Traditionally, a man’s post-shaving routine was to splash some alcohol-based aftershave on their skin and head off to their day at work. What your skin really craves after shaving is moisture, so splashing on a product that will only dry your skin out further is a bad idea. A better approach is to use a soothing moisturizer-based aftershave lotion that will deliver the hydration your skin so desperately needs.

Why Alcohol-Based Aftershave?

The theory behind the widespread use of alcohol in aftershave is that it can kill bacteria. While alcohol certainly does have a sterilizing effect, the damage done to your skin means that it is not worth it. There are many other substances that can prevent the growth of bacteria without drying out your skin.

Why Moisturizer-Based Aftershave?

No matter how carefully you shave, pulling a razor blade across your skin can cause irritation. Although you can minimize tugging at the hair follicles by using a lubricating shaving oil and a double edge safety razor, your skin still needs a little TLC after shaving to help reduce issues such as dryness or razor bumps developing.

The primary purpose of a moisturizing aftershave is to rehydrate your skin, leaving it soft and smooth. By contrast, alcohol draws moisture out of the skin, causing one of two possible negative effects: either the skin becomes dry and flaky, or the cells overcompensate by boosting their production of sebum, resulting in oily, acne-prone skin.

Moisturizer-based aftershaves that contain essential oils also fulfill the purpose of alcohol, by preventing the growth of bacteria in your exposed pores. Choose a moisturizer that contains tea tree oil or aloe vera, both of which are natural antibacterial ingredients, to keep bacteria from multiplying. Other ingredients to look out for in aftershave lotion include jojoba oil, which is extremely effective at replacing lost moisture.

If you suffer from razor bumps, then treating your skin with something as harsh as alcohol could make the problem even more obvious. Alcohol can irritate the skin and make the swelling around ingrown hairs worse, resulting in bigger, redder razor bumps. A soothing aftershave lotion can help to bring down swelling, reducing the appearance of razor burn.

Choose Your Aftershave Carefully

Always read labels carefully when choosing an aftershave product. Most aftershaves contain alcohol, but the kinder option for your skin is to choose an alcohol-free aftershave lotion that can restore lost moisture and reduce skin irritation.