Do You Wash Off Aftershave? (Proper Post-Shave Routines)

Are you new to shaving or are you a seasoned blade wielder? Do you know how to properly use your aftershave and when? Here’s a question that gets often asked of aftershave: Do I just leave it on or do I have to wash it off?

Unless your aftershave specifically directs you to wash it off, leave the aftershave on your face. Most aftershaves have moisturizing and skin-repairing ingredients that require time to sink in order for you to fully appreciate the benefits. Washing off most aftershaves is a waste of the product.

Read on to learn exactly when to use your aftershave during your routine. We also have a step-by-step guide to properly take care of your skin after a shave and keep it healthy.

Should you wash off aftershave?

Most men know you should apply aftershave directly after you’ve finished shaving – it is in the name, after all – but once the burn subsides, is it time to wash it off?

Unless you specifically purchase an aftershave that directs you to wash it off, you should leave your aftershave on.

Most aftershaves contain ingredients that have moisturizing properties, some may have ingredients that may even help repair skin after a harsh shave.

How long do you leave on aftershave?

It may be helpful to massage the aftershave into your skin, especially if you use an after-lotion or a balm. Once it has soaked into your skin, you’ll leave it on.

Typically you would leave your aftershave on until you wash your face at the end of the day.

Should you put on an aftershave before or after a shower?

Unless your aftershave specifically says to wash it off after application, you are missing out on the benefits of your aftershave if you are washing it off in the shower.

If you want your skin to benefit from the moisturizing ingredients of the aftershave, apply it when you get out and leave it on throughout the day.

Do you need to shower after shaving?

It is recommended that you use a gentle exfoliant after shaving, especially if you have a tendency to get razor bumps or ingrown hairs from shaving. This just gently sluffs away any leftover sebum from your pores that could cause the above issues.

If you exfoliate or wash your face over a sink, you don’t have to start hopping in the shower. If you already exfoliate or wash the rest of your face in the shower you’ll want to go ahead and make sure to shave before you get in the shower.

Here’s another tip: an aftershave with an antiseptic can also act as a toner/minimizer for the pores. You can also substitute an aftershave for an antiseptic toner as it serves the same purpose.

Proper post-shave routine

If you happened to have picked up shaving without much guidance, you’ll appreciate this step-by-step guide to your post-shave routine.

Once you finish shaving, you should:

  • Wash your face
  • Use a gentle exfoliant
  • Dry your face
  • Address any bleeding
  • Apply aftershave
  • Don’t forget to moisturize

Wash your face

Whether you washed your face before shaving or not, you should always wash your face once you’re done shaving.

Washing your face will help remove the remaining lather, but it can also help clean off lingering trimmed hairs or blood from any nicks or cuts.

Whether you do this over the sink or in the shower doesn’t matter too much. It’s healthiest to wash your face twice a day to keep it clean and can help prevent clogged pores and acne.

Use a gentle exfoliant

If you are prone to razor bumps or ingrown hairs, you should use a gentle exfoliant after shaving to ensure to slough off any leftover sebum and skin.

Again, this can be done over a sink or in the shower.

Dry your face

It may seem obvious, but now’s the time to dry your face.

Pat your face dry with a clean, dry towel.

Dragging the towel across your face could cause unwanted irritation.

Address any bleeding

If you cut yourself, it should have stopped bleeding by now.

If you have a small cut that is still bleeding, use a styptic pencil or use a piece of gauze/toilet paper to hold against the cut until it does stop bleeding.

Apply aftershave

Now is the time to use your aftershave.

Gently rub it into your face using circular motions. This will be especially helpful if you have a lotion or a balm for aftershave as it helps the skin absorb the product faster.

You have the option of using an antiseptic toner in place of aftershave as it disinfects while still having moisturizing properties and other ingredients to protect the skin.

Don’t forget to moisturize

If you have normal to oily skin, you are more than fine to go on about your day at this point. Walk confidently with your now healthy, freshly shaved face!

If you have dry to combination dry skin, you may find that using a moisturizer after your aftershave can help keep your skin more hydrated. You can use a light facial lotion or a heavier cream depending on exactly how dry your skin is.

If you have an oily area and dry area on your face, feel free to put moisturizer on just the drier parts. Now you too can walk confidently knowing you have healthy skin!