Even a ‘perfect’ shave comes with its fair share of microscopic mutilation. Every stroke of your blade wears away at the outermost layers of the skin and leaves it defenseless against infection, irritation and whatever else is floating about in the air that surrounds you. Rather than abide by the antiquated rules of yesteryear and douse your face with alcohol, restore the protective barrier, and prevent a post-shave flare up, with these soothing, reparative balms.
Neroli Post Shave Lotion £31 for 60 by AESOP from aesop.com
With such emphasis on slick packaging, you might doubt the efficacy of the unguent it contains. Cult Australian brand Aesop have combined a healthy dose of botanicals (Neroli Blossom, Sandalwood and Bisabol) with active chemicals (Pantheol) to restore the skin’s moisture balance and allay the tightness that comes with a close shave. It also moonlights as a moisturiser, so you don’t have to follow it with yet another product.
Neocica by Laboratoires Filorga £32 for 20ml from House of Fraser nationwide
Intense epidermal reconstruction for seriously sensitized, rash-ridden skin. Designed by leading French specialists in cutaneous ageing (aesthetic doctors, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, pharmacists and cosmetologists) and containing 73 per cent active ingrdients, this cream was originally designed for chronic post-laser peeling, burns and irritation from hardcore injections, so it does a rather good job as a post-shave soother too.
Moisturising After Shave Soothing Spray by Lab Series £19 for 200ml from labseries.co.uk
A spray doesn’t sound like a particularly direct way to cure chronic irritation but this antioxidant-rich spritz containing the best bits of cranberry, blueberry, pomegranate and grape is surprisingly good at calming inflammation. The perfect pick-me-up if you shave first thing in the morning and even better in hotter climates when you don’t want to slather your skin with anything too heavy.
Ahmed Zambarakji is the Grooming Editor of Shortlist MODE and also blogs at theexfoliator.com