The final week of our challenge to get a more enjoyable shave. Having previously looked at preparation, lathering, and razor technique, we finish–fittingly enough–with what you can do after the shave to make the experience more enjoyable, like using the right kind of aftershave.
After The Shave
After you have shaved you should rinse the area well to remove any lather residue that may have been left behind. Rinse with warm water first. Some people will soak a cotton pad with Witch Hazel and wipe the area clean as an additional measure. Then rinse with cool water.
Want to “ramp up” the enjoyment of your after-the-shave routine? Try this: wet a hand towel with water, ring out the excess, and place it in your freezer. After you have shaved and rinsed grab the towel, sprinkle on a few drops of your favorite cologne, and place it on the freshly-shaved area. This has the effect of helping to constrict your pores, disinfect the area (from the alcohol in the cologne), and it smells great!
Did you make a shaving mistake and pay for it with a nick, cut, or some razor burn? That can certainly cut down on the enjoyment of your shave! Luckily there are a few things you can do about it.
There are several ways to treat a nick or cut in small area. The classic styptic is made of aluminum sulfate (Aluminum sulfate is not an aluminum metal but rather a naturally occurring mineral). Another common spot nick treatment ingredient is aluminum chloride or one of its cousins like aluminum chorohydrate. You wet it then rub it against the nick or cut. Some products like add additional ingredients like aloe vera to make a more skin friendly, convenient product. Aluminum chlorohydrate is used in commercial antiperspirants so rubbing your finger on an antiperspirant stick then onto the nick could help. A couple other “in a pinch” ideas for spot treatment of nicks or cuts when nothing else is available include a bit of petroleum jelly or even lip balm.
What about solutions that are used on larger areas? These aren’t meant specifically as a nick or cut treatment but are useful for them anyway.
The classic face treatment for after shaving is using an alum block. Alum block is made up of potassium alum, another naturally occurring mineral. You wet the block and rub it all over the shaved area. It was primarily used for its antiseptic properties back in the day, but it is a mild astringent too so it’s useful for those little shaving weepers. If you have not nicked yourself you may experience a cold tingle. As is goes over a nick you may get a bit of a sting though. Allow the face to dry briefly then rinse off with cool water–you do not want to keep the mineral on your face due to it’s salty properties.
If you want more information about irritation treatments check out THIS Sharpologist post (with video)!
Aftershaves can be divided into two broad categories, splashes and balms. Splashes are watery and generally contain a combination of toners, astringents, and hydrosols to cleanse and provide a degree of antiseptic or antibacterial protection to the skin. They’re more popular with those with oily skin or in hot, humid climates. Balms have a thicker consistency, are heavier-feeling on the skin and typically provide more irritation relief and more moisturization to the skin (particularly in cold or dry climates).
Here is where you can get creative with the enjoyment of your shaving experience! Although some aftershave products do not have a scent, you can choose a product (or more than one!) with a scent that is the same as your shaving lather…or one that compliments the lather’s scent…or one that is completely different!
A lot more about aftershave products can be found in THIS Sharpologist post and video.
And this ends Sharpologist’s 30 Days To A More Enjoyable Shave. Be sure to leave your questions, suggestions, and experiences with getting a more enjoyable shave here for everyone to refer to!