You’ve already bought a razor and shaving cream – have you? really Do you need a lotion or gel that goes on after? Although aftershaves may feel like one of those unnecessary purchases, even the most humble of dermatologists recommend their use. Why? To put it simply, shaving is not only cutting the hair, but also the outer layer of the skin. This can damage the skin’s barrier and cause a lack of moisture, not to mention the possibility of irritation in the form of nicks, cuts, and rashes.
Since shaving can be irritating, it can make the skin more sensitive than normal, according to Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. An aftershave product, which can be in the form of a gel, lotion, splash or spritz, can help strengthen the skin’s moisture, which can protect the skin’s barrier.
However, the problem with shaving aftershaves is that they contain drying ingredients, including alcohol, as well as irritants such as perfumes. Unfortunately, these ingredients can be harsh on the skin—stripping essential oils and potentially causing irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin, notes Jeremy Fenton, MD, a dermatologist with the Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. Fortunately, most aftershave products on the market today are alcohol-free and designed to soothe and soften the skin, rather than irritate it.
What ingredients to check after shaving
When shopping for aftershave, it’s important to look for brands that don’t contain alcohol. “Alcohol is drying and irritating, as it works very well in removing oil. However, the oil on the skin is one of the most important things to protect it,” says Dr. Fenton. “In general, those with sensitive skin need to maintain a healthy level of oil and alcohol just removes too much.”
Fragrance, too, is a big no-no, especially for sensitive-prone skin. “There is no benefit to the smell beyond the smell, as well as they can cause an allergic reaction or just irritation, so it is only safe to avoid,” says Dr. Fenton. “Across the dermatology profession, we always recommend that people with sensitive skin avoid fragranced products and the same goes for aftershave.”
The ingredients you want after shave
What you should look for are hydrating ingredients that add moisture to the skin and will help prevent dryness, such as glycerin, shea butter or hyaluronic acid. Additionally, because shaving can stress the skin, Marisa Garshick, MD, a dermatologist at Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery (MDCS) in New York, recommends purchasing aftershaves that contain soothing ingredients, such as aloe. or chamomile, as these can help soothe. skin and can soothe redness.
Best hair for sensitive skin
Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm – $17.00
This is one of the most popular shavers on the market, especially for people with sensitive skin. Not only does this balm work to soften and strengthen the skin, but it also helps lock in moisture, helping to reduce moisture loss after shaving, notes Dr. Garshick. “Despite being a medicine, it feels light and absorbs easily, without leaving the skin greasy,” she says. “It nourishes the skin with vitamin E and also contains chamomile, which is soothing.”
Dove Men+Care Sensitive Shaving Balm – $19.00
Although there is no indication on the product itself that this is ideal for sensitive skin, Dr. Garshick says that its ingredients are great for this skin type, as they can help moisturize dry skin after shaving. “This shaving balm contains vitamin B5, which provides moisture and prevents redness and inflammation, as well as glycerin, which keeps the skin hydrated and moisturized,” he says. “It’s also alcohol-free and won’t leave skin feeling dry.”
Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel – $21.00
This gorgeous aftershave contains a myriad of soothing ingredients that help soothe and reduce redness, including aloe vera, sage and lavender. It also contains chamomile, which has anti-inflammatory benefits and can help reduce redness and soothe the skin, notes Dr. Garshick. “Sage, lavender, rosemary and balm mint have antioxidant benefits to help reduce free radicals,” she says. “It’s fragrance-free and alcohol-free so it will improve razor burn and irritation without causing dryness.”
Ursa Major 4-in-1 Essential Face Tonic – $32.00
This brand is known for its gentle ingredients and impressive results, so it is not surprising that they make a facial tonic worth recommending. It contains soothing aloe vera along with green tea, which acts as an antioxidant to protect the skin from free radicals that contribute to the effects of photoaging, explains Brendan Camp, MD, a Manhattan dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology. “Willow bark, too, is a natural source of beta-hydroxy acid that gently exfoliates the skin,” he adds.
Shea Moisture Men’s After Shave Restore Cream – $11.00
The key ingredients in this aftershave are azelaic acid, which helps reduce the build-up of bacteria that causes breakouts in pores and reduces inflammation, and tea tree oil, which soothes the skin and reduces redness and inflammation. It also contains shea butter and glycerin, both of which work together to moisturize the skin. Dr. Garshick recommends using this in the morning or at night after shaving. Although it can be used with all hair types, she notes that it was made especially for those with facial hair.
Bliss Bump Attendant Ingrown Toe Removal Pad – $22.00
Although not meant to be used immediately after shaving, Dr. Garshick recommends these pads for others to use 12 hours or more after shaving to help reduce the chance of shaving by gently exfoliating the skin. “It contains a combination of salicylic acid and glycolic acid along with green tea extract to soothe and calm the skin,” she says. “It’s also formulated with niacinamide to help reduce redness and lavender oil that soothes the skin.”
Andalou Naturals Post Shave – $14.00
Made with 98 percent naturally-derived ingredients that are certified by the Non-GMO Project, this brand of aftershave may be ideal for someone with sensitive skin, according to Dr. Garshick. “It’s designed to soothe and refresh, and can help reduce the risk of ingrown hairs, clogged pores and irritation,” she says. “It contains antioxidants, including CannaCell along with hemp seed oil to moisturize and soften the skin.” Another advantage is that this aftershave does not contain alcohol, so it can be used on clean skin after shaving without drying the skin.
Vaseline Advanced Repair Lotion – $17.00
Although it is not professional to shave after shaving, Dr. Zeichner is a big fan of using this aftershave repair lotion. Not only does it contain triple-refined petrolatum, which can help heal cuts and scrapes on the skin, but the texture of the lotion itself is nice and smooth—it’s easy to spread and doesn’t feel sticky or greasy. “The product has the seal of the National Eczema Association, so it can be used even by people with sensitive skin,” he adds.
Thayers Unscented Facial Toner – $11.00
Although it is also not aftershave, Dr. Camp recommends this alcohol- and fragrance-free toner as a good choice for those with sensitive skin. “In addition to acting as an astringent, witch hazel has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties,” he says. “This product also includes aloe vera to soothe the skin and glycerin, which draws water into the skin and helps it retain moisture.”
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