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Aftershave is an important part of any man’s grooming routine, but what does aftershave do? Aftershave was originally developed to prevent infection and stop bleeding, which are crucial parts of the process after shaving.
Now, though, its main purpose is to soothe your skin and make you feel fresh and clean after shaving your face, there are many different kinds of aftershave, each meant to provide a specific benefit to your skin.
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What is Aftershave Used For?
Aftershave is not just a product for men. Both men and women can use aftershave in their daily grooming regimen, as both genders are prone to razor burn and irritation on their skin.
Women should be aware of alcohol content when choosing an aftershave option, however, as products with higher concentrations may be too harsh for sensitive skin types.
For example, a product containing 10 percent alcohol might irritate sensitive skin, while another containing 5 percent may do fine, if you aren’t sure what too much alcohol can do to your body then read this article that explains the effect of too much alcohol in the body.
However, one thing that both genders have in common when using aftershaves is making sure they don’t dry out their skin by following up with a moisturizer to soothe irritated areas.
Aftershave also has some added benefits for men who use them: They may reduce bacteria on your face and prevent acne breakouts. In addition, products containing menthol can also provide a cooling sensation that helps you feel fresh post-shaving.
This brings us to the question, What does aftershave do for your skin?: Alcohol-based aftershaves are most commonly used because of their ability to quickly cool down your face and eliminate bacteria from your pores.
These ingredients help close up open pores on your face while leaving behind an astringent feeling or tingling sensation due to their alcohol content.
What Ingredients Are in Aftershave?
Every brand of aftershave features its own mix of chemicals, but there are a few standard ingredients in every bottle.
- Alcohol: Most men’s aftershaves contain alcohol because it has antibacterial properties that help kill germs and close wounds (it also sterilizes razors). Although alcohol dries out your skin, most products include moisturizers to counteract that effect.
- Fragrance: Some aftershaves have a fragrant smell; others don’t. The type of fragrance you choose depends on whether you want to smell fresh or manly—or both.
- Preservatives: These chemicals keep your product from becoming contaminated with bacteria or mold when you store it.
Most aftershaves have a preservative called methylparaben, which helps prevent contamination for up to two years.
Benefits of Aftershave?
The benefits of aftershave include reducing skin dryness, reducing skin irritation, and lessening the chances of developing skin cancer. Below are some ways aftershave works to accomplish these benefits:
- Reducing Skin Dryness: Your pores are opened when you shave your face, making them more susceptible to dryness. Applying aftershave can help reduce irritation and keep your face feeling soft all day long.
- Reducing Skin Irritation: When you shave with a dull razor or without using a pre-shaving product like shaving gel or cream, you run the risk of getting razor burn on your face.
- Lowering Your Risk of Skin Cancer: You’re at an increased risk of developing skin cancer when you shave without using a pre-shaving product or a sharp razor. One study found that men who shaved frequently had more than six times greater risk of squamous cell carcinoma compared to those who only shaved once a week.
Can I Use It on My Face Too?
One of my biggest questions, when I was starting out, was if aftershave can be used on my face, which led me to a couple of different conclusions after making my research.
First, most aftershaves don’t contain alcohol, so they don’t sting as you might think. Second, whether or not an aftershave has alcohol in it doesn’t affect how well you can use it on your face—alcohol acts as a disinfectant.
What affects how well an aftershave works on your face is its scent and moisture content: A lot of them are heavily scented with chemicals that may irritate sensitive skin or leave behind a heavy residue.
What is the original purpose of aftershave?
Before you ask what aftershave basically does, know that some things never change. Men have been splashing on scent since before history was written.
Ancient Egyptians are known to have used perfumes, while medieval Europeans were partial to fragrant oils (though they may not have been as well received by their peers). It wasn’t until 1770 that men started doing so under their arms.
Until then, many European gentlemen went without fragrance altogether. We also had yet to discover bacteria; men didn’t worry about smelling bad because most of them wore heavy clothing anyways.
It wasn’t until after World War I that more refined fragrances were introduced and marketed as eau de cologne.
This was followed by a slew of other scents, including eau de toilette in the 1930s and Eau de parfum 1950s. All these terms describe how concentrated a scent is—how many essential oils are used in each product.
Though we don’t know what aftershave for certain, we do know what’s in it: In today’s market, there are two main types of aftershaves: balms and splashes.
Can I Put Aftershave on my Pubic Area?
Aftershave serves a few purposes, depending on how you use it. If you rub your face with aftershave, then you’re using it to clean your skin.
If you splash some on after a shower or washing your face, then you’re using it to tone your skin and make your pores less visible. And if you apply aftershave to other parts of your body (like your armpits), then you’re using it as an antiperspirant.
Put in mind that there are better products for these latter uses—if you put aftershave on other parts of your body besides just your face, then be sure to check out “The Art of Manliness Guide to depilatory methods“.
If you do put aftershave on your public area, then be careful not to shave right away. This will make you more prone to irritation and possible infections.
In general, as a rule of thumb, if you’re putting something with strong chemicals onto your skin (like most shaving products), then give it some time to dry before putting anything else on top of it—like clothing or a towel.
You don’t want what you use for washing or cleaning clashing with what you use for hygiene products.
How Often Should you use Aftershave?
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