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Combat the Cold with Aftershave Balm

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The arrival of the winter season often poses a challenge for keeping your skin healthy.  As the temperatures and humidity drop, your morning shave can become more uncomfortable, leaving your face feeling rough and dry throughout the day.  One solution for this problem is simple: switch to using an aftershave balm instead of a splash.

Aftershave is very important to nourish the skin after you just exfoliated while shaving exposing a softer layer of skin. Aftershave balm is especially beneficial to those who suffer from dry skin or razor bumps because it hydrates and soothes the skin. Balm has a more subtle fragrance than splash, so it is less likely to conflict with cologne. It is also preferred by men who prefer to avoid fragrances on their faces.

Changing with the Seasons

Many men use aftershave balms throughout the year because they include little or no alcohol, which can be excessively drying and irritating to the skin.  During the summer months, however, the weather is warmer and your skin is naturally oilier. The use of balms during these months can feel greasy, and can result in clogged pores and issues with acne.  Aftershave splashes work best in the summer because they soothe and condition the face without drying it out excessively. 

In the winter, on the other hand, your face takes a beating from the drier and colder air.  This is particularly uncomfortable for those that shave early in the morning and head out for their daily commute.  Your skin can feel tight and chapped, which can last well throughout the day, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Using an aftershave balm helps to ensure that the skin is well moisturized and protected from the uncomfortable feeling of dry cold air against fresh-shaved skin. 

How to Apply Aftershave Balm

After shaving, rinse your face thoroughly with cold water.  Leave your face wet and apply a small amount of the balm to the palm of your hand.  Generally, a pea-size amount is all that is needed although the amount may vary from one brand to the next depending on its formulation and consistency.  Rub your palms together and then stroke it onto your moist face in a gentle, downward motion.  Applying it to moist skin helps the balm spread more evenly and thoroughly coat and moisturize the face.  Using a downward motion keeps the balm from being pushed up into your pores and follicles causing acne problems. Use very light pressure while applying the aftershave to avoid irritating the skin as it will need time to recover from the shave.Santa Maria Novella Emulsione Analcolica

Brand Recommendations

Aftershave balms are available in a variety of fragrances and prices.  Choosing the best one for your skin type may take some trial and error, but there are a few that consistently deliver great results.  Santa Maria Novella’s Emulsione Analcolica is the ideal choice for those looking for top-quality aftershave balm, even though it is on the more expensive side at $60 for a 100ml/3.3oz bottle.  Santa Maria Novella has a unique formulation of olive oil, witch hazel, and elastin that cools and soothes the skin very well and also has a distinctive herbal fragrance.  Another excellent balm is the Hydrolast Aftershave Conditioner from Enchante.  Even if you do not use Method Shaving, the Hydrolast Conditioner is a top-tier product on its own.  It is available in a range of fragrances, scented with only pure essential oils making it one of the purest and natural options for those with sensitive skin.  It is available in a 60ml/2oz size for $35. On the lower end, Musgo Real Balsam is available for $23 for a 100ml/3.3oz bottle. It soothes and heals the skin, and has a nice traditional barbershop fragrance.  Musgo Real Balsam is also has a thinner consistency balm that evenly coats and moisturizes the skin without feeling greasy.

Beyond these three brands, there are many other quality aftershave balms on the market to try.  Most balms do not contain alcohol, so you can be a little more adventurous than with some traditional splash aftershaves that may cause stinging or irritation.  In addition, many manufacturers offer sample sizes of their aftershave balms, so that you can try them for a couple of shaves and see if their product works for you. 

Final Thoughts

As the temperature drops and the winter season sets in, now is the right time to begin using an aftershave balm. Protect your face from the colder and drier air with a balm that moisturizes and soothes your skin.  Experiment with various brands to find an aftershave balm that works best for you. If Santa Claus shaved, he’d have a bottle of Emulsione Analcolica in his North Pole toiletry bag.

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