Did you know that there’s more to aftershave than just the pleasant scent? Millions of men around the world are skipping what’s actually an important part of any skincare routine by not applying aftershave.

When going for the best shave, shaving cream and a high-quality razor are a great starting point. Of course, we can go even further with shaving soap and a shaving brush. However, it’s the aftershave lotion that brings everything together and finishes the grooming ritual. Not only will it make your skin smell great, it will deal with ingrown hairs, razor cuts, burns, and other issues that may occur after shaving.

In this post, we discuss the very best aftershaves for men in 2019. As well as providing some great products, you’ll learn the importance of aftershave, some things to consider before you buy, important ingredients to watch out for and application advice.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Don’t Have Time to Read Our Guide? Here’s Our Top Choice!

Lather & Wood Aftershave Balm (Sandalwood Scent)

This aftershave lotion eliminates razor burn, calms irritation, and gives a refreshing feeling after a close shave. Rather than drying and causing a stinging sensation, it soothes and moisturizes the skin. What’s more, its non-greasy formula leaves your face smoother than ever after application.

Classic Barbershop Aftershave Splash (best aftershave for men with oily skin)

Bay Rum Aftershave Splash for Men - Asin B00JY16C76

Both the name and scent of this aftershave splash leads to visions of pirates and sailors on the seas centuries ago. When pirates spent weeks on the oceans, they would eventually reach land and shave off their long beards. Not only did bay rum tame wild hair that had been growing freely for many weeks, it would help them smell better.

Thanks to the Barberry Coast Shave Co, we can follow in the footsteps of these sailors and combine the past and present with an effective aftershave splash. As well as boosting the health of the irritated post-shave skin, it smells great too.

When it comes to classic barbershop aftershave splash products, Bay Rum is one of the very best. We haven’t even mentioned the all natural ingredients and the 30-day aging process that occurs before being sold to customers. Your skin will love the brilliant combination of essential oils, exotic spices, natural extracts, and citrus oils. Of course, it all begins with the West Indian bay leaves, hence the name.

With this first men’s aftershave, you don’t have to worry about parabens, GMOs, synthetic chemicals, or even artificial colors. It’s perfect for vegans and as natural as you can get. However, it does contain alcohol, so it leans more towards men with oily and normal skin types. On the other hand, you don’t have to be concerned about excessive drying because the glycerin nourishes the skin and combats the effects of alcohol.

Once you apply the Bay Rum splash after shaving, your senses will quickly awaken with a slight burning sensation, but this quickly diminishes. Afterwards, your skin will smell great, and you’ll feel and look better than ever.

As one of the oldest scents in the aftershave niche, there’s actually a lot going on including cinnamon, orange, wood, rum, and many other notes. As the day goes on, you (and your family and colleagues) will pick up various notes and this is what makes bay rum aftershave for men so magical. We should note that the scent is fairly strong, but it’s a masculine smell that comes with a story.

We must say that a four-ounce bottle is a little more expensive than other products in this list, but for most, the natural ingredients and manly scent make this extra investment worthwhile.


• Completely natural
• Drying is prevented thanks to glycerin
• Manly scent that lasts all day


• Some find the scent too strong

Proraso Aftershave Lotion (Refreshing and Toning) - Asin B0085UECY2

Proraso grooming products have been around since 1908, and are still adored in Italy by thousands of men. It all happens for a good reason. From the first pre-shave cream, to now, Martelli family have continued to deliver on their promise of high-quality products for the very best shave. Natural formulas and classic scents take men back to a simpler time when a shave meant a trip to the barber shop and would actually be part of the social calendar.

With no artificial colors, parabens, or silicones, Proraso believes that a splash of classic men’s aftershave is the perfect end to a shaving ritual whether it’s in the bathroom with a modern razor or the hot towel treatment with a professional. If you support the traditional tingling and burning that comes with aftershave, you’re in for a treat with Proraso.

There are three main ingredients that allow for superb results; menthol, witch hazel, and eucalyptus oil. While the latter purifies the facial hair and skin, witch hazel encourages healing and reduces inflammation. Simultaneously, menthol revitalizes and brings a new lease of life to the face.

The Proraso aftershave has a minty scent that is fresh, clean and should disappear within a couple of hours. However, keep in mind that any cologne not on the mint scale will clash with the menthol fragrance.

One of our favorite features of this aftershave for men is the immediate relief that comes after application; sometimes the skin can be dry and fragile after a shave, but this splash makes it feel cooled and refreshed.

If you have oily skin, the alcohol content should be able to reach the skin’s surface by cutting through the secreted fats, so this is great news. For those with dry skin, you should probably avoid this aftershave because the alcohol content becomes a negative. As alcohol takes away hydration, and you don’t have much hydration in the first place, moisture is suddenly hard to come by.

On a more positive note, you don’t have to worry about silicones, mineral oils, parabens, artificial colors, sodium laurel sulfate, or phthalates in this vegan-friendly product. Instead, of all the ingredients, 98% have natural origins.


• Feels cool and refreshing
• Affordable
• Perfect for oily skin
• 98% natural ingredients


• Can’t be utilized for dry skin

Best men’s Aftershave for soothing razor burn and irritation

Jack Black Post-Shave Cooling Gel - Asin B000BK1U5S

Although we always aim for a smooth, flawless shave, it doesn’t always happen. Whether the blade on the razor has lost sharpness, we aren’t paying attention, or we’re just a little tired, shaving can lead to razor bumps, nicks, and cuts.

Don’t worry, when these small issues occur, Jack Black’s cooling aftershave for men will soothe the skin in an attempt to reduce irritation, razor burn, and redness. As an alcohol-free formula, your face shouldn’t sting after application while the aloe extract works hard to treat irritated skin.

In addition to aloe extracts, your skin will also benefit from witch hazel, chamomile, and even sage. The latter encourages hair growth by boosting blood circulation around the hair follicles. Elsewhere, the antiseptic qualities of lavender oil not only heal the skin after a rough shave but also reduce redness (and pain) from sunburn.

As the name suggests, the cooling effect is the main feature that attracts men to this product. After shaving, the skin on the face and neck can sometimes scream with pain and discomfort; you can almost feel it heating up, so this cooling effect is a welcome one. What’s more, it’s a natural aftershave, vegan, and contains no fragrance, colorants, or parabens.

During application, you’ll only need a small dot to get started which makes it beneficial for those who don’t want a big upheaval with the best aftershave for men.


• Natural ingredients
• Calms, heals, and hydrates
• Cooling effect


• Those who want a fragrance will be disappointed

Baxter of California Aftershave Balm (Cooling Sensation) - Asin B0006B4VVW

If you’re looking for a brand that offers premium quality but without all the pretense, Baxter of California has been helping customers since 1965. On Amazon, it’s actually one of the best aftershaves for men you’ll find.

Often, men feel as though aftershave should make them squeal in pain, but Baxter of California makes you rethink what an aftershave should be. Free from alcohol, the mild formula has been developed with soothing, healing, and nourishment in mind. What’s included in the formula? Aloe vera, allantoin, and glycerin to hydrate and calm sensitive skin. What’s not included? Parabens and alcohol.

There are two other inclusions that we like and the first is menthol. As we’ve seen before, this ingredient will help the skin to feel cool while removing irritation. On the other hand, toning tea tree oil leaves the face softer and will also prevent ingrown hairs.

After applying the Baxter of California’s aftershave, you will feel refreshed and recharged. Your skin will be hydrated, as well as protected against irritation, razor burn and other post-shave issues. For those in a cold, harsh climate, the thickness of this men’s aftershave will be ideal, as the skin will have a protective layer of moisture.

For the scent, it’s quite subtle and won’t last too long so we recommend pairing the balm with a cologne. With menthol and lime, there’s definitely a refreshing and natural smell and feel to the product, but it perhaps doesn’t fall into the category of ‘classic’ aftershave.

What else do we like about this men’s aftershave? Although it sounds simple, we enjoy the fact the balm comes in a tube. Glass bottles can be difficult because it’s awkward once you get down to the final drops. With a tube, you can keep squeezing and squeezing until it’s empty (no money wasted!). Since the formula is quite thick, it should also last longer than most other products.

Baxter of California has lived up to expectations with this aftershave for men and we highly recommend it for a superior shaving experience.


• Offers healing properties
• Brand with a solid reputation
• Cools and moisturizes


• Some users dislike the smell

Natural Aftershave (best aftershave for men with sensitive skin)

Brickell Men’s Instant Relief Aftershave for Men - Asin B00NS87UBI

Across the last five years, one name in particular has taken the premium skincare market by storm; Brickell. Founded by Matt Bolduc and Josh Meyer, they actually started the company in 2014 after struggling to find natural grooming products for men. Now, they’ve fulfilled their ambition of a brand that;

• Uses natural ingredients
• Customers can relate to and resonate with
• Can be used by the everyday man
• Offers high quality

Brickell’s rise to the top has been hard to ignore, and they’ve developed an aftershave lotion or men as part of their range. The lotion prevents irritation, removes redness, soothes the face, and, whats more, is 80% organic and 98% natural.

We had to put this product on the list of the best aftershaves for men for two reasons; 1) it’s a great for men with all skin types (especially sensitive skin) and 2) the customers wouldn’t forgive us if we didn’t. Plenty of men have told us that this is their favorite aftershave and that it’s the product for which they’ve been looking for many years. We agree, what’s not to love?

As a light lotion, it’s absorbed quickly, and the many effective ingredients can then get to work. Thanks to the natural ingredients, the Brickell’s aftershave can hydrate and calm the skin (even with the cold), prevent irritation and clogging, and protect the face and neck. Three of the best ingredients include;

• Coconut - After the damage caused by the razor, this ingredient will moisturize the deeper layers of skin and strengthen skin tissue.

• Hyaluronic Acid - In addition to moisturizing and repairing, hyaluronic acid will provide volume and fullness to the skin.

• Aloe Vera - As the third pivotal ingredient, aloe vera reduces irritation, soothes and repairs the skin, and moisturizes.

This men’s aftershave is free from alcohol and doesn’t leave a greasy feeling after use. As you apply the lotion, it feels warm and soft on the skin and makes you look radiant.

You can choose between scented and unscented versions of the product. Although the scented option offers a citrus-like smell, it’s by no means traditional. Instead, the lemongrass, peppermint, and eucalyptus combine for a subtle freshness. With this in mind, it won’t be strong enough to overwhelm your chosen cologne. The four-ounce bottle should last for two months.


• Offers deep hydration
• 80% organic and 98% natural
• Absorbs quickly
• Lightweight


• There are no major drawbacks

Burt’s Bees Natural Skin Care for Men (Aftershave) - Asin B002DMK0E4

While the previous product was 98% natural, Burt’s Bees aftershave for men is as close as you can get to perfection with 99.9%. As a cream formula, all razor burns and stings will be taken away, and you can enjoy the closest and smoothest shave possible. What’s more, the lotion can be used on all skin types (especially sensitive skin).

For smooth skin, hydration, and moisturization, Burt’s Bees has included the following;

• Vitamin E
• Chamomile
• Calendula
• Sunflower Oil
• Coconut Oil

While these are all common ingredients in skin care products, what you don’t always get is essential fatty acids. However, this men’s aftershave boasts stearic, linoleic, and palmitic acid.

If you don’t like greasy skin, the formula is absorbed quickly and it comes without phthalates, parabens, SLS, and petroleum. With no alcohol, (you probably know what this means by now) your skin won’t dry out or burn.

Even after all these fantastic reasons to buy this Burt’s Bees aftershave for men, we can’t ignore the affordable price. Often, men feel as though aftershave is unnecessarily expensive, but this particular brand has your back.

Another plus, you don’t have to apply too much of the product, the face will feel clean afterwards, and you’ll get a woody, smoky smell from the bergamon oil. In fact, some men use this manly scent instead of cologne because it smells so good.


• Doesn’t leave greasy skin
• 99.9% natural
• Protects the skin while moisturizing


• Some users dislike the smell

Best-Smelling Aftershave for Men

Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Aftershave Gel - Asin B00158N0W6

You might have seen a similar name in grocery stores and drugstores, but don’t confuse the two. Although similar in name, the Taylor of Old Bond Street men’s aftershave is head and shoulders above the other in nature. As a sandalwood aftershave gel, it’s perfect for men who commonly get rashes after shaving or struggle with sensitive skin because it’s also a balm product.

For soothing and healing the skin after shaving, smooth skin, and tighter pores, the special formula with aloe vera and witch hazel is perfect. Free from alcohol, the lotion has a fantastic finish and is, therefore, in the list of our best aftershaves for men.

Sandalwood is the main note in this masculine, classic shaving scent. Once combined with floral tones of jasmine and lavender, and a hint of cedar, it leaves an elegant, calm and clean smell. You may also enjoy the following essential oils;

• Thyme
• Lemon
• Rosemary
• Patchouli
• Lavandin
• Galbanum

We are strong believers that Taylor of Bond Street has nailed this manly smell with these natural ingredients. Made in England, it comes in tubes of 75ml and is ideal for a night out (although you might not need a cologne since it’s quite strong!).


• Soothes the face
• Eliminates razor burn
• Offers a manly scent


• Some find the smell too strong

Aramis Advanced Moisturizing Aftershave Balm for Men - Asin B002XITY6S

As we round off this list of best-smelling aftershaves for men, we come to a brand that has had the attention of this niche since 1964. Soon after release, this men’s aftershave became a timeless icon because it managed to marry up sexy alpha male notes with fresh cologne scent. It somehow projected a sense of true confidence and magnetic sophistication to those who wore it. Now, over 50 years later, it still has a similar reputation.

Still offering the same great smell, this aftershave balm moisturizes and soothes the skin while helping with razor burns. As a lightweight balm, it doesn’t contain alcohol and only a dot is required to cover the entire face and make you feel better than anything.

If you’re looking for a men’s aftershave lotion solely for scent alone, Aramis is the one for you. Despite being launched by Estee Lauder and Joseph (her husband), it was Bernard Chant, a perfumer, who created the product. As it entered department stores around the country, it transformed the industry and became the first men’s fragrance that was so widely available. Suddenly, men could buy prestige colognes in malls (as well as women who wanted to treat their men!).

The secret to Aramis’s success is quite simple; it manages to offer a straightforwardly masculine scent but without ever being too aggressive or brutish. It doesn’t attack the nostrils, it suggests style, a suave nature, and it does this effortlessly.

Aramis falls into ‘chypre’ category of fragrances traditionally based around woods, citrus notes, spices, and oakmoss. As a member of this ‘family’ Aramis scent naturally contradicts itself. Despite being crisp and refreshing, it could also be described as warm, and sensual (descriptions you wouldn’t normally put together!).

When you try Aramis, we’re sure you’ll find your own description. Many can pick up wood, pine, citrus, leather, and all sorts of other scents. It conjures images of finely-decorated gentlemen’s clubs, spice markets, and forest floors and leather-bound books. The smell of this aftershave lotion is a joy in itself and the reason why many people return to Aramis time and time again.


• Magical scent
• Moisturizes and soothes
• Feels great after application


• Younger readers might find the scent a little old-fashioned

Best Aftershave for men with dry skin

The Art of Shaving Aftershave Balm (Sandalwood) - Asin B000FGVJWW

When it comes to all male grooming, The Art of Shaving is one of the best brands, but it goes under the radar somewhat. Their products seek high-quality shaves and the aftershave balm fits this mold perfectly.

Although it works for most skin types, this men’s aftershave has definitely been designed for those with dry skin in mind. After application, moisturization is allowed thanks to the glycerin and shea butter. Meanwhile, damage is repaired, and the skin is revitalized through the vitamin C. As a non-comedogenic product, you don’t have to be concerned about acne or blocked pores. As all good aftershave balms for dry skin should, it also avoids alcohol.

For those with sensitive skin, The Art of Shaving has decided to omit antiseptic and artificial dyes. However, the unscented version is better for men with sensitive skin. Sadly, scents come from essential oils and these can cause irritation.

If you’ve started to notice the odd wrinkle in the mirror, this aftershave for men will also help fight the signs of aging. How? Elasticity improves with various powerful oils and extracts.

When you purchase this product, you’ll receive a small aesthetic 3.4-ounce glass bottle; however the drawback you’ll have with this is trying to get the last drops out.

On the brighter side, the manufacturers have developed the same product with five different scents (as well as the unscented version!). In our opinion, the sandalwood one is the best but there’s no reason why you can’t test them all in the coming months.

Regardless of scent, you’ll be getting a high-quality men’s aftershave and a brand with a stunning reputation in the industry. You’ll pay a little more, but the effectiveness of the balm earns a place on this list of the best aftershaves for men.


• Large selection of scents
• Non-comedogenic
• Moisturizes and revitalizes


• Can be expensive

Lather & Wood Shaving Aftershave Balm - B01FZP4SES

If you’ve been testing different aftershave lotions for men, one of the biggest differences with Lather & Wood balm is the thickness. Some men have compared it to butter rather than lotion, but it isn’t too thick; Lather & Wood has managed to master the balance. It won’t leave a sticky or greasy feeling behind.

For dry skin especially, we believe this is the best aftershave for men. It has so many benefits we couldn’t possibly attempt to list them all in this guide. However, we’ll try to summarize, and it starts with the lack of alcohol. Once you combine this omission with the addition of coconut oil, the skin is left hydrated and free from irritation. Coconut oil is actually anti-fungal, antibacterial, and a natural moisturizer.

Elsewhere, other great ingredients include vitamin E, which is known for its anti-aging properties and for being an antioxidant. Also, natural oil production is controlled by the jojoba oil (you’re starting to see why we love it so much, right!).

Even after these wonderful ingredients, we should mention organic neem seed oil, rosemary leaf extract, and the antiseptic witch hazel. With all these elements working in unison, the skin is cooled and refreshed, and Lather & Wood balm manages to do so without leaving an oily feeling or dry skin (the perfect balance!).

In our experience, the aftershave lotion also spreads across the skin nicely and absorbs in no time. With all moisturizing ingredients, your skin will glow without nasty chemicals and alcohol causing problems.

Although some users have noted a distinct lack of smell to the product, it does actually have a slight undertone of sandalwood. Due to the thickness, the two-ounce glass bottle will last for quite a while.


• Beautiful texture
• Ideal for dry skin
• Natural ingredients


• Some users have complained that the scent isn’t strong enough

Benefits of Using Aftershave

This list of the best aftershaves for men is all well and good, but why should you use one in the first place? While some products we tend to avoid, aftershave is an interesting one because most of men use it without paying attention to what it does and how it does it.

Firstly, the word ‘aftershave’ covers any product designed for use after shaving that is typically fragrance-enriched. In terms of pure fragrance, the concentration is much lower than in other products;

• Eau de Parfum - Up to 15%
• Eau de Cologne - Up to 5%
• Aftershave - Between 1% and 3%

With this in mind, the scent doesn’t last as long and won’t be as strong as cologne when applied. Fortunately, men’s aftershave has other uses rather than just the smell;

Relieving - With the small alcohol content in some aftershaves, this will help razor burns and provide your skin with some relief. When you start to feel a tingling sensation, this is literally the aftershave getting to work; it can also help prevent infections.

Cleansing - Once again, the alcohol included in most aftershaves is important because it kills off bacteria as an antiseptic and astringent. As shaving can expose lower layers of skin, this level of protection is important. Suddenly, even nicks and cuts don’t have the environment they need to cause infection.

Moisturizing - Thirdly, as we’ve seen in the products above, the best aftershaves for men contain coconut oil, aloe vera, glycerin, or other hydrating and moisturizing elements. With such ingredients applied to the skin, it will remain hydrated and protected from damage.

Therefore, it’s important to consider more than just the scent when searching for an aftershave. With a little splashed onto your neck and cheeks after shaving, the product will keep the face hydrated and clean (and smooth). Simultaneously, your skin is moisturized, razor burns and ingrown hairs are prevented, and the risk of infection is reduced.

Different Types of Aftershaves

When you first read the word ‘aftershave’ in this guide, you were probably thinking of the alcohol-based liquid that has been traditionally used for decades. Just like the famous scene in Home Alone, we shave, splash some aftershave on both cheeks, and then scream as the burning comes. If we go back even further, however, the best aftershaves for men originally used rum as a foundation. For this reason, many of the traditional barber brands that play on the traditional theme still use hints of rum.

Thanks to progression in the industry, there are now eight main types of aftershave;


Containing between 1% and 3% fragrance, this is the traditional liquid aftershave that uses alcohol as an antiseptic. With some containing hydrosols and toners, splash aftershaves are generally ideal for warmer climates because balms and creams can feel too oily. Especially if you already have quite oily skin, the alcohol content will help to dry out excess skin sebum.

Another benefit of choosing a splash is that the scent stays around for longer than most other types (you’ll still catch the odd scent hours after application).

What about the negatives? Well, you’ve probably guessed that the alcohol can cause problems for men with dry skin because you’ll lose what little moisture you already have. Furthermore, alcohol tends to make the skin more vulnerable to environmental toxins, heat, and other potentially harmful particles.


If you’re looking for eucalyptus or menthol ingredients in men’s aftershave, this is the place to find them. Gels are generally designed to kill bacteria while also removing irritation and soothing the skin. Additionally, gels have found an audience in men who find creams and lotions too oily; while these two will increase oil production, gel will not.

When applied, gel absorbs quickly, and springs into action immediately. Also, they’re perfect in humid conditions or for men who sweat a lot.

If you’re wondering why everybody hasn’t made the switch to gel, they have one huge drawback; the eucalyptus and menthol can be too strong for sensitive skin. Also, gels are designed for fast action as opposed to long-term protection and moisturization, so it is important to keep in mind.


From light and gentle to heavy and thick, we find aftershave cream which contains more ingredients designed for moisturization (as well as emollients!). Skin loves cream because it is rich with oils, water, and nutrients. Especially with dry skin, there’s an opportunity to boost the production of oil while also protecting the skin after razor burns, infections, and other post-shave damage; it can also help soothe rashes and irritated skin.

On the other hand, we’ve already touched on the thickness of creams and how it can leave a greasy feeling behind. On top of this, some users find that the scent of men’s aftershave creams isn’t strong enough.


Although slightly different in nature, the aim of toners is much the same as other aftershave products because they will offer assistance with skin problems such as irritation. However, as the name suggests, there’s more of an emphasis on toning. While some are applied alone, others are partnered with creams for best results.

Furthermore, toners can help with the following issues;

• Allergies
• Acne
• Rashes
• Fungal infections
• Insect bites
• Blemishes
• Scars
• Cuts

As we’ve seen, most products have a downside; with aftershave toners, it’s the lack of hydration…and this is why some toners will need to be paired with a hydrating cream.

Aftershave Balm

Back to more of a traditional solution, men’s aftershave balm has one of the thickest consistencies you’ll find, and it should prevent infections, deal with razor burns, and offer relief with irritation. Since it works well with dehydrated skin and provides moisturization, it’s the common choice in colder or drier climates.

Unfortunately, we should send a warning to men with greasy skin before you invest any money. The ingredients used in aftershave balm add a layer of oil that replicates skin oil; therefore, sebum production can raise, and the risk of pimple breakouts potentially increases as they aren’t made to be non-comedogenic. Also, the fragrance content in balms is lower than that of splashes which means that they can’t compete for scent.


We’ve seen toners, and astringents are toners taken up a notch. With some containing alcohol concentrations of up to 60%, they can cause skin’s proteins to harden and form a protective layer. With this, post-shave skin conditions are prevented, and infections are unlikely.

Can you guess the warning that comes with such a high alcohol content? That’s right, those with sensitive and/or dry skin should avoid this aftershave option (you’re more of an expert than us now!).


When it comes to scent, the only option we’ve really offered is splash aftershave. Fortunately, aftershave lotions for men are also known for their long-lasting scent and some men have even found products that allow them to replace cologne. After shaving, a lotion will tighten the pores and act as a toner. Despite popular belief, lotions also work really well with oily skin.

Alum Block

As the final aftershave type, alum block is completely unique as a solid block of mineral salts and alum. Made with 100% natural ingredients, the block will tighten the skin and make blemishes and bumps look and feel smoother.

In terms of potential problems, some men experience dryness and, although you probably don’t make a habit of eating your aftershave, it has a nasty taste so be careful.

Purchasing Considerations for Aftershave

Before we do anything else, we want to offer one important message; scent is secondary. If necessary, you can always top up the scent with a good cologne. With men’s aftershave, the role is to boost skin health, prevent infections after cuts, moisturize and soften the skin, and also to soothe and cool after running a blade over the surface.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with considering the fragrance, but there are some more important factors that should come first. For us, your skin type and ingredients are the priority!

1. Skin Type

Normal Skin

Is your skin not too dry, not too oily? If yes, consider yourself lucky because you can use any aftershave for men that takes your fancy.

Oily Skin

If you see your skin shining not long after washing, it means you have oily skin; some men can even feel the oils on the surface of their face. Common issues include blackheads and visible pores. However it doesn’t mean that you’re a lost. It just means that extra attention is required with your skin care regimen. We recommend looking for;

• Alcohol Aftershave - Firstly, you want to take away the shine and remove some of the oils in the skin. If the aftershave contains alcohol, it will do the job.

• Moisturizing Features - Sounds counterproductive, right? After using alcohol to remove your natural oils, you need to rehydrate the skin, and this is where your aftershave comes in handy. For example, glycerin comes from plant oils and brings life back to dehydrated skin cells.

Sensitive Skin

If your face gets a little itchy after washing, it’s likely that you have sensitive skin. Elsewhere, men tend to experience stinging, bumps, and rashes as soon as they use a product that doesn’t suit their skin. If you have sensitive skin, we have three main tips;

• Steer Clear of Parabens - As synthesized preservatives, parabens are used to prevent bacteria development and so can be found in many cosmetics. The problem? They have no filter, which means that even the good bacteria are removed. Also, their aggressive nature can lead to issues.

• Limit Alcohol Content - Additionally, alcohol will cause irritation so you should go for a mild aftershave.

• Choose Unscented - Finally, the very ingredients that create fragrances can also cause irritation so this is why unscented aftershaves can be helpful.

The best way to follow these tips and find the best men’s aftershave for sensitive skin is to check the packaging. Especially where parabens are concerned, look out for ‘Paraben Free.’

If in doubt, the ingredients will tell you everything you need to know. Fortunately, most ingredients that contain parabens end in ‘paraben’; an example would be Butylparaben. Sometimes, they may have the name Alkyl parahydroxybenzoates. With our list of ten best aftershaves for men, we showed whether or not they contained parabens so be sure to check this out.

Dry Skin

If your skin peels, feels rough, looks dull, or goes flaky from time to time, we recommend the following tips.

• Avoid Alcohol - As a diuretic, it encourages the body to release more water than it takes on (the last thing you need when you already have dry skin!). If possible, we recommend choosing a men’s aftershave that’s completely free from alcohol. Just as we did with parabens, we included information regarding alcohol content in our list of ten best aftershaves for men.

• Moisturizing Ability - Of course, you also need to look for a product with excellent moisturizing properties so the skin is hydrated once more.

• Be Careful of Astringents - Thirdly, astringents are normally extremely helpful because they bind together the skin cells which, in turn, help them to heal and repair. As well as appearing naturally, they can help to heal cuts and nicks which is why they’re included in aftershaves. Sadly, they’re also known to inflame dry skin which means irritation, pain and discomfort.

2. Important Ingredients

Before we go into application tips and the different fragrances you’ll find with products, here are some important ingredients to look out for and what they do!


Firstly, the cooling sensation all men crave comes from menthol and it does so without changing anything in the skin chemically or physically. If you hate the burning sensation that sometimes comes with shaving and men’s aftershave, choose a product with menthol. Not only will the cool, tingling sensation feel amazing, it can also calm and limit discomfort.

Witch Hazel

As a natural astringent, witch hazel is something that’s found in many beauty products. With men’s aftershave in particular, the idea is to constrict the pores (without the drying that normally comes with this process).

Furthermore, any irritation will be removed thanks to its anti-inflammatory nature. For the same reason, most manufacturers will choose to add witch hazel into rash creams and bug bite treatments.

Within the skin, all bacteria are flushed out so you can also reduce the risk of acne. All in all, it’s a brilliant ingredient (hence it’s place in this list!).

Lemon Peel

While you may think that lemon peel is only included into men’s aftershaves for the scent, you can actually kill unwanted bacteria and boost the protective acid mantle with the acidity of the lemon. Don’t worry, the acid isn’t strong enough to cause inflammation in sensitive skin.


It wakes us up in the morning, and caffeine can also help to tone our skin. How? By restricting tiny capillaries near the surface of the skin and becoming a natural anti-inflammatory. This is how it removes any flushed appearance you otherwise might have. Caffeine is ideal for men who want to freshen up their appearance.


Did you know that sandalwood is the second most expensive wood on earth (after African Blackwood). For treating blemishes, spots, and eczema, the oil from sandalwood is incredibly useful because it’s a cicatrizant (it can heal scar tissue).

While some natural oils struggle to get deep into the skin cells, sandalwood oil can permeate effectively which leads to more hydration. However, it doesn’t stop there. It also encourages water in blood plasma to pass through into skin cells which improves hydration even more - your skin will never be dry again.

With the very best aftershave for men, sandalwood is a key ingredient and some even choose it to fight the signs of aging. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties, injured skin cells are healed, your natural acid mantle is restored, and even the wrinkles will be reduced (don’t we all want this!).


As a natural and organic compound, the word ‘lanolin’ is actually Latin and translates into English as ‘wool oil’. In truth, the name describes it rather well since this ingredient is secreted by wool-bearing animals in the sebaceous glands. How does it help? Well, for the animals, it prevents them from taking on too much water. For us, it can provide protection from pollutants while also boosting the acid mantle.

For men who frequently experience inflammation and infections, it makes a superb ingredient.

Borage Oil

In case you didn’t know, GLA is a fatty acid found in vegetable oils. With borage oil containing high amounts of GLA, the water deep within the skin’s surface is encouraged to rise up to the top. From here, the skin receives significant amount of protection (making it most useful for dry skin!).

In recent years, many studies have been undertaken on borage oil and the results so far suggest its efficacy in hydration, protection, and repair of skin cells.

Tea Tree Oil

When it comes to wounds, there aren’t too many better ingredients than tea tree oil. Due to its acidity, it kills any infection-causing bacteria so you can deal with acne and shaving rash effectively.

Elsewhere, tea tree oil encourages water to move between skin cells, and which makes it also an anti-inflammatory. Regardless of whether you have sensitive or even dry skin, tea tree oil will come to the rescue and reduce inflamed areas and irritation.

Coenzyme Q10

Sounds quite scientific, right? Instead, this is an enzyme that naturally occurs within the human body; however, its production slows as we age (isn’t aging a nuisance?). By supplementing your natural supply, you can fight off those pesky signs of aging.

Vitamin E

Ah, the trusty vitamins. This time, we’re focusing on vitamin E since it’s known for healing dry patches and generally promoting healthy skin. Without intervention, free radicals will lead to bacteria and potential damage to skin cells. Therefore, it’s important we take action and vitamin E acts as an antioxidant to neutralize the troublesome free radicals.

If you get shaving spots quite often, vitamin E will cleanse the face and encourage good skin health. Sadly, shaving will still damage skin cells; this is where vitamin E steps in and repairs. From irritated skin, you’ll soon feel soothed and better than ever.


Why do the best aftershaves for men have eucalyptus in their list of ingredients? There’s a toxicity to eucalyptus that neutralizes bacterial infections; go and take a look at the mouth wash in your bathroom, it probably contains eucalyptus for this very reason. When bacteria are left on the skin, they can quickly spread and cause bouts of acne and infections in even the tiniest of cuts.

Bay Oil

With antibiotic and antiseptic properties of bay oil, shaving cuts don’t have to go any further than a small inconvenience. As a strong astringent, our cells can also benefit from bay oil because they’re encouraged to repair and bind together. Suddenly, nicks, cuts, blemishes, and shaving rashes don’t have to be such a huge issue.

Aloe Vera

Even if you haven’t heard of some of these ingredients, we’re almost certain you’ve heard of this one. Known for soothing and healing, applying a men’s aftershave with aloe vera should reduce pain, remove irritation, and make the skin feel great.


Finally, we know we’ve thrown lots of ingredients your way but it’s better to have lots of ingredients when searching for the best aftershave for men than not enough. Many men with dry skin would laugh if others suggest a splash aftershave, however glycerin makes them more accessible than ever because of its ability to hydrate skin.

3. The Role of Fragrance

Although we’ve touched on the topic briefly, something we’re yet to delve into is fragrance. With this in mind, we want to answer a couple of common questions.

Types of fragrance

We often hear of men getting bored of the same scents, but there are now more options than ever before (oriental, citrus, woody, floral, etc.). The very best men’s aftershave fragrances will have different layers which emit scents throughout the day; they appeal to the senses at three different levels known as base, middle, and top.

When you first open the bottle and the scent drifts up the nostrils, it’s the top layer. However, it doesn’t last very long which is where the middle layer comes in as the bulk. The top layer has gone, and the middle layer is fading, so the base layer combines with the middle to make it last a little longer.

Fragrance duration

In truth, fragrance duration depends on your skin type and body chemistry. Since fragrances are made up of oils, they will dissipate much faster on dry skin compared to oily skin. Also, the alcohol content plays an important role because it can evaporate quickly. The lower fragrance (and alcohol) the men’s aftershave contains, the shorter the scent will tend to last.

How to Apply Aftershave

Earlier, we discussed the different types of men’s aftershave and this classification is important to remember here because aftershave application will vary depending on its type. Let’s have a closer look!


• Coat the tip of your finger with aftershave balm or squeeze a good amount of the lotion/cream into the palm. From here, spread the product over your hands by rubbing them together.

• Start with the jaw and cheeks before moving down to the neck. When applying, use a downward motion and, most importantly, be gentle.

• There’s no magic formula for getting it right every time so apply another thin layer if the skin feels dry. As long as the product covers the face and neck evenly, it’s the most important factor.


• After splashing some liquid over the palms, rub your hands together and apply aftershave to the neck and face; the heat activates the scent and the liquid nature ensures that the surface of the skin is covered.

• As a top tip, allow some of the alcohol to evaporate by opening the palms for a couple of seconds before application. The benefit of doing this is that the burning sensation won’t be so severe.

• Furthermore, with the best aftershave for men in the shape of a splash, patting and dabbing will always be better than rubbing.


• With the hands dry, rub them together with the aftershave gel and cover your palms.

• Starting with the cheeks, apply the gel quickly and then drop to the neck and jawline. Since aftershave gel works faster than most, you need to get it onto the surface of the skin before it evaporates.

Over time, you’ll get used to applying your chosen product and you’ll work out what looks and feels best. With this in mind, take the time to experiment and play around with your men’s aftershave.

Top Aftershave Tips

Before we finish with some commonly asked questions, here are our best men’s aftershave tips!

Moisturize Before Aftershave

To prevent dryness (and protect the skin), don’t apply the aftershave until you’ve used a non-scented moisturizer. With a moisturizer in your daily skin care routine, the risk of irritation, dryness, and infection are all limited. Also, the scent of your favorite aftershave for men will last longer because the fragrance particles can hang onto the lotion’s oil.

Clean Your Face

Before applying aftershave, remove all trimmed hairs and shaving cream by washing the face. Rather than just using water, use sans cleansers to really open up the pores.

Don’t Apply Too Much

Especially when your men’s aftershave has a high alcohol content, applying too much will overpower the nose, dry out the skin, and potentially offend anybody who comes near. With the stronger scents, start small in the early days and, over time, find the balance between healthy skin and long-lasting scent.

Remember Your Skin Type

Do you have oily skin? Perhaps dry and/or sensitive skin? Without knowing this information, you won’t be able to choose the best men’s aftershave for YOU.

Apply Correctly

As we saw in the application section, the best way to prevent irritation and razor burn is to apply the aftershave to the jaw, neck, and cheeks first. However, you can make the scent last longer by applying to the chest, shoulders, and wrists too.

Aftershave vs Cologne

Don’t try to replace your cologne with aftershave; aftershave’s main purpose is to boost the skin’s health rather than provide a scent that lasts. If smell is important to you, invest in a proper cologne.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

‘Is men’s aftershave lotion actually that important?’

In short, yes. First and foremost, aftershaves will play an important role in maintaining healthy skin. With poor shaving technique, all sorts of issues can occur from small cuts to irritation, excessive skin removal, and ingrown hairs. What’s more, many men experience inflammation and razor burn. Also, delicate skin can struggle to cope with alkaline shaving soaps.

When we shave, skin irritation is inevitable, so this is why aftershaves for men were first developed. However, they’ve come to have many other benefits over the years. This includes;

• Light scents without requiring a full cologne
• Calming and soothing effect
• Toning the skin
• Emollience
• Freshening
• Ingrown hair prevention

Depending on the product, additional features might include skin lightening and anti-wrinkle properties. With all of these benefits on offer, it’s fair to say that men’s aftershave is important when shaving regularly.

‘Is aftershave redundant if I don’t shave?’

Not necessarily. As long as you remember that aftershave splashes are alcohol-based which means that over-application will lead to rough spots and dry skin, you’ll be in good hands. If you don’t shave, we recommend 100% alcohol-free aftershaves for men such as a balm or lotion. This way, you still get the benefits offered including hydration, smooth skin, and a moisturizing effect.

‘Can I replace my moisturizer with aftershave?’

When products use naturally-derived witch hazel and alcohol-based ingredients, it’s perfect because no bacteria will get into small nicks and cuts. That being said, they’re also considered drying agents. If moisturization is a key component for you, choose an aftershave balm that has ingredients commonly found in moisturizers. Here are some ideas;

• Avocado oils
• Coconut oils
• Allantoin
• Vitamin E

‘How do cologne and aftershave differ?’

If you were to type this question into Google, the most common answer would probably be that men’s aftershave is a ‘lightweight’ cologne, but this would be doing it a disservice. Instead, it’s an astringent, it clears your pores of potentially dangerous bacteria, and then seals the pores too. It is important because razor blades are known to harbor bacteria when sitting on a shelf or in a drawer.

When it comes to colognes, they are more superficial as products and are designed to please the senses alone. If scent is important to you, we recommend looking for a matching aftershave and cologne. This way, you get all the benefits of the aftershave while layering the scent and ensuring that it lasts through a busy day.

If there’s no matching aftershave to your favorite cologne, there’s nothing wrong with mixing; some combinations work really well together. Generally speaking, the scent of aftershave for men wears off after a couple of hours, so layering is fun to explore.

‘Will aftershave help with acne?’

As well as this guide on the best aftershave for men, we’ve also created a full article on acne treatment so feel free to check that one out (after finishing this one, of course!). However, we’ll provide some information here because dealing with acne is a delicate operation.

On the good side, shaving acts as a natural exfoliant so doing it daily can help. As you open the pores, excess oil is drained away and this is a positive. Sadly, using poor products or poor technique can lead to more acne.

In our experience, a lubricating shaving gel (non-irritating) is best. Alternatively, get a benzoyl peroxide shaving foam through a prescription. We recommend avoiding alcohol-based aftershaves and colognes because these will both lead to an uncomfortable experience. Instead, a prescription topical antibiotic lotion/gel or oil-free aftershave for men should work perfectly.

‘Can I use aftershave on the pubic area?’

Great question, and the answer is ‘yes’. We assume you don’t want irritation, ingrown hairs, or bumps in your pubic area, so go ahead and soothe the skin. Aftershave will also prevent bacteria from getting into the skin while providing hydration. It’s a win-win situation.

‘Why does my new aftershave fragrance lasts for about 30 minutes when my previous one lasted all morning?’

Ultimately, it comes down to whether your skin is oily, dry, or normal. With oily skin, there’s more natural moisture so it can hold onto the fragrance for longer. Also, we all have unique pH levels (acidity in the skin) and it can also play a role. One pH level will react differently to a fragrance to another.


As we always say, we appreciate your time in this extensive guide of best men’s aftershaves. Hopefully, you’ve got some ideas of top products as well as important ingredients, application advice, and the different types of aftershave. If somebody else asks you for the best aftershave for men, point them in the direction of this guide and we’ll keep the learning going.

Thanks again, we wish you the best of luck in finding the right aftershave for you!


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Author's Bio: 

Greg Mercer has dedicated himself to producing helpful guides for people to benefit from for over half a decade. Helping others enjoy a better quality of sleep, and life in general, was the main reason he started publishing his reviews and guides.