The question ‘what does aftershave do?’ would seem to have a fairly simple answer – most men would respond to the question by saying that aftershave provides a masculine scent that most people find attractive.
This is, of course, true – but aftershave provides much more than just a pleasant smell (by the way we recommend a light hint on the aftershave and leave the strong scent as a job of your cologne).
In fact, a good quality aftershave is one of the foundations of good skin care for men.
What Shaving Does To Your Skin
In order to properly answer the question, what does aftershave do? it’s first necessary to understand how shaving affects the skin of the face.
For most men shaving begins with applying warm or semi-hot water to the face in order to soften facial hair. In fact, many experts recommend showering prior to shaving in order to make the process as effective and painless as possible. This soaking in warm or hot water also opens the pores of the skin. Pores are opened even further when a shaving cream is applied. Even expensive shaving soaps act to open pores.
During shaving, it’s unavoidable that some of the epidermis will be removed. Most often this is great – it’s a fantastic way to revitalize the skin. However shaving will also then expose a new layer of epidermis – and this is when ‘razor burn’ becomes a reality.
So the net effect of shaving is open pores and a tender skin.
The Effect Of A Good Aftershave
This is where a good quality aftershave comes in extremely useful. That irritated skin is a potential breeding ground for bacteria. Good aftershave has an alcohol or in some cases Witch Hazel base. Both of these ingredients are potent disinfectants and will kill bacteria when applied. They also act to close the pores.
However, there is a downside – both Witch Hazel and alcohol can irritate the skin. This is why some manufacturers add soothing additives such as vitamin E and chamomile to their aftershaves.
This is why it’s important to use an aftershave which also include balms and soothing oils to the mix to help calm and tone irritated skin.
Another effect of additives such as vitamin E is to eliminate signs of aging (such as wrinkles and deep lines) and repair damage caused by environmental factors such as overexposure to the sun and the effects of pollution.
When looking for the perfect aftershave solution it’s also important to differentiate between cologne and aftershave. Cologne may have more fragrance – but it doesn’t usually have the antiseptic action of a good aftershave. We also believe a cologne doesn’t need to be applied to the face like an aftershave does. Cologne should be applied to your neck and bare skin but probably best to avoid direct face contact.
Other ingredients which are good for the skin are helpful as well. I.e. Artius Man’s aftershave additionally contains: chamomile, black walnut, patchouli, shea butter, vitamin E and bergamot which are all great additions for soothing relief.
The key to finding the right aftershave seems to be selecting a product that balances antiseptic action with the gentle soothing properties of additives such as vitamin E. It’s extremely important that the specific type of skin of the shaver is also taken into account.
How To Use Aftershave
Using an aftershave is simple. After you shave simply follow these directions:
- Rinse your face with lukewarm water
- Pat dry with a clean,dry towel
- Apply about a dime amount of aftershave in a circular pattern where you’ve shaved
That’s all there is to use an aftershave.
Should You Use A Heavy Scented Aftershave?
In our opinion, no. This should be the job of your cologne and not the aftershave itself. However, there is nothing wrong with a lightly scented aftershave that provides a refreshing feel. With a ton of unique and great colognes on the market today, the days of heavy scented aftershaves are over.
So now you know the answer to your question of what does aftershave do for your skin? Put this article to good use and start using aftershave today if you’ve yet to start and you’ll feel a complete difference in your skin.