When considering the best aftershaves, the first thing to keep in mind is that there are many reasons you might get razor burn after shaving. You’ve got to be meticulous with your shave regimen: warm water to open the pores, by a pre-shave oil or lotion to soften the hair and skin. Make sure you’re using a high-quality shaving cream to keep things friction-free. And most important of all, be sure to use a clean, sharp razor. Even the best aftershaves in the world won’t undo a sloppy shave.
But that last step, the aftershave, soothes the skin and makes you smell amazing for the rest of the day. It restores moisture, helps prevent ingrown hairs, and razor burn. It’s the finishing touch on a careful, irritation-free shave.
There’s a dizzying variety of shave products out there, so we tested them all. (Well, most of them.)
Best Aftershave Balm
These Portuguese heavy hitters make some of the best products for every step of the shave. This post-shave balm combines shea butter and allantoin to soothe and nourish skin, along with essential oils to help fortify cells and neutralize bacteria. It carries the brand’s classic barbershop scent, too, which is a blend of vetiver, patchouli, tonka, and vanilla.
Best-Smelling Aftershave Balm
Leave it to Le Labo to deliver a refreshing post shave, with notes of bergamot, lavender, violet, and tonka. More importantly, though, it utilizes extracts and oils of avocado, sunflower, and rosemary to deliver a fast, fortifying recovery to your skin.
Best Post Shave Lotion
Lotions are lighter than balms, though their defensiveness is no less effective. Marlowe’s post-shave lotion utilizes willow bark and algae extract to soothe irritation, plus passionflower and green tea extract to help repair skin and boost defense against toxins.
Best Aftershave for Sensitive Skin
Enriched with vitamins, allantoin, and aloe, Anthony’s post-shave cools, calms, and nourishes all skin types—but particularly has the more sensitive types in mind.
Best Aftershave for Ingrown Hairs
If you’re prone to ingrowns, then you need a post-shave product that keeps pores unclogged and encourages healthy recovery. Bevel’s post shave balm is packed with exfoliating alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids (kind of like an exfoliating serum) to maintain harmony after each shave. It uses tea tree oil to neutralize bacteria (also a key cause of bumps) and has a nourishing shea butter base.
Best Aftershave Splash
Witch hazel is what alcohol splashes wish they could be: It neutralizes bacteria without drying out the skin—so you don’t get the painful burn as it works, nor any redness after the fact. This product also works as a toner for oily or overstressed skin. Oh, and it includes rose water too, which helps cool and calm skin while tightening the pores after a shave.
Best Aftershave Cologne
You don’t need a fresh shave as an excuse to apply an aftershave cologne—that’s because you’re not applying it to your face at all. This cult-favorite splash (hailing from the Mexican department store Sanborns) is so overwhelmingly invigorating you’ll want to splash it on after every shower. Target your pulse points, as you would with a cologne. Like a typical barbershop cologne, it doesn’t wear long, but it’ll boost your spirits as you head out for work, or home from the gym.
Plus 5 More After Shaves We Love