When you do not have aftershave what are alternatives to use?

I have tried a hot towel and cold towel however still not sufficient.


4 Answers 4


It actually depends on what is your primary goal. Disinfection? Healing of cuts and scratches? Skin care? Scent? Commercial after-shaves usually contain substances to address all these issues.

So, if you are looking for a hack, you need to choose what is the most important for you.

Some replacements

Medical alcohol can be a good replacement. Can sting quite good, so you can test how much of a man you are. Mostly for disinfection purposes.

Hydrogen peroxide: can sting like hell. Leaves no scent. Disinfectant and wound healer. Also makes all blood stains disappear.

Tap water: it has so many chemicals that you should not really need an aftershave.

Me, personally

Actually, I use NO aftershave at all, just tap water while shaving. (I apply shaving cream with a shaving brush before shaving) I tried all kinds of after-shave solutions (commercial AND hacks equally), I was never happy with any of them. So I found out that tap water is the perfect solution - cheap too. If I want some scent, I add it later, after my face had a chance to dry and relax.

Note: applying some substances can temporarily turn your skin red, so do not apply anything on your face just before getting out. You will need up to 30 min to look "human" again. :)


I just remembered one detail. Long time ago, when I was a student, some colleagues were swearing that the secret to a good shaving was thoroughly rinsing your face with cold water at the end - to constrict the blood vessels, and therefore stop bleeding, help healing, wash the blood. I am usually lazy about it, and I do not see a negative effect of NOT using the cold water. However, in some cases it might be the missing element. Just go ahead and try.

  • Hehe, same for me personally. Tried bunch of aftershaves over the years, was never satisfied, so just not using. I keep shaving often so it doesn't sting or hurt. Nov 7, 2022 at 8:10
  • I gave up shaving years ago. I grew a beard and mustache. Helps working in very cold environment. Besides I am allergic to most shaving creams.
    – user13723
    Nov 17, 2022 at 23:56

Anyway, have you ever tried witch hazel? No burn, dries quick, scent (what little there is) is gone in seconds, and I've never had a feeling of it drying my face. Try Lucky Tiger. It is alcohol free, has witch hazel and other things and has a very light citrus scent.


I agree with the witch hazel. Another alternative is rose water although can be expensive or cheap depending on where you are buying. Both disinfect quite well. Rose water can even be used to clean the eye when your accidentally cut you cornea. Plus, it has moisturizing properties like no other. Rose water will just leave you smelling like roses temporarily lol.


What I've recently begun using is alum - some companies sell a 'brick' of it for this purpose, or just use what you find from the grocery store, it will help if you've nicked yourself as it causes the skin cells and tissues to shrink and by constricting the blood vessels. It soothes freshly shaved skin to combat razor burn, ingrown hairs, bumps, and redness by reducing inflammation. It tightens pores and acts as an antiseptic that kills any surface bacteria, which helps to disinfect freshly shaved skin and prevent infection and spots. The true genius of an alum block is in technique monitoring- making it essential when shaving with a double-edge or straight razor.

Even if you’ve had a comfortable shave without razor burn, there is likely still room to improve. Poor technique or blunt blades are often the cause of microscopic cuts and nicks that are invisible to the eye.

When you rub the alum block over any hidden spots of irritation it will immediately sting (the intensity of the stinging tells you how bad the irritation is). You can use this stinging to identify areas of your face where you are perhaps not being careful enough or it could be a signal that your blade needs changing.

The stinging feeling from applying alum to irritated skin only lasts a few seconds as it helps to soothe and reduce inflammation.

When you can consistently run an alum block over your freshly shaved skin without a hint of stinging, you know you have mastered your wet shaving technique!

From The Personal Barber

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