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3 Face Cooling Aftershave Balms

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Cool It Down!

After the recent post on face freezing shaving creams and soaps I decided to turn my attention to cooling aftershave balms as well.  A cooling aftershave splash is easy–throw in enough alcohol and you’ll get the cold kick.  Of course these products–the AV’s, the Osage’s, the ‘Spices–all caution not to use it around open flame!  Getting a cooling effect out of a heavier “balm” product is a little trickier.  Here are three “mainstream” products (Artisan products?  That’s another post):
Nivea For Men Cool Kick Arctic Freeze

I think Nivea was going for a scent that reminds you of ice.  But to me it smells more like a kitchen freezer’s ice maker…a little “artificial.”  However the scent is mild and disappears quickly.  As does the cooling sensation.  I give it one ice cube.
Ingredients: Water, Alcohol Denat., Cyclomethicone, Glycerin, Methylpropanediol, Caffeine, Paullinia Cupana Seed Extract, Cyanomethylphenyl Menthane Carboxamide, Maltodextrin, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Fragrance, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Polyacrylate, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Dimethiconol, Phenoxyethanol, Blue 1.
Gillette Fusion ProSeries Intense Cooling Lotion

I had several people recommend I try this product.  Maybe their enthusiasm set my expectations too high because, while the performance was good, I was expecting more.  I couldn’t identify any specific scent.  The cooling sensation was nice but I would not describe it as “intense.”  It lasted a little longer than the Nivea but not by much.  One ice cube.
Ingredients: Water, Alcohol Denat, Glycerine, Cerapryl Isononanoate, Propylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Dimethicone, Panthenol, Fragrance, Menthyl Lactate, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carbomer, Dimethiconol, DMDM Hydantoin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Menthol, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium Edta, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbmate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice.
King Of Shaves Antibacterial Face Balm
King Of Shaves

This product is not available in the US and only has limited availability in the UK–Will King tells me that it will soon be replaced with another product.  I can only hope the new product will be as good as this one.  Although the somewhat “medicinal” scent (mainly tea tree I think) might not appeal to everyone the moisturizing performance is excellent and the cooling effect is much stronger and lasts longer than the other products on this list.  I give it two ice cubes!
Ingredients (partial): Aqua (water), Cyclopentasiloxane, Cannabis Sativa seed oil, Cetyl alcohol, Distarch phosphate, Glycerine, tea tree leaf oil, Panthenol, Allantoin, Menthol, Acrylates, Limonene, Sodium hydroxide, Phenoxyethenol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. I have been advocating old-school shaving for over 20 years and have been featured in major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Lifehacker. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

14 thoughts on “3 Face Cooling Aftershave Balms”

  1. I’m not a fan of any of those products… they are really industrial shave products with lackluster ingredients.
    If you want an easy way to add some freeze to your aftershave, you can simply buy a tube of 444 aftershave gel and cut it/mix with with your favorite lotion or balm… for that menthol effect

      1. better… I’m not sure; but it provides a very easy way to get ‘that cooling effect’ in whatever aftershave you are currently using and enjoying, without having to change aftershave products.

  2. You guys want a real hit of menthol? Just buy menthol crystals and put about 4 or 5 crystals in your favorite aftershave product and shake it up. Trust me, this is going to wake your ass up like nothing else has. It’s going to be SO hardcore that you’ll be washing it off within a minute.
    I can’t wait to try this.

    1. High levels of alcohol create an intense cooling sensation as they evaporate from your skin, it’s like when you use the ani-bacterial hand gels at hospitals your hands are left felling cool and fresh for while, but they can also be dried out by excessive use

  3. Not a big fan of the parabens in the King product though… Hopefully the new version removes that.

  4. And if you don’t like the way the King of Shaves balm feels on your face, you can smoke it! Nice that they include marijuana (a.k.a. cannabis) seed oil in there!
    Personally, I’m a big fan of Baxter of California Aftershave balm. Not the most intense menthol, but more than sufficient, and it has a very pleasant but not overbearing fragrance.
    Proraso pre- post- shave cream (it’s not a balm) gives lots of cooling menthol, though you can’t use much (or it gets very chalky on your face) and it’s not very moisturizing (I add a facial moisturizer after I apply it).

  5. A while back I was interested to try a face cooling ASB. I tried the Nivea Cool Kick and also found it to be weak; it caused a tingling (probably the Caffeine) sensation that lasted for about an hour, which I found extremely annoying. I tried it twice and each time, it clogged my pores. Haven’t tried the Gillette or King of Shaves. I tried this Lucky Tiger Vanishing Cream, found online, and have been pleased with the cooling results.

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