A/S balm vs splash vs lotion vs... ?

Discussion in 'Aftershaves' started by Geordon, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. Can someone please clear up the differences between the different permutations of aftershave application, like the ones in the topic title? From what I've been able to glean, there is not a whole lot of difference between a splash and a lotion, where a balm is more viscous. Is there something that I am missing?:confused1
  2. As far as I know (and I may be sadly mistaken...), AS's can be divided into two broad groups: Splashes/Lotions and Balms.

    Unintuitive as it may be, so-called "Aftershave Lotions" are almost always liquid, alcohol-based splashes. The confusion seems to be that many splashes are called lotions, which implies (at least to me) something more viscous and substantial. Examples of Splashes/Lotions are Aqua Velva, Proraso splash, Musgo Real, Old Spice, Bay Rums, etc. They may be nothing more than alcohol and some fragrance, or may contain some products to promote skin health and moisturization as well.

    Balms, on the other hand, are generally thicker, opaque liquids that mimic the look and feel of hand and body lotions (I know - it'd darned confusing, isn't it?!) They generally tend to be lower-alcohol and more moisturizing than splashes. Examples of balms are the various Nivea products, L'Occitane CADE, Proraso Liquid Cream AS, and the various Trumper's Skin Foods.

    There is also a somewhat of a middle ground here, known as after shave milks, which are generally opaque but thinner than your average balm - like the look and consistency of milk, hence the name. As you might expect, their alcohol content and moisturizing capabilities fall in the middle between splashes and balms as well. The best examples of AS milks are the Saint Charles Shave line.

    Hope this helps...
  3. I am having the same difficulty/confusion but Wingnuts explanation makes sense to me. The only category I would add is "gels" (like ToOBS Shave Shop Gel). I have not had enough experience yet to say which type is "better". I can tell you I love ToOBS Gel, Acqua di Parma Milk (which is called lotion), Santa Maria Novella Lotion, and AoS Balm - all terrific products that I am probably not using correctly! :confused1
  4. what he said

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