Aftershave Balm vs. Moisturiser

What should you put on your skin after a shave - Aftershave Balm or Moisturiser?  It’s a topic of endless debate among men who are looking for the best solution to dry and irritated skin following a shave.

Shaving can cause skin irritation in a number of ways; it disrupts the top layer of your skin, and can cause razor burn or razor bumps.  Razor bumps are particularly unsightly, itchy, and sometimes painful.

Is it better to use aftershave balm or moisturizer?  Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each and also consider the underlying assumption which is driving the question.

Aftershave Balm vs Moisturiser


Moisturizer is generally superior to an aftershave balm when it comes to moisturizing your skin.  This is because moisturizing is the primary purpose, and other purposes are secondary, whereas with an aftershave balm, it is the other way around.

So if you have dry skin issues, you probably need a moisturizer as part of your aftershave routine.  Can you use lotion?  In theory, yes, but lotion dries up quickly, so moisturizer is generally more effective for this purpose.

Aftershave Balm

After shave balm on the other hand is a product designed with a different purpose.  Moisturizing is a secondary goal for most aftershave balms, or not even part of the purpose of the balm at all.

The balm is designed to cool down your skin, reduce the irritation caused by razor burn, and soothe and repair the tissue after you shave.

A good after shave may contain ingredients like citrus extract, ginkgo biloba leaf extract, grape seed extract, and shea butter.  It is similar to a lotion, but many men find it more effective.

So which is better, aftershave balm or moisturizer?  

Ultimately the question itself is grounded in a misconception, which is that aftershave balm and moisturizer are products designed to deal with the same issue.  It’s a common misconception, but it doesn’t really help you to solve your skin problems if you hold onto it.

In reality, aftershave balm’s purpose is very distinctive.  A moisturizer can help with dry skin, but it isn’t designed to soothe skin irritation following a shave.

Following up your shave routinely with aftershave balm will reduce the appearance of razor bumps, and will also make your skin feel cool and refreshed.  Used with diligence, it should greatly reduce the problems you experience over time.

The result will be a smoother shave with a better appearance, and skin that feels a lot better.

So to reduce razor burn and bumps and other unpleasantness after you shave, an aftershave balm is ideal.  If you also suffer from dry skin, you may want to start using a moisturiser in addition to your after shave balm.

Start with the aftershave balm first though, since it may be sufficient to fill all your needs.  Even though moisturizing isn’t its primary purpose, it may still provide you with enough moisture to keep your dry skin issues at bay.

This is a guest post by Lilly Sheperd, an occasional blogger, mainly interested in, fashion and beauty related articles. When not blogging, she likes to play Netball with her friends.

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  1. Girish2:52 PM

    After shaving , there are always some minor cuts on the face. The chances of infection at these areas is always there. 'After-shave lotion' contains antiseptics which removes any chance of infection on the shaved area of face. Moreover, after-shave do soften the area where applied.

  2. Joseph2:58 PM

    after you wash your face, moisturise. 3 hours after moisturising, wipe your face with a slightly dampened tissue, then pat dry with a cloth. when you shave, be very careful. To prevent these bumps, after washing your face, splash it with wet water to close your pores and prevent lumps.

  3. David3:01 PM

    . Balms and moisturizers are designed to hydrate the skin, while gels are designed to cool the skin. Also moisturizers tend to have a thicker consistency than balms. Choosing which one to use is up to personal preference.


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