An aftershave is an aftershave, right? These products have been around for years, and men have always used them to prevent razor burn and dry skin after shaving. However, there are hundreds of products out there, and not all of them are made with the best ingredients.
The best aftershave solutions have antiseptic, moisturizing properties and cool your skin after razors remove your hair. These products typically come in balm, cream, or lotion forms.
After testing a variety of aftershave products, the B&B team whittled the results down to the top 10 best aftershave balms and lotions. Our reviews are based on skin quality after application, as well as scent, texture, and long-lasting results.
Aftershave Buyer’s Guide
Whether you shave with a straight razor, safety razor, or even a cartridge razor, you want a high-quality aftershave to soothe and tone your skin after shaving. Not only will the best aftershaves prevent ingrown hairs, but they typically include anti-inflammatory properties to reduce redness and prevent irritation.
With the amount of aftershave and post shave products out there, you want to find the very best for your skin type. If you like a close shave but haven’t used a high-quality aftershave balm, you may already have seen razor burn or dry skin following your shave.
Benefits of Aftershaves
- Prevents razor burn
- Cools down irritated skin
- Tones and tightens pores
- Improves skin texture
- Prevents dry skin and flakes
Get your questions answered in our new guide: What Does Aftershave Do?
Use the right product for your Skin Type
Your skin care routine requires cleansers, moisturizers, and even the best exfoliants, so your shaving routine should also have the best shaving creams and aftershaves. With cooling gels, essential oils, alcohol-based, and non-alcohol products out there, it can get confusing trying to pick the best aftershave.
To avoid those issues, you’ll need to pick products that moisturize and “cool” off your skin after a close shave. Here’s how to find the right post shave lotion or balm.
If you have itchy, flakey skin that tends to get dry after shaving, then you likely have dry skin and need a moisturizing after shave. You definitely don’t want to purchase any products that contain alcohol or astringers.
Oily skin can be difficult to work with due to over-productive sebaceous glands. This makes your skin’s pores more visible and may also cause blackheads to pop up. In this case, you want to find an aftershave that won’t add more oil to the problem.
For oily skin, try a lightweight aftershave that includes mild alcohol and moisturizing properties. A “toning” aftershave with an astringent should also have glycerine or other moisturizing ingredients to balance your skin’s oil production.
You likely have issues with dry patches, acne, or razor burn if you have sensitive skin. Your aftershave needs to be gentler so that you don’t irritate a delicate epidermis.
While a lightweight aftershave may have a little alcohol, you should avoid any astringent or toning aftershaves. You also should avoid any parabens, as these could cause your skin to flare up.
Unscented or Scented
This is really a personal preference, though if you have sensitive skin, perfumes in scented aftershaves can irritate your skin even more. Some popular scents include sandalwood, menthol, eucalyptus, musk, woody, and citrus.
Look for Aloe Vera and Eucalyptus
To cool down your skin and prevent razor burn, high-quality aftershave balms typically include aloe vera and eucalyptus in the ingredients. However, you may also see witch hazel and chamomile as these ingredients can calm and tighten skin at the same time.
Top Reviewed Aftershaves for 2020
1. Art of Shaving Aftershave Balm
With thousands of reviews, the Art of Shaving Aftershave balm is a must-have for many, especially if you have sensitive or dry skin. With unscented and scented options, this aftershave goes on incredibly smooth and leaves your skin feeling clean and pampered.
- The Art of Shaving After-Shave Balm refreshes and hydrates to soothe the skin after shavin
- Replenishes moisture to soothe dry skin after shaving and helps revitalize and condition the skin
- After shaving, rinse face with cold water and apply a small amount of After-Shave Balm to face and neck
While some have questioned whether Art of Shaving changed its formula or not, the latest formula works well for anyone with sensitive skin prone to breakouts or razor burn. The unscented version has a great consistency, but the sandalwood is just as smooth with any airy, light scent.
Where to Buy
2. SheaMoisture Elixir After Shave
With 4 oz for under $10, it’s one of the most affordable products on our list. The moisturizing formula includes tea tree oil and shea butter for a powerful combo that cleanses and soothes any nicks.
- Tighten & Invigorate
- Look good, smell great!
- KEY INGREDIENTS: Tea Tree Oil & Shea Butter
- USAGE: Pour a dime-size amount into palm; smooth evenly over just-shaved skin, Use daily
We really love the way SheaMoisture’s After Shave Elixir felt on our skin. The formula is completely paraben-free and very safe to use for sensitive skin as well. If you’re on a budget, you should seriously consider SheaMoisture as your go-to aftershave.
Where to Buy
3. Prorasco Aftershave Balm
The Prorasco After Shave Balm includes toning and refreshing ingredients to soothe your skin and even help with your pores. It’s alcohol-free and non-greasy, while still maintaining a light consistency that doesn’t stick to your skin.
With a eucalyptus and menthol formula, Prorasco after shave balm invisibly and quickly absorbs into your skin after a shave, making your morning routine go by even faster.
- Alcohol-free, non-greasy formula soothes and provides immediate relief after shaving.
- Combines hydrating properties of a balm with calming and soothing benefits of a cream.
- Enriched with Eucalyptus Oil to purify skin and reduce inflammation.
- Enriched with Menthol to revitalize, tone, cool and refresh.
- Cruelty free, over 95% natural and contains no silicones, mineral oils, SLS or parabens
Prorasco is one of Italy’s best exports, and it’s been the number one choice for barbers since the 1940s. We love that their formula continues to use the same natural ingredients with absolutely no parabens, phthalates, or silicones. It’s perfect for reducing inflammation and protecting against razor burn.
Where to Buy
4. Proraso After Shave Lotion, Refreshing and Toning
If balm isn’t your style, the Prorasco After shave Lotion works just as well, but with a different consistency than the balm. We think the lotion may be a bit more moisturizing, however it uses witch hazel, eucalyptus oil, and menthol for more healing and protection against razor burn.
- Anti-irritation, for sensitive skin
- Menthol refreshes and revitalizes
- No parabens; No silicons; No mineral oils; No artificial colors
Just like the after shave balm, this refreshing lotion is a great way to finish off a shave if you want to care of your skin. It doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals, and the scent is extremely light. This is another product that barbers love to use because of its consistency and refreshing feel.
Where to Buy
5. Pacific Shaving Company Caffeinated Aftershave
The extra kick that after shaves bring sometimes jolts you awake when you need it the most. That’s why Pacific Shaving Company Caffeinate Aftershave offers the same feel as other aftershaves but with an added boost of real caffeine that provides antioxidants that protect and heal your skin.
- SOOTHES: Naturally-derived caffeine helps reduces the appearance of redness and post-shave razor rash
- NATURAL: Caffeine is a potent antioxidant that will help your skin repair itself and maintain your skin's health. Put caffeine on your mug, not in it!
- TRAVEL FRIENDLY: Our 3.4 oz size is perfect for travel - road warriors rejoice!
- NO ANIMAL TESTING: Safe ingredients, effective products and we never, ever, test on animals.
- Made in the USA
After using this after shave, your skin truly feels amazing and energized. This caffeinated formula is different than coffee beans or other liquid caffeine. This is natural, plant-derived caffeine that can reduce redness and irritation so you never experience dreaded beard razor rash.
Where to Buy
6. NIVEA Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm
If you have been shaving for any length of time, you’ve come across NIVEA Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm, and it’s still one of the best aftershaves out there if you want your skin to feel moisturized and smooth, but you don’t want to pay high prices. It’s also got one of the lightest fragrances if you don’t like strong after shave menthol scents.
- This moisturizing after shave balm soothes skin from shaving irritations and improves skin’s condition over time
- Skin looks healthy and cared for while feeling comfortable and smooth
- Formulated with no drying alcohol and light fragrances
- Enriched with Vitamin E and natural, soothing Chamomile and Witch Hazel extracts
- Skin compatibility dermatologically tested by men with sensitive skin
NIVEA Men’s sensitive post shave balm doesn’t use drying alcohol or any petrol chemicals. It’s made from chamomile, witch hazel extract, and vitamin E for the smoothest, moisturizing aftershave experience. We highly suggest this product if you have sensitive skin as well.
Where to Buy
7. Viking Aftershave Balm for Men
If you want a premium product for less, the Viking Aftershave Balm for Men has a smooth, rich consistency that works for any skin texture and leaves your freshly shaved skin feeling soft and protected.
- Eliminate Razor Burn- Say goodbye to razor burn when you apply just a small amount of our our luxurious after-shave balm
- Special Formulation- Made with a premium combination of natural ingredients to leave your skin feeling super soft without drying out
- Calms Irritation- Formulated for all types of skin including sensitive skin
- The Viking Promise: If for any reason, you’re not completely satisfied, simply contact us and we’ll take care of it.
With olive oil’s natural antibacterial properties and sandalwood’s scent, this after shave goes on smoothly and invisibly. It refreshes your skin and won’t dry it out, even if you’re sensitive to lotions and moisturizers. It’s actually made for those who have sensitive skin, and it doesn’t include alcohol or any dyes.
Where to Buy
8. Lather & Wood Shaving Co Aftershave Balm
We’ve heard so much about the Lather & Wood Shaving Company Aftershave Balm that we wanted to give it a try and see if the hype is real. We’re actually proud to report that this is one of our favorite men’s grooming products because of its moisturizing formula and incredible scent. Your skin will feel super silky after using this aftershave!
- CALMS IRRITATION and eliminates razor burn. Lather & Wood aftershave balm gives unsurpassed cooling and a refreshing finish to your shave. Since its non-drying, it does not sting or burn but calms and soothes irritated skin cause by shaving. This after shave lotion is excellent for sensitive skin.
- NON-DRYING FORMULA Moisturizes skin, leaving your freshly shaven face with a smooth healthy glow. Do you enjoy using a safety razor or straight razor? This after shave balm is the perfect finish to your classic shaving routine.
- GOES ON NICE AND SMOOTH. Lather & Woods non-greasy hydrating formula absorbs nicely into the skin, leaving your face feeling silky smooth
- LIGHT YEARS AHEAD of commercial shaving balms, this after shave balm will be the best after-shave you have ever used. See why our customers never go back to the commercial drugstore brands. A little goes a long way making this a great value with a teriffic old school feel.
Immediately after applying this lotion, your skin will just feel great. The formula includes ingredients that calm your skin without stinging or burning. It simply glides over your skin and provides that exquisite smoothness without any greasy residue. This aftershave feels like a luxury balm, but it’s still priced accurately for the bottle size.
Where to Buy
9. Gillette Series Cool Wave Aftershave
You can’t write aftershave reviews without talking about the Gillette Series Cool Wave Aftershave. We know that this is a drugstore brand, but it’s still one of the best and most potent aftershaves.
Thousands of men swear by this product because of it’s toning, refreshing formula. It’s also under $5 for 3.3 fl oz, making it the best overall for value.
- ingredients: Alcohol denat., water, fragrance, Peg-60 hydrogenated castor oil
- safety warning: Flammable. Do not apply near flame or while smoking. Use only as directed. Keep out of reach of children.
- Alcohol-free after-shave helps restore skin to a healthy balance after shaving
- Matured and filtered for long-lasting fragrance; blended with moisturizers to tone skin
- Clean, crisp, masculine Cool Wave fragrance
While we’re not too crazy about scented aftershaves, this one is pretty light, and although it includes a fragrance, the castor oil reduces inflammation and moisturizes skin. With hundreds of positive reviews from gentlemen who love Cool Wave, this aftershave is probably the best deal on the market and certainly worth having as a back-up or for travel.
Where to Buy
10. L’Oréal Paris Skincare Hydra Energetic Aftershave Balm
After testing the L’Oréal Paris Men Expert After Shave Balm, our skin felt truly protected and moisturized for several hours. The “hydra energetic” formula includes additional ingredients to tighten skin while also reducing inflammation and redness.
- SOOTHING AFTER SHAVE BALM FOR MEN: Men Expert Hydra Energetic After Shave Balm with SPF15 and Vitamin E fights the 5 signs of shaving discomfort: razor burn, tightness, irritation, redness and excessive dryness.
- AFTER EVERY SHAVE apply all over the face and neck. For sunscreen use, apply liberally 15 minutes before sun exposure and reapply at least every 2 hours.
- MEN EXPERT PRODUCTS moisturize and hydrate your skin. Men Expert skincare helps fight the key signs of aging while the Men Expert beard care line takes action against irritation from shaving.
- BEARD AND SKIN CARE FOR MEN: Men Expert is specially formulated with men's skin care concerns in mind. Use our cleanser, moisturizer, aftershave, and beard balm together to see and feel the difference.
- PERFECT TO PAIR WITH: Try with Men Expert Hydra Energetic Facial Cleanser with Charcoal to cleanse the skin of dirt and excess oil.
If you want an all-in-one aftershave that leaves your skin feeling smooth, L’Oréal Paris’ Men Expert is a great product to have in your arsenal. It fights razor burn, breakouts, redness, and dryness with a vitamin E formula that won’t sting your skin.