18 Best Aftershaves for Men to Feel Smooth
Some men like an aftershave that contains natural ingredients; others don’t really care what they put on their faces. We considered this range of preferences as we set out to create a curated list of popular and up-and-coming aftershaves.
The following reviews will allow you to make up your mind as to what works best for you. Even if you don’t think a particular brand is exactly your style, it can lead you to an aftershave that meets your criteria.
If you’re uncertain about what an aftershave is, jump down to the FAQs at the end of the article to learn more about how aftershaves work, how you should apply them and how they differ from men’s colognes. Here’s our list of the 18 best aftershaves for men.
Nowadays, you don’t have to buy an aftershave that’s really just menthol-infused rubbing alcohol. Instead, treat yourself. When you buy Blu Atlas’ aftershave, you’re getting only natural ingredients. Forbes even named is the #1 best aftershave for men in 2022.
The product features rose flower water, which reduces any irritation and puffiness you get from the razor. And the aloe leaf juice is one of nature’s oldest skin-soothing remedies. It will dive deep into your pores to hydrate and nourish your skin for a long-lasting result.
The company also provides stellar customer service and a money-back guarantee on all of its products, so Blu Atlas aftershave is our clear #1 choice.
2. Old Spice | Classic After Shave
Some people do not know that Old Spice still makes its distinctive aftershave. The classic scent is as intoxicating as ever. While the aftershave does not offer the varied array of natural scents found in higher-priced brands, the spicy fragrance, along with the denatured alcohol in the product, conditions the skin and offers a unique fresh scent.
3. Stetson | Original After Shave
Like Old Spice, Stetson is a classic aftershave that never goes out of style. The woodsy and citrusy scent offers an enticing fragrance for the man who appreciates a Western-themed classic aftershave. Musk and bergamot add subtle notes that enhance the product’s appeal.
The Stetson brand creates timeless and classic aftershave and cologne products, including the Black and Caliber colognes, and similar toiletries. Compare Stetson fragrances to Versace, Burberry, Hugo Boss, Tom Ford, Curve and Invictus.
4. Proraso | After Shave Lotion
This aftershave is a conditioning treatment that is often paired with the Proraso brand’s toning pre-shave cream. You can also buy a shaving foam from the brand. The line contains eucalyptus, witch hazel and menthol. Denatured alcohol and glycerin are included for skin soothing and conditioning.
To calm and tone your skin after shaving, this traditional composition uses a variety of fresh and natural ingredients. Rashes and razor burn are reduced with the addition of witch hazel. No parabens, silicones or mineral oils are used in this cruelty-free recipe.
5. VERSACE | Dylan Blue After Shave Lotion
This aftershave lotion can be interchanged or used with the Dylan Blue Aftershave Balm. The lotion, which soothes just-shaved skin, prolongs a clean shave and reduces the incidence of razor burn.
The ambrox notes in the scent convey a sweet, musky aroma, refreshed with hints of grapefruit and bergamot. A masculine scent that is famous for its bold and clean smell, this aftershave can be applied to all types of skin. Both the aftershave lotion and balm moisturize dry skin and have mood-lifting properties.
Because the aftershave lotion carries a light scent, you might want to carry some of it in a small spray bottle to use as a top-off later in the day.
6. Harry’s | Post-Shave Balm
This aftershave formula for men is made to soothe and cool the skin after a shave. The product stands out with its aloe vera and cucumber-extract ingredients. It uses no dyes or other possibly harmful artificial ingredients.
The post-shave lotion dries quickly so your skin does not look shiny or feel greasy. Magazines like Men’s Health and GQ support Harry’s shaving products, as the formulas offer a great shave at an affordable price.
Harry’s also offers razor blades and refills for men, engineered with precision in the company’s German manufacturing facility. A shaving cream containing soothing eucalyptus oil is available as well. Harry’s product line also features an aftershave after mist, an aloe-enriched shaving gel and a face lotion.
7. American Shaving Co. | After-Shave Balm
Infused with the robust scent of sandalwood, this traditional barbershop aftershave balm contains quality natural ingredients for men seeking immediate relief to soothe razor burn and irritation.
This aftershave balm is made for men of any age or skin type who need a protective and gentle hydrating product that lasts throughout the day. Even if you have sensitive skin, this balm will bring immediate relief without any worry of breakouts or further irritation.
The fast-absorbing balm serves as a healing agent for irritated and dry skin by using an alcohol-free formula. The product’s woodsy sandalwood blend evokes an old-school scent that is as timeless as it is calming. This product softens the skin and promotes better skin health. You can buy a barbershop sandalwood oil in the brand for pre-shave use as well.
8. AMERICAN CREW | Post Shave Cooling Lotion
This post-shave lotion is the ideal accompaniment to a regular shaving routine. The lotion lightly moisturizes and cools the skin with its dual-action formula that restores balance.
To use the product, smooth over the face and neck. You can use the lotion right after shaving or apply it as a daily moisturizer. Fans of the American Crew brand can combine their purchase with the popular 3-in-1 Tea Tree Oil Shampoo and Body Wash.
9. Lather & Wood | Aftershave Balm
By using this product, you can get an old-school scented aftershave experience using natural ingredients that have cooling and healing properties. Lather & Wood’s premium ingredients for this product include:
● Organic aloe leaf juice and coconut oil
● Rum fragrance
● Witch hazel
● Tocopherol (vitamin E)
● Organic neem seed oil
● Rosemary extract
● Organic jojoba oil
● Extract of white willow bark
This non-greasy moisturizing lotion absorbs quickly and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth. It’s a quality balm that gives your shave an unsurpassed cooling and refreshing finish. It does not sting or burn because it is non-drying, but relaxes and soothes sensitive skin. You’ll appreciate the classic Bay Rum scented product, which is often bought with Lather & Wood’s Bay Rum Shaving Soap.
Once you try this product, you will not return to your old store-bought brand. A little of this product goes a long way, so even the 60 ml spray should last you for a while.
10. Gilbert Henry | Lodge Aftershave Splash
This aftershave splash may well become your signature scent, as it is made with witch hazel and essential oils, incorporating the man-friendly notes of rum, tobacco and leather. The aftershave is crafted with all-natural plant-based ingredients.
The Gilbert Henry aftershave formula eases discomfort and tightens the pores with the skin-soothing properties of witch hazel. Ingredients like glycerin, sunflower oil, vitamin E and provitamin B5 restore hydration without a greasy feel and reduce irritation to keep the skin free of razor bumps or breakouts. The intoxicating formula contains an extract of rum complemented by a scented trail of Australian desert rosewood, olibanum and benzoin.
The Gilbert Henry brand designs its line of men’s fragrance and grooming products independently, using the highest-quality plant-based elements to bring the wearer closer to nature and provide him with a sense of well-being.
11. St. Johns Bay Rum | Aftershave
While this aftershave is pricier than most of the other products in this list, its original handcrafting and distinctive bottle make it a great holiday or birthday gift. The bay rum base is made on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The aftershave’s rich and warm aroma mixes the best bay oil from the West Indian Bay Tree with several natural essences, including cinnamon, cloves and eucalyptus. Caribbean spices are used to produce a lingering fresh and spicy scent. The bay leaf oil in the product is top quality, as the famous bay trees on the island of St. John grow in nutrient-rich soil.
What makes this aftershave a great gift idea is the bottle’s woven design—one that looks great on the vanity or sink. This is the ideal present for the man who appreciates receiving the best in unique gift items and products.
Combine this purchase with a St. Johns Bay Rum Soap Bar, which is triple-milled and hydrates the skin with olive oil and glycerin. You might also include the brand’s West Indian Lime Cologne, with vetiver oil and a fresh lime scent.
12. Anthony | After Shave Balm
The Anthony brand is a surging grooming line, as its men’s grooming products have won awards and have been featured in a variety of publications, including Forbes, the New York Times, Men’s Health, Esquire and GQ. The brand also operates 850 upscale barber shops across the North American continent.
Anthony’s cooling aftershave lotion contains healing aloe vera, vitamins A, C and E, and natural botanical extracts. For a cool, refreshing blast of hydration, this non-greasy replenishing moisturizer contains a blend of cornmint and eucalyptus oils, as well as allantoin. Aloe vera soothes and cures the skin while the vitamins nourish and protect it. Importantly, the aftershave is free of parabens, phthalates and triclosan, and has been dermatologist tested, so you can use it confidently regardless of your skin type.
You can pair this item with the Anthony Shaving Cream, which contains sensitive skin-friendly ingredients like eucalyptus, spearmint, squalene and rosemary extracts.
13. Aqua Velva | Ice Blue
Aqua Velva’s Ice Blue is a classic aftershave. While it may not contain the natural ingredients found in many aftershaves today, it does contain menthol for a refreshing aftershave experience and glycerin for moisturization and skin conditioning.
Aqua Velva is a product that has stood the test of time, as it has helped cool and soothe men’s skin since 1917. The classic American fragrance and firming and toning qualities of the product will leave the user feeling invigorated and refreshed. This product is the ideal complement to have on hand after a clean shave.
Besides Aqua Velva’s classic Ice Blue, you might also consider their cooling version, Ice Sport, which contains provitamin B5 and vitamin E. If you’re seeking an aftershave product, you really cannot get more classic than Aqua Velva.
14. JS Sloane | 1947 After Shave Splash
This vintage-themed and distinctive aftershave dates back to the 1940s—a time when men followed their own personal style. The subtle and classic scent makes this aftershave a good choice for everyday use. Its light fragrance and skin-toning benefits make the product a favorite of any man who wants an aftershave that smooths and conditions the skin at the same time.
The alcohol in the product provides skin tightening, while hyaluronic acid and glycerin condition and rejuvenate the skin. The splash also contains aloe leaf juice, witch hazel and panthenol. This product is ideal for a man who appreciates a classic shave.
If you like 1947 aftershave, consider going all in on JS Sloan, which also offers a pre-shave oil and shaving cream for a complete shave.
15. Caswell-Massey | Almond After Shave Balm
Almond oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, grape seed extract, chamomile and sea kelp make up this relaxing aftershave balm. When you are done shaving, apply this premium product to soothe and moisturize your skin. It will aid in the recovery from razor burns, nicks and irritation.
The almond-scented aftershave is a cruelty-free product and is free of phthalates, sulfates and parabens. Caswell-Massey is a venerable company, established in the U.S. in 1752. The company has been producing fine fragrances and luxury soaps since its inception.
If you don’t like almond scent but want to try out the legendary Caswell-Massey brand, check out their Jockey Club Aftershave with notes of sandalwood, musk, jasmine and geranium.
16. Mistral | Post-Shave Balm
The Mistral line is produced in Grasse, France, the international center for fine fragrance. Their shaving balm gives you three scented offerings in black amber, bourbon vanilla and cedarwood marine. While the original black amber features an infusion of amber, black patchouli, citrus and wood, the vanilla offers sweet vanilla bean, spiced by smoked bourbon with a twist of tobacco leaf. Inspired by the fresh breezes off the Mediterranean coast, cedarwood marine uplifts with the scent of pine.
Ingredients in all the post-shave balms include extracts and natural sources of aloe, grape seed and jojoba oil, as well as glycerin, for the ultimate in skin conditioning. All the scented aftershaves have been tested on men, not animals, and do not contain synthetic dyes, parabens, phthalates or alcohol.
The aftershave balms are made for all skin types, and feature a light, non-greasy formula. Consider pairing your purchase with a Mistral bar soap in the same fragrance.
17. Jack Black | Post Shave Cooling Gel
Does your skin feel itchy or bumpy after shaving? If so, it might be time to switch to a cooling gel, like this Jack Black Post Shave product. This fragrance-free and alcohol-free aftershave gel is engineered particularly for guys who experience cuts and nicks from shaving. With its cooling effect, the product will alleviate razor burn and irritation after just about any shave.
This product’s PureScience formula features known hydrators and calming essential oils like aloe, lavender oil, witch hazel, sage extract, rosemary, and balm mint extract. This first-rate formula will almost immediately alleviate any redness, providing sustained razor burn relief. Balm mint extract and witch hazel work together to form a non-oily remedy to deter skin flaking and provide moisture to your skin without any stinging or burning effect.
If you’re a fan of this product, check out Jack Black’s men’s shaving line. An early pioneer of the men’s grooming industry, Jack Black is keenly aware that men have unique shaving needs and require formulas tailored to those needs. Their experts use only quality ingredients that will work on men of just about every skin type. For an affordable yet quality aftershave, do not miss out on this Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel.
18. The Art of Shaving | After-Shave Balm
Founded in 1996, The Art of Shaving was one of the first American brands that sought to address the need for high-quality men’s shaving products. Nearly three decades later, the company is still around and producing dependable shaving products like this After-Shave Balm. Part of the company’s unscented line of shaving products, this balm is wholly free from synthetic dyes and alcohols, so it’s especially recommended for guys with dry skin.
This alcohol-free and unscented after-shave balm has been developed and widely endorsed by dermatologists and cosmetic specialists around the world. The product’s formula features shea butter and pure essential oils, which hydrate your skin without leaving behind excess oil. Whereas most aftershave products feature overpowering scents, The Art of Shaving is aware that not every guy wants to smell like a vendor of knock-off Italian suits. But in case you do want a pleasant scent, this balm also comes in a highly-rated sandalwood version.
Use this After-Shave Balm after shaving your face with a sharp razor and rinsing off with cold water. Apply a tiny amount of product directly onto your face and neck and watch your skin calm down in seconds. If you like this product, The Art of Shaving also has an excellent Pre-Shave Beard Oil and an Unscented Shaving Cream for Men. For a clinically-tested and timeless aftershave balm, don’t hesitate to try out The Art of Shaving and see what it can do for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the proper way to shave my face?
To shave your face correctly, you need to do the following:
● Shave with the grain of the beard. Using short strokes, only go over skin areas once. Apply a slight amount of pressure but let the razor do most of the work. By using this technique, you will reduce the chance of irritation or the development of ingrown hairs.
● Following each stroke, rinse off the blade of the razor with hot water before you begin shaving again. After you finish shaving, use cold water to rinse off the residue. Doing so will also close the pores.
● Choose a single blade to shave, not a multi-bladed razor, as doing so will irritate the skin.
● After you shave, apply an aftershave or aftershave balm. We suggest picking from the above list of the best aftershaves for men. If your aftershave contains alcohol, it will dry out the skin, thereby causing razor burn.
● Use a moisturizer specially formulated for a man’s face to lock in moisturizer and ensure that the aftershave adheres to the skin longer. Or, you can also use a moisturizer in place of your aftershave. However, the alcohol in the aftershave kills germs, so combining the aftershave with a moisturizer is usually a better alternative.
How do you define an aftershave and what is it supposed to do?
An aftershave is a product applied to the skin after shaving. It cleanses and closes the pores to reduce razor bumps and burn. When you shave, microabrasions appear, which germs can get into and infect, especially if your skin is acne-prone or sensitive. As the razor blade comes into contact with the skin’s pores, it opens them up and exposes them to the bacteria on the blade.
An aftershave cleans and shuts the skin’s pores, preventing microorganisms from entry. It also prevents infection by sealing nicks and wounds that can occur during the shaving process. An aftershave contains fewer scented oils than a cologne, as the scent is not designed to linger on the skin throughout the day.
What are the main ingredients featured in most traditional aftershave liquids?
Alcohol, which is an astringent, tightens and closes the skin’s pores, preventing germs from entering the bloodstream. It is the reason you feel a tingling sensation during and after application of an aftershave.
Witch hazel extract is also usually added in traditional and newer aftershave formulas. This natural astringent contains anti-inflammatory properties and will not dry the skin like alcohol. Witch hazel moisturizes the skin and improves elasticity, softness and hydration on the outer layer. The ingredient also prevents acne, which may be triggered by shaving.
What is the correct way to apply an aftershave?
After every shave, always use an aftershave, especially if you cut or nick yourself while shaving. Men with dry and oily skin, as well as those with clogged pores, should use this product to relieve dryness.
Make sure you apply an aftershave that supports your skin type. For example, if your skin is normal, use a gel or liquid. If your skin tends to be oily, choose a gel, liquid or lotion with moisturizer. Dry skin benefits from post-shave balms with added moisturizer.
Once you have determined the best aftershave for your skin, apply your aftershave as follows:
- After shaving, pat your face completely dry with a clean towel. Don’t rub the towel over the skin, as doing so can damage it.
- Place a dime-size amount of aftershave into your palm, rubbing the aftershave in both hands with a circular movement.
- Apply gently onto the face, especially in the freshly shaved or more sensitive areas, beginning at the cheekbones and heading down toward the jaw.
- Apply to the upper lips and chin before finishing the application on the neck.
- If the aftershave tends to dry quickly after an application, apply a second time.
What is the difference between an aftershave splash and aftershave balm?
The alcohol in an aftershave splash acts as an antiseptic, preventing cuts from becoming infected. It can also be used as a toner to tighten the skin and close pores. An aftershave splash usually has a heavier perfume than an aftershave balm, which appeals to guys who don’t want to use cologne but nevertheless want a lighter scent.
Some men are leery about using an aftershave because they are concerned it will itch or burn; however, irritation can be avoided by using an alcohol-free aftershave balm.
Because it hydrates and soothes the skin, an aftershave balm is especially beneficial to men who suffer from dry skin, razor bumps or razor burn. A balm has a fainter scent than a splash and is therefore less likely to clash with cologne. It is also preferred by men who don’t want to use perfume on their face.
What is a cologne and how is it different from an aftershave?
A cologne is not technically the same as an aftershave, as it is not designed to condition the skin or prevent infection. While you can dispense of the cologne, you do need an aftershave for hygiene. Most men generally use a cologne after showering to add fragrance.