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Aftershaves have come a long way since their humble beginnings when they served as mere disinfectants, containing primarily alcohol or witch hazel to kill bacteria that could potentially transfer from blades to the surface of your face skin and cause serious infections. The daily routine has changed as well and modern men tend to shave on a regular basis, so no wonder their faces decide to rebel and show their dissatisfaction with the distress they are being exposed to by turning red, breaking out and revealing a dull and uneven complexion to the world. This kind of damage calls for an immediate fix and is there something better than a good and rich aftershave that can restore the balance and let you enjoy a wonderfully smooth sensation every time you touch your face? But how is this achieved and what does aftershave actually do to your skin? Read on to clear your doubts!
What Exactly Is Aftershave?
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Aftershave can be defined as a liquid, gel, balm or lotion available to men to apply it after shaving in order to sooth skin inflammation caused by razor blades and take care of potential minor cuts or superficial abrasions. It used to be a combination of an antiseptic, such as denatured alcohol or witch hazel and an astringent to combat irritation, with menthol added to some formulas to numb painful areas of damaged skin. Many men disliked those first versions of aftershave because it provoked a very distressing feeling that could last even up to several minutes and tried to avoid it, which is why the manufacturers started reducing the amount of ingredients that provoke burning sensations and improving formulas with added fragrance, aloe vera and essential oils for a more pleasurable experience.
What Does Aftershave Do to Your Skin?
A good aftershave is supposed to disinfect, comfort and eventually repair the skin that became harsh, tight, red or broken by the repeated use of sharp razors. Aftershave can prevent the development of blackheads, pimples or blemishes and contribute to evening out your complexion. It will moisturize and nourish your skin with important antioxidants (such as vitamins A, C and E), as well as build a protective layer on its surface that should act as a shield that will protect it from future irritation. Dried skin that is peeling off is prone to the formation of wrinkles and it may start sagging – good moisturizing aftershave balm can prolong the youthful look of your skin even if you weren’t blessed with oily complexion, you just need to be persistent and use it diligently on a daily basis. The only individuals that should take extra care when it comes to the use of aftershave are those with extremely sensitive skin or those prone to allergies to certain ingredients found in aftershave products – if you fall into this category be sure to search for a product specially formulated for sensitive skin and avoid formulas that may trigger an allergic reaction.
How Should You Use Aftershave?
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The best way to use aftershave would be to apply it when you splash your skin with water after shaving while it’s still somewhat moist. If you do it this way, the odds are that you’ll need less product and that it will cover the entire area of your face more evenly, in comparison to putting the aftershave on completely dry skin. Also, you’ll need to figure out your skin type in order to choose the best product – dry skin will benefit the most from a very rich and moisturizing aftershave balm, packed with glycerin and other humectants, while a better choice for oily skins is definitely an aftershave splash with toner that won’t add extra grease where it’s not needed. Combination skin requires products tailored to its special needs, or the application of two different products: a balm that should be applied to dry areas (usually cheeks) and a splash for oily areas (forehead, nose and chin). Sensitive skin requires extra care as we have already mentioned, so choose products that won’t trigger any rebellious reactions. If you are one of those lucky guys that were blessed with normal skin which is even, smooth, glowy and healthy looking, opt for a mild but good balm, splash or lotion. Don’t forget to use facial wash and scrub once or twice a week to maintain your youthful appearance for a long time.
What are the Best Aftershaves?
The best aftershaves are light, they tend to be absorbed very quickly and they contain both calming and protective ingredients. The good advice is to avoid formulas packed with alcohol, menthol, eucalyptus or camphor. Watch out for parabens or other harmful chemical substances and stay away from them, but go for products containing aloe vera, calendula, chamomile, jojoba oil and plenty of vitamins, providing that of course you don’t have any known allergies to these otherwise extremely beneficial natural substances.
What are your experiences with aftershaves and what is your favorite product? Feel free to discuss it with us!