I currently am using the Bay Rum to splash on post-cold water rinse. I then let it sit there whilst I clean out my brush, bowl, and razor. I then cold water rinse, and then apply Neutrogena Post Shave Lotion. I use the Bay Rum because I feel it serves as a kind of antiseptic that feels cool on the face. I do think it dries the skin, which is why I personally use the secondary lotion to provide moisture. I am by no means an expert, but am simply offering my experience.
Nonsense, I'm 54 and have been using it every day for the past 40 years and it hasn't harmed me a bit.
But really, give it a try. If it isn't for you, it isn't for you - but many folks use it daily, including myself and have absolutely fine skin.
It certainly isn't for everyone (what is?) but it isn't the horrible skin killer that some sellers of alternative products would like you to believe.
I'd say it's a preference thing. I really LOVE my AOS Sandalwood AS and use it religiously, but during the warmer summer months I use Masters Bay Rum (if you haven't tried it, you should...great value for $). If you find the alcohol dries your skin out, use a moisturizer to help with that.
Also, if your technique is proper your AS shouldn't make your face feel like its on fire. When I first started, I had a reaction to Nivea Sensitive Skin balm and it had nothing to do with the balm, but everything to do with the technique I was using.
Before I started DE shaving I was a bit scared of the AS splashes with alcohol in them..... now they are probably my favorite part of a shave. Splashes with alcohol in them kill the germs, which seems like a good thing to do after you've been scraping your face with a sharp piece of metal. I have normal, but fairly sensitive skin and I can handle the splashes fine without any excessive dryness or irritation. I usually use a non-alcohol lotion or balm in addition to the splash as well. The best part for me are all of the different scents of the splashes out there.... as well as the different properties and characteristics of them. Some are very soothing.... some are cooling..... some just give you that burn that make you grab the door jamb and stand on your toes for about 30 seconds. If your skin type can handle them, they are fun and good for you after a shave. I will admit that I have suffered from ASAD as a result of my new found love of AS splashes..... that may be the most dangerous aspect about them .
+1. I've been using the heck out of my TOBS Sandalwood AS splash, and my face feels great right now. During the winter, I'll probably break out the balms again, but right now, the alcohol in the splash feels fantastic.
Alcohol is not drying to the skin, especially if a high quality grain alcohol is used. For the most part any after shaves you would be purchasing from a vendor are going to be good. I also really like Aqua Velva and Clubman. A plus in using a splash is it kills the infection you just created on your face. I use a splash after shave every day and I can't imagine using balms but of course YMMV.
If I may make a recommendation- if you find you really like all the properties of an alcohol containing splash, but find it a bit drying, add a single drop of jojoba oil to the splash while in your palm. Jojoba oil is very similar to your sebum and is considered non-comedogenic. It essentially has no scent and should not negatively influence the efficacy of your AS splash.
Alcohol in aftershaves is not the nasty "must avoid at all costs" substance that some people seem to think it is.
Alcohol actually has beneficial properties - it is astringent and antiseptic - and different proportions of it in an aftershave will suit different people differently.
Some people with sensitive skin may do better with no-alcohol or low-alcohol aftershaves (splashes or balms), while people with dry skin might do better with a moisturising balm (though a bit of "toning" alcoholic AS followed by a moisturising balm is another alternative).
Does alcohol sting? It only stings for me if I've had a poor shave and taken off too much epidermis. If I've had a good shave, it gives me more of a warmth or glow, which feels good - and if it has cooling ingredients like menthol too, I get that initial glow followed by a nice cool face, and that can feel great.
I personally have no problem with high-alcohol aftershaves, and they don't come close to drying out my skin - in fact, if I use a moisturising balm, I have to be careful not to use too much as it can over-moisturise my skin and make it feel puffy.
At the end of the day, it's down to what suits you best - I'd suggest that beginners interested in trying an AS with alcohol should start with a relatively low-alcohol one and go from there.
If you splashed pure alcohol on your face, then yeah it might be a bit rough.
But most commercial a/s splashes have glycerin and a bunch of other skin-healthy goodies in them that more than make up for the slight drying of the alcohol.