Well, you’ve done it. You’ve finished your first wet shave with a double edge safety razor. Shaving is traumatic to your skin. You’ve done everything you can to minimize the damage, but realistically, you’ve just scraped your face with a super sharp razor blade. You’ve opened up your pores with all that hot water to get the best shave possible, so now what you’ll need to do is close those pores up, treat any lingering nicks and cuts, and then condition your face.
Check Your Shave & Repair Nicks
Alum has been used for about 4000 years. It’s great for conditioning and toning the skin, and is even a natural deodorant. For wet shavers, it does a couple of other things. Alum causes the skin to contract, and that causes small nicks and cuts to stop bleeding.
If you’re new to wet shaving, or if you’re trying a new razor and/or blade combination, you can use an alum block to check your shave. As you rub the alum block over your freshly shaved face, you’ll notice a very slight sting as you go over unseen nicks and cuts. That’ll help you improve your technique by taking more care in those areas, or give you feedback on how your new shave equipment performed.
After-Shave Conditioners and Moisturizers
After Shave Splash
When you were a kid, if you were anything like me, you used an aftershave splash when you used your Grandpa’s old spice. That burning sensation on your face when using aftershave was because it contains mostly alcohol. Before there was special stuff for shaving, men would just rub some alcohol on their face to sterilize it. It also has the added benefit of closing up those pores that we worked so hard to open up during our pre-shave prep work.
If you want to save a few bucks and avoid the burning of an after shave splash, I recommend you use Witch Hazel right after your shave. Witch hazel tightens the skin and closes up the pores like the splash. You can get it for about $2 at the drug store, and it doesn’t have a lasting scent.
I recommend using witch hazel followed by a balm or lotion.
Aftershave Lotions, Creams, & Balms
These aftershaves are similar to splashes, but instead of being based fully on alcohol they will contain moisturizing oils. Some still contain alcohol. You can tell the difference by viscosity. The cream is thick, and you’ll have to rub it in. A lotion is the same consistency as other hand and body lotions. A balm is thinner than the lotion, but still not watery like a splash.