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  • Aftershave Splash or Balm: Why not Both?

    November 19, 2019 2 min read

    Aftershave Splash or Balm: Why not Both?

    No matter how sharp the razor, skin requires attending to after a shave; it’s simply barbaric not to apply a fragranced balm or splash.
    - Nathan Gareau, Shave Enthusiast.

    A shave is not over until the skin has been soothed from the trauma of a shave. A person’s face, legs and armpits are often left feeling tender and sensitive once the razor has been set down. When it comes to post-shave care, one has options. Balms, splashes, and alum blocks, each have their individual strengths and uses.

    A splash-style aftershave is a watery tonic of astringents, antiseptics and facial toners. Folks with oily skin or who live in humid environments would likely find a splash to their liking. They often contain something that serves as an antiseptic to cleanse any small nicks or cuts, or prevent acne and bumps, hence their trademarked sting. Skin that has been freshly ‘splashed’, feels tighter and more aware of its surroundings; a gentle breeze is more apparent and the sun that much warmer.

    Alternatively, a balm is often used to moisturize and relieve skin of irritation and is particularly useful for those in a cold and dry climate. Alcohol can be drying to the skin, so a balm can be used in addition to or instead of an alcohol splash. It will provide much-needed moisture to the skin, soothe redness and protect the skin while it heals from the shave. Apply it liberally at the very end of the shave, to any areas of the skin you have touched the razor to.

    An alum block is a crystal of mineral salts that is used after shaving to sanitize nicks and cuts and stop minor bleeding by constricting the blood vessels. People who complain of dry or sensitive skin might not appreciate its use as it would dry them out, but everyone else should give it a try. Alum blocks can also be used as an alternative to deodorant, who knew?

    Personally, I enjoy using both a splash of D.R. Harris Arlington or Crown Signature and the Castle Forbes Lime Balm after a 3-pass shave. The antibacterial and tingling splash deals with any embarrassing slip-ups or nicks while tightening up my skin. Afterwards, a generous dose of balm, to sooth and moisturize my freshly smooth face. A little of each makes me feel like I shaved using a feather instead of a sharpened piece of steel, even though my newly groomed face would tell otherwise.

    I find that if I skip a step, my shave feels incomplete. Just a splash leaves me feeling overly tight and sensitive to the environment. Just a balm leaves my face soft and too relaxed, doughy even, like an under baked dinner roll.

    At the end of the day, everyone’s skin is unique. Pay attention to how it feels after a shave and do something about it.

    Check out our selection of aftershaves here.