If you're searching for the best aftershave, the first thing to keep in mind is that there are many reasons you might get razor burn after shaving. You've got to be meticulous with your shave regimen: warm water to open the pores, followed by a pre-shave oil or lotion to soften the hair and skin. Make sure you're using a high-quality shaving cream to keep things friction-free. And most important of all, be sure to use a clean, sharp razor. Even the best aftershave in the world won't undo a sloppy shave.
But that last step, the aftershave, soothes the skin and makes you smell amazing for the rest of the day. It restores moisture, helps prevent ingrown hairs, and razor burn. It's the finishing touch on a careful, irritation-free shave.
There's a dizzying variety of shave products out there, so we tested them all. (Well, most of them.)
We found these 11 aftershaves, each of which is worthy of occupying some precious sink-ledge real estate.
The Best-Smelling Aftershave
Terre d’Hermès is one of the most adored colognes around, and you can now lather it on your face in the form of a soothing post-shave balm. You could even stock up on the fragrance itself to avoid the dreaded fragrance clash.
The Most Soothing Aftershave
Harry's post-shave balm is dosed with soothing aloe, but it will still go on light, disappearing into your skin almost instantly.
The Best Aftershave for Bumps and Ingrown Hairs
If you're prone to ingrowns, then you need a post-shave product that keeps pores unclogged and encourages healthy recovery. Jack Black's toning solution is packed with exfoliating alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids (kind of like an exfoliating serum) to maintain harmony after each shave.
The Best Old-School Barbershop Aftershave
$14.00, Saks Fifth Avenue
Venerable Italian brand Proraso color-codes its products. The red-label indicated this one is focused on nourishment and hydration—it will also leave you smelling like you just emerged from a charmingly old-fashioned barber shop in Naples.
The Best Aftershave to Also Use Before You Shave
$18.00, Baxter of California
Spray this on before and after you shave for a hit of soothing eucalyptus and spearmint, plus a range of skin-strengthening vitamins. After, pat it into your skin as if it were a traditional post-shave splash.
The Best Aftershave That Doubles as a Daily Toner
An aloe-packed, rose-scented toner that preserves the skin's delicate pH balance while preventing irritation and clogged pores. Use it between shaves to prevent excess oil production on the skin, and apply some after a shave to keep your face fresh.
The Best Aftershave for Sensitive Skin
The Art of Shaving mastered the art of after-shaving with this soothing and nourishing balm. Though they sell it in various scents, it's this fragrance-free option we love best, especially for people with sensitive skin.
The Most Luxe Aftershave
Botanic oils are at the heart of Aesop's post-shave lotion, which soothes skin or helps it recover from existing irritation and burn. You could even use it as a daily moisturizer, if you're a minimalist who also values high quality skincare—and why wouldn't you be?
The Best On-The-Go Aftershave
These post-shave cloths can do double duty as post-gym face wipes. They're loaded with skin-toning witch hazel and tea tree oil (which itself is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial). So, they keep pores clear and pH levels balanced, while also soothing skin with eucalyptus, sage, and bergamot.
The Best Bargain in Aftershave
A lightweight, low-cost, and highly reliable gel that cools skin on contact—what's not to love?
The Best Aftershave For Beach Days
This aloe-enriched post-shave lotion soothes on contact—so much that we've deployed it as a post-sunburn moisturizer.
Get the irritation-free shaving routine and the technique to remove ingrown hairs yourself.
Originally Appeared on GQ