Sunday, April 19, 2015

On After-Shave Lotions, Potions, and Balms

I admit to thoroughly pedestrian taste when it comes to the subject of after-shave products. Completely low brow. In fact, if it weren't mostly alcohol based, I might be using Aqua Velva after-shave lotion because I've always liked its smell.

I sometimes use generic drug-store variety witch hazel as a mild astringent after my cool-water rinses. Yet the truth is I don't enjoy the smell of generic witch hazel.

The only after-shave lotion that I use occasionally, which also has astringent properties, is a tea-tree lotion with a pleasing citrus note that I got at my local Target department store. The drawback to this is that I usually follow it with some kind of balm or moisturizer, which overpowers the citrus scent of the lotion.

The balms that I use are only four -- all main stream. Two are by Gillette, the others by Nivea and Neutrogena. Of these four, I like the Nivea balm for sensitive skin the least; it is the most runny, and its bouquet is too girly for my taste -- like flowers or something. The Gillette balm in the white bottle is third in my preference, again because I don't like the smell as much as my preferred two.

My second favorite balm of the four is the Gillette brand in the blue bottle. Again it is the bouquet that determines its place in the heirarchy. The Gillette blue is masculine but just a bit strong. My favorite is the Neutrogena for sensitive skin, which has a fragrance that to my nose is just right.

The unifying quality to all these products is that they are either available on the shelf of my local drug store or Target department store.

What do you think, what are your favorites?

Happy shaving!


  1. My main staple is Nivea Sensitive Aftershave Balm.

    One thing I've read about is 444 aftershave balm and some mix it with normal aftershave (e.g. Aqua Velva). Apparently mixing it like that takes the sting out.

  2. Speick. It has witch hazel, but also doubles as a after shave lotion. Also has a great citrus smell.

  3. If the blue bottle Gillette is the Gillette series balm, try the Cool Wave splash. Same scent, just stronger ... More like a cologne than aftershave in strength, it has garnered great reviews on fragrance websites.