After Shave Balm Vs Lotion: Is There A Difference?

Going clean-shaved has been a trend among men (young men mostly) — a close shave that gives us a professional look is a way to go for men. Yet, we all know what we could face after a shave, for example, nicks, itchiness, redness, and whatnot!

After a shave, the skin pores open up, leaving the skin dry, sensitive, and a way opened for bacteria — this becomes the reason for unhealthy and irritating skin.

When it comes to shaving, most of our thoughts are limited to shaving creams and razors, but that's not it. The grooming required after shaving is just as necessary. After every shave, your skin needs to be calmed, cooled, and moisturized. 

This article will cover different types of aftershave products, the differences between them, and how you can know which one is the perfect fit for your skin!

Types of Different Aftershave Products

When looking for aftershave products in the market, you will probably come across its two most common and popular types; lotions and balms. Splashes are like another variant of creams, we will also cover them in this article, but our main target will be balms and lotions.

Let's know more about them. 

Aftershave Balms

Aftershave balms mainly differ from lotions and splashes. They are usually composed of more natural ingredients and are thicker, creamier in shape than other aftershave products.

Because of their creamier and thicker texture, balms are mainly used by men with dry skin who need extra moisture to calm their skin after every shave.

Men who are just starting and do not know much about the techniques or products can go for balms since beginners are more prone to shaving issues. 

After they have been in this for long enough to choose for their own, they can switch to lotions or splashes accordingly; aftershave balms are always preferred though. 

Most of these balms contain natural ingredients like glycerin, allantoin, and Aloe Vera. They also carry different natural oils, namely, jojoba, castor, and coconut oils — jojoba oil imitates the normal sebum that our skin produces. 

Aftershave balms are the best option for dry and sensitive skin, but if you already have oily skin refrain from using balms in high amounts since it can give you an extra oily appearance because of the carrier oils it contains. 

But if you still notice the balms are making your skin excessively oily — switch to alcohol-free aftershave lotion.

Nevertheless, it depends on the skin type and how it will respond to different aftershave products — if you have sensitive skin prone to redness and itchiness. You go through it almost after every shave; go for aftershave balms. 

On the other hand, balms might give a soggy feeling to the face on oily skins.

That's the reason why aftershave lotions are a preferred option for men with oily skin.

Aftershave Lotion

Since aftershave balms can be too thick and moisturizing for some men, aftershave lotions are a balanced option for them.

These lotions are liquid and often alcohol-based; while most of the lotions are scented, you can also find some with absolutely no scent in the market — try them if you do not prefer the scented ones.

When you wash your face with warm water during a shave, your skin pores are left open. Which makes it easier for bacteria to slide in; other complications a man can face during a shave are razor cuts and nicks. And because of that, they are most likely to get the infection.

If that's the case, aftershave lotions are helpful here since they are usually antiseptic.

The antiseptic property in the lotion provides a significant benefit. When you get cut or open, your skin is most likely to get bacteria or, worse, infection.

Antiseptic closes the skin pores quickly to protect them from entering bacteria and reduce infection chances. Plus, antiseptic properties in a lotion help treat any cuts or nicks during a shave and reduce the odds of getting any infection.

The alcohol in lotions seals your skin pores quickly; this tightening process is also the reason for the slight tingling when you first apply the lotion to your face.

To prevent this sensation, some men use different formulas combined with lotion, which also becomes the reason for ingrown hair. You can use a double-edge razor that is gentle on your skin and won't likely cause any ingrown hair.

If you still experience ingrown hair, try switching to an aftershave balm or a lotion that does not contain alcohol. 

Take caution if you already have sensitive or dry skin; while alcohol is good for healthy skin, it naturally leaves your skin dry and can make it worse.

Luckily, aftershave lotions have improved throughout these years; you can also find creams in the market made for sensitive skin.

These lotions are alcohol-free and are easier on sensitive skins. 

Aftershave Splash

Aftershave splash is the easiest to distinguish between the three since its liquid texture is thinner and less creamy than a lotion.

Splashes are composed of 70% alcohol, and that's why it proves to be better than the other two alternatives when it comes to protecting the cuts and nicks from infection.

The tingling sensation you can feel with a splash might be slightly higher than that of a lotion because of the high alcohol and fragrance mix content. 

Although having this much alcohol content, a splash is not ideal for dry skins; men with dry skin should look for a splash with little to no alcohol or switch to another aftershave product.

Before using an aftershave splash, make sure to clean your skin from any dirt, hair, or any oils; wash your face with cold water to close opened skin pores for a better experience. 

Differences Between After Shave Balm and Lotion

There are many differences between balms and lotions regarding their ingredients, scents, etc., but the major one where any men can distinguish it is how they feel when applied.

As discussed earlier, aftershave balms are thicker and give the face a somewhat oily feeling. On the other hand, lotions do not provide you that 'oily' sensation since their absorption is quicker. 

Good For Sensitive Skin

Balms are great for sensitive and dry skin since it's moisturizing effect is higher than that of a lotion. Although not a good match for oily skin. 

Although balms lack antiseptic for cuts or nicks that might happen during a shave, a balm helps minus the pain, so that proves to be a good trade-off!

Suitable For Cuts And Nicks

Aftershave lotions and splashes are liquid-based and contain alcohol which is helpful against infection that can happen after any cuts. 

The tingling feeling that men feel after using the lotions is because of being antiseptic and containing alcohol.

If you have sensitive skin but want to use a lotion, try going for the alcohol-free ones. 

Scents and Consistency

If you are a man who is cautious about the strong scents before buying an aftershave product, balms can be a good choice for you since they contain subtle, non-strong, and likable fragrances.

However, if a strong scent does not bother you and you want less thick and less moist, you can go for lotions since they are less sticky and compelling but with a strong scent. 

Aftershave Balm Vs Lotion: Which One Should You Choose?

This question solely depends on your skin type; many men end up buying wrong aftershave products for them and are confused, leading to a love-hate relationship with these products. 

You might have known by now that these different products are made uniquely for different skin types; for example, if you have dry and sensitive skin, you should go for balms since they naturally help and keep your face moisturized, smooth prevent dryness.

While on the other hand, lotions are used mainly by men who most likely do not have sensitive or dry skin, as it contains alcohol and can make dry skin even more dehydrated. 

Aftershave lotions are also acne-prone skin and cuts and nicks since it contains antiseptic properties which close the skin pores quickly, so the chances of infection are also reduced.

Putting It All Together

And finally, these were different types of aftershave products; if one does not work for you, the other might! 

You have different options while choosing an aftershave product; you should definitely go for the one that suits your skin type to get the most of it.

Some Popular After Shave Products

Choosing a quality aftershave product is essential because not all are necessarily the best ones in the market. 

Here are some of the most used aftershave products.

Cremo Cooling Formula Post Shave Balm

Cremo Cooling Formula Post Shave Balm, Soothes,...
  • A soothing, moisturizing balm with added cooling ingredients such as menthol and tea tee oil to...

Pre de Provence Post Shave Balm

Pre de Provence No.63 Men's Collection, After...
  • CALMS & SOOTHES FOR THE PERFECT SKIN - Helps sooth skin irritation normally caused by shaving, soaps...

MARLOWE Post Shave Lotion

MARLOWE. No. 144 Post Shave Lotion for Men 6 Oz |...
  • CALM THE BURN: We crafted No. 144 Post Shave Lotion to calm and hydrate your freshly-shaven face (or...

Every Man Jack Post Shave Face Lotion

Every Man Jack Post Shave Face Lotion, Signature...
  • MADE WITH ALOE: Hydrate with Saignature Mint Face Lotion, containing aloe to provide necessary daily...

Grey Flannel After Shave Splash by Geoffrey Beene

Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene for Men, Eau De...
  • Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene for Men - 8 ounces EDT Splash


Every time you put the razor down after shaving, an aftershave product needs to be applied to help your post-shave skin by preventing any complications that could cause any irritation. However, every man's skin is different so are aftershave products.

There are different types of aftershave products in the market. They protect our vulnerable post-shave skin from bacteria harmful to the skin.

Since we all have different skin, it is better to choose the one that fits your skin best accordingly.

Last update on 2022-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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