Do you ever get back from the store and realize you’ve forgotten to purchase aftershave? With work in the morning, wouldn’t it just be easier to use another beard product to get the trick done?
Beard oils are an essential part of maintaining a healthy and soft beard. Not only do they help the hairs, but they also protect the skin beneath. Protecting the skin sounds a lot like what aftershave is for, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, aftershave and beard oil work in two completely different ways. Beard oils work as moisturizing lotions which keep the hairs healthy. They take care of nasty, itchy, and flaky dry skin; but that’s all they do. Aftershaves have antiseptic properties which prevent diseases from getting into the freshly opened pores. This protects your health in a way that beard oils simply can’t.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t use a beard oil after a shave, just that it doesn’t fill the same purpose that your aftershave does. To understand the unique role that aftershave plays and how it relates to beard oil, keep reading.
As you’ll come to learn, the best approach when it comes to your face and beard is a combination of beard oils and aftershaves working together.
Using Aftershave and Beard Oil Together
In order to understand why aftershave is so important, as well as why beard oil just won’t cut it, we must first consider what it means to shave. You might think, “It’s just hair removal, right?” But that’s not even the half of it.
A good shave doesn’t just remove the hair from your face. It actually opens up all the pores that the hair once occupied. The pores act almost like open wounds—when they are open, things can get into them. They don’t hurt or risk your health the same way a cut might, but they should be disinfected properly all the same.
If you actually cut yourself shaving, then disinfectant is even more important. Your razor might be brand new, but it will still be covered in germs if it has been sitting in your bathroom, even if you do run it under the water first. If you cut yourself shaving with it, there could be a number of terrible diseases just waiting to jump into your system.
Most people shave after they have a hot shower, or they use a hot towel press prior to shaving. Not only does this feel great, but beard hairs absorb the water and become larger in the pore. When they are cut away, the empty pore is actually larger than it would normally be. The larger pore means a bigger swimming pool for germs to dive into when the razor passes by.
Aftershave uses a mixture of ingredients that kill germs and clean out your pores to keep them safe from infections. Many aftershaves use alcohol in order to achieve this, and the sting of the alcohol burn has become synonymous with aftershave. Other ingredients like aloe vera are used to reduce inflammation and irritation. Together, all of these ingredients make sure that your fresh-shaved baby face stays healthy.
If you were to use beard oil as an aftershave, you would not get the benefits from the aloe vera. It will help you to moisturize your face, but it doesn’t reduce irritation, nor does it have any bacteria killing properties. With a wide variety of ingredients used in different oils, there is actually a risk that you can cause irritation by using beard oil as a substitute.
Still, beard oil should be part of your shaving experience. Just use it before the shave, not after. Beard oil will soften up your beard hairs so that they are easier to cut. This works together with the hot shower to make the shave easier, as larger pores and softer hairs are the easiest to cut.
Since there is no beard for beard oil to soften after your shave, it becomes entirely useless. It can get stuck in your pores and clog them up, possibly causing acne or other issues. While this is only a possibility, depending entirely on the ingredients of the particular brand you are using, it is one that you would do well to avoid.
When it comes to taking care of your face post-shower, you should always reach for the aftershave. There are plenty of fragrances, styles, and brands to choose from, so you won’t ever suffer from lack of variety.
What About After Shave Oils?
You might have heard of aftershave oils and wanted to find out more about them. As it turns out, they’re just liquid aftershave.
So why the different name for the same product?
This likely arises from the fact that there are pre-shave oils. These help to prepare your beard for a clean shave. Shave kits often label their bottles with pre- and aftershave oils. This is just a fancy way of keeping all the bottles separate from each other. Another common reason is that the company was looking for a way to get their aftershave to stand out from the rest without the hard work.
Aftershave oil is just aftershave, but pre-shave oil should be an important part of every man’s shave kit. To learn more about the different oils and aftercare products you should use when you shave, check out this video on video on Badger’s shave oils:
What’s the Difference Between Aftershave Splash, Lotion and Balm?
There are three kinds of aftershave you can purchase:
Splash aftershave is a liquid aftershave. When you think of aftershave, this is what comes to mind first. It often uses a diluted alcohol base to give your face that familiar stinging sensation.
Aftershave lotion isn’t nearly as common as its liquid counterpart, though sometimes liquid aftershave is even marketed as lotion. While not used as often, aftershave lotions have a much smaller alcohol content than the liquid version. So, while it still might sting to put on your aftershave in lotion form, those looking to avoid using alcohol as part of their skincare routine will want to stick to balm instead.
Aftershave balm isn’t made with alcohol, so it doesn’t burn the same way that the other varieties do. When picking a balm, it is important to check the ingredients and make sure that they are all-natural. If so, then you can be rest assured that it’s the best treatment available for your skin.
If you are looking to try out an aftershave balm then you can’t go wrong with Taylor of Old Bond Street’s Aftershave Balm. Taylor of Old Bond Street also makes an aftershave lotion, which is a little closer to being splash aftershave, but made with their high standards.
Is it Dangerous to Use Beard Oils as Aftershave?
In general, there is no harm in using your beard oil as an aftershave. It will sting a bit, but isn’t that always the case with a fresh shave?
Despite the fact that beard oil doesn’t perform the same function as aftershave, there are still people that swear by it. Known beard-haver Cliff Original swears by the stuff. The moisturizing effect of the oil leaves him feeling smooth and helps to keep his skin feeling great.
Cliff achieves this result by using a beard oil with vitamin E in it. Keep in mind that not every type of oil contains vitamin E. Unfortunately, the variety of ingredients found in beard oil makes it impossible to call it entirely safe to use as an aftershave. The open pores on your freshly shaven face are ripe for invasion, so you must be careful not to expose yourself to anything harmful.
Can You Use Aftershave as a Beard Oil?
A good aftershave should have an ingredient for cleaning out and protecting your pores. It should have a moisturizer for your face and some aloe vera mixed in to help relieve the irritation.
Notice what it’s missing?
There is nothing in aftershave which specifically helps with your beard hair. Aftershave, as the name suggests, is meant to be used after you shave. That means no more beard.
You might get a little benefit by using beard oil as an aftershave. After all, it has a moisturizing effect and it smells great. But apart from the smell, there is nothing to be gained from using aftershave as a beard oil alternative.
When it comes to your aftershave game, you gotta make sure you’re playing with aftershave. Beard oil might feel great on your skin, but it isn’t going to protect you and keep you healthy. There is no replacement for aftershave, and it should be an absolute must for every man’s shave kit.
Beard oil still has a place in the shaving process. It is used to make your shave even easier. But just because you can use it pre-shave, that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful at other times. Try out different oils to find the best fit for your skin and your beard.
Try out different aftershaves as well. Between splash, lotion, and balms, there are many different aftershaves for you to try. Find the one that is right for you and take care of that beard, even when you’re shaving it off.