumes, aftershave makes for a nice subtle scent, that at times is a lot more subdued and mellow than anything else.
And unlike perfume or cologne, with aftershave you can actually put it on your face and in your beard, ensuring literally every aspect of your top half is fragrant friendly. Single & ready to mingle – like the Rogue stallion you already are.
Best aftershaves for your beard
Here are some of my favorite aftershaves in terms of smell, value for money, and from what I’ve found diving in through my research:
- Rockwell Aftershave Balm – Barbershop Scent. $15 on the official Rockwell Razors website (uses natural ingredients like Witch Hazel, Shea butter, Glycerin etc.)
- Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel which is $20 currently on Amazon (alcohol and fragrance-free, however really soothe’s the skin.)
- Glacier Aftershave Balm – $18 buckaroos which can be found on their website themodcabin.com. Here is a direct link to the product on their website. This one packs a crisp punch of a scent.
- BERGAMOT AFTER-SHAVE – $12. Talk about on the cheap side, however, don’t think the price dictates the quality. If you’re a fan of the classic stinging sensation to refresh your senses in the morning, then this should do you fine. Alcohol-free along with some of our fav ingredients like Witch Hazel to boot. Here is a link to their product located on their website at imperialbarberproducts.com
What does aftershave not do?
Aftershave is not a cologne, fellas. Hot date? A night out with the bois? Wanna feel fresh in your work suit by sporting a drop or two of the aftershave stuff?
Generally, most aftershaves have extremely low amounts of perfume oil, which means the scent itself will only last for a few hours (even less in more humid climates), rather pointless if you plan to smell good all day.
An aftershave is, at best, an ephemeral indulgence…
“If you knew what I was looking at, you’d be in a hurry too.”
-Public Enemies (2009)
You want whatever elbow room and chamber you walk into, to waft off more than just your aura of already oozing masculinity – you want your signature scent to echo and trail the nostrils of anyone and everyone already captivated by your charm.
And so for that to happen, you’re better off complimenting your aftershave along with a cologne fragrance of some sort, as part of your daily grooming ritual.
Stay smelling dignified, lads.