Puberty for males begins at all different ages. This change is accompanied by various symptoms that include increased sweat production, the deepening of the voice, and sometimes acne.
Perhaps the greatest right of passage as a boy becomes a man is his first shave.
With puberty comes an increased amount of hair on the face and body, particularly on the lip and chin. Every man remembers his first time applying a razor to his skin.
Maybe you found success with your first shave, walking away with a smooth, clean face. Or maybe you were amongst the masses of men to make mistakes on his try and found your face covered in nicks and cuts.
Either way, that first time was surely not your last.
By now, all these years later, you probably consider yourself a pro at shaving. In actuality, there is always space for you to improve at grooming. A Made Man is committed to becoming his best self. This involves improving all areas of your life, even those that you deem satisfactory.
We invite you to learn more about shaving and how you can improve your experience as we discuss aftershave. Today we will explain what aftershave is and the most beneficial ways for you to use it.
What Is Aftershave?
Aftershave is a popular product in men’s grooming, and for a good reason.
Typically, aftershave is an alcohol-based liquid applied to the skin for treatment after shaving. However, there are a variety of aftershaves that all differ from each other and have their own unique properties.
The three main types of aftershave are lotions, balms, and splashes, though it is also possible to purchase a gel or paste.
The specific benefits of your aftershave will depend upon which aftershave you choose to use, but generally speaking, aftershaves are made to treat the tiny cuts left on your face after a shave.
Whether you notice it or not, after a shave, there are areas of the epidermis that are left exposed and vulnerable to bacteria and subsequent infection.
Typical aftershaves are antibacterial and alcohol-based and contain such ingredients as isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol. This traditional form is infamous for stinging when applied to the skin.
Some other aftershaves contain witch hazel instead and are both astringent and antimicrobial.
This allows the aftershave to perform two tasks for your benefit. The first is to halt any bleeding from cuts caused by your razor. The second is to reduce the risk of infection.
Benefits of Aftershaves
As for men with acne, there are benefits to using both alcohol or witch hazel-based aftershaves. Alcohol-based aftershaves are good for killing the bacteria in your skin before they can infect clogged pores and develop acne.
Witch hazel, however, is antiseptic and can stop or slow the growth of developing acne.
Still, some other aftershaves are moisture-based instead, such as certain balms and lotions, which protect against bacteria while retaining moisture.
Additionally, this can assist with preventing the appearance of fine lines. Note that moisture-based aftershaves are an opportunity for additional moisturizing and not a replacement for your typical moisturizer.
Most aftershaves are also scented. While not strong, the scent is intended to provide you with a subtle fragrance. The exact fragrance will depend on your preference, as there are a variety of scents to choose from. That being said, there are also unscented aftershaves available. These are a good option for those who are not fans of scented products or who have additional skin sensitivities.
Other benefits of using aftershave include reducing itching and swelling, closing pores to prevent razor bumps or breakouts, supporting skin tissue growth, and preventing hair follicle inflammation.
General Shaving Tips
If your interest in aftershave stems from the desire to improve your overall shaving experience, we have some additional shaving tips for you.
First, we encourage you to fit exfoliating into your routine. Exfoliating can help to make shaving easier while also preventing already shaved skin from experiencing clogging.
Gently exfoliate the area you intend to shave with a chemical exfoliant and washcloth.
Chemical exfoliation involves using a chemical solution to exfoliate the skin. Apply an exfoliant that contains either glycolic or salicylic acid to your skin so that it can dissolve dead skin cells living on the epidermis.
You may also swap out the acid for a prescribed retinoid.
By removing these dead skin cells, you will be prepping the skin to avoid the growth of ingrown hairs post-shave. Typically, dead skin cells trap in the growing hair and cause them to re-enter the skin. Removing this dead skin ahead of time will help you to avoid this from happening.
Use Warm Water
Soak your hair before beginning to shave. Applying a blade to dry skin makes it more likely that the hair will have a sharp edge that grows back into your skin. Use warm water and let the shaving gel soak for a minute or so before beginning to remove your hair.
Prep Your Shave
When preparing to shave, it is also important that you have acquired the right razor and shaving cream or gel.
To further protect yourself from ingrown hairs, you can consider opting for an electric razor instead of the manual type. Manual tools tend to provide you with extremely close shaves. While a close shave does come with its own benefits, it also increases your chances of developing ingrown hairs.
It is also important that your razor is sharp. Using a dull razor may require you to shave over the same area more than once, putting you at risk of irritation, razor burn, and ingrown hairs.
Make sure your razor has a single blade that gets replaced every five to seven uses.
Use The Best Products
As for shaving gel, we recommend MadeMan’s The Resetter. The Resetter is more than just a shaving gel; it doubles as a facial cleanser. The product is water-based and uses all-natural ingredients which combine eucalyptus essential oil with soap bark to facilitate a smooth shave and a deep but gentle cleansing.
Overall, using The Resetter should leave your skin and hair soft and hydrated after a shave.
As you shave, allow your skin to sit naturally instead of pulling it back as you apply your razor. Tightening the skin as you shave may cause the tips of the remaining hair to shrink into your skin and grow inwards rather than outwards.
If you decide that it is necessary to shave in both directions, start by shaving your hair in the direction that it naturally grows, give the shortened hairs time to soften and hydrate, and then continue shaving but in the opposite direction.
As you are shaving, rinse your razor between every stroke. While shaving, your blade will clog up with hair which may reduce the efficiency of your blade. Continuously rinsing your blade will keep it clean and provide you with additional lubrication as you shave.
If you find any stray hairs, do your best to avoid using your tweezer to remove them. Tweezing may leave a fragment of hair below the skin’s surface which can later become ingrown hair.
After shaving and applying your aftershave, remember to moisturize to reinforce the skin’s protective barrier, prevent the skin from drying out, and reduce the chances of irritation.
For this, we recommend trying MadeMan’s The Refresher.
The Refresher is a water-based moisturizer that uses all-natural ingredients. The product contains an antioxidant blend that promotes the natural repair process.
Rinse the area with cool water until you have completely removed all shaving gel from your skin. Do not rub the area dry as this can cause irritation or damage.
Instead, pat yourself dry with a clean towel. Then put about a dime-sized amount of aftershave into the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together and make sure that there is an evenly spread coating on both.
Finally, rub the aftershave thoroughly onto the shaved surface of your skin.
Remember that you are welcome to use your aftershave anywhere on your body that you have shaved. For more sensitive areas of the body, consider using an unscented aftershave for your safety, and always check the product’s label for any directions or warnings.
In conclusion, shaving does not have to be difficult to be a success. By making minor adjustments to the shaving routine you already have, you can take shaving to a whole new level.
Should you choose to use aftershave, there are many options in terms of which product you decide to choose. Regardless of which aftershave you select, application across the board is proven to be easy and should fit nicely into your men’s skincare routine with MadeMan.
Ingrowing Hair: A Case Report | PubMed
Aftershave burns | PubMed