Forget After-Shave, Guys—Stop Ingrown Hairs in Their Tracks With These Post-Shave Products Instead

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The best post-shave products for men can help soothe your skin after a shave, prevent razor burn, and even stop ingrown hairs. Unfortunately, like most grooming and skincare products, not all post-shave products are created equal.

Your father or grandfather may have slapped on some old-school after-shave, maybe even relishing in the tingly sensation, and called it a day, but our shaving routines have since evolved. Traditional after-shaves contain skin-drying alcohol (look for ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, or ‘alcohol denat.’ in the ingredients list), which is a hard pass for many skincare obsessives. The modern man is all about capitalizing on hydration and moisturization, and that’s one reason old-school after-shaves are going extinct.

While you can still buy skin-tingling, alcohol-containing, cooling aftershave products (I’ve even recommended some in this guide), I generally prefer to stick with products containing skin-nourishing botanical ingredients. Instead of alcohol, many modern post-shave products for men use a combination of moisturizing ingredients, natural astringents, and antiseptics.

What Ingredients Should You Look for in After-Shave Products?

If you’re a fan of au natural botanicals like me, look for post-shave lotions, creams, gels, and balms packed with hydrating ingredients such as aloe vera or jojoba oil. And to avoid inflammation, irritation, and razor burn, look for ingredients with natural antiseptic properties, antioxidants, and vitamins.

Personally, I’ve found that I get the best results from men’s skincare products with witch hazel, a natural astringent with antiseptic properties. Chamomile is another natural antiseptic that calms and soothes your skin (ditto for willow herb extract). Products that combine ingredients like this into a single formula earn extra points for me.

Finally, if you are a fan of that old-school tingly, cooling effect, instead of alcohol, look for products that contain menthol, mint, or tea tree oil. These after-shave alternatives should help you reduce razor burn and tamp down on the irritation, bacteria, and inflammation that lead to ingrown hairs without drying out your skin and causing premature fine lines. Besides, applying these lotions, creams, and balms to freshly shaven skin just plain feels good.

I’ve tried many different shaving products and grooming brands over the years. So, if you’re looking for the best after-shave products to avoid ingrown hairs and razor burns, here’s what I recommend.

Best Drugstore Aftershave

Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm

This is one of my newest skincare finds. I love a good, affordable drugstore brand, and Nivea Men makes a soothing lotion that feels great on the skin after a shave. So far, it has helped me reduce bumps and ingrown hairs, and it contains ingredients I love, including vitamin E, chamomile, and witch hazel.

I like that it can be applied liberally (indeed, that’s what the label recommends), and it’s not so expensive that I worry about wasting it. Lastly, it absorbs and dries quickly, and it’s ideal for men with sensitive skin.

Buy Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm at Amazon, $20

Best Upgrade

Kiehl's Ultimate Razor Burn & Bump Relief

A longtime favorite of mine, Kiehl’s post-shave lotion has helped me avoid ingrown hairs for years. Although it is more expensive than most aftershave lotions, I save it for the occasions when I use a blade razor or disposable (as opposed to my usual foil shaver).

A little goes a long way, and it has a satisfying cooling effect without using ingredients like menthol. This formula uses a combination of witch hazel, aloe vera, lipo hydroxy acid (a form of salicylic acid), vitamin E, and willow herb extract. I should note that this product isn’t alcohol-free (it does contain denatured alcohol), but it’s still an effective moisturizer in my experience. It also has a classic barbershop fragrance, which I personally like.

Buy Kiehl's Ultimate Razor Burn & Bump Relief at Nordstrom, $26

Buy Kiehl's Ultimate Razor Burn & Bump Relief at Amazon, $26

Best Splurge

Claus Porto Musgo Real After-Shave Balm

If you’re looking for an old-school aftershave, skip the Clubman, Old Spice, and Aqua Velva for something more sophisticated. If you’re into luxe grooming products, you might already know Claus Porto, which has been producing soaps and balms from its Portuguese factory since 1887. The company is giving Mediterranean Summer vibes, and their classic soaps on a rope are always a smart purchase or grooming gift idea for guys.

The brand’s after-shave balm comes in its classic Musgo Real scent, which has notes of bergamot, lavender, vetiver, and musk. It’s a masculine, woody scent, and the balm skips alcohol in favor of shea butter and essential oils to calm irritated skin after a shave. It’s ideal for men with normal to dry skin types.

Buy Claus Porto Musgo Real After-Shave Balm at Amazon, $55

Best for Afro-Textured Hair

SheaMoisture Men After Shaving Cream

SheaMoisture has been quietly producing award-winning men’s grooming products for years now. If you have naturally curly or Afro-texture hair—or just love products with tea tree oil—try the brand’s affordable after-shave cream.

This formula uses tea tree oil, jojoba oil, and 3 percent azelaic acid to reduce razor bumps and ingrown hairs.

Buy SheaMoisture Men After Shaving Cream at Amazon, $11

Best Cooling After-Shave Product

Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel

If you’re into the classic tingly feeling, consider Jack Black’s alcohol-free and fragrance-free cooling gel. Not only does this formula use some of our favorite skin-calming ingredients—aloe leaf, sage, lavender, rosemary, chamomile, and witch hazel—but it also contains a mint balm. Whether you have oily skin, sensitive skin, or normal skin types, this post-shave product will soothe irritated skin after a shave. (Bonus: You can use it on face and neck sunburns as well.)

Buy Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel at Nordstrom, $23

Buy Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel at Amazon, $23


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