While it may seem like all you need is a razor and some shaving cream, there's more to shaving than meets the eye. Common side effects of shaving—abrasions, skin irritation, razor burns (major ouch)—can leave skin feeling icky and dry, according to Hadley King, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York. To help your skin heal and feel its best, dermatologists encourage adding nourishing post-shave products to your skin-care regimen.
Before committing to a product, Dr. King recommends choosing post-shave essentials with humectants (hyaluronic acid and glycerin), emollients (squalene, ceramides, fatty acids), and occlusives (petrolatum, beeswax, mineral oil, and zinc oxide). "These components are helpful because the shaving removes the outermost layer of dead skin cells and natural oils, so it's important to hydrate, support the skin barrier, and lock in moisture," says Dr. King. Humectants draw water to your skin's barriers, emollients improve skin texture and appearance, and occlusives "form an inert layer on the skin and physically block transepidermal water loss," she adds.
We chatted with a dermatologist to learn about the post-shave products that they're loving. Below, you'll find the five best ones. Commence phase hydration!
5 post-shave essentials that dermatologists love
Aesop’s Moroccan Neroli Post-Shave lotion has all of the ingredients for a hydrating post-shave session. Infused with humectants like glycerin and emollients like shea butter, the lotion hydrates and supports your skin’s barrier while quelling any skin irritation or aggravation, according to Dr. King. To use, squeeze half a teaspoon of product and massage into the skin post-shave. Is it more expensive? Yeah. But is its thoughtful and ultra-nourishing ingredient list super worth it? Also yes.
Dove’s Sensitive Care body lotion has a “rich, moisturizing formula that supports the skin barrier with ceramides,” says Dr. King. Formulated with glycerin and sunflower oil, the body lotion locks in moisture and quenches your skin’s thirst. More to love? It’s free of synthetic fragrances and is ideal for all skin types: sensitive, dry, normal, combination, and mature.
Coconut oil, aloe, and hyaluronic acid make up the ingredients in Schaf Skincare’s Shave Cream. Together, the ingredients offer an oh-so-smooth glide to prevent razor cuts, burn, and irritation, “softening the hair and providing optimum slip for a comfortable shave,” says Dr. King. Bonus: It’s fragrance-free and suitable for sensitive skin.
The post-shaving game changed when Bliss released its lemon and sage body butter. It’s enriched with hydrators like shea butter and occlusives like coconut oil, which nourish and soothe parched skin. The formula itself is “rich and creamy and also contains skin calming ingredients like amica montana,” Dr. King explains. Apply where needed and let the lemon and sage scent transport you back to warmer months.
The new Venus pubic and skin line offers pubic-friendly razors, exfoliants, and best of all, a soothing serum. The serum comes recommended by Dr. King because it can be used daily as a moisturizer to reduce itchiness and calm angry skin. Infused with hints of lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy, the serum gently exfoliates the skin and contains humectant superpowers to restore dehydrated barriers. For best use, apply after shaving or between shaves.
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