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Back in the day slapping some scented alcohol on your face followed by a wounded animal howl was what defined the morning shaving routine. So discovering an aftershave balm that moisturizes your skin, without the pain and burning sensation was an epiphany. And finally, close shave and comfort can go hand in hand. Lucky for us nowadays there are tons of after shave products that can soothe our skin from cuts and burn from shaving devices.
Choosing the best aftershave balm for your sensitive face can be a daunting task. You need to find something that is good for your skin type, compare the features and last but not least, get the most value out of the money you want to spend.
No need to worry though. We did all the hard work for you and found the top aftershave balms for a man’s face and forget how irritated skin feels like.
Upon careful consideration, we find Pre de Provence Shea Butter Enriched to be a great choice for your aftershave routine. Another great natural aftershave comes from Burt’s Bees which also is fairly cheap for what you get. Speaking of which, we find the Nivea for men to the best value for money post shave balm, which happens to be my most used product ever since I started shaving among all aftershave products that I ever tried out.
Best Aftershave Balms
|Pre de Provence Aftershave Balm
|Burt’s Bees Aftershave Balm
|NIVEA FOR MEN Sensitive Post Shave Balm
|Proraso After Shave Balm
|Mont Blanc Legend Spirit After Shave Balm
|Dove Men+Care Post Shave Balm
|Tabac Original Aftershave Balm
|The Art of Shaving Aftershave Balm
|Woody’s Shave Relief Balm
|Glyder Styptic Balm
|Country of Origin
|UK (Part of Unilever)
|2.5 fl oz / 75 ml
|2.5 fl oz / 75 ml
|3.3 fl oz / 100 ml
|3.4 fl oz / 100 ml
|5 fl oz / 150 ml
|3.4 fl oz / 100 ml
|2.5 fl oz / 75 ml
|3.3 fl oz / 100 ml
|6 fl oz / 180 ml
|0.25 fl oz / 7.5 ml
|Sublte, Anise and Peppercorn
|Woody, Citrusy, Lemon and Orange with Fir and Rosemary
|Very subtle, Complex, Chamomile, Creamy
|Amber and Musk, Licorece, Aloe
|Woody and Citrus with Cardamom and Lavender
|Clean and Fresh
|Lavender, Citrus and Floral
|Lavender and Citrusy
|Fresh, citrus and menthol
|Fresh and Woody
|Ease Of Use
|Treating Nicks And Cuts
|Value for Money
Best Aftershave Balms for Men
Pre de Provence Shea Butter Enriched – best overall aftershave balm
When it comes to chic who better to turn to than the French, I mean they invented the word. And why the French? Well, they made snails taste delicious, do you suppose that they would have any problem cooking up a perfect aftershave balm?
Pre de Provence aftershave balm is simply a nutritious treat for your skin. It contains shea butter which in itself contains a concentration of fatty acids and vitamins which make it extremely nourishing for your skin. It is also proven that due to the high contents of cinnamic acid it reduces skin inflammation and helps fight acne. At the same time, the cinnamic acid is able to help boosting your skin’s natural collagen production allowing your skin to retain elasticity, and iron out those wrinkles.
And that was only the benefits of a single ingredient, the formula also contains shea oil which absorbs instantly into your skin which helps remedy dry skin.
And last but not least the grape seed oil which is great for fighting acne, excellent skin moisturizer and is non-comedogenic meaning it doesn’t clog your pores. The best part is that it is free of parabens, alcohol or sulfates which are common in budget aftershaves.
One cool thing about this balm is its package. It comes in an aluminum foil tube that has a really retro mid 20th-century touch. On the downside, however, cool the tube looks it is not really practical when it comes to dispensing the product. The reason being that the balm is too thin, and if you dare squeeze the tube a bit harder it would just rush out, you have been warned.
Because it is an all-natural formula you don’t need to restrict yourself using it only on your face. Feel free to put it on your head if you shave your hair, and it also works great under your armpits (hey I don’t judge).
A little goes a long way with this balm so use sparingly because too much product might leave your skin feeling oily, and secondly, the balm doesn’t come cheap. On the later note, keep away from women, as they get hooked using it as a moisturizer after they shave their legs.
All in all, this is one of the best aftershave balms for treating razor burns and for sensitive face you can get as it contains all those great natural ingredients that ensure immediate soothing. Last but not least it comes at a decent price, considering the high quality and performance you’re getting.
Burt’s Bees Natural Skin Care for Men – runner-up
If you shave regularly acquiring a good aftershave balm should be a priority. A good aftershave balm should moisturize your skin, allowing it to feel smooth and strong and more capable of resisting infections or irritations. Burt’s Bees Natural Skin Care for Men does exactly that.
It is another all natural formula which uses a combination of sunflower and coconut oil which helps moisturize and rejuvenate your skin.
Sunflower oil is known to prevent skin irritation while at the same time being effective against acne, inflammation, and redness, while coconut oil acts as a great moisturizer and has natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
The formula also contains aloe extract as well as vitamin E which help soothe and nourish your skin.
It is lightweight balm that gets easily absorbed by your skin without leaving your face feeling greasy.
Burt’s Bees Natural Skin Care for Men Aftershave has a subtle refreshing masculine scent derived from a mixture of orange, bergamot, rosemary, fir, and lemon essential oils. The scent is by no means overpowering and fades away quickly. As it is all natural product it can be used as a face moisturizer.
It is recommended for people with dry and sensitive skin.
It comes in a dark UV proof tube with a flip top cap, which makes it great for a man on the move.
NIVEA FOR MEN Sensitive Post Shave Balm – best value for money post shave balm
If you are not really squeamish about the ingredients that are used in your skin care products. And if you are looking for something affordable that would just make the post-shave redness and irritation go away, Nivea’s Sensitive Post Shave Balm is a great aftershave balm to try.
Although it contains ingredients you can barely read, let alone figure out what they are, Nivea is a company with over 100 years of personal care products manufacturing and research tradition. And they do invest heavily in research, last year they invested over 100 million dollars in skincare research only.
Nivea’s Sensitive Post Shave Balm doesn’t have lots of fancy ingredients, it contains chamomile extract which prevents irritation and soothes your skin, vitamin E as an antioxidant, and vitamin B5 which helps skin absorb moisture from the environment. It contains no alcohol which dries out your skin, but on the downside, it does contain parabens.
This aftershave balm is intended for people with sensitive skin. It gives best results if used over a longer period of time, as it is enhanced with active comfort system that not only soothes your skin instantly but boosts your overall skin defense which might eliminate sensitivity over time.
It comes in a robust white glass bottle, which is UV proof extending the shelf life of the product. It has a plastic screw top so you don’t have to worry when packing, you can just drop it in your bag without worrying that it might spill.
It comes in a 3.3 Oz bottle which would last a while, but a word of advice if you want your balm to last longer, try to keep it away from your wife or girlfriend, as they have discovered that it is a great makeup primer and this can significantly reduce the duration of the balm itself.
If you walk into a barbershop in Italy, nine out of ten times you will find this product on their shelves. And Italians know their grooming.
It started as a small company in Florence in 1908, however, it wasn’t until 1926 when they started gaining attention and attracting followers to this day.
What I love about this balm is that it doesn’t contain any alcohol, parables, silicons, artificial colors, mineral oils, or phosphates. Their formula focuses on all natural ingredients like vitamin E which is an excellent antioxidant blocking free radicals from the body thus slowing down the aging process. In addition, aloe vera for its anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties it also helps fight acne, and licorice extract to soothe skin irritation. These ingredients give the balm amazing healing and protective abilities.
Proraso balm can be used by anyone, the blue line is specially designed for people with sensitive and dry skin, or people that live in cold climates. That being said, it is excellent skin moisturizer, preventing chapping and roughening of the skin.
The balm has a light anise scent that is not overpowering, it fades quickly and can easily be masked by applying some cologne.
It comes in a transparent glass bottle with a plastic screw top which makes it great for transportation. However, I would suggest that you keep it in a dark place as it is a transparent bottle and UV light might cause some damage to the contents.
The balm comes in a 3.4 Oz bottle, which is a decent size, and because of its thick consistency, a little goes a long way, making this natural, cruelty-free post shave balm great value for money.
What can I say about Montblanc, except that they make perfect fountain pens? And yes, this is that Montblanc which seems to have decided to branch out into the realm of high-end grooming products. And yes their Legend line would knock you off your feet. Its notes of bergamot, cardamom, oak moss among others combine to make for an earthy manly scent that you won’t be able to resist.
However although considered a high-end product, the aftershave balm has not much to show for when it comes to ingredients. First of all, it contains alcohol which is known to dehydrate your skin followed by a list of synthetic ingredients that if you manage to read them would sound obscure, to say the least.
For that reason, I would not recommend it for men with sensitive skin, although it does a great job at preventing ingrown hairs, soothing razor burn while moisturizing your skin without leaving it to feel too greasy.
It comes in an elegantly designed plastic tube, with a screw top which allows for secure transportation.
Being a high-end product, it comes at a slightly higher cost but trust me, the scent is all worth it.
Dove Men+Care Post Shave Balm has been engineered by a company which has been manufacturing cosmetics for men and women for over 60 years.
Much like Nivea’s products, Dove’s tradition and experience have attracted numerous loyal costumers which confirm that their products are safe and friendly to the skin.
The balm contains cholesterol which helps maintain skin’s healthy feel and appearance, and it is used in the cosmetics industry as a stabilizer and a water-binding agent.
The formula also contains vitamin B5 which helps your skin absorb and retain water from the environment. It also includes numerous ingredients that are scientifically proven to soothe your skin and reduce irritation which guarantee that the balm would deliver almost instant relief after you shave.
The balm comes in a fancy, robust plastic bottle which allows you to squeeze thus easily discharging the contents. It has a sturdy flip top cap which allows for easy transportation.
If you like retro scents you will adore the Tabac Original Aftershave Balm. This classic scent will definitely take you back through time as the scent has not changed a bit since its inception in 1959. Its distinct scent of lavender, citrus, and warm florals combine to give a light yet masculine fragrance.
In terms of ingredients, the Tabac Aftershave Balm has not much to show for. It contains alcohol, and the formula contains synthetic ingredients for the most part. And although the balm is marketed for all skin types, I wouldn’t recommend it for those with sensitive skin.
Even though the ingredients used in the product are not all natural, the balm itself performs decently. It absorbs into your skin fast and does good job soothing and protecting your skin against rashes, ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and irritation.
Tabac Original Aftershave Balm comes in a plastic tube with a screw top which is great both for dispensing and transportation.
All in all, if you are not too picky on the ingredients your aftershave balm contains, I would recommend the Tabac Original Balm just because it has kept that elegant masculine scent for over half a century successfully, maintaining happy wet shaver all around the world.
If you are a night time shaver you would just love The Art of Shaving After-Shave Balm Lavender for its calming scent. The balm has a mild citrusy calming scent that lingers just enough to shush you to sleep.
The formula contains jojoba seed oil, which is a great moisturizer for your skin as it closely mimics the sebum oil that is naturally produced by your skin.
Ginkgo bilboa extract that acts as a strong antioxidant and has great revitalising properties, grape seed extract which absorbs quickly into your skin and many other goodies.
However, the balm also contains a dash of orange peel wax which has phototoxic properties, meaning that you should avoid sunlight after you use this product as it might stain your skin. How much orange peel wax is used in the formula I can’t tell, but it is a good thing to keep in mind.
But all in all, The Art of Shaving After-Shave Balm is a great post shave balm. It does a great job at soothing any skin type, calms burning and irritation, moisturizes your skin, and does not have an overpowering fragrance.
The only reason this balm did not make for the best product on our list is because of a recent The Art of Shaving decision to reformulate their product and replace the all natural ingredients with cheaper chemicals in their formula.
This change of ingredients might have been a good business decision when it comes to cutting cost by Procter and Gamble -which is the parent company the past couple of years, but it has upset many loyal customers resulting in a significant sales drop. This is something that the company should probably reconsider, but we are not here to judge.
The Art of Shaving After-Shave Balm comes in an elegantly looking, robust glass bottle with a convenient pump dispenser which allows for better flow control. It might not be perfect for traveling as the cap that protects the pump from being accidentally squeezed can easily fall off in your luggage, leaving you with a Bulgarian lavender smelling mess.
Woody’s, is a fairly recent company on the market that offers a complete line of grooming products among which is their Shave Relief Balm.
Woody’s Shave Relief Balm formula contains a balanced mix of natural and synthetic ingredients. It does not contain alcohol which can dry your skin but it does come with a substantial list of synthetic ingredients like benzyls, aluminum starches, acetates, and phosphates.
However it does contain natural ingredients like caffeine which in the cosmetics industry is known as an anti-aging powerhouse for its antioxidant properties, and it is also known to reduce redness and inflammation by constricting blood vessels providing an even skin tone.
The formula also contains aloe extracts that soothe your skin preventing rashes and razor bumps, while at the same time aiding the healing process of your skin. It can be used for all skin types.
The balm absorbs really quickly into your skin without feeling greasy. And as far as the fragrance goes it has a crisp citrusy, bergamot scent which smells very manly and does not linger.
Woody’s Shave Relief Balm comes in a large 6 Oz plastic tube with a flip top which makes it a travel-friendly companion.
Our last balm to review today will be the Glyder. Trust me I was really hesitant to put this product on the list because it is marketed as a styptic balm, but it is just so much more than any vasoconstrictor on the market that I think it deserves it’s place in the aftershave balm list.
Glyder’s patent pending formula contains vitamin E, which has superb antioxidant properties, Aloe Vera extract which is there to speed up the healing process and as this balm is used to treat nicks and cuts the Aloe Vera is essential, and Argan oil which has great moisturizing properties, your skin soaks it up really fast, and provides nourishment for your skin cells.
Even though this product is aimed at stopping bleeding from those irritating cuts you get while shaving, thanks to its vitamin and mineral contents it does a great job at soothing irritated your skin and razor burn. It can be used on all skin types, and it is perfect for people with sensitive skin.
The balm comes in an thoughtfully designed black tube, much like a chopstick, which breathes manliness and elegance.
The tube is light and on touch you can feel the grip it provides which is very helpful when applying it to those mid shave cuts as it guarantees that the balm would not slip out of your wet hands. The tube is sealed with a cap which does not allow the moisture to get inside the product thus prolonging the life span of the balm.
It is as big and as heavy as a lip balm, so you can carry it with you wherever you go.
But don’t let the small size discourage you. As the Glyder is only used when you cut yourself you are actually using just a small amount at a time, so it will last for a very long time in fact up to one year after you open it.
What is an aftershave balm?
We are all acquainted with the aftershave splashes, the evil antiseptic that when splashed on your face makes you recoil as if bitten by a snake.
But if it hurts it has to be good, it means that it is working, right?
Well, when you think about it… not really, I mean there has to be a reason why you feel pain. Our body is constructed to respond to environmental irritation with pain, it is essentially a mechanism that keeps us alive.
I am not saying that using an aftershave splash would make you go blind, melt your face, and bring down the Apocalypse, although I am not sure about the 10 for $1.00 brands, it is something to consider.
Most of us don’t even like the lingering aftershave scent, and not to mention that the high alcohol concentration in the aftershave splash wreaks havoc on your skin, depriving it of all the moisture.
So if your skin gets dry after shaving, you are prone to nicks, or you simply don’t want to suffer the consequences of an aftershave splash, you should try an aftershave balm.
Soothing and hydrating, an aftershave balm moisturizes and nourishes your skin. Most often balms don’t include alcohol but contain carrier oils like coconut, jojoba, castor and many others, which closely mimic the oils that are naturally produced by our skin. The carrier oils are then mixed with ingredients like which hazel which helps your skin retain elasticity, and has great skin toning properties. As well as vitamin E that delivers a multitude of skin care benefits.
Some of you might feel cautious about using an aftershave balm, because you might think that it would leave your skin extremely oily and shiny, because of the carrier oils. But this is seldom true.
Most high quality aftershave balms, made of natural ingredients, should in your skin only minutes after you apply it without any side effects. It is a perfect finish for every shave, hydrating your skin, and soothing razor burn, razor bumps, irritation and discomfort.
However, there is no single balm that works for everyone, my advise is that you try few of them to discover which one suits you best and that’s this aftershave balm guide is all about.
What is the Difference Between Aftershave Splash, Aftershave Lotion, and Aftershave Balm?
No matter how irrelevant it might seem to most of us what type of aftershave we use, there is a big difference between an aftershave splash, lotion, and balm.
Let’s start with the grandfather of all aftershaves, the aftershave splash. It is an aftershave product that comes exclusively in liquid form and contains a large amount of alcohol which gives you that stinging sensation when applied to your face.
While many men love using aftershave splashes as they feel like they are the cuts acquired by shaving it is not really recommended for most guys for a couple of reasons:
- First of all, it is really not necessary to suffer the alcohol on an open wound as there are far less painful alternatives.
- Although the alcohol does a great job eliminating any bacteria from your skin it also dehydrates your skin and leaves it irritated.
- Applying alcohol on a freshly shaven skin causes your pores to contract, giving way to ingrown hairs.
- And last but not least, most splashes contain synthetic fragrances that might irritate your skin as well as synthetic dyes.
Aftershave lotions are not that much different from aftershave splashes except that they have much lower alcohol content. They are preferred by men that might experience dryness and flaking from using an aftershave splash. They usually contain glycerin, mineral oils, and fragrances that help condition your skin keeping it well moisturized.
The aftershave balms usually contain no alcohol whatsoever. Instead, they use glycerin, aloe vera, allantoin, the high-end ones come with a selection of carrier oils and vitamins essential for skin nourishment. The aftershave balms are recommended for people with dry to sensitive skin as they are effective at reducing irritation, help soothe razor burns, dryness, provide nourishment and act as a good men’s moisturizer for the dry, shaved face.
How to Choose the Right Aftershave Balm?
The first thing you should do is to assess what type of skin you have, whether it is dry, oily or combination skin. Once you do that you can go on choosing a suitable aftershave balm for your skin type.
Next, you should pay attention to the ingredients used in the formula. Always try to go with alcohol-free, paraben free, that use mostly if not completely natural ingredients. Although all natural aftershave balms might cost a bit more they are worth every penny.
Choosing a type of container the balm comes in might seem irrelevant, but it is an important factor, as dark UV proof bottles guarantee for a longer shelf life of the product. And choosing a balm with a flip top cap would make for easier dispensing, and mess-free traveling.
And of course, pay attention to the size to price ratio especially if you are shopping online. It can often happen that two similar products cost the same but the volume of product you receive might be significantly different.
How do you use an aftershave balm?
- Once you have finished shaving with your favorite safety razor, your soft shaving brush and the high quality shaving soap, splash your face with cold water to rinse off the remaining shaving cream.
- Use a clean towel to pat dry your face. (Never ever rub a freshly shaven face!)
- Put a small dab of aftershave balm on your palm (the amount of balm you will need to apply requires some getting used to. It all depends on your skin type and the thickness of the aftershave balm)
- If you have sensitive skin, that gets easily irritated, the best way to go is to gently tap the balm on your face until it is evenly distributed this might take a bit longer but it guarantees for irritation-free skin. If you are in a hurry you can gently massage the balm into your face.
- Allow a couple of minutes for your skin to soak up the balm.
- You are ready to go.
To conclude, I can freely say that aftershave balms are superior to aftershave lotions or splashes when it comes to soothing sensitive skin that is prone to irritation.
So if you have a sensitive skin or if you are just fed-up with the pain that splashes offer you should try using a nourishing, soothing, aftershave balm for which I am sure your skin will appreciate.