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Best Aftershaves

To succeed at shaving, men need to consider the before, during, and after in equal measure. For example, prep the skin with warm water, apply your shaving product like cream, and use a sharp razor. Post-shave steps are often neglected, but one of the essential products a man can use is a quality aftershave.

Aftershaves come in many different types, including splashes, lotions, and balms. Below we share their fundamental differences and a list of some of the best aftershaves currently available.

Aftershaves Compared

RankingAftershaveSize (ounces)ScentTypePricePrice per OunceAwardRating
1Baxter of California Aftershave Balm4Light and FreshAftershave Balm$14$3.50Best Overall99.1
2Duke Cannon Cooling After-Shave Balm6SandalwoodAftershave Balm$15$2.50Invigorating98.4
3Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel3.3Fragrance-FreeAftershave Gel$21$6.36Gel97.5
4DIOR Sauvage After-Shave Lotion3.4Fresh and woody undertoneAftershave Lotion$65$19.12For Gift Giving96.1
5Clubman Pinaud Virgin Island Bay Rum Aftershave12Sweet, Spicy, and tropicalAftershave Splash$13$1.08Bay Rum95.3
6NIVEA Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm3.3Light & FreshAftershave Balm$17$5.15For Sensitive Skin94.7
7Pre de Provence After Shave Balm2.5Fresh, CitrusAftershave Balm$13$5.20For Dry Skin93.8
8Proraso After Shave Lotion3.4Bright, Methol & EucalyptusAftershave Lotion$14$4.12Splash92.9
9Reuzel Aftershave3.38Citrus & SandalwoodAftershave Splash$11$3.25Trending91.6
10Czech & Speake No. 88 Aftershave Splash3.3Wood & MossAftershave Splash$178$53.94Luxury Upgrade91.5
11Pre de Provence No. 63 Men’s After Shave Balm2.5Warm & SpicyAftershave Balm$22$8.80For Ingrown Hairs91.2

Best Aftershaves of 2023:

Here’s our list of the top aftershaves currently available:

Baxter of California Aftershave Balm

Best Overall
Baxter of California Men's After Shave Balm for...

Baxter of California is a premium men’s grooming company that has been in business since 1965.  While acquired by L’Oreal in 2012, they continue on the mission of making uncompromising grooming products. 

Their aftershave balm, although pricey, is well-made.  It has been designed to focus solely on nourishing and soothing the most irritated skin.  Relying on a blend of aloe vera, allantoin, tea tree oil, menthol, and glycerin, you can expect a luxurious slick texture that will tone and cool your skin upon application.

However, men with highly sensitive skin may want to consider another aftershave as some ingredients may irritate – particularly the tea tree oil.

The balm is alcohol-free, so it will never sting, even when applied to severe razor burn.  Lastly, you can expect a light and fresh scent.

What customers are saying: Many customers praise this aftershave balm for its great smell, moisturizing properties, and the comfortable feeling it provides on the skin. Some have issues with the price and packaging, but overall it seems to be a highly favored product. The cooling effect, however, might not be as strong as expected for some users.

Key Facts:

  • Size: 4oz.
  • Does it sting? No
  • Scent: Light and Fresh
  • Type: Aftershave Balm


  • Nourishing and soothing
  • Luxurious texture
  • Tones and cools skin


  • Some ingredients may irritate sensitive skin
  • Pricey

Duke Cannon Cooling After-Shave Balm

Duke Cannon Ice Cold After-Shave for Men, 6 fl...

Duke Cannon isn’t only a great company that gives back to the men and women that served in the United States military, but they also make tried-and-true grooming products such as their “Big Ass Brick of Soap”.

The cooling aftershave balm reviewed, we think, is best suited for men who love an invigorating start to their day.  

The menthol-heavy formula is bright and will give your pores that pleasant but non-stinging sensation.

Also added to the aftershave balm is shea butter, which is naturally non-comedogenic and a highly effective moisturizer for your skin. Lastly, the addition of sandalwood fragrance provides a classic barbershop smell to finish things off.

Altogether the formula will soothe razor burn while also reducing redness or tightness.

At $15 and 6oz., the aftershave balm is fairly priced but does have some travel limitations.

Made in the USA, and a portion of the proceeds benefit U.S. Veterans, what’s not to love about this aftershave balm?

What customers are saying: The aftershave receives high praise for its positive effects on sensitive skin, providing comfort without irritation or stinging. Customers appreciate the clean, mild fragrance and that proceeds from the sales support disabled veterans.

Key Facts:

  • Size: 6oz.
  • Does it sting? No
  • Scent: Sandalwood
  • Type: Aftershave Balm


  • Invigorating and cooling formula moisturizes well
  • It is fairly priced


  • Large container isn’t suitable for road warriors
  • The scent is a bit polarizing

Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel

Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel, 3.3 Fl Oz (Pack...

Jack Black, owned by Edgewell (Schick, Cremo, Bulldog, Wilkinson Sword, and more), is a prestige beauty line for men who prefer luxury and mostly naturally-derived grooming products.  

While expensive ($20 per bottle), the Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel is a light aftershave that will soothe and cool your skin post-shave. 

The formula relies on aloe leaf, sage, lavender, rosemary, chamomile, balm mint, and more.  All of which should reduce post-shave redness and provide necessary moisture to your skin.  There are no added fragrances to the aftershave, making it a consideration should you have sensitive skin or want to apply a cologne or body spray. 

For consistency, this aftershave is a gel formula.  While not as silky-smooth as some other balms reviewed, it should feel much lighter in weight when applied.  For value, you can expect the travel-friendly 3.3oz container to last you two months before replacement.

Key Facts:

  • Size: 3.3oz
  • Does it sting? No
  • Scent: Fragrance-Free (has a very light fresh scent)
  • Type: Aftershave Gel


  • Lightweight gel that nourishes the skin
  • The fragrance-free formula is suitable for sensitive skin
  • Trusted brand name


  • Expensive
  • Some may prefer a richer texture instead of a gel

DIOR Sauvage After-Shave Lotion

For Gift Giving
Christian Dior Sauvage After-Shave Lotion, 3.4...

Sauvage is a popular men’s brand by the French luxury fashion house Dior.  What makes the Sauvage line so unique is the scent.  Striking a light and fresh scent with a woody undertone, Sauvage is a versatile fragrance without overpowering the nose.  

Packaged in a weighted glass bottle, we think this aftershave is a top consideration for gift giving.  Plus, the 3.4oz size makes it a travel-friendly aftershave as well.

Know that the Sauvage Aftershave Lotion does rely on an alcohol base.  Therefore, if you are too aggressive with the razor or accidentally cut yourself, it will sting upon application.  However, you can expect this aftershave to be highly effective at disinfecting the skin’s surface.

Should you be looking for some added moisture or nourishment, consider the Sauvage Aftershave Balm instead.

Lastly, Sauvage is $60, making it one of the most pricy aftershave products on the market.

What customers are saying: Many customers are happy with the aftershave’s scent, particularly mentioning that their wives love it. However, some customers have expressed dissatisfaction with its strength, and there are a few reports of potentially fake products with little or no scent.

Key Facts:

  • Size: 3.4oz
  • Does it sting? Yes
  • Scent: Fresh and woody undertone
  • Type: Aftershave Lotion


  • Luxury packaging makes it ideal for gift giving
  • Unique scent that is light and fresh with a woody undertone
  • Travel-friendly 3.4oz size


  • The alcohol base may not be ideal for everyone

Clubman Pinaud Virgin Island Bay Rum Aftershave

Bay Rum
Clubman Pinaud Virgin Island Bay Rum Cologne, 12...

Some of the earliest aftershaves documented were developed in Saint Thomas in what is now part of the U.S. Virgin Islands (source).  Made from the leaves of the West Indian bay trees and mixed with rum, bay rum is a potent aftershave that disinfects a freshly shaved face.

While not as popular as it once was in the late 1800s and early 1900s, bay rum remains a fixture in the wet shaving enthusiasts’ repertoire.  However, modern bay rum is fundamentally different from its original recipe and no longer contains real rum (likely due to legal reasons).  

Relying on a specially denatured (SD) alcohol base along with a synthetic fragrance, this aftershave provides sweet and spicy notes when applied post-shave.  Additionally, this aftershave has some skin toning benefits with regular application.

Of course, given the alcoholic base, the aftershave is an effective disinfectant that will sting when it comes in contact with open wounds or raw skin.  If you are confident in your shaving abilities and use aftershave for both cleaning and fragrance purposes, then it’s a winner. 

At 12oz and retailing at $16 ($1.33/oz), it’s a great value option compared to other aftershave splashes.

What customers are saying: Most customers are satisfied with the aftershave, enjoying its scent and reminiscing of favorite memories. Some mention that the smell doesn’t last long and there’s a mixed opinion on the quality of the fragrance. A few customers expressed disappointment with the scent and packaging.

Key Facts:

  • Size: 12oz
  • Does it sting? Yes
  • Scent: Sweet, Spicy, and tropical
  • Type: Aftershave Splash


  • A solution that tones the skin
  • Great value buy as well
  • Can be used as a disinfectant


  • Will sting when applied to open wounds or raw skin
  • Contains SD alcohol (not everyone’s favorite ingredient)

NIVEA Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm

For Sensitive Skin
NIVEA MEN Sensitive Post Shave Balm with Vitamin...

NIVEA’s Post Shave Balm is a tried and true aftershave that quickly soothes the skin and provides relief of skin irritation or razor burn.

The silk-like formula quickly absorbs into the skin and provides necessary nourishment and hydration that restores your skin’s moisture barrier. So whether shaving your face, head, body, groin, etc., you can apply the sensitive skin-focused formula anywhere without having to worry about irritation or flareups.

Widely available online and in drugstores, it’s one of the few aftershave balms on our list that you can buy locally today.

Lastly, the NIVEA Post Shave Balm is packaged in a 3.3oz (travel-friendly) solid glass container; it doesn’t feel nor look poorly made despite only retailing for about $5 per bottle.

What customers are saying: Some customers express dissatisfaction with the product, stating that the formula has changed and now has a higher viscosity, making it difficult to apply and leaving residue. However, others enjoy the soothing effects, the pleasant scent, and the value of the multipack.

Key Facts:

  • Size: 3.3oz
  • Does it sting? No
  • Scent: Light & Fresh
  • Type: Aftershave Balm


  • Silky smooth formula that’s quick to absorb
  • Skin-nourishing and hydrating
  • Great for sensitive skin


  • Available in stores
  • Reasonably priced

Pre de Provence After Shave Balm

For Dry Skin
Pre de Provence Shea Butter Enriched Men's After...

If you are looking for a rich conditioning product and one that provides post-shave relief of razor burn, you should move the Pre de Provence After Shave Balm to the top of your consideration list.

What makes this balm so much better than many others available is the reliance on a blend of shea butter and aloe vera.  Shea butter, which is naturally non-comedogenic, is a rich moisturizing agent that will not clog your pores – making it suitable for all skin types. In addition, the aloe vera will provide instant relief to any post-shave irritation you may be experiencing.

The Pre de Provence After Shave Balm has a bright and fresh scent with some citrus top notes. 

If you want to enhance the grooming routine, Pre de Provence makes many other complementary grooming products, including shaving cream, body wash, body lotion, and bar soap.

Lastly, the aftershave balm is made in France.

What customers are saying: People praise this aftershave balm for its non-overpowering scent, ability to soothe facial discomfort, and quick absorption without leaving an oily residue. Many customers also appreciate its reasonable price and consider it a good alternative to more expensive brands. However, some find it overpriced for the quality offered.

Key Facts:

  • Size: 2.5oz.
  • Does it sting? No
  • Scent: Fresh, Citrus
  • Type: Aftershave Balm


  • The main ingredients – shea butter and aloe vera – are both excellent for the skin
  • Refreshing scent
  • Made in France


  • Chemical-based fragrance
  • Small size

Proraso After Shave Lotion

Proraso After Shave Lotion for Men, Refreshing and...

Proraso is an Italian grooming company that has been in business since 1908.  A highly respected brand among wet shaving enthusiasts, Proraso makes traditional and reliable shaving products.

Relying on an alcohol and witch hazel base, the Proraso After Shave Lotion will quickly disinfect and tone your skin.

Proraso smartly included castor oil and glycerin to prevent dryness, which are natural humectants (meaning that they help your skin retain moisture).  

Like the Proraso Green Label Shaving Cream we recently reviewed, you can expect the Proraso After Shave Lotion to deliver a lovely invigorating scent thanks to the inclusion of eucalyptus and menthol.

Lastly, the aftershave is 3.4oz in size and priced at $14 a bottle (a bit expensive in our mind). 

Note: Consider the Proraso After Shave Balm if you want a non-stinging and moisturizing-focused formulation.

What customers are saying: Customers enjoy using this aftershave, mentioning its cooling effect on the skin and pleasant scent. However, some customers have noted that the scent doesn’t last long and the product may leave a waxy residue after drying. Overall, it has received positive reviews, especially from those with sensitive skin.

Key Facts:

  • Size: 3.4oz.
  • Does it sting? Yes 
  • Scent: Bright, Methol & Eucalyptus
  • Type: Aftershave Lotion


  • Disinfects and tones skin
  • Prevents dryness
  • Lovely invigorating scent


  • A larger size would be great
  • A bit on the expensive side

Reuzel Aftershave

Reuzel Wood and Spice Aftershave, End Your Shave...

Developed by the social media barbering sensation, schorembarbier, the Reuzel Aftershave is classic barbershop aftershave that quickly disinfects and tones the skin.

With an alcohol and witch hazel base, this aftershave splash is lightweight and perfect for the expert shaver. The bright citrus and masculine sandalwood notes provide a fresh and warm fragrance, making for a perfect start to the day. However, the scent is unimposing and will dissipate after a few hours.

At 3.38oz and $10.50 ($3.10/oz), it is reasonably priced and travels well.    

Despite the Holland roots, the Reuzel Aftershave is made in the USA.

What customers are saying: Customers enjoy the manly scent of this aftershave and praise its long-lasting effect, despite the small bottle size. However, there have been issues with leaks and lost contents during shipping, leading to disappointment for some customers.

Key Facts:

  • Size: 3.38oz
  • Does it sting? Yes
  • Scent: Citrus & Sandalwood
  • Type: Aftershave Splash


  • Reasonably priced
  • Travels well
  • Lightweight


  • Scent does not last long

Czech & Speake No. 88 Aftershave Splash

Luxury Upgrade
Czech & Speake No 88 After Shave (100ml)

If you want the gold standard in grooming products, and the price is the least of your concerns, then consider the Czech & Speake No. 88 Aftershave Splash.  Founded in 1978, London-based Czech & Speake is known worldwide for its signature scents and uncompromising products.

As part of the No. 88 line, this aftershave splash delivers a bergamot top note along with a vetiver and sandalwood base notes.  You can expect the fragrance to develop into a lovely woody and mossy blend.

The Czech & Speake No. 88 Aftershave Splash is alcohol-based and will sting on the tiniest cuts.  Consider this only if you can predictably perform a perfect shave.   

The glass bottle design is a bathroom countertop upgrade, and the shaker top makes for an easy and measured application.

What customers are saying: Customers love the scent of this aftershave, with some claiming it’s the best they’ve used in their lifetime. They appreciate the variety of scents available from the brand and even recommend it for women who enjoy the fragrance.

Key Facts:

  • Size: 3.3oz
  • Does it sting? Yes
  • Scent: Wood & Moss
  • Type: Aftershave Splash


  • Delivers on its promise of a luxurious and woody fragrance
  • Alcohol-based for a refreshing, clean sensation
  • Ideal for those who can consistently achieve a perfect shave


  • Not for those on a budget

Pre de Provence No. 63 Men’s After Shave Balm

For Ingrown Hairs
Pre de Provence No.63 Men's Collection, After...

Relying on a rich blend of shea butter, grapeseed oil, aloe vera, and allantoin, the Pre de Provence No. 63. After Shave Balm will keep your skin moisturized and less susceptible to post-shave razor burn and ingrown hairs.

The formula should be non-comedogenic, making it suitable for men of all skin types, including dry, oily, combination, and normal.  

The warm scent has spicy tones that will provide a subtle aroma that isn’t overpowering or off-putting.  Consider getting other shaving products in the No. 63 lineup for complementary scents and performance.

What customers are saying: Customers appreciate the aftershave’s great smell and how it feels on their skin. However, some find it expensive and have mixed opinions on its lathering abilities and the scent.

Key Facts:

  • Size: 2.5oz
  • Does it sting? No
  • Scent: Warm & Spicy
  • Type: Aftershave Balm


  • Spicy, warm scent is subtle and pleasant
  • Non-comedogenic formulation is suitable for all skin types
  • Relies on natural ingredients


  • Some users may prefer a stronger scent
  • May be more expensive than some other after shave balms on the market

First Time Buying Aftershave? Consider the Following

1. Alcohol vs. Alcohol-Free

While alcohol is an excellent astringent, applying it to an open wound or severe razor burn causes your skin to sting.  This can be quite painful, depending on the severity of the wound.  Additionally, alcohol will dry out your skin, which can lead to further irritation.

This is why many modern aftershaves are alcohol-free.  These alcohol-free aftershaves often rely on witch hazel as the primary astringent.

2. Skin Type

There are a few things to be mindful of for specific skin types when buying aftershave:

  • Dry Skin: Don’t use an alcohol-based formula.  This will cause further dryness and discomfort. Instead, consider using an aftershave balm.
  • Oily Skin: Some aftershaves contain rich conditioning agents, such as cocoa butter, avocado oil, jojoba oil, and more.  These ingredients may clog pores, leading to pimples or blackheads. Instead, consider using a lighter aftershave splash or a non-comedogenic aftershave balm.
  • Sensitive Skin: Many natural ingredients found in grooming products may irritate men with sensitive skin—patch test before applying.  Consider using a fragrant-free aftershave or one that has been specially formulated for sensitive skin.

3. Scent

The range of scents available in aftershaves varies. Typical scent profiles include fresh, invigorating, barbershop, and bay rum.  Scent is a highly personal choice and one that should be considered carefully.

Should you wear cologne, body spray, or another personal fragrance, consider an aftershave that compliments the scent; or simply go with a fragrant-free formula.  This will prevent the scent from clashing with other products you may be applying.

4. Aftershave Type

Aftershaves are available in three primary types: splashes, lotions, and balms. Splashes typically focus on disinfectant, astringent, and toning benefits, whereas lotions and balms focus on nourishment and moisturizing benefits.

If you intend on moisturizing your skin with a face cream once you have finished shaving, consider a splash.  If you don’t moisturize with a separate product, then go with an aftershave lotion or balm.

Further Reading: We wrote a primer about aftershave should you want to learn more about the nuances of this grooming product.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply aftershave?

Apply a small amount of aftershave to your palm and rub it into your skin. You can apply it to your entire face or just the areas that you shaved. Here’s a detailed guide on how to use aftershave.

How often should I apply aftershave?

It’s generally recommended that you apply aftershave once a day, after shaving as it will help to repair the skin and prevent irritation.


We hope that this list of aftershaves has helped you in your search for the perfect product. As with any skincare product, it’s important to test a small amount on your skin first to ensure that you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients. And remember, the right aftershave is the one that works for you!

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more.