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What is Aftershave? A Guide to Using Aftershave Scents

Shaving is a necessary part of a gentleman's grooming routine, whether that means tidying up your beard or getting rid of your five o'clock shadow. Running a sharp blade against the delicate skin on your cheeks, chin and neck can take a toll, leaving you with nicks, irritation and redness. Some men even develop ingrown hairs and breakouts that can have them feeling less than suave.

What is the remedy for the collateral damage from shaving? Aftershave is your key to a refreshing post-shave feeling.

First Thing's First: What Is Aftershave?

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Aftershave is, quite simply, a facial product that you apply to your skin after shearing off your coarse mustache and beard growth. You can find aftershave in liquid, gel and lotion forms; each has its own benefits. Lotion aftershaves are great for keeping you moisturized, gels often include extra vitamins and nutrients to give you a healthy glow and liquids can be excellent antiseptics that can protect your tender skin.

Aftershaves are often scented for a bit of luxury during what can otherwise be a dull grooming routine. Some men even forego a spritz of cologne in favor of their aftershave fragrance. 

What Does Aftershave Do?

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Aftershave has had a long history. Aftershave was originally used primarily as an antiseptic. Before the development of antibiotics, aftershave acted as a disinfectant, thanks to the inclusion of alcohol, witch hazel or tea tree oil. These natural antiseptics could also stop bleeding and soothe irritation overall. While men no longer rely on aftershave to prevent infection, this grooming essential can also help close pores after shaving to avoid redness and minimize breakouts. 

Some men skip aftershave because they have sensitive skin, but with the right products, you can include this step in your grooming regimen. If you have experienced that infamous aftershave sting after application, choose an aftershave that’s alcohol-free. Witch hazel, for instance, still provides all the bacteria-fighting power of alcohol, but without the burning sensation.

How Should You Use Aftershave? 

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Much like cologne, aftershaves can be overwhelming if applied incorrectly or too generously. If you're using a lotion or gel aftershave, start with a small dollop on your finger and rub it lightly over all the shaved skin. With a liquid aftershave, pour a small amount onto a cotton ball to apply it. This way, you avoid overdoing it, and you can always apply more if needed. Follow these easy steps for aftershave use:

  1. Carefully pour the liquid aftershave onto your fingertips or a cotton ball. Less than a teaspoon is usually fine if you just tidied up your facial hair, but a full teaspoon might be necessary to cover your entire face.
  2. Dab the aftershave lightly over all of the clean-shaven areas. Make sure to get under your chin and on your neck if necessary — these spots can be easy to miss.
  3. Rinse your face with cool water to remove any excess liquid and close your pores.
  4. Follow up with a moisturizer or sunscreen for greater skin protection.

Choose Aftershave From St Johns Fragrance Company

For 75 years, St Johns Fragrance Company has curated a luxury collection of aftershaves and colognes. We handcraft our products in small batches using exotic ingredients and bay leaf oils harvested from the Virgin Islands. Each blend creates a distinctive and long-lasting aromatic experience reminiscent of the islands. Find the perfect aftershave or cologne to add to your gentleman's grooming routine today.

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