When it comes to aftershave, you have two main types as options – aftershave lotions and balms. In this article, we will be comparing both types of aftershaves to determine the best option for you.
Aftershave balms are much milder in scent than aftershave lotion and are very creamy. They also contain less alcohol than lotions. In addition, balms are not astringents. Instead, they hydrate and replenish the skin. Aftershave Lotions are good for tightening pores, sealing cuts and generally smell much stronger than Balms.
We should point to first of all that if you suffer from dry skin, or are prone to razor burn or bumps, then an aftershave balm may be the better choice for you.
Aftershave Lotion vs Balm Comparison Table
|Features||Aftershave Lotion||Aftershave Balm|
|Texture||A runny liquid||Thick like a gel|
|Alcohol content||50% – 90%||2% – 5%|
|Fragrance||Strong scent||Mild scent|
|Common ingredients||Water, aluminum starch, octenyl succinate, glycerin, myristyl propionate, mineral oil, and fragrance||Glycerin, aloe vera, and allantoin|
|Antimicrobial agent||High alcohol content helps in fighting bacteria and fungi||Uses its oil content such as coconut and aloe vera to fight bacteria|
|Skin type||Good for oily skin||Good for rough skin|
What Is Aftershave?
An aftershave is a solution with ingredients made especially for the skin after being shaved. People apply aftershave for various reasons, such as but not limited to disinfecting their skin while minimizing the risk of any infections.
There are many aftershave products in the market today, including aftershave balm and aftershave lotion, and you need to choose which one to use because skin types vary in texture and oil content.
Aftershave Balm And Lotion: What Are They?
You have already heard of aftershave balm and aftershave lotion as examples of aftershaves, but really what are they? What are their differences? Don’t worry, as that is what we are going to do right here.
Aftershave lotion is an aftershave product that is less thick than a balm and is always more liquid in nature compared to aftershave balm, just as aftershave splash.
An aftershave lotion always leaves the skin moisturized due to the glycerin ingredient and gives the skin a soothing feeling. Unlike balm, aftershave lotion has a fragrance that provides confidence to the user. It is best used on sensitive skin.
On the other hand, an aftershave balm is an aftershave product that contains nourishing and moistening elements focusing on repairing skin after a shave.
It is closer to a gel and creamier compared to other products. The balm is therefore often used to reduce skin tightness, irritation, and dryness.
Aftershave Lotion Vs. Balm Overview
To better understand these two products, we shall look at their differences in texture, alcohol content, fragrance, ingredients, microbial agent, and skin type.
As hinted above, there is a slightly sharp difference in aftershave balm and lotion. This is because aftershave balm is like a gel or cream in nature, and because of this thicker consistency, balm is always applied as a cream.
On the other hand, aftershave lotion is a runny liquid and is considered a mild version of aftershave splash.
The alcohol content of these two aftershave products also varies significantly, with aftershave lotions having alcohol content in most cases. These products have an alcohol percentage that ranges from 50% to 90%. The alcohol is meant to soften your skin after a shave and prevent irritation caused by razor burn.
On the other hand, aftershave balm products have less alcohol content of about 2% to 5% ethyl alcohol. Some balm products contain no alcohol at all.
The alcohol content helps close your skin pores that always open due to warm water used during shaving. This quick closing will, in turn, reduce your chances of getting bacterial infections.
Because it tightens your skin, alcohol dries out quickly hence leaves your skin dry within a short time. It is therefore not recommendable for persons with dry skins as it can cause skin irritation.
There are those men who love to smell nice because this little touch of sweet scent gives some confidence and comfort while moving around, whereas others do not like to have the sweet-smelling scent as they don’t want the attention being pulled towards them.
Fortunately, aftershave products manufacturers had all this in mind. If you love the pleasant scent, then consider aftershave lotion as your product.
If you do not like gracing long-lasting scents, go for aftershave balm because it has a very mild scent that will not last long. To learn more, check out our article where we explain how long different aftershaves last.
Lotion and balm have different ingredients used in preparing them. Some of the common ingredients used for aftershave lotion include water, aluminum starch, octenyl succinate, glycerin, myristyl propionate, mineral oil, and fragrance.
According to the Manlikeness kit, glycerin is a hygroscopic ingredient that draws moisture from the air to the skin, hence giving a moisturizing feeling to the skin. The aluminum starch is used as an anticaking agent, while mineral oil enhances skin quality.
For aftershave balm, its most common ingredients are glycerin, aloe vera, and allantoin. The aloe vera in this product makes it improve skin quality. In fact, did you know that you can use aloe vera as an aftershave? Glycerin is used as a hydrating agent, while allantoin serves in the desquamation of the upper layers of dead skin cells.
Because of the high alcohol content in aftershave lotion, this product helps in destroying various types of bacteria and fungi. It keeps skin and cuts protected from any germ that can occur after it has been shaved.
On the other hand, aftershave balm uses its oil content, such as coconut and aloe vera, to fight bacteria. This comes in handy considering that it has less alcohol content.
Every person has a different skin type, and it is necessary to understand your skin type before choosing an aftershave product.
One suggested way of determining your skin type, whether dry or oily, is to always check for the following characteristics: flaking, roughness, and evenness of the texture. For example, if your skin is flaking, itching, and has a rough texture, it is dry, while normal skin is always clear. Those with oily skin always look greasy.
Men with rough skin are expected to have more cuts and nicks while shaving because of the roughness and uneven texture associated with rough skin. Therefore, for such a person, an aftershave balm is most recommended. For newbies, an aftershave balm is recommended as you are most likely to experience razor burn.
If your skin is oily, it is better to go for aftershave lotion since aftershave balm contains oily components that can create a more oily appearance.
Aftershave Lotion Vs. Balm – Which Is Better?
We need to consider a few things such as alcohol content, scent, and product availability to determine the best aftershave between aftershave lotion and balm.
Aftershave lotion has a high alcohol content which, when applied on a fresh cut, causes sharp pain to the user, unlike balm, which reacts gently with the skin.
Most men hate the long-lasting scent, and while aftershave lotion has a variety of scents, you can pick balm for the lack of or less scent.
Again, an aftershave balm is comparatively cheap, unlike lotion hence its availability to even low-income earners.
As they perform different roles based on skin conditions, it is not easy to say one is better than the other. Therefore, it is essential to consider the factors before deciding whether to choose aftershave lotion or balm. Enjoy your aftershave!
Can Aftershave Balm Be Used as Lotion?
Yes, an aftershave balm is designed to perform the same function as lotion. That is, to soothe your skin after shaving.
Another thing that makes aftershave balm ideal is that it doesn’t include alcohol, which makes it is a bit gentle on the skin.
It also has a creamier texture than lotion and is more moisturizing as a result.
What Else Works as Aftershave?
Other things that can work as aftershave include aloe vera and lotion. Aloe vera helps to reduce the chances of your skin peeling and cracking after a nice shave.
Lotion, on the other hand, helps keep the pores clear and increases collagen production which reduces wrinkles in the long run.
Alternatively, drinking water every day can also help your body remove toxins that cause acne or breakouts. You should drink at least 64 fl oz of water a day for good health.
Can I Use Vaseline as Aftershave?
Yes, you can use Vaseline as an aftershave lotion. This is because Vaseline can help fight the bumps and rashes that tend to show up after shaving.
Can I Use Coconut Oil as Aftershave?
Yes, coconut oil is often used as an aftershave to moisturize the skin.
Many men use it because they like its scent and feel that their face feels smoother when using coconut oil instead of lotion or balm.