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What are post-shaves?

Post-shaves are typically balms, lotions, milks, alums, gels or creams designed to be applied the skin after shaving to relieve the affects of scraping a sharp steel blade against the skin. They are designed to lesson redness, sore skin, taut skin or shave spots. Many will also contain nutrients to help keep the skin healthy and protected.

They should not be confused with aftershaves or moisturisers/hydrators. Aftershaves (more correctly eau de toilette/colognes/parfum or perfumes) are designed to add fragrance to the skin and tend to have high levels of alcohol in them (60% and higher) so can be drying to the skin. Confusingly, some brands refer to post-shave creams as aftershave cream! Moisturisers and hydrators are about adding water to the skin, and although some post-shaves do this, it’s not their primary function. 

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Who are post-shaves for?

Post shaving products are for every man who shaves, they can help heal the micro-abrasions caused by the razor, however those of you with sensitive or dry skin ignore them at your peril.  

Why use post-shaves?

The act of shaving is pretty aggressive on the skin, even with a good technique and a sharp edge, anyone can get a little reaction to shaving. Post-shaves are made to remain on your skin and have a long-lasting effect. They soothe, calm, cool, hydrate the skin and help prevent the “tight skin” feeling. 

How to choose post-shaves?

This depends on your skin and what you like the product to feel like. Alums, milks and gels are the lightest feeling, Lotions have a bit more viscosity, then creams and finally the balms feel the stickiest. Watch for the alcohol content, good for oily skin, less so for dry skin. If the skin is sensitive look for no alcohol and low fragrance, perhaps focusing on the more natural products like balms.