Aftershave. Go natural!

TGM MMXVI
The Garage Man

In today’s article I will cover aftershaves and their uses.

It is such a common item used by men everywhere in their grooming routine. Not just in the mornings but throughout the day. It is also a very personal thing as the scent associated with the aftershave is also often considered as part of a man’s signature in his personal style.

Here is a brief history:

Back in the day when men visited a barber as routine, his barber would use an alcohol based splash to kill off bacteria and minimize infections on their clients’ faces. These splashes were also scented.

As men started shaving at home they used these splashes themselves and it soon became part of the routine.

As time wore on men started caring more for their skin and this brought on a whole new spectrum of aftershave products. What follows is a small overview of the basics:

The two main differences in today’s world are alcohol and no-alcohol.

Traditionally and also more popular are aftershaves that use alcohol as their base. While alcohol is a good antiseptic and does close the pores in skin(astringent) it also causes the skin to dry out.

Alcohol free aftershaves use essential oils instead. The benefits of this are huge! Not only are essential oils antiseptic and anti-bacterial. They are also astringent. They also moisturize the skin, are naturally tolerated by your body because they are not synthetic and have a range of other therapeutic properties in varying degrees.

Alcohol may seem like the natural choice, but this is purely due to the historical and traditional usage. The alcohol is very harsh on skin and can actually cause ingrown hairs and aggravate razor burn! Essential oils are much more subtle and smooth, however some skin types might find a very fine layer of oil if not applied and absorbed properly.

So, when do you use your carefully selected aftershave? Just after shaving, but you can also use it when you go to bed. Using it just before bedtime allows the good skin care properties to nourish and moisturize your skin while you sleep, which is when your body does most of it’s self-repair business!

An aftershave should soothe, nourish, and moisturize the skin; stimulate cell regeneration; and help maintain clean, healthy skin.

Always check product labels carefully, look for all natural ingredients, and stay away from dyes and synthetic fragrances. They can cause skin irritations and allergic reactions. On the other hand, natural ingredients such as plant and mineral extracts, nut and vegetable oils, wax and essential oils, are biodegradable and work in harmony with the body’s natural functions and cycles.

Good ingredients to look out for are:

Shea butter

Natural oils like: avocado, coconut, grape seed, macadamia, almond, hazelnut, olive or jojoba.

Essential oils like: lavender, rose or orange.

Lastly, what is the difference between aftershave, cologne and eau de toilette?

It is simply a reference to the concentration of the scent, or perfume base, used in the product. The highest concentration is in perfume, followed by eau de parfum, eau de toilette and then eau de cologne. The lowest concentration of scented oils is found in aftershaves.

I hope you enjoyed this article and find it useful, drop me a mail or leave a comment.

I’ll be happy to hear from you.

Until next week, cheers!

Andre – The Garage Man

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