The Complete Guide To The Best Aftershave For Men

What is the best aftershave for men? I love the refreshing feeling of slapping some aftershave on my face after shaving. Aftershave is mostly used to prevent infections from cuts that might occur on the skin while shaving. This is because aftershave contains an antiseptic element, usually alcohol-based.

Some guys like using aftershave to attract women. A lot of women will tell you that the smell of a good aftershave is irresistible!

While you’re shaving, you are literally wiping a razor blade across your face. This obviously has an effect on your skin. But shaving doesn’t have to cause redness or breakouts – that’s why aftershave was invented. The best aftershave will nurture your skin and make you smell great!

What exactly is aftershave?

If you break down the word, it’s something you put on your face after shaving. It is usually a liquid, lotion or gel created to soothe chafed skin. (That’s now from wiping that razor blade across your face)

Besides acting as an antiseptic, it also locks in moisture that helps protect your skin. Don’t try and act all macho, thinking it’s like a female beauty product, if you want to keep your skin in peak condition, it’s worth your time to pause and decide what will be the best aftershave for you. The perk is that you get to smell all gentlemanly as well!

What is it made of?

Aftershave can be classified as a balm or splash. The balms have a heavier feeling on the skin and usually offer more relief from irritation and is a better moisturizer. It’s definitely a good choice in cold or dry climates.

Splashes have a more watery feeling and contain a combination of a few ingredients such as toners, astringents and hydrosols to offer an antiseptic or antibacterial protection to the skin.

How do you pick the best aftershave?

If you are serious about picking the best aftershave for men, read through the ingredients to evaluate the conditioning agents that offer moisturization. These come in the form of natural oils or butters. On the technical side, humectants such as glycerin, helps your skin draw moisture from the environment throughout the day.

When it contains a good dose of antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C, and E it will help your skin to stay protected from harsh environmental elements. Extracts and proteins such as prickly pear and sweet almond protein will help soothe and repair shaved skin, a good choice if you have a sensitive skin.

It’s not the best idea to just grab the cheapest option from the shelf, most often it will not be the best aftershave for men. The predominant antiseptic ingredient in cheap aftershaves, is alcohol that has the knack of drying out your skin and it could also irritate sensitive skin. Pricier aftershaves are made mainly with witch hazel, a milder antiseptic.

How do you decide which aftershave to use?

Firstly, you need to figure out your skin type. Normal skin is evenly-textured, smooth, clear and healthy. It has barely visible pores and no blemishes or spots. Any mild splash or balm will be suitable. To maintain healthy skin, make sure you also use a good quality facial wash with a facial scrub once or twice a week.

Dry skin is rough, dull or cracked with lines and wrinkles, and prone to peeling. The best aftershave will be a moisturizing balm. Using a moisturizer just before bed might be a good idea as well. Use a gentle face wash and only use a facial scrub once a week.

Oily skin looks shiny and feels oily to the touch. Pores are large or open and skin is prone to blackheads, whiteheads, spots and pimples. The best aftershave for men will be a splash with a toner. Oily skin has the knack of attracting dust and dirt, best to use a facial cleanser twice a day and a facial scrub about two to three times a week , plus an oil-free moisturizer.

Sensitive skin is usually itchy, and it stings or break out in a rash after using certain shaving and skincare products. Search for products specifically made for sensitive skin.

If you have combination skin you will have a greasy area around your forehead, nose and chin, but dry cheeks. This type is also prone to blackheads, particularly around your nose. The best way to deal with it, is to either use products designed for combination skin, or apply the correct products to the relevant area of your face – dry skin products to your cheeks and oil-free products to rest of your face.

Tip: for the best aftershave application, make sure your face and hands are moist before applying aftershave, but not dripping wet. This way you need less product and it will cover your face more evenly. Pour a few drops into your palm, rub your hands together briefly and massage into face.

Why should you use aftershave?

The best aftershave for men options will help soothe and repair irritated skin. Even if you don’t have an overly sensitive skin, it’s best to keep your skin moisturized. Without it, your skin will feel tight and might appear red for quite a while after shaving. An irritated skin can also lead to ingrown hairs and bumpiness.

If your skin remains irritated, it ages quicker. This includes uneven skin tone and sagging skin. Not a very sexy look. I would rather be in touch with my feminine side by finding the best aftershave for my skin type, than start looking old before my time.

The 5 best aftershave for men options…in my opinion!

So, now that I’ve convinced you why it’s a good idea to use aftershave, let’s look at your options.

Clubman Pinaud Aftershave Lotion

This product is great for sensitive skin types and will help heal razor nicks. It has a suave, masculine scent. It is imported from France and blended in the USA. Customers describe it as a more old school scent. It’s quite potent, so don’t put on too much.

One customer described it as “think barber shops, where working men wait for a trim.” Best of all, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to look after your skin and smell great! This is the best aftershave for men that are on a budget and want something on the more affordable side of things.

Ingredients: SD Alcohol 40B, Water (Aqua), Fragrance (Parfum), Benzyl Salicylate, Citral, Citronellol Limonene, Geraniol, Hydroxcitronellal, Linalool, Evernia Prunastri (Oak Moss) Extract, Evernia Furfuracea (Treemoss) Extract, Yellow 5 (CI19140), Yellow 6 (CI15985)

Age + Damage Defense Facial Moisturizer

The brand name slogan says it all – skin fuel for men. It is a soothing aftershave lotion and an anti-aging cream hydrator all in one, made from all natural and organic ingredients. This is probably the best aftershave for men that want to fight those wrinkles!

It will help you fight against fine lines and wrinkles, environmental damage and dull uneven skin tone. Plus it will take care of post-shave irritation.  Do take note, it is fragrance free. It’s a heavy duty face lotion, ideal for all ages and skin types. It’s quickly absorbed into the skin.

Great for dry climates. It will also help make the whole shaving process more pleasant, smoothing your skin, and preventing razor burn. A nice bonus, you’ll get a voucher for 25% off your next purchase.

Ingredients: Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Sunflower Oil, Isopropyl Palm Oil, Silk Protein Amino Acid Blend, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Organic Safflower Oil, Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, Organic Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter, Vitamin B5, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Wildcrafted Camellia Sinensis Green Tea, Citric Acid.

Lather & Wood Soothing Aftershave Balm

A premium aftershave lotion that soothes and moisturizes the face after shaving. It calms skin irritation and eliminates razor burn. It will give an unsurpassed cooling and refreshing finish to your shave. It’s alcohol free, so it doesn’t sting or burn, excellent for sensitive skin.

It is sandalwood scented, creating a nonchalant manly smell. The non-greasy hydrating formula absorbs nicely into the skin.

Reasonably priced for the quality. You don’t have to put a whole lot on your skin to feel the benefits. It also comes in a non-scented version if you prefer unscented. Customers note that it cools the skin immediately after shaving and replaces essential oils without that greasy feeling you get from regular lotions.

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cocos Nucifera (Organic Coconut) Oil, Emulsifying Wax NF, Glycerin, Sandalwood Oil, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Oil, Azadirachta Indica (Organic Neem) Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Stearic Acid, Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Seed Oil, Organic Alcohol Extract of Salix Alba (Organic White Willow) Bark, Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Tetrasodium EDTA

Smolder Aftershave

A luxury handcrafted aftershave made in America, but surprisingly it’s reasonably priced. High-quality ingredients that treats and conditions your skin after a shave.  It can be applied after a wet or dry shave.

It will help cool and calm your freshly shaven skin. The scent is a warm and toasty mix of Venezuelan Tonka, orange peel, Mandarin, coriander leaves and Star Anise. Make the ladies smolder when they walk past you! Beware, the smell can be quite potent, so don’t overdo it.

The alluring scent is definitely one of the elements most enjoyed by customers. It’s also good for all skin types.

Ingredients: Aloe Vera Juice Witch Hazel Distillate Vegetable Glycerin Polysorbate 20 Phenoxyethanol Caprylyl Glycol (Preservative) Fragrance: Smolder

Taylor of Old Bond Street

Smell like a true English gentleman with this sophisticated Sandalwood aftershave, originating from England. One customer described the smell as “a winter or cold weather scent”. It’s a little bit pricey, but definitely worth it to invest in a quality product that will last you a long time and help you look after your skin properly.

It’s a lotion, so you get the best of both between a watery splash-on and a balm. It has a great cooling effect that will tighten your pores.

Ingredients: Alcohol Denat., Aqua Water, Parfum Fragrance, Isopropyl Myristate, Methyl Gluceth10, Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Eugenol, Benzyl Cinnamate, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Citral, Isoeugenol

Which one is the best aftershave for men?

Comparing the aftershaves and selecting the best aftershave for men, is a bit tricky. Same as with perfume preferences for women, aftershave is a very personal choice. I might love the idea of smelling like an English gentleman, but you might find the idea of that nauseating.

The interesting thing about perfumes and aftershaves, is that they react to skin differently. Taylor of Old Bond Street might smell amazing on me and not so good on you. So, be prepared for a trial and error process to find your best aftershave match.

Clubman Pinaud Aftershave Lotion is a good choice if you have sensitive skin and like making the ladies swoon from your wonderful masculine smell. Age + Damage Defense Facial Moisturizer is an investment in the health of your skin. Lather & Wood Soothing Aftershave Balm is also a good option for sensitive skin with a less overpowering scent. Smolder Aftershave is a versatile option for all skin types with an intoxicating smell. Taylor of Old Bond Street combines the best aspects of a balm and a splash with a great smell.

My personal favorite? Lather & Wood Soothing Aftershave Balm. I prefer a balm, providing me with an easy to manage facial routine and it smells great.

What do you think – what is the best aftershave for men?

There can’t be an overall best aftershave for men. Every man has his own likes, dislikes and preferences – the list above is just 5 options that I think are great. However I only mentioned 5 aftershave options, but I am 100% sure there are other aftershave options out there that could be on a list of the best aftershave for men! If you have an aftershave in mind that you really like and think is great, please feel free to post a comment about it for me. I would love to hear from you!


Hey! I am Andries and I am the owner and curator of this blog.

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