Let’s think about what shaving your face actually does: You are taking a blade that can cut and dragging it up and down your face and your throat. In the best situation (like having a fresh blade, which we recommend), irritation is inevitable. There are microscopic flaws that can develop on an older or dirty blade that will increase irritation. To combat any irritation in associated with shaving we look to aftershaves for relief. From my years of research on the topic, I’ve come to the conclusion that the answer involves alcohol. The most traditional, tried and true source of relief for many (most?) of us who take our shaving seriously is alcohol. Some disagree – and there are plenty of good non-alcohol products out there; but millions are making sure their aftershave product has it, with good results. Most non-alcohol aftershaves have to contain unpleasant, sometimes unnatural irritating preservatives that stay on your skin.
There are two types of alcohol in skin care products: Traditional alcohol that is a clear, odorless liquid from grain; and fatty alcohols, which are solid ingredients with known moisturizing capabilities. For some men about town, straight alcohol or a poorly formulated product with alcohol can cause dryness. But a properly formulated product with both types of alcohol can moisturize and tone, refresh, and sanitize your skin after shaving. Also take a look at the label – is the ingredient list as long as your arm and contain a lot of unheard of words that if you could spell correctly would likely get you first place in a national spelling bee. Simple is better.
Also, aftershave is not cologne, but if you have one with a nice unobtrusive, non-irritating fragrance is a plus. Finally, there are a lot of skin types out there and we do need numerous, thoughtful, quality products on the market, and alcohol should be a part of their mix. Don’t discount good quality alcohol aftershaves because someone said so or you read it on a blog somewhere. Trust the history and facts.