Aftershave is product applied to the skin after a shave (typically liquid based). The active ingredient is a antiseptic which helps in the prevention of an infection from cuts suffered due to shaving. They typically contain a type of astringent which has the ability to shrink pores and reduce excess oil.
Alright now that we've gotten done with that dry nonsense let's get into the nitty gritty of it and why it's actually important.
What It Really Does?
If you're anything like I was then your first thought of aftershave was something your dad used that smelled way too strong (probably Polo) and didn't initially make it into your shaving routine. It wasn't until I got more and more into beards that I really took another look at after shave balm to see if It could make it's way into my starting line up (daily routine).
I found out that it had two main benefits that I was looking for that I briefly spoke about above.
First, the astringent, I don't break out very often but when I do it's one of those deadly neck ingrown hairs. The kind that look like it's about to blink at your and it basically eats the entire hair and takes you a month to find. The beauty of a good astringent is that it helps with this by shrinking the pore itself and cleaning out excess oils. Since I've been regular on my after shaving routine I haven't had one of these.
Second, although I have never had an infection from shaving I have had a friend who got one and I'm not going to play with that mess. He ended up getting an abscess and if you know anything about them then I've said enough.
Usually I like my products to be fairly natural and not alcohol based but when I'm trying to kill possible bacteria I say screw it, I would pour whiskey on face if it worked better.
I reached out to my favorite beard oil company to see what alternative they had because my face was getting too dry because of the alcohol in the after shave and this is what I got! They sent me a bottle of their tea tree beard oil and advised me to use it just like an aftershave.
If you know anything about tee tree oil it's by far the most effective astringent that's not alcohol based. I just wanted to throw this little nugget in just in case someone is looking for an effective natural alternative, I'll continue explaining aftershave now.
Simple Step Process On How To Use Aftershave
Step 1 - Preparation
Immediately after shaving rinse your face with cold water, this will do two important things. First, it will wash away any loose hair and excess shaving cream which can cause irritation. Secondly, it will close your pores limiting the exposure time your open pores have to dirt and bacteria.
Make sure you wash your face to the point where you can no longer feel any leftover shaving product.
Make sure you use a clean towel and completely dry your face.
Step 2 - Application
Measure out a thumbnail sized drop for your face, add an additional thumbnail sized drop of you shaved your neck as well.
Start by patting your face neck applying it evenly until it's spread evenly.
Massage in from the cheeks down to ensure that you're face get's the attention first. If you're skin is overly dry you will need to add an additional few drops of your brand of aftershave and repeat the process again.