What are the advantages/disadvantages of using an after shave with or without alcohol.

Discussion in 'Preshave and Aftershave' started by dvdhviid, May 18, 2020.

  1. dvdhviid

    dvdhviid Well-Known Member

    What are the advantages/disadvantages of using an after shave with or without alcohol? Because I like to bring a scotch in with me.
    Kidding on that last part. Question is in all seriousness.
    Is it OK to use them after Thayers Witch Hazel, or is that redundant and should be "instead of"?

    Thanks in advance
  2. John Beeman

    John Beeman Little chicken in hot water

    Too much alcohol might be a little drying for your skin but you can always use a balm or lotion if needed.
    I’m sure someone knowledgeable can give you the pros and cons.
    I pick aftershave on scent and don’t pay much attention to ingredients.
    I also use witch hazel after every shave. It may be redundant with a witch hazel based aftershave but it’s part of my regimen and I’ve convinced myself that it enhances my looks.
  3. Droo78

    Droo78 Well-Known Member

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  4. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    I like regular a/s and own more than I should but as I've said before many times, nothing beats Lucky Tiger lotion (0% alcohol) for doing what a/s is supposed to do. Only things it don't have is fragrance or menthol but it needs neither. But I only use it when I have some irritation. Otherwise I always grab my own concoction of Dickinson's with an alum stick dissolved in it, followed by a regular aftershave.
  5. BigMike

    BigMike Well-Known Member

    My answer to your question is: the ones with alcohol work.
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  6. The situational shaver

    The situational shaver Well-Known Member

    This is a very controversial issue. First let me say, the only reason for aftershave, is the alcohol.
    The only reason that scent is put in, is to cover up the alcohol smell.
    Technically, you could just water down some plain Everclear and it would work.
    You’ll just smell like alcohol. The thing to remember, is what else is in it.
    Aftershave with glycerin in it will hydrate and moisturize your face. But, if you have oily skin, or if your skin is
    normal, and it’s really humid, the glycerin can make your face feel ‘sticky’.
    Propylene or butylene glycol works the same way, but not as much, so you can wear those at higher
    humidity levels with out feeling ‘sticky’.
    I can wear a heavy glycerin aftershave (Masters, A.V.) up to about 35/40% humidity.
    Glycol, I can go ubout 65%. Above that, nothing but plain alcohol splashes.
    I happen to live right by the Mississippi River. Like, it’s a mile away. So, it’s usually pretty humid.
    So plain alcohol splashes are the order of the day most times. But, on a dry day, glycerin, or glycol feel nice.
    As for witchazel, it’s not redundant at all. The witchazel is an astringent, it cleans out your pores.
    Not only does it clean the dirt particles, it also cleans the residue, and oil from soaps and pre shave oils.
    Another benefit of the hazel is, it tightens your pours, so when you apply your aftershave, it
    doesn’t ‘sting’ as much, because the alcohol isn’t getting as deep in your pours. It just disinfects the ‘new’ skin
    on your face that’s been exposed.
    You will also notice some aftershaves have menthol in them. Those tend to give a ‘cooling’ sensation.
    Very refreshing in hot weather. Some have a ‘warming’ sensation (V.I.B.R.,Old Spice), those feel
    nice when it’s cold. And of course, when it comes to scents, just like cologne, lighter scents in summer
    heavier scents winter. Hope I could help. S.S.
  7. dvdhviid

    dvdhviid Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys. Almost out of Thayers, which is great stuff, but I'll try Tiger Lilly just to experiment and an AS. I do have oily skin so the tip on glycerin is very helpful.
  8. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    Alcohol a/s

    Negative: sting
    Positive: sting
  9. david of central florida

    david of central florida Rhubarb Rubber

    Aside from the sting, which is addictive.
    I’d say one advantage would be a thorough disinfection would be a plus. Fingers tend to pick up nasties, then touching newly scraped skin. A wash of antiseptically clean good smelling rinse.

    i think that lotions and balms tend to cover the micro-abrasions, Leaving my mug feeling a bit greasy, whereas the wash of alcoholic after shave feels cleaner. The exception I’ve found is witch hazel, you get the chemical wash without the burn. I’m no doctor, so I can’t say what they actually do to skin recently scraped. But I know how they feel, and I think the alcohol is a plus for me, witch Hazel not bad either.
    Tea the oil is good as well (but I only like it sometimes). Last thing, witch hazel sorts smells like old pond water. I’m hoping the better ones smell better.
  10. John Beeman

    John Beeman Little chicken in hot water

    My go-to witch hazel is Thayers unscented. The regular stuff is too stinky for me.
    Thayers scented (lavender, rose, lemon, etc.) witch hazel offerings are good. Thayers refers to these as toners. The regular stuff they label astringent.
    Humphreys scented witch hazel (citrus, lilac, etc.) is tolerable but a little stinky.
    Ijustmissedthe50s and dvdhviid like this.
  11. dvdhviid

    dvdhviid Well-Known Member

    Not long ago I got what must have been a staph infection on a razor burn. I'm down to try an alcohol AS if it will prevent a repeat.
  12. Ron R

    Ron R Well-Known Member

    I like aftershave with some Alcohol that acts a astringent and a preserve for better shelf life. Scent is important to me also, I do not like to strong a scent that lasts all day and when I do get to strong a scent that lasts it gets diluted with witch hazel.
    If you do not like scents just use regular(14% alcohol )witch hazel or Alum. Witch hazel is good for skin issues from my limited research. Witch hazel regular does have a pugnet mild scent that quickly dissipates IMO.
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  13. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    I tend to favor Stirling aftershave splashes.

    I don't experience negatives from alcohol only aftershaves, but do notice the benefits of the skin conditioning ingredients they add.


    My 2 other faves are Lucky Tiger Face Tonic and Proraso Menthol Eucalyptus Balm (neither list alcohol)
  14. dvdhviid

    dvdhviid Well-Known Member

    Lucky Tiger looks similar in ingredients to Thayers so I have to try it. I've heard/read/youtubed good things about Stirling products. Have to find a Canadian source.
  15. Leo501

    Leo501 Well-Known Member

    Alcohol can be drying to the skin, so if you have dry skin you might want to avoid it and reach for something alcohol free.

    Yes, it can be redundant, especially if the AS you are using also has witch hazel in the ingredients.
    Do you need both? No.
    Is it OK to use both? That's really up to the individual. YMMV
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  16. Enrico

    Enrico Popcorn

    I use witch hazel for my second pass and follow things up with a nice alcohol AS. If I find it too drying (on a rare occasion), I use a shaving balm at the finish.

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  17. Macbeth

    Macbeth Active Member

    In my observations, alcohol applied ON THE FACE has NO ADVANTAGES.

    In fact, as far as I've researched, it does HARM to the just shaved face.
    I know that many shavers prefer MENTHOL in their aftershave, which needs ALCOHOL to dissolve the menthol crystals, so have convinced themselves that a face BURN is a GOOD thing.

    I use aftershaves and colognes with alcohol, but NEVER on a shaved face---only unshaven part of neck, behind ears and on wrists.
    Of course, you should use what you want. It's your face.
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  18. Carson West

    Carson West Well-Known Member

    You hear that alcohol dries the skin, but every aftershave I've used also contains a moisturizer like castor oil or glycerin which completely counters the drying effect of the alcohol. I like the slight sting too.

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