Aftershave has long been a staple of the daily shave, sealing the skin after it’s been razored. In the past, aftershave was an astringent alcohol solution that caused an intense sting when applied to the face. Although alcohol is still used some of today’s aftershaves, many products now contain a wide range of different ingredients aimed at helping various skin issues.
The purpose of using an aftershave is to re-hydrate the skin once you’ve shaved, quite literally after the shave. This is because shaving can dry out the skin and cause it to feel tight and even a little prickly. That uncomfortable feeling is caused by a lack of moisture in the skin. In years gone by, men would slap a bit of cologne on their faces and call that an “aftershave”. We all know the stereotype of recreating the Macaulay Culkin Home Alone scream. Well, questionable parenting wasn’t the only thing Kevin McCallister’s dad was guilty of. You can also add bad skincare to the list. Not only is it a needlessly painful way to start the day but alchol actually dries out the skin adding to a feeling of post shave discomfort. Today we understand that we have to be more gentle and caring to our skin, especially if it’s freshly shaved, by adding moisture back with a hydrating formula to leave the skin feeling soft, soothed and moisturised.
Fragrance. A cologne is generally used purely to add a scent, whereas an aftershave is a skincare product, designed to help alleviate the effects of shaving. While most aftershaves should smell nice (it’s going on your face after all) the fragrance may come from the skincare ingredients or added fragrance. A cologne, on the other hand, is the technical name for a fragrance that contains 2 – 4% fragrance concentration. Fun fact: the next level up on the scale is an eau de toilette (EDT) at 5 – 15%. Colognes are purely intended to add a longstanding fragrance.
When it comes to which is better for your skin – aftershave is your best bet. Depending on the brand and ingredients, it can offer hydration, smoothness, and protection against the elements your skin faces every day.
Bulldog’s Original Aftershave Balm is a great product for men as it’s been specially formulated to leave the skin soft and moisturised without being sticky. It contains aloe vera, which is renowned for its skin moisturising and soothing properties, making it particularly beneficial for men’s skincare after shaving. We also omega 3-rich camelina oil, and antioxidising green tea which is known to fight off free radical damage. Basically, it’s awesome for your skin. Got sensitive skin? No worries – we’ve got you covered with our Sensitive Aftershave Balm. It’s got another collection of skin-loving ingredients, including oat oil harvested in the UK which is great for softening skin, and sustainably-sourced baobab oil to help bring intense moisture to even the most sensitive skin. 90% of men we asked said it left their skin feeling soothed – can’t argue with that!
In general, a good aftershave will have moisturising properties even if it’s not used specifically for that purpose. However, it’s always a good idea to follow up your shave with a dedicated moisturiser that is designed for your skin type. So, although your aftershave might be pretty darn effective as a way to hydrate your skin, don’t rely on it and try a good quality moisturiser to give your skin the best line of defence against dryness.
The best aftershave balm is one that contains the best mix of ingredients for your specific skin type. You might think that you can’t use one if you have dry skin, but that’s probably because you’re thinking of the traditional aftershave your dad or granddad might have used – one that really stings. Nowadays, you can find a great aftershave balm that has none of those nasty alcohol-based astringents, opting instead for something altogether more natural. Obviously, we love our own aftershave balms. We offer a fantastic all round aftershave in our Original Aftershave Balm, and a little something for sensitive shavers in the form of our Sensitive Aftershave Balm. Why not try one out and see if it can help you face the day with smooth, healthy-looking skin?