Have you smelled the scent of an old school barber shop? Or just any regular barber shop? That aromatic, alcohol minty smell which resembles a true gentleman. You need to get yourself an aftershave. But what does aftershave do?
Keep reading to see why you might be missing out.
What Does Aftershave Do For Your Skin?
Aftershave is a liquid product that you have to apply on your skin right after shaving. It contains antiseptic such as denatured alcohol, stearate citrate or witch hazel to prevent infection of cuts. It also acts as an astringent to reduce skin irritation.
Some varieties use menthol to help numb the damaged skin. Shaving cream manufacturers have started including menthol in their formulations, too.
Some of the available aftershaves in the market today use fragrance or essential oils to enhance their scent. They are sometimes mistakenly referred to as eau de cologne due to the very similar nature of the two products.
That’s the reason why sometimes we often see our dad or uncle or older brother dabbing something over their faces right after shaving. It serves as a soothing agent at the same time provides a cologne type of smell. A clear statement that “Hey, I’m more dapper than you are.”.
Why Do We Need An Antiseptic/Astringent After Shaving?
Right after shaving, the pores on our skin are left open and sometimes gets razor burn and bumps. This leaves our skin vulnerable to dirt and bacteria. That is why we need to put some aftershave on right after shaving.
Since it contains an antiseptic agent to prevent infections, as well as to act astringent to prevent skin irritation.
An astringent is a chemical compound that tends to shrink or constrict body tissues. Most of the common astringent agents include alum, acacia, sage, yarrow, witch hazel, bayberry, distilled vinegar, very cold water, and rubbing alcohol. You’ll find these ingredients in aftershave products.
There are some myths about aftershave products, some of which are if it doesn’t sting a little, it’s not really working. Definitely not true. Most classic more old-fashioned formulas of aftershave are packed with alcohol.
Alcohol will definitely dry your skin out and cause skin irritation, so if you don’t want that, go for those products with moisturizer in it.
Another myth is that you can only use aftershave after shaving, this is also not true. Even if there’s a notice on the packaging that says, “post shave” doesn’t mean that you can’t use it if you’re not shaving.
There are tons of aftershave in the market that double as an everyday moisturizer. So the bottom line here is that, you should use aftershave right after shaving. You can still use the product even if you’re not shaving as long as it contains moisturizing ingredients.
Why Witch Hazel Over Alcohol?
Witch hazel is a multi-purpose beauty remedy that’s derived from the bark and leaves of the witch hazel plant. Its mild astringent properties break down dead skin and oil to clean pores.
According to Dennis Gross, a New York City-based dermatologist and founder of 900 Fifth Dermatology, “It’s one of nature’s oldest and continues to be one of the most effective, beauty ingredients,”.
Witch hazel extract has a property of a natural toner with anti-irritant properties. The most common use of that extract is to remove excess oil deposits in the skin and to clean pores by dissolving any debris. The end result is glowing and smoother complexion.
Witch hazel’s astringent properties cause constriction of body tissues and blood vessels and it also helps soothe irritated skin due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects making it great for post-shaving.
One of the most traditional uses for this timeless beauty product is as a toner to help restore the pH balance of the skin after washing. But in order for you to prevent your skin from drying out or becoming irritated, dermatologists recommend using witch hazel that comes in an oily vehicle and is alcohol-free.
How To Apply Aftershave?
If you’re not much of an expert in shaving and want to avoid bumping and irritation and attract lady with your scent, you will need to apply an aftershave.
After shaving, you have to rinse your face with warm water to remove soap or shaving cream left overs, then after washing with warm water, proceed to wash your face with cold water to close those open pores before applying aftershave.
Remember, do not use any aftershave products right after shaving because the pores on your skin are wide open and it will result to bumps and irritation, so make sure to wash off with warm water first, then to seal the skin, use cold water.
Pat your face and neck dry with a clean towel to make sure that there is no debris left upon washing. You have to choose the right aftershave product for you if you like the sharp tingling sensation choose an alcohol based aftershave, if you like a cooling sensation, try a lotion or cream based aftershave.
Squeeze a small amount of aftershave into your palm and rub your palms together, and then apply the aftershave to your shaved area and you’re on your way to start your day.
What Does Aftershave Do – Conclusion
By now you should have a full understanding and know more about what does aftershave do for your skin.
This is one product that is easy to overlook when shaving but also one of those things that once you start using, you will wish you had a long time ago.