What's new

Moisturizer as post shave?

After diligently running down my software supplies over the past three years, it’s time for a restock. The first time around I went for matching soaps and aftershaves. This time I’m looking to avoid the clutter and go with one or two unscented balms that can be used with any soap. The best balms I’ve encountered have been Antica Barbiera Colla, Baume, DR Harris Aftershave Milk and Pre de Provenance. The thing these balms have in common is that they are all excellent moisturizers. This got me wondering if it’s possible to skip the balms all together and just use a post shave moisturizer.

It turns out that good quality, face specific, moisturizers actually do make an excellent post shave treatment. On reflection, it’s perhaps unsurprising that companies employing dermatologists who specialize in skin care would make better face creams than shaving companies who are geared more towards soaps and scents. It makes sense for shaving companies to expand their range with pre and post shave products that compliment their core range but you have to wonder though how much research and development goes into these secondary product lines.

Before going to the shops I played around with a few things that we had at home. I was not too impressed with hand and body creams which I found far too heavy. I had to begrudgingly admit that fancy face specific stuff on my wife’s side of the counter was in another league. The prices these niche brands were demanding was a little extreme for me though. I wanted to pay for the product and not the associated packaging and marketing.

Luckily the local chemist seemed to stock products with similar ingredients and consistency for a fraction of the cost of the day spa beauticians. I was happy to benefit from the economies of scale of these main stream brands. I’m currently getting excellent results with Neutrogena Hydro Boost, CeraVe and La Roche-Posay. These brands have a range of products that let you dial into something that’s suitable for your specific skin type.

From now on I plan to leave saponification to soap makers, scent to perfumers and skin care to dermatologists. These are the specialists in their field and I think that shows in the quality of their products. If you have access to a fancy moisturizer give it a go for post shave and see what you think. I think you’ll find it’s up there with the best of the balms.


I found that shaving soaps and creams tend to overly dry out my skin and in addition the shave itself over exfoliated my face. The result was what I call soap burn, which lasted hours after a shave.

Initially I blamed it on the blades, my technique, too many passes, some sensitivity. I tried many different things, but finally found after a face wash with bar soap that my issues were due to the prolonged exposure to shaving soaps.

I adjusted my routine accordingly. But I also added two post shave products which helped me tremendously.

The first was Thayers Witch Hazel Unscented. It helps with irritation and closes the pores as it’s an astringent. The second was a clear Aloe Vera Gel. That counters irritation, cools the skin, and rehydrates. I am no longer experiencing these issues I’ve been having.

I use the aloe Vera gel every morning and evening even on non-shave days to keep my skin hydrated for the shaving days. It has been a Game changer for me.

Another post shave product which should be very beneficial is pure shea butter. There should be a number of shea butters without any nasty synthetic preservatives available.

For me at the moment the Aloe Vera is the best post shave product in my arsenal. I might try shea butter at some point as well but since my skin is already rather oily maybe Aloe Vera would be a better choice for me.

I’m using Lily of the Desert -99% Aloe Vera Gelly.


  • IMG_6533.jpeg
    1.1 MB · Views: 36


I smell like a Christmas pudding
I use a cheap Nivea body lotion as a face moisturiser every morning and before bed. I have used similar products in the same way for my entire adult life. After shaving I use a shave balm but the Nivea, or any decent face/body moisturiser works just as well. As for using my wife's face creams, I would certainly not do so. They may be fine products but some are eye wateringly expensive and were I to use them I would find myself sleeping in the garage.
I’ve never had a good experience with shaving brands face moisturizers. And Nivea.

Clogged pores, pimples, oily skin. Too many comedogenic ingredients if you check out the list.

For me it’s cerave lotion. Always. Non comedogenic, made specifically for skin barrier repair, good quality ingredients.
Er.......I confess, I've used the works hand cream after a shave at work. The heavy duty stuff meant for hands that are washed several times a day. It works brilliantly on a fresh skin what can I say.
I've found after nearly 40 years of wet shaving that rinsing the shaving soap off thoroughly - not just wiping it off with a towel, but using first warm, then cold water to remove all traces of shaving cream/soap/lather makes a bigger difference than what post-shave balm I use. As far as moisturizer goes, I tend to prefer well established brands at the affordable end of the spectrum. Nivea, Gillette, Palmolive, Neutrogena, all available in supermarkets for a fraction of the beauty store offerings.
100% agreed! I always suggest people just use purpose made face cream as an aftershave balm if they would prefer to use a balm instead of a splash. The balms that shaving companies sell don't really carry the scent as well as a splash and at the same time aren't as good for the skin as a proper face moisturiser. The cost difference on some of them is ridiculous as well. Some of them go higher than $50 a bottle. A tube/tub of face cream will be half the price, last twice as long and be 4x better for your skin. Of course, the downside is that you miss out on the fragrance.

Mike M

...but this one IS cracked.
I found balms to be a little greasy for me so I used all of them up and now only use a moisturizer. My current moisturiser of choice is Nivea Hyaluron Gel though I am having difficulty locating a spare for when that is finished. The reason I picked that one is that it absorbs very quickly into my face and does the job with very little product.
Guess for me it is just common sense. But I just posted something similar.
This to me is just post shave recovery and overall face maintenance(management).
It is the option of the shaver to find the best post shave process that works best for them.
My wife was a Dermatologist/ Cosmetologist . She has guided over the 41 years of marriage.
Many slight changes over the years to adapt to this 66 year old face.
Sensible quality products that don't break the bank that help me with post shave recovery and overall face maintenance.
Now some may opt to splash and run. If it what you enjoy and works for you...great!
Basically it whatever works best for you.
We spend so much time talking about the razor, the blade....
When we are done, all that hardware and software goes away. What does not go away is the face....take care of it..you only get one..
Thanks for sharing your knowledge and insights.

With my limited experience, I am happy to learn that others like a moisturizer in the post-shave process. I use CeraVe (PM) Facial Moisturizing Lotion twice a day. I found that two "pumps" from this bottle is sufficient to moisturize my face well. At about $15.00 for a 3-ounce bottle, I feel it is inexpensive - especially when that bottle last for a couple of months. It has done wonders for my skin and, I believe, has helped me improve my shaving experience.
Top Bottom