Aftershave Balm Vs Lotion: The Real Difference For Beginners

Both aftershaves and lotions are used to make your face feel tingly and delightful after your most recent shave. They’ll tighten up your pores and reduce inflammation or irritation. Nothing’s more annoying than having inflamed skin after you’ve scraped all of your pesky whiskers away.

But which is better?

What is Aftershave Balm?

Aftershave balm is one of the few kinds of aftershave products that don’t have any alcohol. No alcohol means no stinging on open nicks and cuts! In fact, most aftershave balms have several carrier oils like coconut oil, castor oil or jojoba oil to soothe the skin and make your face feel downright pleasant after a shave.

Many of the best aftershave balms have witch hazel and other quality natural ingredients to repair your skin and restore your normal skin tone after shaving.

​However, you do have to be careful that you don’t use too much aftershave balm if you already have oily skin. You might make your skin shiny due to balms’ reliance on oils as key ingredients.


  • Super smooth
  • No pain when applied
  • Can moisturize your face


  • Harder to find in stores
  • Can exacerbate oily skin conditions

What is Aftershave Lotion?

Lotion, on the other hand, is immediately distinguished from other aftershaves since it’s oftentimes thicker and a little more immediately smoothing. Some lotions also contain alcohol, but it’s generally much less than their traditional aftershave splash counterparts.

​Lotions are great for soothing the skin and closing your pores after they’ve been opened for close shaving. Some lotions also have moisturizers to rejuvenate and rehydrate your skin after it’s been dried out from shaving cream or soap. They can be exceptional choices if you’re a guy with dry or sensitive skin.


  • Retains "manly" tinging feeling
  • Can moisturize
  • Can act as a mild antiseptic


  • Less common
  • Might cause a little discomfort with nicks/cuts

What’s the Difference?

Overall, the biggest difference between aftershave balm and lotion is in feel. Aftershave balm is oilier and smoother than the other two types of aftershave products. As a result, it’ll make your skin feel a lot smoother to the touch. It does lack an antiseptic for cuts, but there’s also no pain, so it’s a good tradeoff.

Aftershave lotion is thicker and can be soothing as well, although many types contain a little alcohol. This produces a slight tingling effect that many men prefer in their aftershave. Some lotions also contain moisturizers help with dry skin.

Some Great Aftershave Balms

Proraso After Shave Balm, Protective and...
  • After Shave Balm moisturizes and strengthens your skin

NIVEA MEN Sensitive Post Shave Balm with Vitamin...
  • Soothes Sensitive Skin: NIVEA MEN post shave balm soothes and moisturizes sensitive skin after...

Best After-shave Balm, Sandalwood Scent, Premium...
  • CALMS IRRITATION and eliminates razor burn. Lather & Wood aftershave balm gives unsurpassed cooling...

Some Excellent Aftershave Lotions

Brickell Men's Daily Essential Face Moisturizer...
  • What It Does: This light, fast-absorbing oil free facial moisturizer for men is packed with potent...

Aftershave for Men - Advanced After Shave 2-in-1...

Last update on 2022-07-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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