Well, now that I’ve been shaving for several decades, someone tell me what exactly after shave lotion is supposed to do, other than sting and make me smell pretty?
Secondly, what’s the difference between after shave and cologne? I just ran out of the former, but have a few bottles (gifts) of the latter. If I use colgne instead of after shave will something bad happen to me?
I was to understand that aftershave’s main non-cosmetic purpose is as an astringent, which helps tighten up pores after shaving opens them up, and as an antiseptic, so any little cuts you get while shaving don’t get infected.
Cologne would not necessarily have these qualities.
The alcohol in after-shave also has a cooling effect on the face, which may need it after being scraped raw. Check the ingredients in the cologne. If there is alcohol in it, use it as after-shave as well.
If skin has been scraped raw, alcohol is one of the last things it needs to get better. Cold water provides more cooling than evaporating room temperature alcohol and doesn’t damage living cells like alcohol does.
Ideally, it’s supposed to treat your skin and reduce any irritation that occurred during shaving. Alcohol is supposed to work as an astringent and antiseptic but as already pointed out, it’s really the last thing your face needs at that point. Menthol is sometimes used as a numbing agent. Fragrance is supposed to make you smell pretty. I just rinse my face with cold water to close the pores opened from the hot, wet shave and then I apply a unscented moisturizing balm such as Nivea.
If I want to smell pretty in addition to smelling clean, I will apply a little cologne (Quorum by Puig) behind my ears. But unless, you’re very close to me, you will never smell it.
I shave with lotion for a really smooth and easy yet close shave then don’t use anything else afterward. I don’t know anything about pores but I have no irritation, dryness or itchiness and I’m as handsome as they come!
(no cite available on that last part but I swear I saw it on Mythbusters).
My barber told me that aftershave is used to prevent itching. Old fashioned shaving cream was (is?) essentially soap. Shaving leaves a residue of soap behind which can cause itching. Aftershave (alcohol) removes the soap film & thus makes you itch-free.
I have no idea if that is true but it seems plausible to me.