This article takes a look at the last step in the Neumann shave collection, the aftershaves. Wm. Neumann & Co. offers aftershaves that are available in either an alcohol-based form, or a balm. Each kind offers their own benefits, and Neumann even offers gift sets with both included in a great-looking wooden box.
As drying as you might assume an alcohol-based aftershave to be, I found myself touching my face hours after shaving and was still amazed at how nourished my skin felt from Neumann’s aftershave. It’s loaded with moisturizing ingredients to counteract the drying effects of the alcohol, and I must say it does an outstanding job! Vegetable glycerin, green tea, blue-green algae, milk thistle and willow bark all work together to help hydrate and heal. “Cooking off” the excess alcohol in my hands for about five seconds before applying it shortened the burn and allowed the aftershave to absorb very quickly, giving way to wonderful soothing effects from the aloe, witch hazel, and marshmallow root. As an added bonus, a touch of tea tree oil is included in the aftershave to act as an antiseptic.
On days when my skin felt drier after a shave, I took advantage of the balm’s more lotion-like qualities. It was every bit as soothing as the alcohol-based aftershave, since both products share many of the same ingredients, but the balm adds a bit of extra moisturizing power with the addition of coconut and jojoba oil. Even if you don’t shave every day, the balm can still be used as an excellent, quick-absorbing light moisturizer after cleansing your face. Trust me, though, when I say that a little bit of this balm goes a long way. It spreads very easily, and only a penny-size amount will suffice, even if you apply it over your whole face and neck.
The aftershaves come packaged in superb old-fashioned apothecary bottles, but while the bottles look nice, my only complaint is that the large mouths of the bottles make it very difficult to not pour out way too much of the alcohol-based aftershave. As fantastic a product as the alcohol-based aftershave is, the balm is much easier to pour, and if you pour out too much balm, you can just scoop it back into the bottle. Additionally, the balm’s thicker nature means you require much less product to do the same job. All of this coupled with the balm’s slightly cheaper price makes it a considerably better value. If you can afford it, though, I would recommend having the versatility of the different ingredients in each type of aftershave at your disposal. (Author's note: It turns out that the bottle that I reviewed was inadvertently missing a diffuser. After this article was published, Bill Neumann sent me a new bottle with a diffuser and my complaints about pouring out too much aftershave are alleviated.)
To sum up all of my Neumann reviews, I really cannot recommend this line enough. It really is some of the best shaving products I have tried. For example, when I shave, I have a difficult time not coming away with at least one small nick, regardless of what I change about my routine, and alum doesn’t always stop the bleeding right away, either. I noticed that with Neumann, however, after just a few days of regular use, any small nicks began to close up with only a cold-water rinse! That has never happened since I took up traditional shaving! There is just something in these products that makes that issue a thousand times better for me; I wish I could figure out what it is! My shaves have been great, and nicks are now a very minor problem. That alone made these products worth it for me.
Regular prices for Neumann’s products are comparable to what you would see from the three Ts, so the Neumann line isn’t a bargain, but it’s quite competitive, especially in terms of quality. If you are dissatisfied with your current products or are just looking for something more, Neumann is definitely worth the try. To make it a little easier to test out for yourself, check out wmneumann.com and pick up some of your favorite shaving supplies.