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Signing off on the Perfect Shave: Splash vs. Balm

Do you shy away from aftershaves because of the eye-watering, so-hot-it's-cold (or is it so-cold-it's-hot?), scream-inducing nature of the alcohol? Or do you revel in the bracing, lip-numbing, put-hair-on-your-chest "tingle" of a traditional splash? Well, if you've ever thought that skipping the post-shave routine was a good idea, we're here to enlighten you on some other options. You don't have to channel Macaulay Culkin to get a great resolution to your groom.

You've just run an edge of sharp steel up and down your face. It's time to take care of that skin. The same reason that alcohol can burn is the same reason you need to care for your skin post-shave: microscopic cuts, nicks, and irritation. Using an aftershave product provides antiseptic, soothing, and moisturizing to your traumatized skin. Depending on your skin-type, skin-sensitivity, and preference, there are a number of choices to complete your shave.

The Splash

The traditional splash is what comes to mind when most people think about an aftershave. Of course, what also comes quickly to mind is the moment (immortalized in the film "Home Alone") when alcohol touches your freshly shaved skin. These alcohol-based products usually provide an initial burn followed by a cooling effect -- and are much beloved by many wet-shavers. This popular option is best for those with normal to oily skin as the alcohol can be drying, even as it cleans, protects, and tones the skin. It is not recommended for those with sensitivities. Many men love to experiment with the fragrances of aftershaves as well, as these products are often strong enough to replace a cologne. At West Coast Shaving, we have a plethora of aftershave splashes for you to peruse. Try our product filter and search for aftershave type: splash to see all the options.

WCS Top Picks in splashes:

  • Fine Classic Aftershave, Platinum and American Blend - With just 4 simple ingredients: alcohol, water, fragrance, menthol, Fine has created aftershaves that bring shaving back to basics. This splash has an ultra-light feel on your face and then a refreshingly bracing and skin toning dry-down. The Platinum scent is patterned after Creed Aventus that says success. The American Blend is a classic, masculine barbershop aroma inspired by YSL Rive Gauche Pour Homme.


  • Musgo Real After Shave, Classic – One of the finest after shaves in existence, this updated version of the classic Musgo Real fragrance (a mix of vetyver and patchouli), has been enhanced with extract of Aloe to sooth and calm, hamamelis (witch hazel) to tone and firm, and echinacea to promote healing of freshly shaved skin.

  • Captain's Choice Aftershave, North - Your skin will love you! Splash some on right after you shave and your skin will feel nourished and moisturized all day. The light pine scent (which was developed in collaboration with WCS) is a great addition to your daily grooming regimen and a perfect complement to your favorite cologne. Made with all natural ingredients and packaged in the Captain's traditional handsome brown glass bottle, this aftershave is an instant classic and one to keep on hand to awaken your inner mountain man.

The Balm

So, you aren't looking to "feel the burn" or "freeze-your-face-off"? Well, don't despair. There are post-shave options created just for you - and the millions like you - who want a soothing, moisturizing end to their wet-shaving experience. What you are looking for is a balm. B-A-L-M, hmmm, doesn't the word itself induce feelings of peace and serenity? A balm contains no alcohol so you don't get the sting of a splash. It is also more moisturizing, so it is better for those with sensitive, dry, or normal skin. These post-shave products tend to be light on intensity and longevity of scent, so they are perfect to wear under your favorite cologne without interfering. When you want to end your grooming routine with a hug and not a throat-punch, try a balm. There are so many wonderful options to choose from, just search balms or set our product filter to aftershave type: balm to see the many choices.

WCS Top Picks in balms:

  • Castle Forbes Lime Essential Oil Aftershave Balm - With witch hazel, aloe vera, glycerin, and essential oils, this soothing product has astringent and moisturizing properties with a crisp, citrus scent. Top-of-the-line quality to nourish your post-shave skin.


  • Proraso Aftershave Balm, Green Tea & Oat - Famous for their excellent and affordable shaving products, Proraso tops many "must-shave" lists. This recently reformulated shaving essential is better than ever. Soothing, refreshing, moisturizing, it is alcohol-free with a bright, clean scent.

  • Crown Shaving Co. After Shave Lotion - The mixture of different essential oils, vitamins, and natural herb extracts makes this product deserving of a throne. The Crown Shaving Co. Soothing Aftershave Lotion is an outstanding aftershave treatment that has a subtle aroma which crosses from a citrusy to a woody fragrance.

  • Edwin Jagger Aftershave, Limes & Pomegranate - This 99.9% natural aftershave is loaded with sensitive skin loving ingredients to sooth, refresh, and heal your skin. The nice, crisp citrus scent is a wonderful addition to this moisturizing lotion.


The Unique

Not enough options for you? Well, Geo F Trumper has created a product that is not splash, yet not quite balm. This unique product they have dubbed Skin Food. It is a great pre and post shave partner. Using it as a pre-shave treatment, it lifts and softens the bristles of your hair allowing your razor to glide through with ease. On the other hand, using the non-greasy glycerin rich based formula after shaving can soothe and aid in healing. It has rosewater which acts as an astringent that unclogs pores, making your face look smooth and clean but is gentle for those with sensitive skin. It also helps reduce irritation by acting as an anti-inflammatory. You can get it in a number of scents to enhance your shave. A little goes a long way to ending your shave on a high note.

WCS Top Picks in skin food:



What do you use to complete your shave? If you've been a run-a-blade-over-your-chin-and-forget-it type of shaver, we hope you will reconsider when you see all the amazing options available in post-shave care. (It might become your favorite moment of the morning!)

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