How to pick the best aftershave for your other half
Choosing one’s own body care products can be a daunting enough task, so picking the right products for loved ones is even more taxing. While there are a myriad of choices, it is never an easy job to pick an aftershave for your other half – so, the next time you want to surprise your partner, our gentleman’s guide to picking the perfect aftershave will help smoothen the task.
Know the types
Before you head out to splurge on aftershave, it’s a good idea to know the different types available and their purpose. Aftershave is generally formulated to relieve irritation, protect your skin from dirt and bacterial infection and to moisturise your skin. However, depending on the type of aftershave, each function is addressed differently.
The two main types of aftershave are splashes and balms. Splashes have a water-based formulation and normally contain a mixture of toners, astringents and hydrosols. This combination not only cleanses the skin but also offers antibacterial and antiseptic properties. They are designed for oily skin and hot and humid climates. Balms, on the other hand, offer a heavier lotion, cream, butter, or petroleum jelly consistency. They are particularly formulated to offer relief to the skin as well as to moisturise it, and they are perfect for cold and dry climates. This is not to say, however, that one will not encounter a cross-over of ingredients in both aftershave splashes and balms.
Know your loved one’s skin type
Knowing the skin type of your loved one allows you to pick an aftershave that is specifically formulated for them. In general, there are five skin types: normal, sensitive, dry, oily and combination.
Normal skin has an evenly textured, smooth and healthy surface. With normal skin, you are less likely to see any visible pores or blemishes. While you can usually apply most products onto normal skin, you should always be careful, and be so consistently to maintain healthy skin.
Sensitive skin tends to become itchy when you apply certain aftershaves. This can result in stinging, irritation and even the skin breaking out.
Dry skin is usually visibly rough and cracked with wrinkles. Over time, it also tends to peel when not properly looked after. As a result, those with dry skin should always make sure to apply adequate moisturiser. For this skin type, an aftershave balm is the perfect option.
Oily skin tends to look overly moisturised and shiny, especially on the nose, chin and forehead areas – also known as the T-Zone. When you touch these areas, you will clearly feel the oiliness. Large, open pores are also a symptom of oily skin, which results in one becoming prone to whiteheads, blackheads, spots and pimples. People with oily skin should generally avoid balms. Instead, opt for a splash aftershave that contains toners.
As the name suggests, combination skin features both dry and oily elements. With combination skin, the forehead, nose, and chin areas are oily whilst the area around your cheeks is usually dry. Like oily skin, combination skin is prone to blackheads around the nose and chin area.
Know the ingredients in aftershave
Whilst each aftershave is designed with its own ingredients and fragrances, its base ingredients are the same. Before you pick an aftershave for your partner, you may be interested to learn which aftershave type contains which ingredients…
Toners and astringents
As with other skincare products, toners and astringents cleanse the skin and temporarily shrink the pores. Additionally, toners balance your skin pH whilst also relieving minor irritation, superficial cuts, rashes, insect bites and fungal infections.
When you apply a toner, it can heal your scars over time. Astringents, on the other hand, are a stronger variation of toner as they contain between 15% and 60% alcohol. So, if you have oily skin, aftershave that contains astringents may be perfect for you.
The drawback, however, is that you will be forced to use them continually. This is because when you remove oil from the skin, it leads to the production of more oil as your skin tries to replace what has been removed. Common ingredients of toners and astringents in aftershave include oatmeal, witch hazel, distilled vinegar, alcohol, potassium permanganate and zinc oxide.
Otherwise known as hydrosols, floral water or essential water, fragrance water can be found in fragranced aftershave. Like essential oils, they are formulated from the steam distillation of aromatic plants. When the essential oils float to the top, the distillate or diluted oils that remain form the fragrance water.
Fragrance water is manufactured at high temperatures and is relatively acidic, which allows it to help fight bacterial growth and balance the skin’s pH after the application of alkaline soaps and face wash. Depending on the kind of distillate added to the aftershave, one will be able to enjoy certain benefits. Lavender fragrance water, for example, can have antiseptic qualities, whilst rose may be antibacterial.
Moisturisers not only ensure the skin has enough oil but they also help to keep the layers of skin soft, with ample water content. Aftershaves with adequate moisturising elements are great for dry skin.
Many skincare products are built with add-ons to help reinforce their functions. For aftershaves, these are ingredients such as humectants. Humectants are thought to help to enhance the ability and reaction time of the other ingredients in the aftershave to penetrate the skin. Plus, they can potentially help to improve the moisturisation of the skin as well. Good examples of humectants added to aftershaves include sorbitol, lactic acid, glycerol and propylene glycol.
What ingredients to look for when picking the perfect aftershave for your other half
Whilst one should consider factors such as skin type and aftershave type when choosing aftershave for a partner, ingredients in individual aftershaves matter as well. Once you have discovered what your partner’s skin type is and which aftershave type to go for, the next step is to decide which ingredients will be most suitable for the person you are buying for. Obviously, as a gift, one wants a product that will make an impression.
One should consider whether the aftershave provides skin relief, has antibacterial, moisturising and softening qualities, and whether it has a pleasant smell. Some of the ingredients to look out for include aloe vera, vitamin E, jojoba oil, lavender, calendula and witch hazel. Whilst this may apply to most skin types, if your loved one has particularly dry or sensitive skin, avoid aftershaves that contain alcohol and citrus ingredients.
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