What Is Aftershave Balm?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

Aftershave balm is a product used to treat the skin after shaving. It is designed to soothe irritated skin, as well as to minimize the effects of nicks and cuts. Some aftershave balms also contain an antiseptic agent to prevent infections from developing. These products also usually help make the texture of the skin smoother.

Aftershave balm may be used to treat the skin after shaving.
Aftershave balm may be used to treat the skin after shaving.

When using aftershave, a dime-sized amount is usually applied directly to the skin after shaving. People with sensitive skin or allergies may wish to read the ingredients, or check with a dermatologist before applying any aftershave products to their skin. A small amount tested in an inconspicuous area can help consumers decide if the product is safe or not as well.

The main difference between a balm and other types of aftershave, is that balm is usually richer upon application. It typically requires a rubbing motion to apply it rather than the dabbing that other products may be applied with. In addition to balm products, aftershave cream and aftershave lotion are also popular treatments for razor burn. Aftershave for women, such as shaving gel or shaving cream, may also be purchased.

Balms tend to be more medicinal in nature than other creams and lotions, sometimes containing menthol, herbs, and other soothing agents. Because of these ingredients, aftershave balm often provides an appealing cooling sensation on the skin. Water and aloe are common ingredients in aftershave balm. Many other plant extracts, such as avocado oil, may be added to make the balm more effective on the skin. Cocoa butter is another popular ingredient in aftershave balm.

Special balms for sensitive skin may also be available to help prevent inflammation or discomfort. Men who seek this type of aftershave balm should be sure that it is free of dyes and perfumes. People with sensitive skin may also wish to abstain from applying balms that contain alcohol or other drying agents. Products clearly labeled for sensitive skin, or those that contain only pure essential oils, may be the safest choice for these consumers.

Though many men may prefer unscented products, aftershave balm is typically available in many different scented varieties. Musk, pine, and sandalwood are popular scents that are added to aftershave balm. Aftershave balm that matches a shaving cream or cologne may also be available for purchase to produce a uniform scent. Depending upon their ingredients and brands, aftershave balms have a wide price range; designer fragrances usually cost much more than off brand shaving products.

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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