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Aftershave or post shave, it all means the same. But the word “balm” with “aftershave” can easily be confused for the traditional, antibacterial, alcoholic, stinging men’s perfumes of old days. Balms go further than mere aftershave splash-on lotions. They don’t sting and dry, on the contrary, they’re designed to calm, relax and moisturize your skin after enduring a sharp blade scraping over it. Dry sandpaper skin can feel irritated, itchy, tight and less flexible. The discomfort can last late into the day, especially razor bumps and burns. Balms help ease that unpleasant freshly shaven feeling, with a calm, soothing comfort.
Lather & Wood Aftershave Balm Sandalwood
This little beauty is shipped in a classic glass bottle that’s so small it can fit in a child’s hand, and only weighs 2 ounces. It’s made with natural ingredients, not thrifty chemicals to save on manufacturing costs for more profit. There’s no stinging alcohol. For those with curly beards prone to ingrown hairs, including the type that cause red swollen ingrown hair bumps, there’s some good news for you. Compared to so many other empty promises, there’s a lot blokes out there that swear by this stuff. It worked for them, and maybe it can work for you too.
This stuff really soothes so well, it even calms down razor burn, and leaves your face feeling smooth and softly moisturized, without a thick greasy look and feel. It goes on light and thin, absorbing into your skin leaving a natural, but well hydrated appearance. It has a macho sandalwood scent and despite the small bottle, it lasts long if you don’t overdo it. That shouldn’t be a problem thanks to the included pump spray. The scent lasts for hours, but it’s not an obnoxious in-your-face nuisance that stinks up a room, reeking for attention. This is American quality balm.
Nivea Men Post Shave Balm Sensitive / Cooling
The sensitive version of Nivea Post Shave Balm, is even more popular than the regular version, which didn’t even make the top five. It gives an instant soothing effect against the discomforts experienced from shaving. Skin improves gradually over time, becoming smoother and healthier in appearance. There’s no stinging alcohol. Used sparingly, it calms down razor burn, leaving your face softer and well moisturized, without a thick greasy look and feel. It goes on light and thin, and rapidly absorbs in your skin, with a scent well appreciated by many men. Over time it helps protect skin against razor burn.
Surprisingly a lot of women are using this men’s product as a budget makeup primer for their face. After foundation is applied over this balm, the manly scent is gone and there remains no obvious signs that a product intended for men was used as a cheap substitute for makeup primer. So this product has potential to compensate for the incredible lag behind Lather & Wood’s balm, by appealing to both men and women. Its’ sensitive formulation is designed to avoid causing skin allergic reactions such as acne breakouts. Unfortunately there’s no pump spray, so be careful pouring it out.
Proraso After Shave Balm Protective and Moisturizing
Aside from the usual moisturizing, and comfort soothing freshness that have become common standards for post shave balms, this affordable balm with classy high quality presentation, actually claims to strengthen skin, which is actually a very appealing trait for men. Proraso was established in Italy in 1948. Natural ingredients are included in this product, and no alcohol. It’s not greasy, and surprisingly neither thick nor thin. It’s a good moisturizer, and it’s effective against the sore discomfort of shaving. Less than a bean sized amount, can cover the beard zone. One woman even said she uses it for her legs.
It has a herbal smell that’s usually unnoticeable after it’s applied, but can still be smelt if someone gets close-up. A lot of men and women like the mild smell. It has a big effect on razor burn, and is effective for comforting post shaven skin. Not everyone is satisfied with its’ hydrating ability. If your face is a bit damp, it helps spread this stuff further without watering down the intended effect. There’s no pump spray or dispenser, so be careful pouring it out. The balm can be a bit slow to pour once the bottle becomes increasingly emptied.
Proraso After Shave Balm Sensitive Skin
The sensitive version of Proraso’s post shave balm is evenly priced and equally rated with the regular version, but not as popular. It doesn’t have the manly skin strengthening feature. It does provide some protective aid for skin, just like the regular version. It differs with soothing extracts from oatmeal and green tea. Some people find it absorbs quickly and easily into their skin, though the vendor recommends it needs to be gently rubbed in. It has a quick acting effect, and features a light apple mixed lime scent, which smells masculine, and doesn’t hang around like a bad odor.
Sadly for some skin types it’s a bit greasy, with a slightly oily look that somewhat shines. Yet it doesn’t feel like you have gunk on your face. Some skin types experience no oiliness at all from this balm. It’s also sensitive enough to prevent triggering acne, but whether this applies to all acne prone skin isn’t known. It doesn’t block-up pores, and soothes skin against razor burn and irritations to a high yet imperfect degree, while effectively hydrating and softening skin. It comes in a classic classy Proraso bottle, without dispenser or spray pump, just like the regular version.
Dove Men+Care Post Shave Balm Sensitive Plus
This balm doesn’t stick out much from the others here, that’s not to imply it’s inferior, but rather that it has the same common features with little more to offer. It moisturizes and relaxes skin from daily shaving irritation, including razor burn. It has no alcohol, and makes skin smoother and healthier looking. The highlights are an immediate comforting effect for some skin types, it’s not greasy or oily looking, has vitamin B5, and absorbs rapidly into skin. Eye contact should strictly be avoided. Though it’s called: “Sensitive Plus,” the vendor advises users should discontinue usage, if they experience irritation.
There’s no dispenser or pump spray, just like all the others in the top five, except the number one balm from Lather & Wood. Sadly a number of people are having problems finding stores that sell this balm. It is fragrance free, possibly to avoid adding extra ingredients which might trigger allergies in some people. Unfortunately having no special scent besides the boring smell of ingredients, can be disappointing for many who expect a cologne scented finishing touch after shaving. Especially considering some folk claim this stuff smells sour when dry.. But others love the smell, and it’s bargain priced.
What to Look For
You really ought to consider what you need and want. There’s no one-size-fits-all with post shave balms. Of course the balms have common traits like moisturizing and soothing skin against irritations like razor burn. But consider your other needs like whether your skin is sensitive and prone to blemishing acne breakouts or ingrown hairs, and the often associated red swollen bumps. Do you want a balm that’s not greasy or oily? Do you need a balm that will actually strengthen your skin? That’s a very appealing masculine trait from the Proraso balm, which unfortunately doesn’t appear in the sensitive version.
A dispenser or spray pump can help you get more mileage from your tiny bottle of balm. These balms are concentrated for sparing daily use, that can last over a month, if used as the manufacturers intended. If your wife uses it for her legs, which one buyer confessed, accept that it’s a small bottle not intended as a body moisturizer. Most of the reviewed balms are simply poured out into your hand, which means it’s easy to overdo it. Rather than pass up some fine varieties of balms, you could simply transfer your balm into a dispenser or spray.
Well ahead of the closest competitor was Lather & Wood, full of all natural ingredients. Natural and herbal ingredients are a trend reflective of the increasingly health conscious modern world, which is frustrated with rising health problems in recent decades. The modern world demands more choices than just stinging alcoholic perfumes that have dominated aftershaves for so long, leaving skin dry, rough and irritated for many men. Post shave balms have addressed these deficiencies, helping more blokes look and feel better than ever before.
As more people become aware of the benefits of post shave balms, their uses might expand. Already a lot of people are using them as moisturizers. Yes there’s many men that moisturize their whole face and neck with these balms. It wasn’t long ago, when moisturizers for men were generally unheard of, but now men are adapting the routine after seeing the benefits in their beard growth zone. Women are even sharing in with the men’s balms as body moisturizers and cheap makeup primers.