Grooming Editor

How To Apply Aftershave

Applying aftershave might seem like the most natural thing in the world, especially to those who do it every day. But are you making the most out of your product? With this handy guide, you can be sure you’re reaping all the benefits your aftershave has to offer. It’s time to say goodbye to haphazard splashes and ‘this will do’ – your skin will thank you for it.

What is aftershave?

The term ‘aftershave’ is often used interchangeably with colognes and fragrances for men, but this shouldn’t be the case, especially when it comes to application. Aftershave is designed to be used directly on your skin after shaving and can be enriched with a whole host of nourishing ingredients to keep your complexion in top shape. Colognes and fragrances, on the other hand, simply smell nice and are better applied to other areas of your body.

Aftershave can come in a wide range of forms, including balms, lotions, gels and sprays. Although they can be fragranced, their purpose lies more closely with skincare than scent. Helping to soothe and refresh your complexion after hair removal, aftershave treatments can be a saviour for those prone to irritation or discomfort.

Where are you supposed to put aftershave?

As mentioned before, aftershave can be applied to any area of your skin after shaving (but make sure you check the label of any product you buy before use). Many people also apply aftershave to other areas such as behind the ears, chest and shoulders as they would a fragrance. Although this certainly does no harm, the aroma is unlikely to be as long-lasting as a cologne or Eau de Toilette.

Can you use aftershave without shaving?

Absolutely. Aftershave has plenty of beneficial ingredients that are good for your skin. Depending on the formula you choose, your aftershave will help to lock in your skin’s natural moisture while toning its surface. If you’re someone who is prone to sensitivity, choose an aftershave with witch hazel or tea tree oil rather than alcohol. This way you can still enjoy its astringent or antibacterial properties without the sting.

How to apply aftershave properly

Most men will find themselves splashing a bit of aftershave on their skin with no real thought or technique. To ensure you’re getting the most out of your product, follow this guidance*:

Step 1: Make sure you’ve rinsed your face thoroughly after shaving, washing away any last hairs or traces of gel. Pat your skin dry using a clean towel.

Step 2: Take a small amount of aftershave in the palm of your hand (about the size of a five pence piece) and rub your palms together.

Step 3: Carefully rub your hands over your face for an even distribution of just the right amount of product. Do not rinse your face.

*Guidelines may vary from product to product.

Aftershave top picks

Avène After Shave Balm

This is one for the men with sensitive skin. Avène’s balm has been carefully formulated to soothe and calm, targeting irritation as well as dryness. Containing Thermal Spring Water, your face will feel comfortable, refreshed and incredibly soft, what more could you want?

Aesop Neroli Post-Shave Lotion

Delivering on both fragrance and skin-loving benefits, Aesop’s lotion nips sensitivity in the bud while leaving behind a lingering scent of Neroli. Uplifting and easily absorbed, the formula delivers lightweight moisture for a subtly enhanced finish.

Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel

Completely free from alcohol, Jack Black’s aftershave brings you that much-coveted cooling sensation without the sting. Helping to soothe skin that’s prone to redness and irritation, it works to relieve the discomfort of razor burn upon application.

Feeling more confident about adding aftershave to your regular routine? Take a look at our complete collection to find one that’s right for your skin.



Writer and expert

Creative storyteller. Believer in the power of natural ingredients and cruelty-free formulas. Always puts skincare first for a no-makeup look.