There are two qualities to look out for when finding the perfect aftershave beyond their hydrating and restorative qualities: scent and texture.
A great aftershave should assist and support your skin type. For example, an aftershave balm is best suited for drier skin due to its hydrating formula and thicker consistency. Whereas aftershave splashes are excellent for oilier skins as they are more quickly absorbed into the skin with little to no residue. Lastly, aftershave gels are great for normal skin, as the texture is lightweight but still thick enough to thoroughly hydrate. Nonetheless, it mostly comes down to your preference. Most likely, you'll need to try a few to discover the right one. To help point you in the right direction, we've rounded up the best aftershaves for men based on texture.
Best Aftershave Balm: Baxter of California After Shave Balm
Baxter of California's After Shave Balm is designed to protect dry skin, which can become tight after using a variety of shaving products in your grooming routine. This is especially true if you shave every day, as shaving serves as a form of physical exfoliation.
As such, you'll need something that will nourish your dry skin. This aftershave balm contains Glycerin high up in its formulation. A humectant, it absorbs moisture from its surroundings and brings it straight to your skin, locking it in. When applied, you'll even feel a welcome soothing and cooling sensation - this is due to the Aloe Vera Leaf Extract and Menthol.
The inclusion of Tea Tree Oil makes this aftershave balm excellent for skin prone to irritation and ingrown hairs. Naturally anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory, tea tree oil calms down any redness and swelling. Being alcohol-free to boot, it features a refreshing zingy aroma.
Best Aftershave Gel: Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel
Aftershave Gels are a good pick for normal skin, as it has a balance between texture and hydrating properties. The difficulty with normal skin is that it's neither too oily or dry, so you need to use products that don't compromise this delicate balance. Jack Black's Post Shave Cooling Gel is a unique find, with its fragrance-free, alcohol-free, colourant free, and paraben and sulphate free formulation. As a result, this can even be recommended for sensitive skin that's prone to reactions.
Featuring a zingy lavender and herb scent, this gel utilises a combination of skin-soothing ingredients - namely, Aloe, Chamomile and Witch Hazel - this aftershave gel calms down common shaving concerns like razor burns. If you've accidentally given yourself a minor nick or cut while shaving, the addition of lavender, sage and rosemary will help fight bacteria. And to hydrate the skin, Jack Black has utilised Glycerin to soften and hydrate.
Best Aftershave Splash: Santa Maria Novella Vetiver Aftershave Splash
While balms and gels are more hydrating, aftershave splashes are more astringent to the skin due to generally being alcohol-based. Splashes absorb quicker into the skin, often leaving little to no residue. Because of this, aftershave splashes are recommended for oilier skin or if you're going to layer another product on top of the aftershave like a sunscreen.
The Santa Maria Novella Vetiver Aftershave ticks the right boxes. It's able to refresh, tone and restore skin after shaving. The use of Menthol provides a cooling sensation to the skin, while the Witch Hazel is a natural astringent, tightening pores to control excess sebum production so you don't get too oily throughout the day.
Meanwhile, Lactic Acid - an alpha-hydroxy acid - provides gentle exfoliation to prevent any dead skin buildup. A considered dose of Glycerin to round out this product adds some hydration factor to the skin.
While Vetiver is a popular scent with our customers, Santa Maria Novella does offer a few options to choose from, from Patchouli to Sandalwood. So feel free to take your pick.
Best Aftershave Lotion: Proraso After Shave Lotion: Green
Aftershave Lotions are similar to aftershave splashes. In fact, the two terms are often interchanged with each other depending on the company. That said, both have a water-like texture that rapdily absorbs into the skin. Proraso Aftershave Lotion: Green sits nicely in this category.
Containing no parabens, silicones or mineral oil, this fragrant aftershave lotion uses an alcoholic base that makes it quick and easy to apply. As such, like splashes, it's best for normal to oily skin types. Dry and sensitive skin types should opt for an aftershave balm. The scent of this product is Eucalyptus, an invigorating aroma somewhere between citrus and mint.
Like previous products, the formula uses Witch Hazel to close and tighten pores, all while providing a soothing sensation to freshly shaved skin. Glycerin imparts a smooth and hydrated feeling while assisting the skin in retaining moisture.
If eucalyptus isn't your scent, you might be interested in its sibling product, the Proraso After Shave Lotion: Red, which has a creamier sandalwood fragrance, enriched with shea butter.