Shaving is part of the modern man’s routine. You want something that compliments your skin type, whether sensitive skin, aging skin (our bodies change over time), dry skin, or oily skin.
You also want something soothing, especially for those razor burns!
As someone with oily skin who gets those nicks and razor burns, I sought a product to make my post-shave routine less irritating. That’s why I put together this list of my favorite men’s aftershave balms. Hence, my go-to is Baxter of California’s balm, known for its healing and soothing properties.
Best Men’s Aftershave Balms in 2023
To suit every man’s needs: I have listed the best men’s aftershave balms for every skin type and personal need, as well as a guide to choosing the best aftershave for you.
Let’s jump in:
1. Proraso After Shave Balm for Men, Sensitive Skin Moisturizer with Oatmeal and Green Tea – Best Aftershave Balm for Sensitive Skin
If you have itchy skin prone to soreness or redness, this product may be for you.
This product from Proraso, which has been in business since 1908, has ‘Balsamo Dopobarba: Pelli Sensibili’ on the front, which translates roughly to ‘Balm Aftershave for Sensitive Skin.’
As the title says, this aftershave contains oatmeal and green tea extract, which lubricates and soothes. To help that sensitive skin, this aftershave balm by Proraso does not contain alcohol, which helps ease the irritation during or post-shave.
Infused with natural antioxidants, it improves the skin’s health, protecting it from damage. Also, it doesn’t affect your skin’s pH balance and won’t clog pores.
This balm is a refreshing, lightweight cream that quickly absorbs into the skin and does not contain artificial colors or harmful chemicals.
While the product has hints of lime and apple, a few customers have commented the scent wasn’t pleasing, and they still suffered razor burns even though they had sensitive skin.
Price: $16 for 3.4 fl. oz.
2. Proraso After Shave Balm, Protective and Moisturizing with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E – Best Aftershave Balm for Dry Skin
This one has ‘Balsamo Dopobarba: Protettivo’ on the front, which translates roughly to ‘Aftershave Balm: Protective.’
This balm lives up to its name for those who prefer close and comfortable shaves: protecting and moisturizing with Vitamin E and hydrating with aloe vera to soothe and hydrate those with dry, rough skin.
This balm offers a spicy fragrance with notes of amber and musk.
This product contains Almond oil, so those with nut allergies should be cautious.
This product is beneficial for dry skin due to the shea oil ingredient. However, those with oily skin may want to look elsewhere as this ingredient has oleic acid, which adds to the naturally produced oils, and can clog pores.
Price: $16 for 3.4. fl. oz.
3. Baxter of California Aftershave Balm – Best Aftershave Balm for Aging Skin
This product from Baxter of California, which has been in business since 1965, also offers an alcohol-free balm.
The Tea tree oil ingredient brings antiseptic and menthol cooling properties, while the aloe vera calms any irritated skin.
Baxter of California markets this product for not only aging skin types but all skin types; this balm is alcohol-free but has tea tree oil as an ingredient. Hence, this product may interest shavers with oily skin as it helps reduce those oils and acne-prone skin.
Individuals with dry skin can also use this aftershave balm, but too many facial applications may cause irritations due to the tea tree oil ingredient.
The glycerin ingredient aids your skin’s natural moisturizing qualities, and allantoin adds to the fight towards signs of aging, retaining an older gents’ youthful looks.
Also, there is a hint of lemon scent. It doesn’t overpower however, and fades after 10 minutes of applying to the face.
Overall, I haven’t found any negative reviews or reactions to this balm. Based on the skin types it is marketed for, this is a great starting balm whether you want to use it for your acne-prone skin, oily skin, or for aging gracefully.
Price: $20 for 4 oz.
4. L’Occitane Soothing Cade After Shave Balm – Best Aftershave Balm for Razor Burns or Nicks and Breakouts
L’Occitane is a French company that has been in business since 1976.
Their product is a blend of shea butter and birchwood sap extract, which helps resist redness, razor burn, and feelings of tightness. A combination of juniper, sandalwood, immortelle, and rosemary purifies the skin.
L’Occitane’s balm also hydrates and soothes the skin after shaving while purifying the skin to clean those areas affected by nicks or breakouts.
Individuals with dry or flaky skin may enjoy the nourishing, moisturizing shea butter ingredient rich in omega 6, complemented by the soothing omega-three.
There is also a gentle aroma of lavender mixed with smoky burned wood, which leaves you smelling great all day and not feeling greasy under a heavy coating of moisturizer post-shave.
With that said, L’Occitane changed the formula for this particular balm, which did not go over well with some consumers. Some have commented negatively on the scent and the consistency, though it enjoys wide popularity.
Price: $34 for 2.5 fl. oz.
5. Harry’s Post-Shave Balm with Aloe – Best Aftershave Balm for Combination, Dry, and Sensitive Skin
Yet, another well-known brand in the shaving world, Harry’s has been creating skincare products exclusively for men for years.
This quick-drying balm soaks in and locks in moisture, and is a jack-of-all-trades aftershave balm that works for multiple skin types, save for oily skin.
For those men with dry or combination skin levels, the aloe vera moisturizes dry skin and cools inflammation.
Harry’s Post-Shave Balm is also great for men with sensitive skin. It’s free of ingredients such as dyes, parabens, and formaldehyde, so the balm is void of any irritants known for skin aggravation.
How about fragrances? Well, Harry’s Post-Shave Balm has a combination of amber and lavender.
The price is also a selling point, the lowest I’ve seen for a name-brand aftershave balm.
Price: $8 for a single 3.4 fl. oz. bottle
What to Look for In Your Aftershave Balm
Here’s what you need to know before you buy your aftershave balm and improve your gents skincare routine:
What is the difference between balms and other aftershave products like splash, lotion, and gels?
Some online articles mix balms with lotions and gels when they are different things you put on your face or neck after shaving. These aftershave products are not only marketed differently, but they affect your skin differently.
One of the best men’s aftershave products is the balm. It has a mild smell or scent that only lasts temporarily. Depending on your preference, you can also find unscented products that won’t clash with your cologne.
Some aftershave balms contain alcohol but are usually alcohol-free. The alcohol-free product lessens the adverse effects of burns caused by razors after shaving. Alcohol-free creams are best for men with dry or sensitive skin or those living in cold or dry climates. Balms act as a lotion and moisturize the skin while restoring essential oils.
However, aftershave balms tend not to be the best option for people with oily skin. Excess skin oil can lead to an exaggeration of problems associated with oily skin (e.g. acne).
There are options, albeit limited, for those with oily skin. Those products usually have tea tree oil in the ingredients.
Aftershave splash is an effective option for those with oily skin types who can withstand the slight dryness from splashes that use alcohol.
Think Macaulay Culkin from the 1990s Home Alone movie or those commercials featuring the man rubbing his hands together with aftershave liquid and slapping his face after a shave.
Splashes have a more watery feeling and generally contain a combination of ingredients that cleanse and provide a degree of antiseptic or antibacterial protection, making it a great option if you get nicks or cuts during shaving. They are more popular with oily skin or those who live in hot, humid climates.
Aftershave lotion has a more pungent scent than the others.
Aside from being strong, the fragrance is also long-lasting, making it a great alternative to cologne. Aftershave lotion also has skin-toning properties, helps tighten your pores after you shave, and is compatible with those who have oily skin.
Similar to aftershave lotion, gel cools down your skin. It also lessens the risk of razor burns. Another advantage is that the skin quickly absorbs the gel; however, it doesn’t work fully regarding moisturizing your skin.
That makes it ideal in places with humid climates if your skin quickly and easily absorbs gel, especially if you tend to sweat right after shaving.
How Will Balms Affect Your Skin?
In this article, some of the top ingredients for promoting skin healing in aftershave balms include aloe vera and jojoba oil. Vitamin E is another effective ingredient that specifically reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
As aforementioned, people with sensitive, dry, or oily skin should avoid products containing too much alcohol. An aftershave balm with antiseptic ingredients can help reduce severe acne and clear any spots caused by razor glides.
Tea tree oil is for individuals with oily skin. Some benefits are:
- Smoother skin
- Reducing dryness (if used daily)
- Soothing dry and irritated skin, moisturizing and reducing flakiness.
- Maintaining your skin’s oil balance, removing the surface oil without drying it out
- Preventing skin irritation caused by excessive oil production.
Don’t worry about tea tree oil making your skin even more so for those with oily skin. Tea tree doesn’t act like a typical oil and won’t add to oils generated by your body.
Eucalyptus contains antibacterial properties and helps in neutralizing any possible bacterial infection. Best for individuals experiencing infections or spots post-shave.
If you are prone to razor burns, menthol is where you get that cooling sensation to calm your skin after shaving, relieving discomfort.
Glycerin contains plenty of moisturizing properties, making it perfect for dry skin.
Vitamin E strengthens your skin and speeds up healing dehydrated skin. It repairs damaged skin cells, especially those that come as shaving results.
This ingredient has insect-repellent properties, preventing insects from coming in direct contact with your skin. This ingredient is mainly for those who react negatively to being bitten by an insect.
Aloe vera soothes the skin and helps deal with skin irritation.
Different Skin Types: How to best use aftershave balm
Depending on your skin type, you want to make sure you’re using the best men’s aftershave balm. For example, oily skin should moisturize, just not with anything heavy.
If you have skin that appears evenly textured, smooth, clear, and healthy, with barely visible pores and without blemishes or spots, you could probably use any mild aftershave balm.
What if you have a central greasy area? Such as around the forehead, or nose, or around your chin but a dry area around the cheeks? Then you have combination skin.
You can use products designed specifically for combination skin or apply the correct products to the relevant area of your face—for example, applying dry skin products around the dry areas and oil-free products for the other regions.
You want something that revitalizes your skin type. Hence, a moisturizer that acts as an anti-aging agent.
You may itch, sting, or break out when using certain shaving or skincare products. Hence, you’ll want to try to use aftershave and other products specifically made for sensitive skin.
You might also want to avoid alcohol-based products that might cause your skin to get burned.
If you have skin that appears rough, or is dull or cracked with lines and wrinkles, and prone to peeling, a moisturizing aftershave balm would work well here. A moisturizer would be especially effective in dry or cold climates.
Shiny skin that has oily residue when you touch it would benefit from balms explicitly geared for oily skin, especially as aftershave balms towards that skin type are not typical.
Men’s Aftershave Balm Price
This one should be obvious. You have to determine which one gives you the most bang for your bucks. This decision includes the fragrance (i.e., how this balm smells to me) and suitability for your skin type.
Are You Ready to Find Your Aftershave Balm?
This article will get you started finding the best men’s aftershave balm. As stated previously, the price will be a significant factor in your choice, along with seeking the best aftershave balm for your skin type.
Other things that may affect your journey to find the best aftershave balm are the brand and the fragrance.
Baxter of California’s aftershave balm is all skin types, primarily those with aging skin. This balm is also suitable for those with oily skin. Most importantly, I’ve personally not come across any negative reviews (or have read about adverse skin reactions) to this product which sells for $20.
Baxter is a good starting balm for your aftershave routine.
Harry’s Post-Shave Balm with Aloe is another aftershave balm for all skin types, save for those with oily skin. It is also a draw due to the $8 price tag for a single bottle. This balm, too, is a good starting point for shavers.
You can buy these two aftershave balms and others mentioned in this article. It’s up to you, now, to find the best aftershave balm that targets your needs. A cream that has not only your wallet thanking you later, but your skin.
Have sensitive skin or looking for a signature scent? Check out our other guides below: