Aftershave: The Three Essentials

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Aftershave is the final and vital component to any shave which can make a huge difference to how your skin feels. One of the ways in which it improves one's overall shaving experience is that it helps to protect the skin from shaving rash and redness which is always uncomfortable and it can be quite unsightly. When you’re looking to buy a new aftershave, there are some essential properties that it must have in order to be worth the investment. These three essentials ensure your product fulfills its purpose and you get the most out of it.

The English Shaving Company, are experts in all things shaving, and have put together this simple guide. Please remember to ensure that, whenever you buy an aftershave, you consider these three things and you’ll have a pleasant shaving experience.

1. Disinfectant

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The disinfecting properties of aftershave was actually one of the main reasons why aftershave as we now know it, eventually came to be. Today we might think of the most important aspect of an aftershave as being the scent but it wasn't always the case. Back when shaving was done solely in barber shops with straight razors and hot towels, the barber would splash strong alcohol onto the face after a shave in order to disinfect the skin. The alcohol would kill any bacteria.

This is great for a lot of reasons. If you nick yourself while shaving, aftershave will prevent these cuts from becoming infected. However, shaving also damages your skin in a lot of unseen ways: the razor blade doesn’t just remove the hairs from your face, but also the first layer of your skin. It catches on any bumps in your pores, causing soreness. This damage to your skin can also result in infection, or at least redness, itchiness and rashes. Another tip would be to remember to disinfect your razor blade!

Nowadays aftershave often doesn’t contain alcohol at all as some people with certain skin conditions and weaknesses may suffer. Thankfully for people with such delicate skin there are other methods of disinfecting your skin post-shave that are much better for both you and the environment. Whatever kind of aftershave you opt for, it’s essential that it disinfects and cleans your skin in order to maximize your comfort after shaving.

2. Soothing

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The second essential quality of an aftershave is that it has soothing effects. As mentioned, shaving isn’t a pleasant experience for your skin - even when you’ve used high quality pre-shave products and shaving cream. The abrasive effects can irritate your face and can also lead to a drying out of the shaved area of skin. This means that by utilising some form of soothing agent, you will be able to prevent or at least reduce the stinging, and by moisturising the skin it will not dry out meaning your skin will not feel itchy post shave.

If you have sensitive skin, it’s even more important that you find a quality aftershave that will help you recover after a shave. There are lots of products available that have minimal ingredients in order to prevent further aggravation while still soothing.

3. Fragrance

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The third component of an aftershave and by no means the least important, is to seek out an aftershave which has an appealing fragrance, one which compliments your own natural odour well, and a scent which doesn't overwhelm people in your company! This will always be a subjective personal preference (unless you have a partner who likes to choose for you :P) There are so many scents to choose from be sure to try different one's from the oaky to the musky to the fruity to the spicy, find a scent which works for you. Sandalwood is a particularly common scent and in my view is a traditionally masculine fragrance. You might prefer something light and warm, such as Bergamot, or a perhaps a refreshing citrus scent might be more appealing to you..

You’ll also want to consider how strong and long-lasting you want the scent to be. A splash of aftershave has a much more intense smell that will remain through most of the day while an aftershave lotion will be more toned-down and the aroma shall fade quicker as a result. It’s up to you which you would prefer! It's worth thinking about, one's scent needs will differ depending on the occasion, for instance if you are heading out for a night of food and drink then you might want a stronger scent to last, but if you are going for a job interview it might be best to opt for a more toned down scent.

If you consider these three essentials every time you buy an aftershave, you’ll ensure that you end up with a high quality product that’s good for your skin and leaves you feeling fresh and contributing to an enjoyable shaving experience.

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